When are Arizona Property Owners Liable for Injuries on Their Premises?
Posted on behalf of Phillips Law Group on Nov 17, 2010 in Personal Injury
People enter the property of others for any number of reasons in Arizona, and most of the time, there are legal rights held by those who enter this property as well as legal duties owed by property owners to those visitors that attach. These legal rights and duties generally fall under the realm of Arizona premises liability law, and people who have been injured while on the property of another should seek the help of experienced Phoenix, AZ premises liability attorneys. Below is a brief introduction to the concept of liability that could attach to property owners when people are harmed on their property.
Arizona Premises Liability - Legal Status of the Visitor
The first mode of analysis that must be completed when someone is hurt on the property of someone else is to define the legal status of that visitor. There are several different statuses that could arise, and they include:
- Invitee - An invitee is a person who is a foreseeable entrant onto a property, even if he or she was not specifically invited. Invitees are those who enter a premises to conduct business, such as at a retail location or a restaurant.
- Licensee - A licensee is someone who enters the property of another for what are generally social reasons, such as a party or a barbecue.
- Trespasser - A trespasser is someone who enters the property of another without permission and is someone who is not a foreseeable entrant onto that property.
Basically, invitees and licensees are owed protections from harm by property owners, while trespassers are not afforded the same protections. There are exceptions to each of these statuses, but for the most part someone must lawfully be present on the property of another for legal protection to attach.
Duties that Attach to the Property Owner to Liability in AZ
Generally, there are several duties that attach to a property owner in relation to the legal entrants onto the premises. First and foremost, the property owner must remove any dangerous condition on the property that would not be obvious to anyone present. If such a dangerous condition cannot be removed, the property owner must provide clear and distinct warnings to those legal entrants, usually by way of warning signs or barricades placed around this problematic condition. This duty of protection applies even if the property owner was not aware of this dangerous condition but still should have known about it. In essence, the property owner owes the legal duty to protect legal entrants from unreasonable harm.
If you or someone you love has been harmed on the property of someone else, contact a Phoenix injury lawyer at Phillips Law Group today to schedule a free initial consultation.