All cities, towns, businesses and private property owners owe a duty of reasonable care to keep their premises safe and free from all unreasonably dangerous conditions, and to warn occupants of any unreasonably dangerous conditions of which they know or should know. If you have been injured by a hazardous condition on someone else's property, or on public property, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.
Liability of Owners and Occupants
In Arizona, property owners and occupiers have a duty to protect visitors from injuries arising from known dangers on their property. When a person sustains an injury on a property, either the property owner or the occupant may be held liable for the injury. Generally, if the property is occupied by one who is not the owner, such a tenant or lessee, the occupier may be held liable if they possess control over the area where the injury occurred. If the injury occurs in an area the occupier does not control, or if the property is owner-occupied, the property owner may be liable.
Levels of Care for Visitors
Arizona property owners have a duty to keep visitors safe from harm, but this duty varies based on the status of the injured person involved, i.e. whether they are an invitee, licensee or trespasser.
Invitees -persons who are on the property for business purposes, such as customers. If an invitee is injured on the property, the owner or occupier may be liable if they knew or should have known about a dangerous condition on the property and failed to warn invitees that the condition existed.
Licensees -persons who are on the property for non-business purposes, including social guests. Owners and occupants have a duty to warn licensees of any dangers on the premises that are not obvious. There is also an increased responsibility to warn social guests who are children of any existing dangers.
Trespassers are people who deliberately enter a property without permission. Arizona property owners do not have an obligation to protect trespassers from dangers on the property but may not deliberately injure them. Property owners do have an obligation to protect child trespassers from known dangers, for example, by properly fencing swimming pools.
Types of Premises Liability Claims
A variety of circumstances may give rise to a premises liability claim, including:
- Hazardous Conditions, including those caused by the elements
- Inadequate Maintenance
- Inadequate Security
- Failure To Warn
- Failure to Repair
- Failure to comply with health and safety laws and ordinances
- Defective Design
Who Can File a Claim
Any invitee or licensee may file a premises liability claim if they are injured on the property and incur damages such as medical bills, lost wages or pain and suffering as a result of the injury. The Plaintiff must prove that they were injured; that the property owner's or occupier's negligence caused the injury; and that they were an invitee or licensee at the time of injury.
Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations for filing a premises liability claim is two years from the date of injury. If the injured person later dies as a result of the injuries sustained on the property, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of the person's death.
Contact an Experienced Arizona Premises Liability Attorney
If you have been injured on someone else's property, or if you are a property owner and have been served with a lawsuit, call us today at (480) 771-3986 or contact us online.
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