Is a homeowner responsible for injuries just because someone got hurt on their property?
The answer is No. A homeowner is only responsible for personal injuries to an individual who is hurt at their home if the homeowner did something wrong. In other words, if you were at someone’s home and tripped over your own shoelaces, there would be no claim against the homeowner. The homeowner did not do anything wrong if you tripped over your own shoelaces.
More specifically the law, reduced to plain English, if someone who was hurt and brings a claim against the owner or occupier of the land (a homeowner, for instance) must show the following:
- you were injured
- your injuries were caused by the negligence of the homeowner
- that the homeowner knew or should have known that their negligence created an unreasonably dangerous condition
Let’s say you tripped over a rug at another person’s home. You would have to show that there was something about the rug that created an unreasonably dangerous condition that caused you to fall. If the rug was laid out perfectly fine and safe but you tripped over your own shoelaces as you were going over the rug, then that would not be enough to claim negligence against the homeowner.
That being said, each case is different. Especially in Arizona slip and fall cases, it is important to review the facts with an attorney. In almost all slip and fall cases, we have to hire experts to testify as to the condition being a dangerous one. Experts can range from building code violations to safety measures that should have been taken in a home or establishment. In slip and fall cases it is vital to speak to a skilled slip and fall attorney in Phoenix as soon as possible as evidence is destroyed very quickly in these cases. For instance, in the above “rug case” it would be important to see exactly where the rug was and how it was laid out in the home. If the rug is destroyed and the person sells the home then it could be difficult to later prove liability. This is why it is important to gather evidence as soon as possible in a slip and fall case.
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Confidentially reviewed by Attorney Mark Breyer