Phoenix Premises Liability Attorneys
What Is Premises Liability?
When you suffer an injury on someone else’s property or business due to the negligence of the property owner, he or she is responsible, even if he or she was not directly involved in the incident. Any Phoenix premises liability lawyer will tell you that all public places should be clear of hazards. It is the property owner's duty to remove hazards and mark a dangerous area off as quickly as possible. If you are injured at an establishment where you shop, the business may be liable for your injuries and for your accident. This, in turn, means that they may be liable for your medical expenses, lost wages, emotional hardships, and other expenses and damages associated with your accident and your recovery.
Some examples of premises liability include, but are not limited to:
- Slip-and-falls, especially in a grocery store
- Dog bites
- House fixtures falling off and striking someone
- Drowning due to improper pool security
- Assault due to negligent security
In any of these cases, the owner of the property may be held liable for any injuries that were sustained on the property. There are expectations for safety that all customers should have when they are the patron of a business, and businesses should always follow through on those expectations. Negligence and poor maintenance of buildings and grounds are the top two reasons people fall when they are at work or out for the day. There are many other causes for these accidents, but The Husband & Wife Law Team has noticed that falls are more common with:
- Uneven staircases
- Loose carpeting
- Wet floors without warning signs
- Unsecured handrails
- Poor lighting
- Debris on the ground
- Potholes, divots, or missing pavement
- Cracks or uneven conditions on sidewalks or a walkway
- Absence of cautionary signs
Injuries Caused by Slip-and-Fall Accidents
Slip-and-fall injuries often include those to the spine, wrist, neck, head, and legs. If you experience major injuries in a slip-and-fall, like a head injury or broken bone, working with a knowledgeable lawyer can ensure that you get all the assistance you need when building a case to recover damages.
The decision to seek compensation is ultimately a personal one. Filing an Arizona personal injury claim can be time-consuming and emotionally draining. Not every injury is worthy of a claim, and we have seen far too many people "pushed" towards litigation on cases that are not worth the time, effort, energy, or expense.
However, where to "draw the line" is a tough call, and it never hurts to get the input of our experienced, straightforward Phoenix law firm. We will tell you if you have a case worthy of pursuing.
How Does the Law Determine a Property Owner Is Liable?
Did the property owner take reasonable steps to prevent a fall? As an example, if an employee was expected to maintain a particular area and did not, the jury will be more likely to decide that he or she knew of the dangerous conditions and acted negligently. Some questions that can help determine whether reasonable steps were followed include:
- Were warning signs or barriers erected to keep visitors out of a hazardous area?
- Was the area adequately lit?
- Had someone else previously been injured by the same hazard?
- Would removing the hazard have been simple and low-cost, or prolonged and costly?
- Was it necessary for the hazardous condition to exist on the property?
- Did either an employee or owner cause the condition?
How Can An Accident Impact Your Life?
A premise liability accident, such as a slip and fall, can cause your life to change dramatically in an instant, whether you suffer a temporary or permanent injury. Some of the most critical changes you may experience include the following:
- Time lost at work. Reports from the National Flooring Safety Institute (NFSI) indicate that nearly one-quarter of all slip and fall accidents that happen annually leave the victim out of work for at least 31 days. For many people, this can be a severe problem, especially if you were hurt outside of work and are unable to pay bills during your recovery.
- Lengthy recovery. Most slip and falls lead to fractures and other types of injuries. These injuries can take weeks or even months to heal. For example, a fractured ankle may take up to 9 weeks or more to completely heal, making it difficult to work, walk, run, exercise, go up and down stairs, and do other activities that are necessary in daily life.
- Death. It may be difficult to imagine that you could die from slipping and falling. But if your fall causes you to hit your head on the ground, or causes you to tumble down a flight of stairs or an escalator, death is a very real possibility.
- Permanent disability. Any slip and fall accident can cause a severed spinal cord, a debilitating head injury, or another type of injury that will never fully heal. Permanent disabilities may render you incapable of working and supporting your family, taking care of yourself and your own needs, and leading life in a normal, happy manner.
Remember, these are not the only negative impacts that may occur if you are the victim of a slip and fall accident, and in most cases, your family will also experience significant losses and negative consequences.
After an Accident, What Can You Do to Support Your Claim?
Firstly, it is best to create a paper trail and make sure that your account of the accident is down on paper. Photographs with the relevant details (i.e., what caused the fall) and eyewitness accounts are important as well. If the slip-and-fall took place at a business, the owner may want a report filled out. Because Arizona state law does not require such a report, as experienced Phoenix personal injury lawyers, we advise that you get input from your lawyer first.
Phoenix Premises Liability Client Testimonial
- H.M., former clientSee more handwritten reviews
How Long Do You Have to File a Premises Liability Claim in Arizona?
There are statutes of limitations that apply to any personal injury case, including premises liability. If your injury was due to a property defect, you may have two years to file a claim. However, in some cases, it may be as little as 180 days, depending on who the owner or property manager was at the time the injury occurred. Claims against government or public entities have an especially short window in which to file.
What Kind of Compensation Can You Ask For?
Typically, plaintiffs ask for lost wages, costs of medical treatment, pain, loss of enjoyment of life, and out-of-pocket expenses. In some cases, the law may award plaintiffs so-called "punitive damages" to punish an especially egregiously property owner. However, in Arizona, punitive damages only apply to slip-and-fall cases in rare circumstances, where the owner or occupier acted with an "evil hand and evil mind.” An injury victim might also be able to seek compensation for property lost or damaged.
Being the victim of a serious accident is disruptive. You could be facing time off work, restricted movement, and other inconveniences in addition to mounting medical bills. All of these things can cause a real hindrance to you and your loved ones.
At The Husband & Wife Law Team, you will work with a Phoenix premises liability lawyer who will fight for your rights and work hard to get you the compensation that you need and deserve. Call (602) 457-6222 today for a free consultation.
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During a free consultation, we will look at the important aspects of your case, answer your questions, and explain your legal rights and options clearly. All submissions are confidentially reviewed by Mark Breyer.
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