When you slip and fall on a streak of spilled soap in a restaurant bathroom, and you break your wrist while bracing for the fall, you could use the counsel of a premises liability lawyer in Phoenix.

When your new neighbors’ dog attacks you as you are delivering a “welcome to the neighborhood” pie, and you are left with bite and scratch marks from the mauling, you might want to call a premises liability lawyer.

When a runaway chain of empty shopping carts mows your kid down as you walk across the store parking lot, and the child suffers a brain injury from hitting the pavement, you will want to talk to a premises liability lawyer.

In a nutshell, any time you are injured on someone else’s property, and the property owner could have prevented your injury by taking reasonable precautions, you have the right to pursue compensation from the premises owner—and you will benefit from the services of a premises liability lawyer.

A Phoenix premises liability lawyer could help you get the compensation you deserve for the injuries and damages you sustained.

Zanes Law Injury Lawyers recently recieved a $1,589,000 Premises Liability verdict for one of our clients.

Call our experienced personal injury attorneys today for a free initial consultation.

Understanding the Scope of Property Owners’ Responsibilities

MMDAF awards_logo1Premises liability is an area of personal injury law based on the idea that the owner of a property or facility is legally responsible for the safety of the people who are on the property. The law expects owners to maintain safe conditions on their properties, to repair unsafe conditions promptly, and to post appropriate warnings in hazardous areas of which they are aware but have not yet been able to fix.

State laws also require that property owners have mechanisms in place to keep them reasonably updated as to possible unsafe conditions so the owner can make sure the hazard is either fixed or managed. When property owners fail to provide such safety measures, and a person sustains an injurious accident as a result of this negligence, the accident victim can pursue compensation for his or her injuries and other damages stemming from those injuries. A lawyer who regularly handles premises liability cases in the area could help injured parties understand these laws.

Common Causes of Premises Liability Accidents

AzTLA awards_logo4Think of all the ways you might experience an accident and suffer injuries in your own house. Now add to that list the factors of a larger space with more people carrying drinks and mopping floors and more parts that break or fail, and you can imagine the breadth of accidents that can occur on a property. From slip and falls to construction accidents, a local attorney could work with you to pursue a premises liability claim.

Slip and Falls

The most common of premises liability accident, a slip and fall is pretty much what it sounds like–slipping or tripping on some substance or object and hurting yourself in the process. Often, these accidents happen when floors become slippery from spilled liquids, snow, ice, cleaning products, and oil.

Dog Bites

When an animal of any type attacks you on the pet owner’s property, the law considers the attack to be an issue of premises liability. The property owner must prevent the pet from attacking people who come to the property or are merely walking passed it.

Assault

When the lack of security on a property enables someone to assault you physically —the property owner is accountable for this attack and liable for your damages.

Burns

If a fire breaks out on a property for reasons that the owner could have prevented by taking reasonable measures, and you suffer burns as a result, the property owner is liable.

Property owners are also liable for accidental drownings that happen in their swimming pools, gases exploding, or toxic fumes being released, and defective machinery on the property causing injuries. Construction accidents could also warrant a personal injury claim.

Common Types of Injuries that Result from Premises Liability Accidents in Phoenix

Premises liability accidents take a broad range of forms and levels of severity. Among the most common and most severe injuries for which a premises owner might be liable are the following:

Doug Zanes

Doug Zanes, Phoenix Premises Liability Lawyer

When a premises liability lawyer in Phoenix proves that the property owner’s negligence caused an accident on his or her property, and the plaintiff suffered injuries as a result of this negligence, the injured party can file a claim against the property owner’s insurance company and/or file a lawsuit against the property owner in civil court in the pursuit of damages recovery.

Proving that the Property Owner Was Negligent

When the law stipulates that a property owner is negligent when he or she does not exercise “reasonable care” in maintaining a safe environment, the following questions are considered:

  • Were you a visitor, licensee, or trespasser?
  • What is the intended use of the property?
  • Was the accident foreseeable?
  • Were reasonable precautions taken to prevent accidents or to warn property occupants of the dangerous area?

Gathering Evidence in a Premises Liability Case

Our legal team will gather evidence from every nook and cranny to build a case against the property owner, proving his or her negligence so you can collect your compensation.

Some of the types of evidence we will gather includes:

  • Police reports
  • Medical records
  • Eyewitness accounts
  • Photos and video surveillance
  • On-site visit to the accident scene

If a loved one has died as the result of a premises owner’s negligence, you can pursue a wrongful death action against the owner. Call Zanes Law. We will handle your case with compassion and diligence.

Types of Recoverable Damages in a Premises Liability Accident

A premises liability lawyer in Phoenix from Zanes Law will collect and review evidence that document your injuries, including written opinions from medical, economic, vocational, and life-planning experts.

We also will gather medical and work records to document your medical expenses and lost wages.

Examples of the types of damages you may recover in your premises liability accident include:

  • Lost Income – Wages, benefits, diminished potential earnings, etc.
  • Replacement Services – Housekeeping, childcare, lawn and pool maintenance, etc.
  • Medical Costs – Doctor’s fees, surgeon fees, hospital stay, emergency transportation, prescription medications, future/ongoing medical treatment, medical supplies, physical therapy, etc.

Working with a skilled lawyer could increase your chances of recovering compensation.

Your Time for Taking Legal Action for Your Premises Liability Case is Limited

Arizona’s statute of limitations limits the amount of time you have to act on your premises liability case. Do not risk this window closing on your case. The sooner you hire an attorney, the sooner he or she can begin building a case that can recover the damages from your premises liability accident.

A Phoenix Premises Liability Attorney Can Start Today

We will give you a free initial consultation for your accident, and we will do everything in our power to get you the compensation you deserve. Call a Phoenix premises liability lawyer today.

Not necessarily. Like any other part of personal injury law, premises liability depends on whether the property owner was negligent.

The two major questions in determining liability are:

  • Did the property owner owe you a duty of care?
  • Did the property owner act reasonably under the circumstances?

For the first question, the answer is usually “yes” when the owner invited you onto the property, or the property owner could reasonably expect that you would be there.

In most cases, property owners are careless or cut corners, and it injures people. This is not how a reasonable property owner would act under the circumstances. In all cases, an insurance company or jury would look at the exact facts of your case because what could be reasonable under one set of facts is unreasonable under another.

Usually, negligent property owners fail to warn you about hidden dangers or take action to promptly fix dangerous conditions. The expectation is that people would stay away from open and obvious dangers.

The usual rule is that you cannot recover compensation for obvious conditions, but you may encounter exceptions. For example, you may notice that the floor outside your apartment was slippery. There was no sign to warn of it, but the danger was obvious. However, you couldn’t avoid it. After all, you have to get into your apartment. Circumstances can prevent you from steering clear of danger.

Of course, Phoenix does not have some major fall risks that other locales have because of the weather. Many slip and fall accidents happen when property owners fail to clear snow and ice. However, Phoenix has plenty of its own risks.

One common issue happens because of all the construction in the Phoenix area. This results in job sites and debris that crews might leave out in the open. Property owners may not alert passersby of dangerous property conditions as they work on things like streets and sidewalks.

In addition, the Phoenix area has more than its share of swimming pools as people seek to beat the desert heat. Swimming pool accidents are a common cause of a premises liability claim as people suffer injuries in or around swimming pools regularly.

This is the challenging part of many premises liability claims. The standard is that the property owner has a reasonable amount of time after they knew or should have known about the condition to fix or warn the general public. If they created the condition themselves, they would need to fix it soon.

After a certain amount of time, the law would presume that an owner should have known about a dangerous condition. For example, if there was a spill in a store aisle, the owner could not pretend not to notice it for too long. They do not have an obligation to clean up the spill the second that it happens, but after a certain time, the law will assume that they knew that a cleanup was necessary. In other words, the ostrich approach does not allow an owner to do nothing and escape liability.

Yes. The local government has the legal obligation to keep sidewalks, public parks, and roads in good repair. If there are cracks or broken concrete, the government must repair them in a reasonable amount of time. This does not always happen, however, as government agents can be negligent, just like any other person.

However, to sue the City of Phoenix, you need to move quickly. You have much less time to sue the city than you would a private plaintiff. In fact, you need to give them notice of a lawsuit within 180 days after your injury. This requires a swift investigation of your accident and preparation to file a claim, and this is one reason why you need to contact an attorney right after your accident.

In the end, you must decide whether to prioritize financial compensation for your injury. However, you should know that your friend is legally responsible if you suffer injuries in an accident in their home because they were negligent. Many people hesitate to take any action because they do not want to lose their friendship.

One key thing for you to keep in mind is that your friend or family member will usually not be paying for your damages out of their own pocket. Premises liability injuries should fall under homeowners insurance coverage. The insurance company will pay out up to the policy maximum. The only impact that your friend would feel is that their insurance rates may increase. On the other hand, you are giving up valuable financial compensation that you need if you do not make a claim.

More so than most personal injury claims, you can lose evidence that would prove your premises liability lawsuit very quickly. The instant that the property owner realizes that they may be liable for your injury, they could start cleaning things up and fixing the dangerous condition that could take your proof away. This is why it is essential to act quickly and hire a lawyer right after you suffer injuries. Our attorneys would move to gather evidence right after you bring us onto your case.

The other thing that you must do is visit a doctor for a diagnosis right after your accident. You need a comprehensive evaluation right after your injury to help prove your injuries. The insurance company will use any argument that they can to try to minimize what they need to pay, and prompt medical care could strip them of one weapon in their arsenal.

Even if you aggravated a prior back or neck injury, you may still receive financial compensation. The insurance company may try to argue that your injuries are not the result of your accident. However, you have the right to be put in the same position as if the accident never happened.

It does not matter whether your injury is a “new” one or if it aggravated a pre-existing condition. You are still suffering based on the negligence of the defendant, and you may recover financial compensation.

It is a common tactic of the insurance company to argue that you are to blame for your own injuries. For example, they can say that you were hurrying in a store aisle and were careless yourself. Insurance companies like to hammer at the image of the klutzy plaintiff who injured themselves.

The good news is that this is not the end of the story. Even if you were partially at fault for the accident, you may still recover. Never assume that financial compensation is off-limits because of something that you did until you talk to an attorney. This is because Arizona has very favorable laws for injured plaintiffs.

Trespassers do not have the same legal rights to compensation as invited guests. The property owner only has to avoid intentionally hurting them.

There is a separate legal rule for children that happen to enter onto someone else’s property. The owner may have an attractive nuisance on their property. These are things that might draw the attention of children, such as a swimming pool. The property owner must either eliminate the danger or take action to make the condition very clear to anyone on the property. The classic example of this is making it hard for children to enter a swimming pool by either covering it or building a fence around it.

Many people think that they can handle their own claim, dealing with the insurance company by themselves—but you are far better off with one.

Premises liability cases may be more difficult to prove than a car accident claim. There may be few witnesses, and you are often trying to prove what the property owner should have known. In other words, without an attorney who knows what kind of evidence proves a claim and how to gather it, you may not even be in a position where you are discussing a settlement.

Even when you receive a settlement offer, there is a wide range of possible financial outcomes, and the amount you ultimately receive depends on what kind of deal you can reach with the insurance company. They will usually dangle a very low offer in front of you at first to see what you are willing to accept. Having the help of an attorney can keep you from accepting an offer that does not adequately cover your losses.

In large part, this depends on the insurance company. Insurers can often fight harder in cases like slips and falls. It may take some effort to convince them that their policyholder caused your injuries.

Even when the insurance company makes a settlement offer, it can be just the start of the process. They usually think that they are in the driver’s seat and can drag things out, making it more difficult for you to get your money. However, you don’t just have to take what they offer. Your attorney could demand the full amount you deserve and file a lawsuit if the insurance company is not willing to give it to you. Of course, a lawsuit will add time to your case, but it can be worth it to recover compensation for all your losses.

This is going to be a large part of your premises liability damages. You should receive compensation for what you went through in the accident and what you continue to experience today.

This includes things like:

  • The physical discomfort that you feel
  • Your mental anguish and emotional distress
  • The loss of enjoyment of life
  • Anxiety

You are probably wondering how the insurance company puts a number on all of this. Usually, they are assigning a multiplier to your medical bills to come up with the amount of pain and suffering. Beyond this, the pain and suffering valuation can be very subjective. You need someone to tell the story of what you have been through to receive a fair amount. We can argue your case, relaying your damages to the insurance company or jury.

The good news is that you will not need to pay anything out of your pocket to file a premises liability claim. Your lawyer will not ask you for a retainer check to get started on your case. Instead, they will receive payment only if your claim is successful. This encourages people to get the legal help that they need, knowing that they will not receive a legal bill if their case is not successful. Your lawyer would receive a percentage of your proceeds if your case settles or you receive a jury award.

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