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scottdale phoenix

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No recovery  •  no fee

480.991.7677

Scottsdale  •  Phoenix

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Phoenix Premises Liability Attorney

When you are injured in a slip-and-fall accident, in an assault, or other accident on someone else’s property, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries, medical expenses, and damages associated with your injuries. At Knapp & Roberts, a specialized Phoenix premises liability lawyer is dedicated to helping accident victims recover the compensation they are entitled to for their suffering. Our Phoenix accident attorneys have an exceptional ability to tell the story of what happened, how it has affected you and your family, and how the entire incident could have been prevented. This personalized approach enables us to present a compelling case before a jury.

Property Injuries in Phoenix

Property owners have a responsibility to keep their property safe for individuals who have a right to be on the property. When a property owner is negligent, it can lead to serious and catastrophic injuries. Under premises liability laws, property owners can be held financially responsible for injuries that are caused by their negligence. A Phoenix premises liability attorney can advise you of your rights if you have been injured or if a loved one has died on someone else’s property:

  • Fire/Electrocution  When you or a family member is affected by an apartment fire, hotel fire, or electrocution, we thoroughly investigate the accident and determine if inadequate sprinkler systems, negligent wiring, insufficient fire escape routes, or other negligence may be to blame. The landlord, commercial property owner, or other property owner may be held responsible.
  • Slip and Fall  Was a slip- or trip-and-fall accident caused by wet or slippery floors, defective steps, uneven pavement, or other dangerous walkway condition? Our attorneys can demonstrate how the property owner’s negligence led to your injuries.
  • Negligent Security  Dark parking lots, hotels, parking ramps, and other locations can present considerable risks for patrons if there is inadequate or negligent security. If you have been attacked or suffered sexual assault/rape while on commercial property, we review security policies and determine if inadequate security officers, malfunctioning cameras, poor lighting, or other negligent security is partially to blame.
  • School/Playground Accidents  Did negligent supervision lead to a student drowning in the school pool? Did negligent hiring lead to a teacher or school counselor sexually abusing your child? Did poor supervision cause your child to suffer serious injuries when using the playground equipment? Our law firm can investigate whether the school district should be held responsible.

If you or a loved one sustained injury on someone else’s property, you may have grounds for a premises liability lawsuit. It is crucial to hold the Arizona property owner accountable for his or her duty of care to you and your status as a visitor on the property before proceeding with the help of a Phoenix premises liability attorney.

Landowner/Property Owner Duty of Care

Every private property owner has a duty of care to the legal visitors on his or her property to maintain reasonably safe premises and warn visitors of potential hazards they are likely to encounter while on the property. If a property owner notices structural damage, a defect, or another safety issue that could foreseeably cause an injury to a visitor, the property owner has a duty of care to address the hazard and correct it in a timely manner. At the very least, the property owner must make a reasonable attempt to mark the hazardous area or warn visitors of its existence.

Business and commercial building owners also have a duty of care to the customers they serve and other businesspeople who work with them. This duty of care may entail removing snow and ice from entrances, exits, and walking paths on the property or ensuring appropriate security measures throughout a residential building.

Determining Visitor Status and Liability

It is vital to remember that a private property owner only owes a duty of care to lawful visitors on the property; this does not include trespassers or individuals who break into private property illegally. For example, if a burglar attempts to climb through a window and suffers deep cuts and a bone fracture from slipping on the windowsill, the burglar could not file a claim against the property owner since he or she did not have permission to enter the property.

Lawful visitors include invitees and licensees. Invitees usually include neighbors, relatives, and friends who have the property owner’s express or implied permission to enter the property for personal reasons. Licensees may include mail carriers, salespeople, and utility workers who have permission to enter a private property for their own purposes.

Child Trespassers and Attractive Nuisances

The only possible exception when a property owner would owe a duty of care to a trespasser would be a child trespasser. For example, if a property owner has a neighbor with four-year-old twins, the property owner should reasonably foresee the possibility of one or both wandering on to his or her property at some point in the future. If any hazards may potentially cause injuries to the neighbor’s children, the property owner should take steps to prevent those issues. For example, erecting a fence to ensure a toddler does not wander into a yard with a fish pond and drown would be a reasonable precaution if the fence was fully enclosed and completely prevented entry to the pond.

Cases involving child trespassers often involve attractive nuisances, or elements of a private property that a passing child may find too irresistible to ignore. Tire swings, trees for climbing, unfenced swimming pools, and play equipment are a few possible examples of attractive nuisances. Most states require property owners to take reasonable steps to prevent injuries from the attractive nuisances on their properties.

Proving Negligence

Premises liability claims are a form of personal injury lawsuit. A premises liability lawyer must prove the defendant was negligent in his or her handling of the property to succeed with a premises liability claim. This requires proving four elements of negligence.

  • The plaintiff’s attorney must prove the defendant had a duty of care to the plaintiff, such as offering the plaintiff express permission to enter the property for any reason, and having a duty to ensure the plaintiff’s safety while visiting the property.
  • The plaintiff’s attorney must then use the evidence in the case to show the defendant breached his or her duty of care as a property owner. This could be through a specific action such as performing subpar repairs on critical building structures or inaction, such as a failure to notify a visitor of a known hazard.
  • Next, the plaintiff’s attorney must prove the plaintiff sustained actual harm or measurable or tangible damage from the defendant’s negligence. A premises liability claim could involve damages for medical expenses, property damage, or trauma from victimization of a violent crime.
  • The final element is causation, or proof that the defendant’s negligence directly caused the plaintiff’s damages. The evidence must show that the plaintiff’s damages only happened due to the defendant’s breach of duty and not because of some other cause. However, comparative negligence could possibly come into play in some premises liability cases in states with comparative negligence laws.

Compensation for Premises Liability Claims

If a plaintiff’s attorney successfully proves that a defendant in a premises liability claim was negligent in his or her care or maintenance of the property, or otherwise failed to notify the plaintiff of a known or foreseeable risk that caused the plaintiff’s injury, the plaintiff can secure several types of compensation. The different types available depend on the plaintiff’s damages; compensation in a personal injury claim exists to make the plaintiff whole again after a serious injury.

  • Plaintiffs may claim compensation for any and all immediate and future medical expenses incurred due to the defendant’s actions. This can include hospital bills and specialist fees as well as ongoing treatments like physical therapy and counseling.
  • If a premises liability claim involves any damaged or destroyed personal property that belongs to the plaintiff, he or she can claim repair or replacement costs as damages.
  • Many severe injuries require victims to miss work during recovery. Plaintiffs can claim lost wages as damages, and if a severe injury prevents working in the future, they may also secure compensation for lost future earnings.
  • Juries award pain and suffering compensation to repay a plaintiff’s physical pain and psychological suffering resulting from a defendant’s actions. The amount typically depends on state law, the extent of the plaintiff’s other damages, and the impact of testimony from expert witnesses.
  • In the event a property owner was intentionally harmful or engaged in any criminal activity that led to the plaintiff’s damages, the jury may award punitive damages to further punish the defendant’s wrongdoing. A defendant who engaged in criminal actions may also face criminal prosecution from the state and punishment may involve restitution to the victim.

A Phoenix premises liability attorney will usually explain the possible types of compensation available to a client during an initial case evaluation or consultation, and the plaintiff should expect to need to produce significant amounts of documentation to prove the extent of his or her losses. Other evidence that may come into play include medical records that pertain to preexisting conditions aggravated by a property injury, invoices for repairs, pay stubs to prove lost income, and more.

When to Call a Premises Liability Attorney

Just because you slipped and injured yourself on someone else’s property does not automatically entitle you to recovery through a lawsuit; the law expects adults to act with reasonable care in any given situation, and falling due to your own carelessness is not grounds for legal action. However, if you suffered an injury on someone else’s property due to a hazard the property owner should have reasonably foresaw, criminal activity, or reckless disregard for the safety of visitors, you may have grounds for legal recourse against the property owner.

A Phoenix premises liability lawyer will work closely with you to learn how the accident has affected you, and to understand what your needs will be in the future. Whether you suffered broken bones in a slip and fall or suffered severe facial injuries in a dog bite or animal attack, we will work diligently to ensure the settlement package or jury verdict fully accommodates your needs.

Free initial consultation. If you have a legal matter you wish to discuss with one of our attorneys at no charge, please contact us by telephone or e-mail, or complete the Do I Have a Case form and one of our attorneys will contact you.

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The personal injury attorneys in Phoenix, Arizona at Knapp & Roberts have the compassion and trial lawyer skills to tell your story to a jury. We will get to know you and your family so that we can help the jury understand what has happened to you and your family and how it has changed your lives. Obtain the compensation necessary for the injuries and losses you have suffered.