A premises liability claim can be filed against landowners, tenants, or business owners who fail to maintain property or warn guests of dangers. Whether you invite a guest into your home or a customer into your business, you may face a premises liability claim if they are injured and you failed to take appropriate action to warn them or correct the dangerous condition.
What’s Needed to Show Premises Liability?
Premises liability requires elements similar to most types of negligence claims.: the existence of a duty of care, a breach of that duty, causation, and damages.
If you own or lease the property, you generally will owe a duty of care to visitors. Exactly what duty you owe will depend on the type of visitor and whether they are an invitee, licensee, or trespasser.
For example, if a customer slips and falls on a wet surface in the grocery store you own, they would be considered an invitee. You generally owe them a duty to warn them of any dangerous conditions. If you did not post any signs or provide other warnings indicating that there was a slippery surface, you may be responsible under the theory of premises liability.
An important issue in a premises liability case is determining whether the property owner was aware of the dangerous condition. A landowner cannot be expected to immediately know about every possible danger on their property, but if they had actual knowledge and did nothing to correct it or warn visitors, they may have breached their duty.
Damages for Premises Liability Claims
Damages for premises liability claims can take many forms. Obviously, if the injured person requires medical treatment, they can claim damages to cover these costs. Lost wages, lost earning capacity due to disability, and damages for pain and mental and emotional distress can all be claimed. The statute of limitations for these types of cases is generally two years from the date the action accrues. A.R.S. § 12-542.
If you own or lease property and are facing a premises liability claim, consult with an experienced Arizona litigation attorney immediately. Talk to your attorney about your potential liability and insurance coverage, and consider your options for either settling or litigating the case.
Chernoff Law handles business litigation matters throughout Arizona, including premises liability cases. Contact us by calling 480-719-7307 to discuss your case.