Phoenix Property Owner Attorneys
While many people focus on their property ownership rights, visitors also have rights on another’s property. If a commercial property owner maintains their property unsafely and you suffer an injury, they should provide compensation for your damages and losses.
If a careless property owner injured you, contact an experienced property owner attorney from Gallagher & Kennedy to learn more about your legal rights. Our attorneys can work with you to hold a property owner accountable when their wrongful actions injure you.
Our legal team fights for successful outcomes in every case, and we have achieved successful settlements and verdicts in property-related cases. These include $1.1 million for a woman with injuries from a dangerous sidewalk and $35 million for wildfire destruction due to negligent utility work.
Reach out for your free case evaluation immediately to learn how we might assist you.
Property-Related Accidents in Phoenix
When you have a legal right to enter someone else’s property, they take on legal duties to you. A property owner must use reasonable care to keep the premises safe for you and other visitors or customers. This does not always happen, and many accidents and injuries can result.
Some common locations of property-related accidents include:
- Grocery stores
- Amusement parks
- Malls and shopping centers
- Hotels or Motels
Wherever your accident and injury happened, let our property owner attorneys evaluate your legal options.
Property Owners Owe Certain Duties of Care
The duty that the property owner owes you depends on your legal status:
- Property owners owe invitees the highest duty. Invitees are people who enter the property with express or implied permission. They are often business customers. The business owner must warn them of any dangerous conditions on the property.
- Licensees are usually social guests who visit a property for non-commercial reasons. A property owner must warn licensees of any non-obvious dangers.
- The only duty owners owe to trespassers is not to deliberately injur them. However, exceptions apply to a child trespasser who enters a property because of an attractive nuisance.
Negligence is the Standard in Every Premises Liability Case
Like every other personal injury case, you must prove the property owner’s negligence. In general, negligence is when a property owner acts unreasonably, legally defined as willful and wanton misconduct.
In cases against property owners, you must prove that the owner knew or should have known about a dangerous condition and did nothing to fix it or warn you about the danger.
For example, a grocery store customer drops a jar of olives and liquid spills on the floor. The liquid and glass cannot remain on the floor indefinitely without the store owner doing something. The owner will either need to clean it up or place a “wet floor” sign around it. In other words, they cannot claim ignorance and get away with inaction.
Another example of a property owner’s failure to act is in a negligent security case. The property owner must light buildings and parking lots to discourage criminals. Nightclubs need to hire security and bouncers to protect patrons. If not, you can hold them negligent for injuries resulting from a criminal assault.
Proving Negligence in a Premises Liability Case
How can you prove what a property owner knew or should have known? It makes premises liability cases difficult. They are not like car accidents, where you can point to a driver’s specific actions. Here, you often must show what a property owner did not do.
You can hold property owners negligent in premises liability cases if they:
- Allow too many people onto the property, causing a balcony or walkway to collapse and cause crush injuries
- Leave debris or obstructions in a walking path, causing you to fall
- Lack enough security on-premises, leading to a criminal attack
- Fail to inspect equipment such as escalators and elevators, and you suffer an injury when they malfunction
- Fail to replace loose carpet or fix broken stairs that someone trips on
At the same time, the property owner may blame the accident on you. They may claim that you should have known about the danger and ignored it or that you were careless. Premises liability lawsuits often come down to your lawyer defending your own actions in the face of the insurance company questioning and challenging you.
Every Premises Liability Case Needs Evidence
Premises liability cases depend on the evidence. Your lawyer must find every piece of evidence possible to prove your claim when few witnesses saw the accident. In a slip and fall case, perhaps nobody saw what happened.
To prove your case, your lawyer may need to find:
- Witnesses who either saw exactly what happened or who can testify about the conditions that caused the accident
- Maintenance records that can show when workers inspected the property and what the property owner may have done about any dangerous conditions
- Corporate records that can show business practices regarding safety
- Pictures of the accident scene
- Video footage that captured your accident
- Expert witness testimony from someone with the qualifications to reconstruct what happened
Legal Challenges You May Face in a Premises Liability Case
Depending on the type of claim that you have against the property owner, you may run into difficulties. Slip and fall cases can be some of the most difficult because they are so common that insurance companies are very skeptical of them. However, if the facts and law are on your side, you may recover financial compensation with the help of a Phoenix premises liability lawyer from Gallagher & Kennedy.
Finding the owner is a significant legal challenge after an injury on someone else’s property. An LLC may own the property, as the owner may try to protect themselves from liability. Your lawyer will research property records to see who bears liability for your financial recovery.
Who You Can Sue in a Premises Liability Case
Many premises liability lawsuits are against companies who own the property.
For example, you can sue:
- A shopping mall owner
- A store owner
- A landlord
- Local government
- A restaurant or tavern owner
- A university or school
Many businesses carry significant insurance policies to protect them from liability. They know that if they do not have enough coverage, they must pay plaintiffs with their own assets after an accident, which is the last thing they want.
It Takes Work to Get the Money You Deserve
Although there might be enough coverage to pay for your accident injuries, it does not mean that insurance companies will readily give it to you. Personal injury accident victims still need to work to get every penny, even if they have a legal right to fair compensation.
Negotiations and dealing with the insurance company are where you will need a lawyer. The insurance company knows that you may have to work harder to gather the necessary evidence in a premises liability claim. They will wait for you to come to the table with proof. If they feel that your case is weak, they may even deny your claim in its entirety.
Insurance Companies Can Make Your Life Harder
When you can persuade the insurance company of liability, they will do everything they can to keep your payment low. They know what they should pay you but will do everything possible not to do it.
You can expect a challenging process when seeking total compensation from an insurance company. It is not a process you will have much luck with when you attempt it yourself.
Some people think they can save money and keep more for themselves if they don’t hire a lawyer but deal with the insurance company on their own.
- The insurance company is more likely to deny your claim in its entirety because you will not have proof of liability. You may base your claims more on speculation than on legal proof.
- You will obtain less money because you do not know how much you can get, and the insurance company knows it.
- The insurance company does not believe you have a credible threat of litigation without a lawyer, and they are less afraid of you.
Your Compensation in a Premises Liability Case
In a lawsuit or claim against the property owner, you may recover compensation for:
- The complete cost of your medical bills
- Lost wages for time missed from work or a reduced earnings capacity
- Pain and suffering for what you are dealing with after your injury
- Emotional trauma and distress from the accident
- Embarrassment and humiliation
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Wrongful Death Lawsuits in a Premises Liability Case
If your loved one died in an accident on someone else’s property, your family can file a wrongful death lawsuit.
In Arizona, these people can file a wrongful death claim:
- The surviving spouse
- A surviving child or children
- A surviving parent or guardian
- The deceased person’s personal representative may file a lawsuit if nobody meets the above three categories
How an Experienced Premises Liability Lawyer Will Help You
One of the first things you should do after an injury (right after getting medical help) is contact an experienced lawyer. You do not have to handle your case on your own.
In a case against a property owner, our lawyers can:
- Investigate the circumstances behind your accident and assemble the proof necessary to show liability
- Advise you throughout your claim
- File your claim with the insurance company or your lawsuit with the court
- Advocate for you, either with the insurance company or a jury
- Negotiate a settlement agreement if the insurance company is willing to make a fair offer
Do Not Worry About Money When Hiring a Premises Liability Lawyer
You do not have to worry about how you will afford our lawyers. You do not need to come up with the money to pay us a retainer, nor do you have to pay hourly bills while we work on your case. Our legal work comes at no upfront cost to you, and you do not have any risk of getting a hefty bill. If we win your case, you will pay us a percentage of the proceeds of your settlement or jury award. If you do not win, we do not get paid. Thus, nothing should stop you from calling our lawyers today.
Contact Our Attorneys to File a Lawsuit Against a Phoenix Property Owner
The attorneys at Gallagher & Kennedy fight on behalf of accident victims. We understand what you are going through and your financial worries, and we commit to seeking maximum compensation on your behalf. Personal injury compensation does not always come easy, and we are in it for the long haul for our clients.
Gallagher Kennedy – Phoenix Office
2575 E Camelback Rd, Suite 1100
Phoenix, AZ 85016
Tel: (602) 530-8400