Can I Sue For My Injury On Private Property?
You are walking down the front walk of an acquaintance’s residence when you slip and fall on accumulated ice. You suffer injuries and are left with expensive medical bills and lost income. Can you sue?
The first step after an accident like this occurs is to get the medical treatment you need. You should also call a personal injury lawyer in your area who can help you determine the best application of your legal rights, to recover financial damages and put your life back together.
Private Property Injury
Private property can be the scene of many types of personal injuries. Some of these injuries can change your life, even lead to debilitation or fatality.
Medical insurance may cover initial treatment costs, but may leave you footing the bill for many of the costs – if you have insurance, at all. This is why it may be important to seek compensation from responsible parties, such as the injury site property owner. This is where most people wonder whether litigation is even possible.
In a nutshell, litigation relies upon state laws and the duty of care applied from the host to the guest. A personal injury lawyer in your state can answer specific questions for you, in regard to what your state laws allow.
Your status in visiting the property plays a significant role in your rights for compensation for damages. Whether you were trespassing on the property, invited to visit or a licensee on those premises will affect the precedence for a lawsuit against the owner or other parties.
Guests, Licensees and Trespassers
Being a guest on the property means that you were invited to visit, whether the residence was that of a friend, customer, prospective client or family member. Guests have the most protection on private property under the law and owners or managers of that property must ensure these parties are safe, within reasonable means.
Licensees are people permitted to visit the property for their own purposes. These parties are granted access to the property, whether as part of a social visit or other activities on the land or in buildings. The homeowner has a legal duty to ensure the licensee is not exposed to danger on the property. But if the dangers are obvious, the owner does not have to disclose the hazards to the licensee. Some states have different laws in this area of personal property injury, so your attorney will explain your rights according to your state.
A trespasser is someone accessing property without permission. For a trespasser, their intent or purpose for being on the property is not usually pertinent. Even people who are not on the property to steal or harm anyone can be trespassers. Beyond not having duty of care to trespassers, the property owner cannot set out to cause trespassers intentional harm unless state laws provide specific rights for doing so. When a trespasser is expected on the property, the owner must still provide warnings of possible dangers, such as for electric fencing or a hole that can cause injury.
Known Trespassers and Trespassing Children
The owner of a property has a duty to trespassers they know are on the property. This means the owner must warn the trespasser of dangerous conditions that are not otherwise obvious. But this only applies if the dangers are artificial, such as the electric fencing or hunting traps. Notifications of natural dangers do not have to be provided to the trespasser.
When children wander onto a property, it still may be trespassing. But the owner must take additional steps to safeguard young people from injury or other harm while they are on the property.
Changes of Status
Trespassers may change to the status of licensee while on the property. This is the case when someone is discovered on the property and is invited into a building or to another part of the land. Licensees become trespassers when they are not given permission or are prohibited from visiting an area of the property.
Change of status affects the owner’s duty of care. It also complicates the lawsuit. Other complications occur when there are multiple locations on the property or in the buildings that can cause injury. Some states have a higher duty of care when it comes to building condition or guest actions. Other factors like entrance, use of the property, potential for accidents and other issues may affect your case.
Legal Help for Private Property Injury
Being injured while visiting someone else’s property is stressful beyond the pain and physical damage of the injury. In Arizona, you need an experienced personal injury lawyer in phoenix to help you understand your rights and the owner’s duty of care in your situation. With proper representation, you may be qualified to recover compensation for your injury costs, lost income and other damages.
In Arizona, call the experienced personal injury lawyers of Cantor Crane for a free, no-obligation case consultation.