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Premises Liability: Understanding Property Owner Responsibilities in Arizona

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What Are Premises Liability Laws in Arizona?

Accidents can happen unexpectedly after you enter a building, restaurant, neighbor’s house, or grocery store. The result can be devastating injuries that can be costly to treat, with emotional distress taking a toll on you as you take time off work to recover.

Premises liability is a concept that establishes a legal duty for property owners to maintain safe property conditions for occupiers and lawful visitors. Under this law, a skilled Scottsdale personal injury lawyer can help you hold a property owner responsible for the dangerous conditions that caused your injuries.

You can pursue compensation to help you meet the costs of treating the injuries. The law also encourages property owners to maintain reasonably safe spaces to minimize the occurrence of accidents.

What Are Some Examples of Premises Liability Cases?

A premises liability attorney in Scottsdale gives examples of premises liability cases. However, it’s crucial to note that the circumstances of each case are unique, and how each plays out depends on various factors:

  • An elevator gets broken, the business fails to place an “out of service” sign on the door, and someone sustains an injury in an elevator accident
  • A patron in a restaurant slips and falls, sustaining an injury because employees fail to clean up a spill or warn the public about a wet floor.
  • A loose railway on the stairway collapses, causing a visitor to fall down the stairs because the homeowner ignored to fix it.
  • Fire safety or code violations result in a house or building fire, exposing visitors to burns or smoke inhalation.
  • A customer trips and falls in a supermarket because the owners failed to replace the tiles.

Other possible causes of premises liability cases are poorly maintained sidewalks, broken steps, broken lights, exposed wires, and parking lot potholes. You can seek compensation for the resulting losses if you show that the property owner violated premises liability rules. A skilled Scottsdale premises liability attorney can help you fight for your rights.

When Can a Property Owner Be Held Liable?

In Arizona, the degree of care a property owner owes depends on the legal status of the person who enters the property. The law recognizes three categories of people who can legally enter a property:


Property owners have a limited legal duty of care toward trespassers. However, they should neither willfully or intentionally inflict injury upon trespassers. If you get injured on someone’s property while trespassing, you may not recover compensation unless you prove the owner’s guilt of some willful or wanton disregard for your safety.

However, the law also imposes some exceptions to this limited liability rule. One exception is if the trespasser is a child. If the property owner leaves the fence unlocked and a child wanders around the property and gets injured, they could be liable for the child’s injuries. The Attractive Nuisance Doctrine establishes the law to avoid accidents involving minors.

Licensees or Social Guests

Property owners have a high degree of care to licensees or social guests. They are liable for injuries a licensee sustains if the injury is due to a hazardous condition that:

  • The owner knew or should have known about
  • The owner should have known that the condition poses a risk of harm
  • The owner should have expected the licensee not to be able to discover or recognize the danger posed
  • The owner should have corrected or warned other people about it but didn’t
  • The licensee neither knew nor had reason to know about the risk it posed

An experienced Scottsdale premises liability attorney can evaluate the details of your case. If it meets these five conditions, the lawyer can hold the property owner responsible for your injuries to help you pursue the compensation you deserve.


Under the premises liability law, the highest duty of care is owed to invitees or customers. Unlike the duty owed to a licensee, a property owner must protect the invitee from unreasonably dangerous conditions known to the owner or discoverable by exercising reasonable care.

A property owner has a duty of inspection to ensure the premises are safe for all invitees. They can be held liable for dangerous conditions that existed so long that the owner should have known about them but didn’t for failure to exercise ordinary care. That’s why most grocery stores conduct routine checks on their floors and record the inspection time.

Negligent Security

Landowners can also be held liable for injuries sustained by people on their premises due to attacks by third parties for not adequately securing the premises. Negligent security issues range from poor garage or parking lot lighting to broken apartment building locks or inadequate security personnel in a shopping mall.

If you have been injured on another person’s property, whether a place of business or home, you may be eligible for compensation under the premises liability claims law. An experienced personal injury attorney in Scottsdale can provide more insights on protecting your rights and pursuing the compensation you rightfully deserve.

An Experienced Personal Injury Attorney Providing Legal Insights into Premises Liability Rules

All businesses, cities, towns, and private property owners have a legal duty of care to trespassers, visitors, and social guests to keep the premises safe and free from hazardous conditions that could cause injuries. They also must warn them of conditions that pose a danger. Failure to uphold this duty of care can make property owners liable for injuries people sustain on their premises.

If you believe you have a premises liability claim against a property owner, skilled premises liability lawyers at Wilson Ortiz Law Firm can help you. We can assess your case and advise about the damages you can recover from the accident. Remember you must file your claim within two years from the accident date, so act fast. Call us at 623-294-1442 to schedule a FREE consultation.

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