It is the responsibility of Arizona business owners to ensure the safety of their customers while on the premises.
If you sustain injuries while shopping or conducting business due to a wet floor, parking lot potholes, broken sidewalks, ripped carpeting or similar issues, you may have grounds for a legal claim.
There are three elements you must prove in order to prevail in a premises liability lawsuit:
- The legal status in which you were on the property. Usually, this falls into the categories of invitee, licensee, social guest or trespasser. Business owners tend to have a higher duty of reasonable care to invitees and social guests than licensees and trespassers.
- The hazardous condition must exist for an extended time, without anyone taking corrective action. For example, the store owner may be liable if they are aware the floor is wet and know it may cause someone to slip and fall, yet the owner does not clean up the area. The owner may also be liable if they know the problem could pose a danger to trespassers and children and do not take adequate action to fix or provide clear warning of the issue.
- The premises violates building codes or other statutes. If you fall while using the stairs due to an inappropriate or missing handrail or because the sidewalk is in poor condition, it may be a building code violation.
When a business opens its space to the public, there are requirements regarding the condition of the premises. Regular inspections can identify potential dangers. Displaying warning signs can help customers avoid the area. For significant issues, barriers can prevent the public from inadvertently entering the area. Failure to take the necessary steps can result in a lawsuit if you require medical treatment as a result of an injury such as a concussion, fracture or spinal cord damage.
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