Protecting The Injured In Arizona For More Than 30 Years

Understanding a property owner’s duty of care

To receive an invitation to come to another’s home or on to another’s property in Phoenix should be considered a privilege. After having been extended such a privilege, many may feel reluctant to bring up any bad experiences they may have had while there with the property owner (for fear of seeming ungrateful for the invite). Yet not enjoying the refreshments a host sets out is one thing; suffering an injury is another matter entirely (particularly if that injury comes as a result of a hazard existing on the property). In such a case, the question then becomes to what extent is the property owner liable?

The answer to that question depends largely on one’s status on a property. If they are on a property without the owner’s permission (or even if they have permission yet stray into areas that the property owner might not expect them to go), then they are trespassing. Arizona state court rulings have dictated that the only duty of care a property owner owes to an adult trespasser is to not intentionally injure them.

When one has been invited on to another’s property, then they are an invitee. Again, local court decisions have established that property owners do indeed owe invitees a duty of care, that being to exert reasonable effort to discover and correct any potential hazards on their land that could injure them (or at the very least provide them warning of its presence). When an invitee is injured on another’s property, they typically must show that either the property owner knew of the condition that injured them, or that through a reasonable inspection of the property, they would have discovered it.