Responsibility to Social Guests in Your Home
In legal terms, social guests at your home are called “licensees.” These are people who you consent to having on your property. In Arizona, you have a responsibility to act with reasonable care towards your guests and to protect them against known hazards in and around your home. If a guest is injured on your property due to dangerous conditions that you knew about, you can be financially responsible for his/her damages.
For example, let’s say you own an older home with stairs leading to the front door. The railing on the stairs is the same handrail that’s been there since the 1950s. You invite your friend over for coffee and the railing falls when she grabs it and she falls and breaks her wrist. If you knew that the railing was at risk of giving way, you could be held liable for your friend’s injuries. If you believed that the rail was old but still functional, and it was never lose or brittle when you or anyone else used it previously, you may not be liable for your friend’s injuries.
Likewise, if your friend invites your children over to swim and your child is injured because your friend didn’t perform proper maintenance on her deck and she knew it was slippery when wet children walked from the pool to the house, your friend could be liable for your child’s medical bills and related expenses.
If you are injured at a friend’s home, your Arizona personal injury lawyer may bring a claim for negligence on your behalf against your friend. Your lawyer must prove that your friend’s negligence caused your injury due to his/her action or inaction. In general, the courts in Arizona will compensate you for your economic and non-economic losses that occur as a result of your injury if your claim is successful. This includes medical bills, lost wages, other expenses related to your injury, pain and suffering, physical impairment or disability, disfigurement, and loss of enjoyment of life.
You may also have a personal injury claim against your friend if you slip or trip and fall on his/her property or if you are bitten by your friend’s pet. If you are injured on another’s premise, Arizona allows you up to two years from the date of injury to file your claim.
If you have been injured at a friend’s home, please contact the Phoenix personal injury lawyers at the personal injury law firm Oracle Law Group today.
Photo credit: Sam Szapucki from Flickr