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What Happens When You Suffer a Private Injury on Private Property?

By Karnas Law Firm |

Generally speaking, personal injury law takes the same form whether the personal injury occurs on private or public property. However, some differences may apply if you suffer a personal injury on what amounts to “private property” within a store or restaurant. Hence, you should consult a Tucson car accident attorney if you have a private injury on private property.

State Provisions

Suppose the personal injury occurs within a private business, such as a store or restaurant. In that case, there can be complications when it comes to personal injury law that does not apply to personal injuries suffered on public property, which is because many states have “premises liability” laws that provide for greater personal injury protection based upon the status of the property when the personal injury occurs. The two major types of premises liability are “invitees” and “licensees.”

An invitee is someone who enters any property with the express or implied permission of the owner or occupant, such as a customer of a store. In contrast, a licensee enters land merely for personal convenience, not for business, for example, a neighbor who walks across another’s property to get home. Basic personal injury protection laws typically only apply to invitees.

Licensees are generally afforded less personal injury protection if injured on someone else’s property. For example, personal injuries suffered by licensees may not be covered under the personal injury protection portion of their own automobile insurance or personal injury protection coverage. The reason for this distinction is that licensees voluntarily take a risk by entering another’s property, and they are already covered under liability insurance laws.

Types of Private Injury Lawsuits for Arizona Residents

The personal injury law in Arizona generally follows the same type of personal injury lawsuits as public personal injuries. There is a difference when personal injuries occur on private property, and personal injury is caused by another’s negligence (a careless action). To win a personal injury lawsuit for negligence or personal injury in Arizona, one must show:

  • A duty of care owed by the defendant to the plaintiff existed
  • The defendant breached that duty of care owed to the plaintiff
  • The defendant’s breach of duty caused harm
  • The personal injury caused actual damages one can define in dollars and cents

In a personal injury lawsuit for negligence or personal injury, a person injured on private property may still be able to recover money from another negligent person if the personal injuries occurred because of a defect in the property, such as a faulty step on an outdoor staircase.

Just because personal injuries occur on private property may not mean that personal injury protection laws do not apply to your situation if you suffer personal injuries, which can make it challenging to get coverage for your medical bills and other personal expenses after the personal injury occurs. Even personal injuries sustained by licensees may be covered under personal injury protection insurance. Consult a personal injury attorney for any specific personal injury law questions.

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