California law states that all property owners have a legal duty to keep their property safe from foreseeable hazards. Therefore, if a person was harmed on someone else’s property in California, the property owner may be held liable if the harm was caused by negligence. This type of liability is called premises liability and it can apply to a broad range of hazards, injuries, and property types.
Premises liability can allow victims who were harmed on another person’s property to recover monetary damages for the physical, financial, and emotional damages they’ve suffered. If you or a loved one are dealing with medical bills, lost wages, emotional distress, or other damages caused by an accident on someone else’s property, contact LA Lawyers Group today to speak with a Los Angeles premises liability attorney.
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Available Damages in Premises Liability Cases
A victim in a premises liability case can be awarded monetary damages for:
● Medical Expenses ● Lost Wages (Current and Future) ● Pain and Suffering ● Emotional Distress ● Scarring or Disfigurement ● Permanent Disability ● Damage to Personal Property ● Wrongful Death of a Family Member
Who Can Be Liable in a Premises Liability Case?
Any property owner, manager, or occupier who is found to have been negligent in providing duty of care may be liable in a California premises liability case. Duty of care is a legal obligation to provide a standard of reasonable care in order to avoid injuring others. For property owners, managers, and occupiers specifically, they must keep their property in a reasonably safe condition in order to provide duty of care to those who may visit or reside within the property. Note that both private property and public property owners must provide duty of care, so government entities can be liable under California premises liability.
Some examples of persons or entities who can potentially be liable under California premises liability law include:
● Homeowners ● Renters ● Business Owners
● A Property Management Company ● A City ● A County
Types of Premises Liability Accidents & Situations
Premises liability is a large area of the law. Premises liability law can encompass a wide variety of accidents and situations, including:
Slip and Fall Accidents
Slip and fall accidents are the most common type of premises liability case. They’re so common, in fact, that premises liability is sometimes referred to as “slip and fall liability.” Slip and fall accidents occur when a walking surface is slippery, defective, or dangerous to walk on. Slip and fall accidents commonly occur when property owners fail to prevent foreseeable fall hazards, such as wet floors, cracked floors, grease spills, faulty staircases, faulty railings, loose carpets, ice, snow, or spilled liquids.
People sometimes hear the term “slip and fall” and assume a slip and fall accident could only cause minor injuries, like bumps or scrapes. But slip and falls can cause severe injuries, like serious factures, concussions, and brain injuries. Slip and fall accidents can also lead to death. Slips, trips, and falls cause hundreds of deaths in the United States each year.
Elevator and Escalator Accidents
Elevator and escalator accidents can be caused by poor maintenance, improperly trained personnel, and defective equipment. In the majority of elevator and escalator liability cases, the property owner is held liable for the accident due to poor maintenance or operation practices. However, if an elevator or escalator accident is caused by defective equipment, a manufacturer, installation company, or maintenance company could be held liable.
Swimming Pool Accidents
All property owners who have swimming pools on their property are legally responsible for taking reasonable pool safety measures. This includes individuals with a pool at their residence, property owners with commercial pools, and government property owners of public swimming pools.
A property owner could sometimes be liable for a swimming pool accident if they failed to provide proper maintenance, supervision, warning signs, or adequate fencing. Then, a product manufacturer may sometimes be responsible for a swimming pool accident in the case of defective manufacturing, defective parts, insufficient safety warnings, or inadequate user instructions.
Grocery Store Accidents
Grocery store accidents can occur both inside and outside the store. The most common cause of an indoor grocery store accident is a slip and fall. Slip and falls can happen in a grocery store due to unaddressed spills or a lack of signage about a potential slip and fall hazard. Another type of indoor grocery store accident is injury due to falling objects, such as items from store shelves or even the store shelves themselves. Outside the grocery store, accidents can happen in the store’s parking lot. A store customer may be injured by a shopping cart, a moving vehicle, or another person in a grocery store parking lot.
Amusement Park Accidents
Amusement parks must take reasonable action to ensure that their parks are safe for park visitors. This includes all areas of the park, such as on rides, in waiting areas, in food service areas, and in parking lots. If a park visitor is injured at an amusement park and the injury is due to the negligence of the park owner, the owner could be liable for the injury.
Construction Site Accidents
If a person is injured at a construction site due to negligence, they could recover damages for their injuries. Some examples of negligence that could lead to serious injury at a construction site include defective safety equipment, inadequate guardrails along open heights, poorly constructed scaffolds, and a lack of proper warning signage.
California has a strict liability rule concerning dog bites. The California Civil Code states that pet owners are responsible for the actions of their pets, regardless of whether or not they have reason to believe their pet may be dangerous. While there are some exceptions to this strict rule, such as unlawfully being in a space with the pet when you were injured, the dog bite statute in California generally works in the victim’s favor.
Matters of Negligent Security
In California, a basic requirement of property owners is to provide sufficient security for foreseeable crimes. This means that premises liability law may apply to victims of a violent crime if they are injured on a property with negligent security. Some examples of properties that could potentially have negligent security include shopping malls, college campuses, sports stadiums, nightclubs, theme parks, hotels, concert venues, and apartment complexes. Some examples of potentially inadequate security measures include insufficient security personnel, insufficient lighting, blocked emergency exits, insecure windows, and a lack of security cameras.
California property owners are required to provide proper fire prevention precautions. If a property owner had a fire incident at their property and did not have proper precautions in place, a victim who suffered injuries as a result of the fire incident could recover damages. Some examples of required fire prevention precautions in California include functioning smoke detectors, functioning sprinkler systems, accessible fire extinguishers, proper fire exit systems, and adequate signs and mapping of fire exits in the building.
Toxic Fumes or Chemical Spills
Being exposed to toxic fumes or chemicals can cause injury or health issues. If a person is exposed to toxic fumes or chemicals at someone else’s property due to the negligence of the property owner, the victim could file a premises liability claim.
Toxic Mold (For Renters)
Harmful substances like toxic mold can lead to serious health issues. If a renter has notified their landlord about toxic mold within their residence and said landlord does not deal with the issue adequately, the renter may be able to file a premises liability claim.
Theft in Your Home (For Renters)
If theft in your home occurs due to the negligence of the property owner you are renting from, they may be liable for damages. For example, if you repeatedly notified your landlord about a broken lock, they did not fix it, and you were robbed because of the broken lock, you may be able to recover monetary damages for your losses.
Proving Liability in a Premises Liability Case
Every premises liability case is unique, since the circumstances of an incident and the place the incident occured are unique. But with each premises liability case, the victim must prove liability and damages in order to receive monetary compensation. There are four aspects of proving liability in a premise liability case:
1. Proving that a property owner, manager, or occupier owed a duty of care to the victim. 2. Proving that a defective or dangerous condition that violated duty of care existed on the property. 3. Proving that the defective or dangerous condition directly led to the victim’s injuries. 4. Proving that the victim suffered damages from their injuries.
Proving liability in a premises liability case can be challenging to do on your own. That’s why it’s important for anyone who is injured on someone else’s property to seek the assistance of a premises liability attorney who understands how to gather evidence and show proof of liability in such cases.
When Should You Call a Premises Liability Lawyer?
If you’ve sustained injuries while on someone else’s property, attend to your health and safety first. Then, call a premises liability lawyer as soon as possible. Suffering an injury is painful and emotional. The last thing on an injured person’s mind is preserving evidence, but evidence is paramount in any premises liability case. Seeking the assistance of a premises liability lawyer quickly can help you gather valuable evidence that may be time sensitive, such as images of the accident scene and statements from any present witnesses.
In addition to providing you with the help you need immediately following your injury, a personal liability lawyer can help you through the entire claim process. It can be overwhelming to try to collect evidence, talk to insurance companies, or begin legal proceedings on your own when you are injured and trying to recover. An experienced personal injury attorney can do much of this work for you, allowing you to focus on your recovery and well-being while your attorney works to collect the evidence you need to receive the compensation you deserve.
Call a Los Angeles Premises Liability Lawyer Today
If you or a loved one has been injured on someone else’s property, contact LA Lawyers Group today to receive a free case evaluation. Personal injury cases, including premises liability cases, are our specialty. The personal injury attorneys at our law firm have years of experience successfully settling and winning premises liability cases, and they will work diligently to provide you with the strongest possible case.
Call our law office at (818) 386-6777 to receive a free consultation with one of our dedicated Los Angeles premises liability attorneys.