Weather Conditions and Personal Injury Premises Liability
How Weather Conditions Can Cause Injuries and Affect Premises Liability
Injuries caused by poor weather conditions are not always blameless. All property owners have a responsibility to maintain safe conditions on their property. This means that there is an expectation for them to keep their property in safe conditions, regardless of the weather. This includes taking the necessary steps to anticipate poor weather and address it as necessary. For example, during the winter time this means clearing driveways of ice and snow. Or when it’s raining heavily, this could mean using cones on potentially slippery floors.
Below, our experienced premises liability attorneys will discuss premises accidents that are caused or made worse by bad weather conditions. If you or a loved one suffered injuries as a result of a premises liability accident in California, the experienced premises liability attorneys at West Coast Trial Lawyers are always here to answer any questions you may have about premises liability claims and available damages.
Considerations for Poor Weather and Premises Liability
In the state of California, bad weather doesn’t generally play a large role in causing premises liability accidents. The most common weather conditions that may present an accident risk, however, are ice and snow.
If a property owner is already aware of the possibility of hazardous ice and snow, he or she is required to clear up that hazard for any guests or invitees who may be on their property. Failure to do so is an act of negligence.
Some accidents may also occur in parking lots or stairs. A property owner is required to take reasonable steps to maintain safety on their premises, especially if they are already aware of the hazard. Failure to do so may result in liability.
For the most part a property owner will be sufficiently aware of the possibility of ice or snow on their property. Anytime an individual is harmed on a property where the foreknowledge of inclement weather is common sense, the odds will likely be stacked against the property owner. The greater the expectation of poor weather — such as in a popular winter resort in the mountains — the higher the expectation will be on a property owner to anticipate poor weather conditions and take the necessary steps to guarantee safety for their visitors.
Is There Enough Time to Clear the Hazard?
A property owner not only needs to be aware of a hazard, he or she needs to have enough time to take the necessary steps to address it. A property owner typically has up to 48 hours to remove ice and snow in order to avoid liability, especially if he or she is already aware that such hazards are a possibility. If a property owner delays in taking necessary action, he or she may likely be held liable for any losses caused due to their negligence.
Accidents happen. If you were injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. Below is a brief explanation of damages. Damages are a type of monetary award that is determined by a court of law to help compensate an aggrieved individual for any losses or injuries sustained as a result of someone’s negligence.
Economic damages are intended to compensate a plaintiff for losses that a dollar amount can readily be attached to. Economic damages are calculated by determining the amount of out-of-pocket losses an aggrieved individual has or will expect to incur as a result of their injuries.
A few examples of economic losses include:
- Loss of Earning Capacity
- Medical Bills
- Lost Wages
Non-economic damages are essentially intended to cover losses that are thought of as subjective and will not necessarily cover out-of-pocket losses. Non-economic damages may include compensation for:
- Emotional Distress
- Pain and Suffering
- Loss of Enjoyment of Life
The third type of damages a California court may award are known as punitive damages. Punitive damages are intended as punishment and are only awarded when a defendant’s behavior is especially harmful. Punitive damages are relatively rare and in fact were only incorporated in 5 percent of all verdicts.
Furthermore, there is no real set standard for calculating and awarding punitive damages. Punitive damages are awarded at the court’s discretion and will vary depending on the specific circumstances of a case.
Contact Us to Find Out How We Can Help
If you have sustained injuries in the city of Los Angeles as a result of a premises liability accident, an attorney at our firm can help you recover financial compensation for the losses you have suffered, including medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Call West Coast Trial Lawyers today at (213) 927-3700 or email [email protected] to schedule a free consultation with our experienced, caring, and compassionate legal team.