California Premises Liability Attorney
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Property owners, including those who own private and government properties in California, are required to provide a duty of care to guests by maintaining a safe environment free from potential hazards. However, if a property owner fails to meet these requirements, they will face premises liability lawsuits from injured guests.
If you were injured while on someone else’s property, you may be entitled to receive compensation for your losses. To get the best results, you will need to seek legal representation from a qualified California premises liability attorney. At West Coast Trial Lawyers, our legal team has over 60 years of collective legal experience in handling personal injury cases. With our track record of recovering more than $1 billion in settlements for our clients, we are confident that we will deliver a good outcome to your premises liability case.
Common Types of California Premises Liability Claims
Property owners are required to take reasonable action to ensure that their guests are safe from potential risks of getting injured while on their premises. Failing to do so may result in the property owner facing a premises liability claim from the injured guest.
Common types of premises liability claims that have occurred in California include the following
Slip and Fall Accidents
Slip and fall accidents may occur just about anywhere. It can happen at the grocery store, a friend’s house, or the workplace. In fact, many premises liability cases result from slip and fall accidents.
Wet surfaces, damaged flooring, or objects lying on the floor are some of many factors that have contributed to the cause of a slip and fall accident.
According to the National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI), the most common age group to experience a slip and fall accident is 65 to 84 year olds. For this age group, falls are one of the leading causes of serious or fatal injuries.
Swimming Pool Accidents
If a property owner has a swimming pool on their premises, they must make sure that all reasonable measures are taken to ensure no one gets injured while in or near the swimming pool. This includes installing fences or gates to prevent trespassers from easily accessing the area.
Furthermore, warning signs should be placed on the fence or gate to notify people that a potential hazard is present.
A property owner can be held liable for a swimming pool accident for having no warning signs, improper pool maintenance, inadequate fencing, or hiring negligent lifeguards.
Grocery Store Accidents
Common premises liability cases arise from grocery stores.
Slip and fall accidents are likely to occur in grocery stores. As employees mop the floors from time to time, they are required to leave warning signs to let customers know that the floors are slippery.
However, there are employees who may forget to place the sign in the slippery area, which can result in slip and fall accidents. The most common injury that people have sustained from a slip and fall accident at the grocery store is a hip fracture.
Falling objects have also caused many grocery store accidents. As customers attempt to reach for items on a high shelf, it is likely for one or more items to fall on them. Worst case scenario, an entire shelf could actually fall on the customer, which can result in serious or fatal injuries.
If a manufacturer sells a defective product that causes an accident, any entity involved in the chain of product will share a degree of liability. Common types of defects include the following:
- Lack of safety warnings
- No user instructions available
- Product defects made during the manufacturing process
- Defects made prior to the product being manufactured
Elevator and Escalator Accidents
In most elevator and escalator accidents, the property owner will almost always be held accountable for the accident. However, there have been cases where the property owner has taken reasonable measures by properly maintaining their elevators and/or escalators, yet an accident still took place. Under this type of case, the manufacturer, installer, or the maintenance company may be held responsible for damages.
Maintaining a property also includes repairing damaged stairs and broken steps as well as taking reasonable measures to make sure the stairs are safe for people to use. If an individual falls down because of hazardous conditions on the stairs, the property owner can be held liable for any resulting damages.
Amusement Park Accidents
Owners of an amusement park are required to apply reasonable measures to ensure that all rides are safe for guests to go on. Failing to monitor each ride for any damages or defects could cause one or more guests to endure serious or fatal injuries. The owner will be held accountable for any damages caused by their negligence. However, if the owner had carefully observed each ride prior to guests entering the premises, yet one or more rides managed to break down, any entity involved in the chain of product will share a degree of accountability.
Who Can Be Held Liable in a California Premises Liability Claim?
Victims of a premises liability accident are entitled to file a claim against the party at-fault for damages. Potential guilty parties may include the person or company that owns, leases, occupies, or controls the premises where the incident took place.
Property owners are not entirely capable of protecting themselves against premises liability claims by acquiring premises liability insurance or delegating maintenance-related duties to employees or independent parties. Generally, a property owner will always be required to maintain a safe environment for guests to enter, regardless of whether they have assigned this duty to others.
Oftentimes, defendants of a premises liability lawsuit may include:
- Business owners
- Tenants or renters
- Retail centers
- The property management company
Statute of Limitations for a Premises Liability Claim
In California, you are required to file a premises liability claim within two years starting from the initial date of the premises liability accident. If you exceed the deadline, you will no longer be eligible to pursue legal actions against the property owner for damages. However, there are a few exceptions that will grant you an extension. You must be a minor, incapacitated, out-of-state, legally insane, or incarcerated.
Victims of a premises liability accident may be eligible to file a premises liability claim to obtain economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are intended to compensate a victim for losses that have a determined dollar value. This includes lost wages, medical bills, loss of earning capacity, and property damage.
Non-economic damages are intended to compensate a victim for losses which don’t necessarily have an easily determined dollar value.This may include loss of enjoyment of life, emotional distress, scarring, and pain and suffering.
If the victim is killed due to the negligence of the property owner, the victim’s heir(s) will be given the legal right to file a wrongful death claim against the property owner. Available damages for a wrongful death claim include burial costs, funeral expenses, loss of consortium, and loss of financial support.
West Coast Trial Lawyers Is Here to Help
If you have sustained injuries as a result of someone’s negligence or deliberate acts of malice, you have the right to hold the guilty party responsible for your losses. Our California premises liability attorneys at West Coast Trial Lawyers can recover compensation for the losses you have suffered.
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