How To Find Liability After An Accident
Premises liability claims range far and wide and encompass some of the most diverse circumstances imaginable. Let’s begin with a very important California statute to give us a foundation to work upon:
According to California Civil Code 1714(a): “Everyone is responsible, not only for the result of his or her willful acts, but also for an injury occasioned to another by his or her want of ordinary care or skill in the management of his or her property or person…”
The above information is absolutely crucial for anyone who is thinking about bringing forth a premises liability claim. People sustain injuries every year in Irvine because of hazardous conditions that a property owner could or should have prevented. Many of these accidents will fortunately only result in minor injuries, such as soft tissue damage. But many incidents have the potential to cause serious injuries or death.
These types of incidents cover a variety of circumstances, yet slip and falls are the most common type of premises liability accident. More than one million emergency room visits every year are caused by slip and falls, and many of these accidents are caused when a negligent property owner failed to correct a known hazard.
According to information courtesy of the National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI), bone fractures are commonly seen in about 5% of all slip and falls. Slip and falls are especially dangerous for elderly victims who routinely fracture their hips in these largely preventable accidents. Very severe slip and falls can also cause a concussion or a serious brain injury.
We will discuss more types of premises liability accidents and how to prove liability below, but do know that there are options you can resort to if you were hurt in a premises liability accident in the city of Irvine. Don’t hesitate to contact us 24/7 at (949) 334-9200 or feel free to email us at [email protected] to schedule a free consultation with our experienced, caring and compassionate legal team. At West Coast Trial Lawyers, we are always here to answer any questions you may have about premises liability claims in Irvine.
Common Types Of Premises Liability Claims In Irvine
Any individual who was hurt on another person’s property can typically file a premises liability claim for damages against the person or company who owns, leases, occupies, or controls the property.
In essence, if a hazardous condition contributes to causing your injuries, the property owner or manager can be held responsible for the resulting damages. According to respondeat superior laws, the principal will be held liable for the negligent conditions that caused your injuries.
Every property owner, whether they own a corner market or a high security government building, is required by law to take reasonable action to protect guests from being injured by reasonably foreseeable circumstances. It is very important to understand that a property owner needs to be aware of a hazard, or the hazard must be one that is foreseeable given the circumstances. Furthermore, a property owner cannot be held liable for a hazard he or she had no idea even existed, nor can a property owner be held liable for unforeseeable risks either.
Basic requirements for a property owner will depend on the specific property, but typically include providing sufficient security, proper lighting, and adequate maintenance to minimize hazards.
Let’s consider just a few examples of the types of premises liability claims our experienced team of Irvine premises liability attorneys are able to handle. There are many more types of premises liability accidents than those described below. Please consult with an experienced premises liability attorney to determine whether you have a claim.
All property owners have a legal duty to take reasonable measures to make sure that their pool is safe for everyone. These requirements apply to:
- Private AND residential swimming pool owners
- Property owners who own private AND commercial pools that are made available to guests, members, or tenants
- ANY property possessors and/or operators
- Government property owners of public swimming pools or school swimming pools
Let’s consider a few examples of a property owner’s failure to provide adequate pool maintenance and/or supervision
Warning Signs: Pool owners must provide appropriate warning signs for their guests. Property owners may be found responsible if someone drowns in their swimming pool if he or she didn’t post the necessary warning signs. In the absence of a lifeguard, there must be warning signs indicating the depth of the water, or “swim at your own risk” signs need to be clearly visible. Illegible signs that are not clearly visible are insufficient and may subject a property owner to liability in the event of an accident.
Improper Maintenance. A pool owner must provide a pool and pool related safety equipment that is in good working condition. Failure to do so may subject a property owner to liability.
Negligence. There are many types of actions that may qualify as negligent. For example, improperly installed pool equipment that causes a drowning may subject a pool owner to liability. Another common example of negligence could be hiring an unqualified lifeguard whose negligent supervision then causes a drowning.
Inadequate Fencing. This one is very important. A pool without fencing is 60% more likely to witness a drowning than a fenced in pool. The legal standard is as follows: if a reasonable property owner would have installed fencing, then the property owner who failed to do so could be found responsible.
- Stair Accidents
Another common type of premises liability accident involves stairs. Adequate stair maintenance includes repairing damaged stairs and broken steps. It also means taking reasonable measures to ensure that it is safe for people to use those stairs. If an individual suffers a fall because of hazardous conditions on one of their stairways, that property owner can be held liable for any resulting damages.
Again, it is worth mentioning that a stair hazard must be known or foreseeable. For example, if a property owner owns an apartment building in a snowy area, that property owner is aware that stairs on the property may become dangerous. In this example, the property owner would be responsible for taking the necessary measures to safeguard those stairs, such as by installing non-slip flooring.
- Slip And Fall Accidents
Let’s discuss the all too common slip and fall. If spills are not mopped up immediately, an accident is almost inevitable. Slip and falls can occur just about anywhere, including shopping malls, grocery stores, banks, and more.
Slip and falls, however, tend to occur when there are no signs to warn customers or shoppers about a potential slip and fall hazard. As mentioned, older people are especially vulnerable to suffering delicate injuries after a slip and fall.
It may not surprise you to know but slip and falls are usually caused by foreseeable circumstances, such as: uneven flooring, loose carpets, leaks or spills, faulty railings, inadequate or missing warning signs, and more.
What About Financial Compensation?
Now that we understand how premises liability accidents are caused, we can discuss potential compensation. Below is a brief explanation of damages. Damages are a type of monetary award that is determined by a court of law to compensate an aggrieved individual for injuries sustained as a result of a property owner’s negligence.
Economic Damages: Economic damages are meant to compensate an aggrieved individual 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.
There are many types of economic losses. A few examples include:
- Loss of Earning Capacity: designed to compensate someone for the earning capacity an accident has robbed them of.
- Medical Bills: designed to compensate someone for any medicals costs they incurred or will incur as a result of their injuries
- Lost Wages: designed to compensate someone for wages they missed out on while hurt and in recovery.
Non-Economic Damages: Non-economic damages, on the other hand, are intended to cover losses that are thought of as “subjective” and will not necessarily cover out of pocket losses such as those described above.
Non-economic damages typically include compensation for:
- Emotional Distress
- Pain And Suffering
- Loss Of Enjoyment Of Life
West Coast Trial Lawyers Is Always Here To Help
If you have sustained injuries in a premises liability accident as a result of a property owner’s negligence or deliberate acts of malice, you have the right to hold the guilty party responsible for your losses. An Irvine premises liability attorney at our firm can recover financial compensation for the losses you have suffered, including your medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering from your injury. Call us today at (949) 334-9200 or email [email protected] to schedule a free consultation with our experienced, caring and compassionate legal team.