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San Diego Premises Liability Lawyer

Premises liability involves a wide variety of legal issues, ranging from slip and fall accidents to defective property conditions, that can grant victims the opportunity to take action against the at fault party to recover compensation. Any of these events can happen when you least expect it to, which is why it is important to learn your rights and what options you have available to protect yourself against a negligent property owner.

At West Coast Trial Lawyers, our knowledgeable legal team is readily available to assist you with the filing process. We have over 150 years of collective experience in handling premises liability claims and are confident that we will deliver quality services that will help you attain fair compensation. We run on a contingency-fee basis, meaning that you owe us nothing until we settle your case.

To schedule a free consultation with a San Diego premises liability lawyer, we welcome you to reach out to us by calling (619) 789-4494 or completing our online contact form.

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What Is a Premises Liability Claim?

A premises liability claim is filed when a person is injured after encountering hazardous conditions while lawfully on someone else's property. Since land owners are required to provide a duty of care to visitors, they may face legal consequences if they do not prioritize the safety of those who enter their establishment.

Common Injuries in a San Diego Premises Liability Case

Common injuries caused by dangerous property conditions include the following:


Guests who suffer bodily damage as a result are encouraged to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Symptoms may take some time to develop, so it is crucial that you get examined by a physician immediately after the incident to detect any early signs of serious injuries. Your visits, procedures, and/or prescriptions will be saved on file and can be used as evidence in your premises liability case.

Common Causes of Premises Liability Claims

Premises liability claims can stem from multiple factors. The sections listed below will dive into what the common causes are and how it occurs.

Inadequate Security

Inadequate security can make it difficult for a property owner to monitor the area to ensure no person or object poses a threat to a visitor's safety. This particularly applies to locations that are known to report criminal conduct. It is recommended for security cameras to be set up throughout the facility to capture any suspicious or violent activity. Other forms of protective measures that should be considered are:

Slip and Fall Accidents

Slip and fall accidents can be triggered by several components, like:

  • Faulty staircases,
  • Damaged flooring,
  • Poor lighting, and
  • Slippery or wet surfaces.

If the property owner knew about the issue and failed to resolve it in a timely manner, they will be held accountable for any slip and fall injuries that occur due to their negligence. However, if a visitor manages to hurt themselves without any threat or hazard provoking the stumbling incident, responsibility will not be placed on the property owner.

Elevator and Escalator Accidents

Two elevator doors in the lobby of a modern building.

Elevator and escalator accidents may involve certain factors that can make identifying the liable party a bit more challenging. If the incident happened after the property owner failed to maintain or fix an unresponsive elevator or escalator, accident victims may file a premises liability claim against them.

However, if they complied with California laws, yet one or more accidents were still reported, fault may be directed towards another individual or entity, such as the:

  • Manufacturer,
  • Installer, or
  • Maintenance company.

Under such circumstances, victims who suffered an injury in an elevator or escalator due to poor maintenance can file a product liability claim to seek compensation. These cases could also overlap, meaning that multiple parties may face legal consequences. It is important that you hire a San Diego premises liability lawyer to assess the situation based on the evidence provided to learn who should hold accountability for the damages you endured.

Swimming Pool Accidents

Children are the most common victims of a swimming pool accident. According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), drowning occurs more than any other cause of accidental death amongst 1 to 4 year olds, and is the second leading factor in unintentional mortality for children ages 5 to 14 years old (after motor vehicle accidents).

The CDC also clarified how inadequate security, such as pool fencing, and lack of supervision are some of the many contributing factors that have allowed children to gain unlawful entry to swimming pools.

To reduce the likelihood of such an accident, property owners should supervise the area or have sufficient security available to ensure no one is harmed, even if the person entering the premises is a trespasser. California residents should consider looking into the Swimming Pool Safety Act to learn how to effectively approach this type of problem.

We would like to note that a property owner is not always at fault for a swimming pool accident. In certain cases, the person who is injured or killed could have ignored the warning signs or bypassed the barriers. Since California is a pure comparative fault state, all parties will be evaluated to determine the degree of negligence committed. Once liability has been identified, damages will be calculated based on the evidence provided by both sides, and then compensation will be distributed accordingly.

Dog Bites

Dog owners must provide a duty of care to visitors who legally enter their property. They are required to maintain a safe environment, meaning that if their pet is known to exhibit aggressive behavior, they will need to keep them away from guests by placing them in another room or having warning signs displayed around the premises. Those who fail to comply with this obligation may face disciplinary action if a guest suffers a dog bite while on their premises.

Amusement Parks

Park-goers who enter amusement parks have one thing in mind, and that is to have a joyful experience. To ensure that everything goes well, property owners will have to do the following:

  • Install adequate restraints,
  • Conduct frequent maintenance checks,
  • Provide safety instructions to visitors, and
  • Properly supervise employees.

If any of these duties are not being fulfilled, chances of an accident are highly likely to occur. Injured victims may be entitled to file a premises liability claim against the property owner to obtain compensation.

However, if the property owner met the requirements and an injury still occurs, liability will not fall entirely on them. It could be directed towards other parties. For instance, if a guest ignored the facilities rules and regulations, they could be held responsible for any injuries and/or damages caused.

A manufacturing defect is another possibility. Given this scenario, a product liability claim can be made against the manufacturer if a ride was defective or had a faulty design.

Who Is At Fault in a San Diego Premises Liability Accident?

View of San Diego buildings from a low angle.

To determine the at fault party in a San Diego premises liability case, you will need to obtain solid evidence that proves what party should be held accountable for the accident. This includes the following:

  • Photographs or video footage of your injury and where the event occurred,
  • A copy of the incident report filed by the manager or property owner,
  • Medical records pertaining to the injury you sustained and the treatment you are receiving to recover,
  • Witness statements, and
  • Proof of whether the defendant managed, occupied, or leased the area in which you suffered bodily harm.

Typically, land owners will be found at fault for the incident if they failed to remove the hazard in a reasonable time frame or notify visitors about the dangerous property condition. The defendant can be any of the people or groups listed below:

  • Homeowners,
  • Business owners,
  • Tenants, or
  • Property management companies.

Trespasser Injuries and Premises Liability

Although trespassers are not generally granted a duty of care by property owners, reasonable warning should still be provided to prevent injuries or deaths from occurring on the premises.

Child trespassers are handled differently. In such a case, the land owner will need to warn them about:

  • Dangerous property conditions they are aware of (or should be aware of), and
  • Whether it is likely to trigger a serious injury or death.

Structured barriers should surround the area to lessen the likelihood of the child gaining quick entry into the property to interact with one or more attractive nuisances, such as a swimming pool or playground.

Failing to do either of these can put a child's life at risk. If bodily damage or a fatality has occurred as a result, the parents or legal guardian of the victim may sue the property owner for negligence and/or wrongful death.

Premises Liability and Wrongful Death

If dangerous conditions lead to one's passing, their estate or surviving family may submit a wrongful death claim. Under California law, there can only be one lawsuit filed against the liable party. The motive behind this is to make sure the court is not overwhelmed with identical cases that may delay the amount of time it takes to handle the situation.

Compensation that is usually awarded in a wrongful death claim include the following:

  • Medical bills,
  • Funeral and burial costs,
  • Loss of financial support, and
  • Pain and suffering.

How Do I Prove Negligence in a San Diego Premises Liability Case?

To prove negligence, you will need to incorporate the following elements into your San Diego premises liability case:

  • The property owner was required to provide you with a duty of care,
  • The property owner breached their duty of care, and
  • The property owner's negligence caused you to sustain injuries and/or damages.

Common circumstances in which failed attempts have been made to maintain safe conditions include:

  • Knowingly allowing hazards to remain on the premises,
  • Forgetting to enforce security measures, and
  • Not warning visitors of foreseeable dangers.

To ensure you get the best outcome possible, it is encouraged that you seek help from premises liability lawyers. They will assess the situation based on the evidence provided and determine what effective strategy should be implemented into your lawsuit to better your chances of receiving full and fair compensation.

What Types of Compensation Are Available in Premises Liability Cases?

The "pay to the order of" section of a check with a pen about to write on it.

Premises liability cases can be caused by several unique factors, meaning that compensation will vary for each person. Certain components that may be taken into consideration when calculating damages include:

  • The extent of your injuries and damages,
  • The financial burden you underwent as a result, and
  • The amount of negligence contributed by all parties involved.

Once these have been reviewed, the court will determine how much should be distributed and to whom it will be owed to. Generally, economic damages and non-economic damages are granted in a premises liability case.

Economic Damages

Economic damages are financial losses you endured due to the property owner's negligence, like:

  • Medical expenses,
  • Lost wages, and
  • Loss of earning capacity.

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages are intangible costs that are difficult to measure in monetary terms, including:

  • Emotional distress,
  • Loss of consortium, and
  • Loss of enjoyment of life.

Statute of Limitations for a San Diego Premises Liability Claim

The statute of limitations for a San Diego premises liability claim is two years from the date of when the injury occurred or was discovered. Try to start the process as soon as possible. Be sure to collect enough evidence and find the right legal team to represent you. If you fail to submit your lawsuit before the deadline, you will no longer be qualified to sue the property owner for the injuries and/or damages you suffered.

Our San Diego Premises Liability Attorneys Are Here to Help

If you were harmed while lawfully on someone's property, you may be entitled to file a premises liability claim against them. At West Coast Trial Lawyers, our San Diego legal team can take a look at your case and identify the liable party. From there, we will aggressively negotiate with the opposing side, represent you in court if needed, and get you substantial compensation.

To schedule a free case evaluation, you may reach out to us by calling (619) 789-4494 or filling out our quick online contact form.

More Resources

Airbnb Premises and Personal Injury Liability

Outdoor Staircase Accidents and Premises Liability

California Premises Liability Insurance

Parking Lot Accidents and Premises Liability

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