Were you injured in an accident on someone else’s property in El Dorado Hills, California? If the property’s owner, manager, or other responsible party failed to inspect and maintain the premises adequately, you could be owed compensation for medical expenses, lost earnings, pain and suffering, and other losses you suffered.
The El Dorado Hills premises liability lawyers at The Law Offices of Black & DePaoli, PC, have extensive experience helping people just like you seek justice after being injured due to someone else’s negligence. Turn to us for help, and we’ll provide you with a no-cost consultation to discuss your case. You can reach us now online or by phone.
What Is Premises Liability?
A premises liability claim is a specific type of personal injury action that arises when someone is injured due to a hazardous condition on someone else’s property. Because property owners have a responsibility to ensure that their property is safe for guests, they can be held liable for accidents due to their negligence.
To bring a successful premises liability claim, the injured individual must prove that the property owner was responsible for failing to eliminate or warn guests about a hazardous condition on their property. Premises liability accidents can occur in residential, commercial, and public settings.
Who Is Responsible for Damages in Premise Liability Accidents?
In general, the property owner or occupant would be responsible for accidents that occur on the property due to their negligence. For example, suppose a property owner knew about a dangerous condition on the premises and failed to eliminate it. In that case, people injured due to the hazard could hold the property owner liable for their medical expenses and other losses.
While property owners must generally keep their property safe for visitors, the visitor’s legal status does impact the level of care the property owner must take.
- Invitees – Invitees are visitors who have been invited onto the property by the property owner, such as a guest at a residence or a customer in a restaurant. Property owners must take reasonable steps to ensure the safety of invitees on their property.
- Licensees – Licensees are visitors who enter the premises for their own purposes, such as a salesperson. Property owners only need to warn licensees of possible hazards.
- Trespassers – Trespassers are visitors to the property who have no legal right to be there. In general, property owners aren’t required to alert trespassers to any possible hazards. However, small children may still have a claim even if they were trespassing in some situations.
Common Types of Premises Liability Cases in El Dorado Hills
There are many different types of premises liability cases. Some of the most common in El Dorado Hills include:
- Slip-and-fall accidents
- Swimming pool accidents
- Dog bites
- Elevator accidents
- Escalator accidents
- Pothole accidents
- Hotel and apartment fires
- Negligent security
No matter what type of accident you suffered, if you were injured because of a property owner’s negligence, then you could have the right to pursue compensation through an insurance claim or lawsuit.
Compensation for Premises Liability Claims
Premises liability accident victims often suffer significant financial losses. If you were injured in a premises liability accident, you should not be left to pay the expenses you incurred due to your injuries. Depending on the circumstances of your case, you might be able to claim compensation for:
- Present and future medical expenses, including hospital bills, physical therapy costs, surgery costs, and more.
- Lost earnings if you are required to take time off work while you heal
- Reduced earning capacity if you are temporarily or permanently disabled because of the accident and can’t carry out your typical vocational duties
- Pain and suffering, including non-economic damages like physical pain, emotional distress, mental anguish, loss of quality of life, and post-traumatic stress disorder
- Punitive damages, which are designed to punish the defendant for extremely reckless behavior or for causing intentional harm
If the accident occurred in a residence, you would typically file a claim against the property owner’s homeowners’ insurance policy. That allows you to avoid bringing a claim against a friend, family member, or acquaintance without worrying about the money coming directly out of their pocket. If you were injured on a commercial property, you would usually file a claim against the business owner’s insurance policy.
The insurance company’s goal will be to pay you as little as possible, even if you have a strong case. They may try to shift blame to you or use other tactics to trip you up in an attempt to reduce or even deny your claim. Our experienced El Dorado Hills premises liability lawyers know how to fight back against these tactics. We can handle all communications with the insurance company for you and negotiate for a settlement on your behalf.
What to Do If You’ve Been Hurt on Someone Else’s Property in El Dorado Hills
If you were injured on someone else’s property in El Dorado Hills, you should take several steps to safeguard your rights:
- Seek medical attention. A doctor should evaluate you as soon as possible after the accident. Some potentially severe injuries may not show immediate symptoms, or adrenaline and the shock of the accident could mask symptoms. A thorough medical exam is essential to uncover and treat potentially life-threatening injuries.
- Notify the property owner. Report the accident to the property owner. If the accident occurred on commercial property and the owner creates an accident report, you should ask for a copy.
- Collect evidence. If you can, collect evidence at the scene. Take photos of the accident scene and the hazard that caused the accident. You should also photograph your injuries. If anyone witnessed the accident, ask them for their contact information. They may be able to provide a statement on your behalf.
- Take notes as you recover. Keep a daily record of your physical pain and emotional state. Note activities that your injuries prevent you from taking part in. Your attorney can use this diary to quantify your losses for pain and suffering.
- Stay off social media. Don’t discuss the accident on social media until your case is resolved. The insurance company could take anything you say publicly out of context and twist it to minimize or deny your claim.
- Get help from an experienced premises liability attorney. Our lawyers are ready to provide a free consultation so you can learn about your rights and discuss the next steps in your case.