Fall injuries send more than a million victims to the emergency room each year, according to the National Floor Safety Institute. Many of these occur on other people’s property, such as a restaurant or apartment complex.
Falls and similar accidents often result from negligent property owners not doing enough to keep visitors and tenants safe. This carelessness can cost accident victims lost wages, medical bills, and other expenses – not to mention significant pain and emotional trauma.
The Roseville premises liability lawyers at The Law Office of Black & DePaoli, PC, want to help if you’ve been injured in an accident on someone else’s property. Our California personal injury attorneys have over 30 years of combined legal experience and have recovered millions in compensation for our clients. We can help you hold negligent property owners accountable and demand reasonable compensation for your losses.
Contact us today for a free initial consultation.
What Is Premises Liability?
Premises liability is the legal concept that property owners can be held financially liable for certain accidents and injuries on their property. Broadly speaking, a property owner may be held responsible for your injuries if they failed to keep their property reasonably safe or failed to remedy or warn you about known hazards.
In some cases, a property owner can be held liable for injuries caused by dangerous conditions they didn’t know about, but only if certain conditions are met. If you want to know if you have a viable premises liability claim, contact our attorneys for a free claim analysis.
Types of Premises Liability Cases We Handle
Premises liability law covers a wide range of accidents and injuries. Some of the most common premises liability in Roseville include:
- Slip-and-fall accidents – Slip and falls are among the most common types of premises liability accidents. There are countless ways someone could slip and fall due to a hazard, from spilled liquids and standing pools of water to poor lighting and worn handrails. A slip-and-fall accident can occur almost anywhere, from homes and restaurants to workplaces and amusement parks. Slip-and-falls can lead to broken bones, back injuries, head trauma, and other severe medical conditions.
- Dog bites – Dog owners have certain obligations under California law to keep pets secured, especially if the dog has a prior history of attacking people. Dog bites can cause severe lacerations, psychological trauma, and other serious injuries.
- Swimming pool accidents – In a warm-weather state like California, swimming pool accidents are an unfortunately common occurrence. Young children are especially prone to accidental drownings. State law requires property owners to take certain precautions to prevent swimming pool injuries. In addition to unintentional drownings, swimming pools can also lead to falls and other accidents.
- Amusement park accidents – California is home to several large amusement parks, and the parks are not always as well maintained as they should be. Common accidents at amusement parks include slip-and-falls, whiplash, and traumatic brain injuries.
- Negligent security – If you work in an office, stay in a hotel or live in a multi-family building like an apartment complex, the property owner has an obligation to take adequate security measures to help protect tenants and visitors from injuries caused by physical assaults and other criminal acts.
- Structural collapses – Sometimes, property owners cut corners when building or renovating a building, leaving the building vulnerable to collapse. If the building collapses when someone is inside or on the grounds, they could be badly injured by falling debris or other hazards.
- Fires – Some fires result from property owners either not investing in fire protection measures or addressing potential fire hazards like faulty electrical wiring. When property owners neglect fire safety, victims can suffer severe burns, respiratory issues from smoke inhalation, and potentially fatal injuries.
Proving Negligence in Premises Liability Claims
In California, property owners are responsible for using “ordinary care or skill” to keep their property in a reasonably safe condition to prevent visitors from suffering injuries. Owners must address any known hazards or warn visitors of any dangers on their property. Property owners should also regularly inspect their premises to discover unsafe conditions.
If an owner fails to use reasonable care to keep their premises in a safe condition or to warn visitors of potential hazards, they can be held liable for their negligence if a visitor suffers harm as a result.
The number of factors determines whether an owner used reasonable care. Examples include the likelihood of a visitor suffering harm on the property, the probable seriousness of this harm, whether the owner knew or should have known about the danger, and more.
Proving negligence in a premises liability claim can be challenging, but a skilled premises liability lawyer can conduct a thorough investigation and gather evidence to support your case, such as:
- Property records or lease agreements – These can verify who was responsible for maintaining the property at the time of the injury.
- Photos and videos – Photos or videos of the accident or the accident scene can provide evidence of the hazardous condition before it’s removed or addressed.
- Clothing, shoes, and other physical evidence – It’s essential to hold on to the clothes and shoes you were wearing at the time of the accident, as well as any other physical evidence from the scene. In a slip and fall case, for example, the substance that caused you to slip could be on your shoes.
- Accident reports – If you’re injured at a restaurant, market, or other business property, be sure to report the injury to the manager or owner so they can create a report that documents the accident. If the police respond to the accident, request a report from them, as well.
- Witnesses – Eyewitnesses can provide objective testimony about the hazard that caused the accident and injury.
- Expert witnesses – Expert witnesses, such as engineers and doctors, can explain how the hazard in question could lead to an injury and the extent of the injuries you have suffered.
- Maintenance records – Records detailing how and when the property was maintained may reveal how the hazard developed.
- Medical records, bills, pay stubs, and other documentation – Documentation related to the accident may show the nature of your injuries, the expenses you’ve incurred, and the income you’ve lost.
Compensation in a Premises Liability Claim
You may be able to recover substantial compensation for your injuries through a premises liability claim, provided you have the right evidence and an experienced attorney. You could potentially recover compensation for:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Decreased earning potential
- Lower quality of life
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Damaged personal property
Statute of Limitations on Premises Liability Claims in California
In general, you have two years from the date of an accident to file a premises liability lawsuit in California. If the accident occurred on government property, you might only have six months to file a claim. While certain exceptions may apply, if you miss this deadline, you will most likely lose your chance to demand any compensation for your injuries.