An unsafe or defective condition on a property can cause serious injury for visitors or customers. When a property owner fails to provide a safe environment and a person is hurt, the owner is liable for the victim’s injuries.
If you or someone you know is hurt because of the negligence of a business or property owner, Case Barnett Law can help. We treat our clients like family and we will fight to get you the compensation you deserve when you are hurt by a careless property owner.
Types of Accidents
There are many ways a person can be injured on someone else’s property. Whether the property is a commercial enterprise or a private home, the owner has a duty to maintain it and ensure that conditions do not endanger visitors or customers. Examples of problems that could lead to a premises liability injury and lawsuit include:
- Inadequate designs. Properties should be designed safely. For example, if a property lacks appropriate lighting, locks, or fences, or if a property accumulates standing water without proper drainage, then people on the property may be at risk.
- Inadequate maintenance. Once a property is designed, it must be appropriately built and maintained. Property owners who fail to fix broken stairs, unstable hand railings, broken lights, broken locks, broken walkways, or torn carpeting, for example, could be responsible for any injuries that occur.
- Inadequate warnings. Sometimes it is impossible to address a known risk on the property immediately. In these cases, visitors to the property should be warned of the potential danger. A property owner could, for example, use an orange cone or yellow caution tape to warn a visitor of a risk until such time as it can be fixed.
- Inadequate security. The necessary security depends both on the location of the property and the use of the property. Businesses should screen employees and make sure that appropriate security measures are in place to protect people from attackers.
These dangers can result in:
- Slip and fall accidents. Slip (or trip) and fall accidents are among the most common type of premises liability accidents. A broken step, walkway, handrail, or even just debris that is left in hallways or walkways can result in slip and fall accidents.
- Electrocutions. Property owners have a duty to make sure that electricity is up to code and safe. If it is not, then an exposed wire or an electric shock can result in an electrocution.
- Assaults and batteries. Inadequate security can result in an attack on someone else’s property. A broken light, for example, may make an attack more likely.
- Sexual molestation. A sexual molestation, assault, or rape can occur when there is inadequate security on someone else’s property. A broken lock, for example, could allow someone to enter the property and commit this type of crime.
- Swimming pool accidents. Property owners with swimming pools have a duty to exercise reasonable care to prevent drownings and other pool-related injuries on their property. While every case is unique, a property owner may be liable for a swimming pool injury if, for example, the fence around the pool was damaged or missing, there was inadequate lighting, there was inadequate supervision, or there were tripping hazards on the pool deck.
- Dog bites and animal attacks. Under California law, a dog owner is legally responsible for damages caused by a dog bite if the person bitten was in a public place or was lawfully in a private place. For other injuries caused by dogs or other animals, the general rules of negligence apply and animal owners may be liable for injuries that result from their own negligence.
These injuries can occur on any type of property, including apartment complexes. Apartment complexes often have many risk factors for premises liability accidents, including swimming pools, pets, and security measures like lights and locks that may be broken or non-existent.
What You Need to Prove
In California, you will have to prove key elements in a premises liability case in order to hold a property owner accountable for your injuries. Specifically, you will need to prove that:
- The property owner owed you a duty of care. An injured victim will first have to prove that the property owner had a duty to keep him safe. Property owners typically have a duty to keep people safe if those people were invited onto the property or they were legally on the property.
- The property owner breached the duty of care. Once it is established that the owner had a duty to keep you safe, it must be proven that he breached that duty. In other words, you will need to prove that the property owner failed to provide you with the care that a reasonable property owner would have provided to you in similar circumstances.
- You were hurt because of the property owner’s negligence. You will need to prove that you were hurt because of the property owner’s breach of the duty of care. Specifically, you will need to establish that your injuries would not have happened but for the property owner’s actions or inactions.
In many cases, these elements are clear-cut. However, the insurance representative for the property owner will push back if there is any question about liability, and you will need an experienced premises liability attorney on your side.
How We Can Help
Many people who are hurt because of a property owner’s negligence suffer serious injuries, such as:
- Broken bones.
- Brain injuries.
- Spinal cord injuries.
- Internal injuries.
Significant compensation may be available if you were hurt because of a property owner’s negligence. Our team will work hard to get you the settlement that you deserve even when the other side argues that you were hurt because of your own negligence. If the property owner or his insurer will not agree to a settlement that compensates you for your past, current, and future lost income, medical expenses, out-of-pocket costs, pain, suffering, and other damages, then we will take your case to trial to get you a full recovery.
It is important to start a premises liability case as quickly as possible. Preservation of video and interviews of witnesses must occur soon after the injury occurs. Businesses have a tendency to lose evidence or forget about injured visitors. Get Case Barnett Law involved early on in your case to prevent evidence from “disappearing,” to make sure that all of your rights are fully protected, and to stay in control of what happens in your case.
Our compassionate legal team wants to know you and to help you recover from your unique injuries. Our firm does not run a legal mill. Instead, we get to know each of our clients individually and we are personally involved in their cases from start to finish. Call us today to learn more about our services and about how we may be able to help you if you’ve been hurt.