Property owners and managers must keep their premises free from known defects, such as broken sidewalks and other tripping hazards, or must guard against or warn their guests and other persons that are invited to enter their property about those hazards. A property owner that fails to live up to this standard will be liable for losses and injuries that those hazards cause. This is the basis of premises liability in personal injury law.
The attorneys at Hobbs Law Group in Claremont, CA, represent accident victims who were injured because of negligence on the part of property owners. If you have slipped or tripped and fallen on someone else’s property in southern California, a Los Angeles slip and fall lawyer from our firm can help you recover the damages you deserve under the law.
Does premises liability extend to all persons that are on someone else’s property?
Property owners owe the highest duty of care to their guests and other persons that are invited to enter the premises. This includes individuals who have a legitimate personal or commercial/business reason to be on the property. This duty of care does not extend to trespassers. In general, a property owner’s duty to trespassers is limited to not willfully injure them.
What kinds of accidents are included under premises liability?
Any type of injury-causing accident that occurs due to the conditions on someone else’s property might be the basis of a California premises liability lawsuit.
At Hobbs Law Group, we represent clients who have been injured due to:
- Cracked or uneven sidewalks or pavement
- Inadequate or loose guardrails on staircases
- Overgrown landscaping that creates hidden hazards
- Oil, water, or other liquid spills that are not promptly cleaned
- Open pits or sudden drop-offs with inadequate fencing
- Unsecured carpets or floor tiling
- Uncollected trash and debris
In every case, that lawyer will confirm that:
- The injured accident victim had a right to be on someone else’s property
- The property owner failed to correct or warn about the hazardous condition
- The condition was the direct and proximate cause of the accident
- The accident led to the victim’s injuries
Is the property owner automatically to blame for an injury on their property?
California applies comparative negligence standards to premises liability cases such that an accident victim’s own relative fault will reduce the damages that he or she might recover in proportion to that fault.
Under these standards, a negligent property owner might argue that the victim had knowledge of a hazard, but ignored it and was injured as a result. The insurance company strategy will be to try to pin as much of the blame for the injury on you, to minimize how much they have to pay you. This is why you need a savvy and experienced slip and fall lawyer in Los Angeles who will gather evidence, including surveillance video and eyewitness testimonies, to establish a clear record of the actions you took before, during, and after the accident.
You should not discuss your premises liability accident with the property owner’s lawyers because they can use your statements to try to prove that you substantially contributed to your injuries.
When should an injured party file a premises liability lawsuit?
Under California law, you have two years from the date of the accident to file a premises liability lawsuit. That deadline may be shorter and additional paperwork may need to be filed if a city, county, or state government owns or controls the property where the accident happened.
The accident victim’s first priority should be to procure medical assistance and a thorough examination to determine the full extent of any injuries. After those injuries are treated, the victim should contact a knowledgeable and experienced Los Angeles personal injury lawyer to establish the facts about the accident before witnesses’ memories fade, and other evidence becomes unavailable.
Contact the Claremont Offices of the Hobbs Law Group
Please call the Hobbs Law Group to speak directly with one of our personal injury lawyers about your slip, trip, and/or fall on someone else’s property in southern California. We will assess your case for free and, if you retain our services, we will fight to recover the largest available damages award to compensate you for your losses and injuries.