Premises Liability

Premises Liability cases occur in these situations:

  • Swimming pool accidents
  • Dog bites and animal attacks
  • Defective stairways and stair collapse
  • Elevator and escalator accidents
  • Porch collapse and porch railing failures
  • Tripping or falling due to uneven surfaces
  • Balcony and deck defects
  • Floor or building collapse
  • Accidents caused by snow and ice
  • Fire and smoke injuries
  • Injuries, assaults and wrongful death from negligent security
  • Injuries from flooding or water leaks or spills
  • Slips and falls from cleaning agents
  • Inadequate lighting
  • Exposure to toxic fumes or chemicals
  • Building code or housing code violations
  • Failure to repair or maintain premises
  • Falling merchandise in stores
  • Unprotected holes and uneven surfaces
  • Slip and Fall Injuries
  • Improperly Shelved Merchandise
  • Inadequate Construction Warnings
  • Inadequate Lighting In A Parking Lot or Stairway
  • Uneven Pavement
  • Security-Related Accidents (Assault & Battery, Robbery, Rape)

Home vs. Commercial Premises

A person is likely to stumble and fall or otherwise harm themselves at least once somewhere other than his or her home in their lifetime. When a person injures himself or herself at home there is a common perception that no one is to blame but the individual himself (or herself). However, if such an accident occurs at a public location or a private location owned by someone else, other issues must be raised, such as whether the owner of said location is responsible for any injuries experienced on his or her property. The law refers to this as premises liability.

Pursuant to California law, at least in terms of owners of commercial properties, such individuals are not considered insurers of safety of people who step foot on their premises. Rather, a different type of presumptive relationship exists in which commercial owners are obligated to exercise what is known as reasonable care in ensuring that its premises is reasonably safe. Within the legal field, the term “reasonable” is incredibly important to understand, because from it, individuals’ various duties regarding safety stem. For instance, many people who live in or have visited cold weather locations in which there may be snow and ice on the ground who have ever stumbled as a result of said snow and ice and hurt themselves may think that they automatically will be victorious in a lawsuit against the property owner. But, there are things to consider.

Part of understanding the term “reasonable” means appreciating that conditions that led to a person’s injury must not only be dangerous, but the legally responsible party, i.e. owner, must have known or should have known (danger was, in fact, foreseeable) about the possibility of a dangerous condition and not done anything about it, especially in a timely manner. In such instances, timeliness is almost always a major concern. For instance, while we do not really have snow and ice here in California, the likes of which Upstate or Western New York may witness, we do experience natural occurrences such as earthquakes. If a landlord, for instance, knew that repeated earthquakes caused the apartment building’s steps to crumble or become unstable and yet did nothing about it until a tenant’s foot became stuck in a crevice causing a complicated breaking of a number of leg bones, the injured would be in a far greater position to successfully sue than someone who simply slipped on a stair during a particularly messy rainstorm.

How We Can Help

So, where does this leave someone like you, who has been seriously injured in an accident involving a commercial property (or even private property in some instances)?  It leaves you at least with the bare knowledge that, for example, if you are a tenant and your landlord routinely neglects to fix broken steps, especially if and when they are the only path for you to get into your building or dwelling, and you are injured as a result, you likely have a great case against your tenant that we can lead on your behalf to ensure that your matter is taken seriously so as to increase the chances of a legal victory.

We will rigorously advocate for you in a court of law to ensure that you get the legal support you deserve so that you can get the financial compensation that you require to move on and help pay for medical and other daily living- post accident expenses.

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