When you enter someone’s property, you expect a certain degree of upkeep on the part of the owner. If that’s not the case and you’re injured, you may have a premises liability claim. The property owner can be held responsible for your injuries. If you’ve been injured on someone’s property due to unsafe conditions, call The Dominguez Firm at 800-818-1818 today. We offer free and confidential consultations. Our premise liability attorneys have over 30 years of experience and are ready to help you.
There are several types of premise liability accidents. These are a few of the most common:
Below you’ll find some of the most commonly asked questions we receive regarding premises liability accidents.
What does premises liability mean?
Premises liability is a legal term for a category of personal injury. Basically, it’s when a person is injured on someone’s property due to a dangerous condition that the owner knew or should have been expected to know about. If the property owner did nothing to fix the problem and someone is injured, they can be held liable due to their negligence.
What does a premises liability attorney do?
A good premises liability attorney can help you to present the strongest case possible and recover the highest compensation allowed under the law for your premise liability injury.
Premise liability cases can be difficult to prove. This is one type of personal injury claim that you do not want to take on by yourself. The property owner and any other defendants will likely try to blame you for your accident and injuries.
An experienced premises liability attorney can successfully counter this argument. They should also have the resources needed to present the strongest case possible, including the testimony of expert witnesses. It’s also important that they have experience dealing with insurance companies and their tactics.
Is premises liability the same as general liability?
Legally speaking, the word liability is defined as “legal responsibility for one’s acts or omissions.” Premises liability is a form of general liability as it relates to injuries on someone else’s property, be it commercial or residential.
Who do you sue in a premise liability lawsuit?
Several people or entities besides the owner may be named as defendants in a premise liability lawsuit. If another person or entity had control of the property, they may also be sued:
- A tenant
- A property management company
- A parent company, as in the case of a retail store
- A third party, like a contractor working on the property
- An employee of any of the above
While this may seem like a simple question, tracking down everyone responsible can be difficult. Having the services of an experienced premises liability attorney can prove invaluable. Here at The Dominguez Firm, we’ve been handling premises liability claims for over 30 years. We know how to pinpoint those responsible and hold them accountable.
What are the 5 elements of negligence?
Simply falling on someone’s property doesn’t mean the owner of that property is responsible for your fall and any injuries you suffer. To prove a property owner was negligent, 5 elements need to be proven:
- There was an unreasonably dangerous condition on the property – These can include uneven walking areas, icy or slippery surfaces and loose tiles or carpeting.
- The property owner was aware of the dangerous condition – The injured person must also show the owner was aware of the dangerous condition.
- The dangerous condition was a major contributor to that injury – Legally, this is known as “causation.” There has to be a connection between the unsafe condition and the person’s injury.
- The injured person has to show their injury resulted in damages – The injured person has to have suffered monetary losses, like lost income or medical bills from their injury. This is known as “damages.”
- Find all of the individuals or entities responsible – There may be more than one defendant in a premises liability lawsuit. Besides the owner of the property, other people may be involved. These can include a property managing company or a third party, like a renter.
Can I sue if I’m injured on government property?
As long as you meet the same criteria as those for individuals injured on private property, yes. However, there is one major difference. Anyone injured on municipal, state or federal property has a six-month statute of limitations (deadline) from the date of the injury to file a claim. This is unlike premise liability claims for injuries on private property, which is two years from the date of the injury.
Whether you were injured on public or private property, it’s best to present your premise liability claim as soon after your injury as possible. Waiting can greatly weaken your claim for several reasons:
- Vital evidence can be lost.
- A recollection of the facts surrounding the incident can change and become less reliable over time.
- Defense attorneys will likely question why you waited so long to present a claim.
How does homeowners insurance work if I get hurt on someone’s property?
Most property owners carry some sort of insurance. That insurance probably has coverage precisely for injuries to visitors on the property. But a lot depends on the individual home or business owner’s policy. In addition, certain exclusions may apply:
- Intentional injuries, like those due to a physical altercation.
- Injuries on equipment that is not on the insurance policy. For example, a trampoline or swing set that was never added.
- Dog bites from certain dog breeds, for instance, pit bulls.
Policy limits are another factor to keep in mind. If the property owner carries low minimums, that may not cover a serious injury. Say someone’s policy limit is $100,000. That may seem like a generous policy limit, but it can quickly evaporate if the injured person requires extensive medical attention and/or long term care. If that’s the case, another way to collect the difference is to file a claim against the property owner directly.
Can I sue if my child is injured on someone’s property?
If your child was injured due to a dangerous condition that was not addressed, yes. What’s more, even if your child entered a property with no invitation, you can probably still present a claim. Although trespassers do not have the same rights as a person invited onto someone’s property, the one important exception is when the trespasser is a child.
What’s my premises liability case worth?
Any premises liability case must involve injuries. If you or a loved one suffered injuries or were killed due to unsafe conditions on someone’s property, you may be entitled to the following damages:
- All medical bills related to your injuries, including bills for mental health issues
- Lost wages and/or other income
- Pain and suffering
- In severe cases, home modifications
- Long term care, if needed
- If someone is killed in a premises liability accident, their next of kin has the right to file a wrongful death claim against all responsible parties
Be aware that California is a comparative negligence state. That means that even if you are found to be partially responsible for your accident, you may still be entitled to compensation. If that happens, your final settlement amount will be reduced by the percentage of guilt assigned to you. Say you were awarded $100,000 for your premises liability accident by the court but found to be 20% responsible for your accident. That amount would be reduced by 20% or $20,000. You would still be entitled to $80,000.
Premises liability cases come down to proving responsibility. Was your fall caused by a dangerous situation on someone’s property? The experienced premises liability attorneys at The Dominguez Firm are well aware of every argument that defense counsel is likely to present. They also know how to counter them and make sure you receive the compensation you’re entitled to under the law. Call us at 800-818-1818 for a free consultation right away. And we promise: we win or you don’t pay. There are no hidden fees or out of pocket expenses, so call us today!