San Fernando Valley Premises Liability Lawyer
Jacob Regar Law
What is Premises Liability?
Premises liability means that an owner or controller of property was negligent because they didn't take reasonable precaution to remove dangerous conditions on their property that they knew or should have known were in existence, and as a result, you suffered injury.
Victims of premises liability accidents share at least one thing in common with each other, they are mad. They are mad that their accident happened because they know that the circumstances surrounding the accident were avoidable.
When someone owns or is responsible for maintaining and controlling premises that they know other people will enter and use, they must take reasonable steps to protect visitors from dangerous conditions on the property or else risk facing liability for injury on property. This rule is not absolute, there are occurrences where a person enters the property of another and causes their own accident. But, here, we are talking about the legal duties of a responsible owner or controller of property.
Premises liability cases involve an element called "notice." This means the person(s) responsible for maintaining their property must have had notice of the dangerous condition on their property if you are to prove they were negligent.
A landowner has "actual" notice of a danger on their property when, for example, they know of a deep pit on their property that is located in a spot where visitors tend to congregate. There is also something called "constructive" notice. For example, grocery stores are supposed to inspect their aisles and clean up spills. What if the grocery store failed to inspect the aisles one day and a shopper slipped on a broken bottle of vodka and fell on her head? This is an example of constructive notice, because a responsible grocery store inspects their aisles for spills, and had they done this in a timely fashion, they would have "noticed" the invisible, slippery liquid on the ground.
The notice requirement will be met when there is evidence of repeated complaints of a dangerous condition, obvious dangers on the premises, or when a reasonable inspection would have made the dangers known to the responsible party.
The Bible Addresses Premises Liability
This is really interesting. The Bible says "If you build a new house, you shall make a fence for your roof, so that you will not place blood in your house if a fallen one falls from it." Deuteronomy 22:8. This principle extends to all dangerous conditions on the premises of another. Whether you believe in the Bible is not the issue; the significance of the biblical source is that the rules governing the responsible ownership and control of property has existed for thousands of years. And for good reason: premises liability cases cause serious injury and there is no excuse for not taking reasonable steps to protect others from injury on your property.
Types of Premises Liability Cases
The most well-known types of premises cases are slip and falls and their cousin trip and falls. These types of accidents occur when a slippery condition or a tripping hazard exists on someone's property and as a consequence a person falls down and gets injured.
Another common type of premises case is one involving furniture that breaks when used properly, thereby causing injury to the user. These cases can be violent. The reason is, they usually come as a complete surprise and the user of the piece of furniture has no way to apprehend the danger and brace for the accident. An example is when a restaurant patron sits on a chair that breaks, causing the patron to violently fall to the ground. This example has occurred countless times and it not only causes injury to the patron, but it will usually cause them great embarrassment as well.
*Note, in cases where a piece of furniture breaks on someone else's property and causes injury, a competent personal injury attorney would also investigate the likelihood of a product liability case against the manufacturer and supplier of the article of furniture. This is why it is so important to speak to a premises liability attorney after the accident and learn the full scope of your rights.
There are many other types of accidents that result from dangerous conditions on another's property, including, swimming pool accidents; parking lot accidents; inadequate security at a bar, night club or concert; dangerous roadways, inadequate street signs, inadequate street lights, and dangerous sidewalk accidents. The latter examples probably involve a government entity like a city or county that was irresponsible in maintaining public property for safe use by citizens.
Injured on Public Property
If a premises accident occurs on public property, the defendant will be the government entity that is responsible for the property where the accident occured. When you sue government defendants there are immediate red flags to consider. First, you must find out whether the accident occurred on federal or state land. If the accident occurred on federal property, the statute of limitations is two years from the injury. But, if the government entity is the State of California, the statute of limitations is MUCH shorter, requiring an additional step to preserve your right to sue the government for your injuries. And if the premises liability accident occured on private property, the statute of limitations is two years from the injury.
When you intend to sue a California state government entity for your personal injuries, you must first file an administrative claim within six months of your injury. If you do not file this government claims notice on time, you lose your right to sue for your injuries. I have seen other attorneys miss this vital step in the handling of their clients' premises liability case, and such a mistake probably constitutes professional malpractice.
If you even suspect that your injury occurred on public property, you should contact me at Jacob Regar Law and I will evaluate your case for FREE. Because the statute of limitations period is so short for California government claims, do not delay to learn how I can protect your rights and help you recover maximum compensation for your injuries.
In any personal injury case, you need admissible evidence for proof. Examples of evidence in premises liability cases:
Pictures/video of the location of the dangerous condition. This is usually very convenient due to the advanced recording capabilities of cell phones. Once you collect picture/video evidence, keep it in a safe location. You can also print copies or send them to your email for convenient storage and availability.
Incident reports – If you are injured in a commercial store, notify an employee or manager at the scene and make sure they document the event. If you are able, check to make sure the date and time of the accident are accurate.
Witness information – Collect and safely maintain recorded statements and contact information of witnesses. Witness testimony lends tremendous credibility to a premises liability case.
Get Medical Treatment
When you are injured on another's property, go to the doctor and if your injuries require immediate medical attention, go to the emergency room for a full work-up and diagnosis. The law requires you to mitigate your damages, which means you are responsible for receiving treatment for your injuries in a timely fashion.
If your injury body parts show cuts, abrasions, and/or bruising, take clear pictures and save for later use. Pictures of bodily injuries have tremendous evidentiary value. For example, if months after your accident you claim you badly bruised your knee in your slip and fall accident, the description may not tell the whole story. Pictures speak a thousand words.
Save all receipts and co-pays for your necessary medical treatment and any medical supplies that you purchase for your injury care. Document everything.
The Law Provides for Recovery
When you are injured due to a dangerous condition on the premises of another, California law gives you the right to recover medical expenses, medical supplies, lost earnings from your job, and pain and suffering damages. The law says that you are to be made whole.
Resourceful and Knowledgeable Attorney
As the san fernando valley premises liability attorney at Jacob Regar Law, I have the experience and skill in handling these types of cases. When you suffer a serious injury in a premises liability accident, there are many important steps that must be taken by your attorney to protect your rights.
As a skilled attorney, I know when to initiate a prompt investigation of the accident scene to secure evidence. I know which government codes to apply to your facts. And, when necessary, I can hire professionals who are impartial experts in the fields of accident reconstruction, premises security, retail industry safety standards, hospitality industry safety standards and government safety standards. CALL me TODAY to get help with your premises liability case.
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