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Why Choose Our San Diego Premises Liability Attorneys?
If you slip and fall on someone else’s property and sustain a personal injury, you may be able to seek compensation. A San Diego premises liability lawyer can help you. Property owners owe a duty to visitors on their land to ensure that the premises are safe to navigate. Private landowners generally must ensure their land is free of any hazard a visitor might encounter. Premises liability law will determine whether the injury was due to the negligence of the property owner.
Premises liability law is a broad area of law that encompasses various issues that arise from the negligence of property owners. At Haffner & Morgan, we fight to make sure that victims of negligent land owners get the compensation they deserve for their premises liability accident. Contact our San Diego premises liability attorneys for your free consultation today.
What Are Common Causes of Premises Liability Accidents?
One of the most common premises liability cases that is brought into court is known as a slip and fall case. Some common causes of slip and fall accidents caused by the negligence of property owners include:
- Slippery surfaces
- Inadequately marked paths or uneven flooring
- Unprotected heights
- Handrails missing or damaged on stairwells
- Store aisles that are cluttered
- Negligent workers
Slip-and-fall injuries can occur in a variety of settings, including grocery shops, hospitals, schools, retail establishments, apartment complexes, airports, and government facilities. Building owners are responsible for keeping their property safe and appropriately notifying visitors of warnings when risks emerge.
A property owner might try and assert that they were unaware of the hazardous condition. Often, this defense will not work because an owner may have a duty to inspect the property or alert the visitors of hazards a reasonable property owner would discover.
Other types of premises liability cases include, but are not limited to:
- Swimming pool accidents
- Dog bites
- Negligent security
- Poorly maintained and damaged property
- Elevator and escalator accidents
- Playground accidents
- Falling objects
California Law on Premises Liability Accidents
California Law states that “Everyone is responsible, not only for the result of his or her willful acts, but also for an injury occasioned to another by his or her want of ordinary care or skill in the management of his or her property or person.”
Three Types of Visitors
The duty a property owner owes a visitor depends on the relationship between the visitor to the property. Visitors are broken up into three different categories:
- Invitees – An invitee is a visitor who has been asked to attend and/or remain on the premises for business or commercial reasons. Customers in a store, for example, are termed invitees.
- Licensees – A licensee is someone who has been granted access to the property for reasons other than business or commerce. An example of a licensee is a guest who visits another person’s house for social reasons.
- Trespasser – A trespasser is someone who unlawfully enters another person’s property without permission (implied or explicit) and for their own objectives.
Certain obligations and care standards owed by property owners are determined by the classification of the visitor. The focus is often whether the visitor has lawful authority to be on the land.
What Types of Injuries Can Happen Through a Premises Liability Accident?
Many of us experienced frequent premises liability accidents as children and bounced right up again. Unfortunately, as we age we’re much more likely to sustain injuries from a fall and some can be very serious. Some common injuries from these accidents include:
- Head injuries and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). A concussion is a form of mild TBI and sometimes a fall can cause moderate to severe TBIs with lasting effects including impairment and disabilities.
- Hip fractures. This is especially common in the elderly.
- Other bone fractures
- Back and neck injuries
- Soft tissue injuries like sprains and torn ligaments
- Lacerations and abrasions
Even mild injuries may require medical treatment and missed time from work. More serious injuries from a premises liability accident can cause lasting symptoms and ongoing medical issues or permanent disability.
What to Do After a Premises Liability Injury
It’s difficult to keep a clear head in the aftermath of premises liability injury. Pain and embarrassment may combine along with a rush of adrenaline that makes it difficult to know the extent of your injuries immediately. It helps if you have a clear plan ahead of time about what to do after an accident that will not only help you to recover, but also improve your chance of recovering compensation for your damages. To get the help you need and maximize your chance of a viable claim you should take the following actions immediately after an accident:
- Report the accident to the highest-ranking manager of the premises or the owner and ask them to write an accident report
- Call for medical help before attempting to walk
- Allow paramedics to thoroughly evaluate you and take you to a hospital, or else make an appointment for a full evaluation as soon as possible
- Use your phone to snap photos of the location where your accident occurred, including any obstructions, cracks, wet floors, loose handrails, or anything else that contributed to the incident.
- Use your phone to record any eye-witness information and get witnesses’ names and contact information
- Give your doctor detailed information about how your injury occurred and have them take detailed notes of your injuries and treatment plan
- Call an attorney to discuss the details of your case.
By keeping a clear head while you seek treatment for your injury you can greatly improve your chances of a successful premises liability claim in San Diego.
Common Defenses to Premises Liability Claims
No one wants to admit they were negligent and that their actions or lack of action contributed to an injury. Defendants are especially resistant to admitting fault in liability claims because they naturally wish to protect themselves. However, any failure to take reasonable care of others that leads to an accident should come with accountability. Some common defenses to premises liability claims include the following:
- The owner/manager didn’t know about the danger or safety hazards (They may still be held liable if it’s found that they should have known or that a reasonable person would have known)
- The injured person was trespassing or didn’t have permission to be on the grounds at the time of the accident (Trespassers are much less likely to prevail in this type of injury claim)
- Blaming the victim (Because California is a comparative negligence state, property owners lower their liability by claiming the injured person was at least partly responsible in some way)
- The defendant wasn’t in control of the property (If the property has a manager, the manager may be liable rather than the owner)
- The hazard was obvious and the victim should have avoided it (a lawyer can help you defend against this claim by understanding how and why you didn’t see the hazard)
- Unforeseeable conduct by a third party (this defense applies when the action of a third party caused the accident, such as a restaurant patron dropping a banana peel)
Contact Our San Diego Premises Liability Attorneys Today
Many people associate premises liability cases with frivolous lawsuits. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. All types of premises liability accidents can lead to devastating injuries. At Haffner & Morgan, we recognize that there are legitimate victims who are injured due to the negligence of property owners. These property owners should be held accountable for the danger they presented to the visitors on their property. Our San Diego premises liability attorneys will fight to get the compensation you deserve. If you have suffered injuries due to negligence of a property owner, you need a San Diego premises liability lawyer. Contact us for your free consultation today, or call (619) 541-8787.