Long Beach Premises Liability Attorney
Property owners, like government agencies, are required to protect all guests, visitors, and tenants from foreseeable injuries. This duty of care is required of both public agencies like a local city and private property owners, such as store owners and homeowners.
If a guest, visitor, or tenant was injured due to a dog bite, tripping hazard, or otherwise unsafe premises, then the victim may be eligible to file a premises liability claim against the owner if they or one of their employees carelessly maintained the property.
In order to receive proper compensation from a negligent property owner, you will need to contact the California premises liability attorney at The Law Firm of Joseph H. Low IV. Our founder has represented clients in million-dollar cases for more than 20 years. With him at your side, you can trust that your case will be handled with professionalism and skill. To discuss your legal options in a free consultation, call our office at (562) 901-0840 or toll-free at (888) 454-5569.
Property owners are responsible for maintaining all aspects of their buildings, whether they own a small business, a franchise, an apartment complex, or a house. Within the boundaries of their property line, they are liable for any safety hazards that arise. In a perfect world, property owners would utilize all of their resources to identify and fix serious safety hazards, whether that is a poorly maintained walkway or an out-of-code swimming pool. Sadly, we do not live in a perfect world, and numerous guests and customers are injured due to the actions, or inaction, of negligent property owners.
There are many different ways a careless property owner can cause a guest’s injuries, and the most common ones include:
- Slip-and-fall hazards, such as wet walkways
- Poor security
- Tripping hazards like overturned rugs, cracked sidewalks, and low steps
- Out-of-code staircases
- Faulty or defective elevators/escalators
- Unkept lobbies
- Poorly lit stairwells
- Unsecured dogs
- Buildings with a lack of safety features, including emergency exits
- Electrical hazards
- Poorly maintained swimming pools
- A lack of defensive structures outside stores
- Unmaintained roadways and parking lots
Essentially, any situation where a guest or tenant is injured by a safety hazard can result in a premises liability claim, but only if the accident victim can prove that the property owner acted negligently.
To pursue a premises liability claim, an accident victim must prove that a property owner is responsible for their injuries and is required to provide financial compensation. Victims must also demonstrate that a property owner acted negligently, meaning that he or she did something that contributed to the victim’s injuries. Negligence can take many forms, but the general concept is that a person acts negligently when he does something that a reasonable person would not have done.
For example, if you noticed a puddle had formed in your kitchen, you would likely mop it up and warn your family to keep them from suffering a serious fall. If a business owner noticed a puddle had formed at the front entrance of his grocery store, he would normally clean it up, put up a wet-floor sign, and lay down a rug or mat to keep customers from slipping. But if the business owner ignored the issue and allowed a customer to slip and fall, then he would be liable for that customer’s injuries.
Common acts of negligence in a premises liability claim include:
- Failing to follow building codes
- Failing to clean up messes and spills
- Failing to keep a dog on a leash or in a fenced-in yard
- Failing to install and maintain handrails at a pool
- Failing to use appropriate pool-cleaning solutions
- Failing to replace broken lights
- Failing to warn guests about dangerous conditions
- Failing to provide necessary safety measures in an unsafe neighborhood
If you have been injured due to one of these scenarios, then you may be eligible to pursue a premises liability claim against the property owner. But you should speak to an attorney first to determine all of your legal options and the steps you need to follow to successfully receive compensation.
In order to win a premises liability case, you will need to demonstrate that:
- The property owner owed you a duty of care;
- The property owner was aware of a safety hazard or should have reasonably been aware of it;
- The property owner failed to fix a safety hazard or warn visitors about it;
- That safety hazard caused your injuries.
Typically, owners of malls, stores, and other private businesses have a duty of care to anyone legally on the property. This can include guests who are there to conduct business, job applicants, customers, or tenants who are legally on the property. Trespassers, on the other hand, are generally not given a duty of care in California, although there are exceptions.
If you can establish that the property owner owed you a duty of care, meaning they were required to look out for your safety, your next step would be to prove that the owner knew about a safety hazard or reasonably should have known. But what is considered reasonable? Well, property owners should conduct regular inspections of all public areas on their property, including bathrooms, alleyways, parking lots, and other areas where a guest may legally enter.
Even if the property owner was not aware of the specific safety hazard, if they should have known about it, then they would still be responsible for fixing it. Failing to fix a safety hazard, or failing to warn customers and tenants, will ultimately make a property owner liable for any injuries a guest suffers.
Connecting the safety hazard to your specific injury will ultimately come down to your medical records and treatment. You will need to prove that your injuries were directly related to the safety hazard, meaning a fall at a grocery store caused a slipped disc or brain injury. The property owner’s insurance company may try to dispute this connection by arguing that you had a preexisting condition or that you are exaggerating your injuries, but we can fight to have your injuries verified by a skilled medical professional.
Determining whether or not you have a premises liability claim can be a complicated process. If you are still recovering from your injuries, you will have a difficult time reviewing the property owner’s insurance policy, reading up on building codes, collecting witness statements, and negotiating with the owner’s insurance company. But that is where The Law Firm of Joseph H. Low IV comes in.
If you or someone you love was injured due to a negligent property owner, then you should speak to a Long Beach personal injury lawyer immediately. Our firm can handle all of the legal burdens of your case, including collecting evidence and filing all necessary paperwork, while you focus on recovering. Our skilled and experienced lead trial attorney can represent you throughout settlement negotiations or a jury trial, if necessary. To speak to The Law Firm of Joseph H. Low IV today, call our office at (562) 901-0840 or toll-free at (888) 454-5569 and schedule a free consultation.
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