California law imposes a duty on property owners to keep their premises safe for authorized persons. This means that they must use reasonable care to inspect for dangerous conditions, repair hazards and/or to warn people that hazards exist. When property owners negligently, recklessly, or intentionally allow dangerous conditions to exist, they are liable for the harm they cause to authorized persons on their property.
This is called premises liability and it’s challenging to prove under California law, so it’s important to hire an experienced Orange County premises liability lawyer to handle your case. The Crockett Law Group is the top personal injury law firm in Orange County with the most experienced premises liability lawyers. Call (800) 900-9393 to schedule a free consultation.
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Premises Liability and Authorized Persons
In order to sue a property owner for injuries caused by dangerous conditions that existed, you must prove that you were authorized to be on the premises. The authorization can be explicit such as an invitation to come to somebody’s home or implied such as a business with its door open. If you cut through somebody’s property to save time or you entered an area that said “employees only” you would be considered a trespasser, and the owner would not be liable for your injuries.
There’s a major exception to this general rule for children injured by “attractive nuisances” that entice them onto a property. For example, if a property owner failed to properly fence their swing set and a child snuck in and was injured, the property owner would be liable for those injuries. It’s not always so clear whether an injured person is authorized because sometimes facts fall into a gray area. Was the sign that said “employees only” large enough to be noticeable? Did the colors in the sign have enough contrast? There was a fence around the pool, but was it high enough?
Premises liability cases are complicated and challenging, that’s why you need to hire the top Orange County premises liability lawyers to handle your case. Call the Crockett Law Group at (800) 900-9393 to schedule a free consultation.
Premises Liability and the Concept of “Notice”
Property owners can only be held liable for dangerous conditions that cause injuries if they had either actual or implied/constructive notice of a condition. Actual notice would be showing that they were told about the hazard and did not adequately repair or warn of it. For example, a tenant complains about a waterlogged buckling ceiling above their bathtub by sending an email to their landlord. A month later, they are injured when the ceiling falls on their head while they’re taking a bath. The landlord is clearly responsible because he knew about the condition and failed to repair it.
Implied notice is when the condition was something they should have been aware of through routine inspection of the property. Property owners are not required to constantly inspect their property, they are only required to do a reasonable amount of inspection. It’s not reasonable to expect a supermarket to have an employee stationed in every aisle to make sure that anything spilled is immediately picked up. On the other hand, the store would be liable for injuries caused by a jar of tomato sauce that was on the floor for hours.
Some of the most common locations for premises liability cases are:
"I reached out to this law firm after breaking my wrist due to the negligence of a roller rink. The attorney, Kevin, was in communication with me during the entire process. He was quick to call me back any time I had questions, concerns, or just wanted an update. He was honest and open about everything, and he fought hard for me. Would definitely reach out to Kevin again in the future. Thank you!”
Common Premises Liability Cases In Orange County
Property owners are responsible for every type of hazard that could reasonably be expected on their premises. These are some of the most common types of premises liability cases:
Slip and Fall
A property owner is liable for dangerous conditions that cause persons on their premises to slip and fall such as:
- Wet or slippery floors
- Insufficient lighting
- Uneven or cracked tiles
- Missing or broken stairs
- Loose or buckled carpeting and
- Missing or broken railings
If you are injured by an assault on somebody’s property, you may have a claim against the owner for insufficient security. If you’re assaulted by an employee at a business, you may have a claim against the owner for negligent hiring.
California Civil Code 3342 imposes strict liability on dog owners when they injure others. You need only prove that you were injured by the dog, that you were lawfully on the property when it happened, and that you didn’t intentionally incite the dog.
Elevators and Escalators: If you’re injured while using an escalator or elevator, you may have a claim against the property owner, the manufacturer and/or the maintenance company.
Pool owners are responsible for injuries or drowning deaths caused by children that sneak into their pools. That’s why California law requires owners of new or remodeled pools to have at least two of the following safety devices:
- An enclosure that prevents entrance from a single-family home;
- Mesh fencing with a self-latching gate that locks;
- An approved cover for the pool;
- Exit alarms on the doors adjacent to the pool and/or
- A self-latching device on the doors leading to the pool area.
There are many other types of accidents that can give rise to claims against property owners. If you’re injured on somebody’s property, you can call the Crockett Law Group at (800) 900-9393 for a free consultation to determine whether you have a case.
Compensation For Premises Liability Cases
California law does not cap the amount of compensation that a plaintiff can collect in premises liability cases. This means that severely or catastrophically injured people are able to collect the full amount of money they need to help them reshape their lives. These are the most common types of damages sought in these Orange County premises liability cases:
You can be reimbursed for out-of-pocket expenses for doctors, physical therapists, psychologists, medications, appliances, prosthetics, accommodation, home health aides, residential care, and any other healthcare expenses.
Lost Wages and Earning Capacity
You can collect the money you’ve lost in wages or lost business due to your injuries. Additionally, you’re entitled to compensation for your anticipated lost earning capacity for the rest of your life. An expert is used to extrapolate the amount of money you would have earned based on your career before the accident, and how much less you’re likely to earn as a result of your injury.
Pain, Suffering, and Emotional Distress
You are entitled to collect compensation for your subjective experience of pain, suffering, and emotional distress caused by your injuries. Insurance companies sometimes use a mathematical formula for settlement that multiplies the cost of your medical care. If a case goes with substantial disability or disfigurement goes to a jury, a verdict for pain, suffering and emotional distress can be very high.
This is money that is given to claimants to punish property owners that recklessly or intentionally cause harm to others. It is only paid in cases where the acts or omissions of the property owner were extremely heinous.
The best way to find out if you’re entitled to collect compensation is to speak to an experienced Orange County premises liability lawyer. Call the Crockett Law Group at (800) 900-9393 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.
Call Our Orange County Premises Liability Lawyers
Premises liability cases must be thoroughly investigated to determine all of the possible defendants that may be held liable for the injuries you sustained. This is especially important for victims that have sustained severe or catastrophic injuries that require very large amounts of money damages to achieve the fullest possible life under the circumstances. Additionally, if you were injured on property owned by a local, state, or federal government, there can be rigid laws, regulations, and deadlines that apply.
That’s why it’s important to hire the top Orange County premises liability lawyer to handle your case. The Crockett Law Group is the most highly respected personal injury firm in Orange County. Super Lawyers “Rising Star” attorney Kevin Crockett and his team will leave no stone unturned to get you the highest amount of compensation possible. The Crockett Law Group accepts cases on a contingency fee, so you don’t have to pay until we collect money for you. Call (800) 900-9393 to schedule an appointment for a free consultation.