Pursuing Just Recovery for the Innocently Injured
Whenever you visit a commercial business, a residence, or a public property, you have the right to expect reasonably safe conditions. According to premises liability laws, which are established in most states including California, the owner of any property has a duty of care to anyone who is an accepted visitor.
In other words, the owner must sensibly maintain his or her premises and address in a timely fashion any hazards that may arise. If he or she fails to exercise this duty, then he or she can be held liable for any damages that result from such negligence.
On This Page:
- Determining the Validity of a Premises Liability Claim
- Is the Property Owner Always Responsible?
- What Compensation Can I Recover?
- Premises Liability Verdicts & Settlements
Any number of circumstances can be behind a premises accident, but all premises liability claims are based on the violation of one simple rule: The owner of a property must keep the premises safe; in fact, it is a legal duty.
If there are any dangers present in the design, construction, or condition of the property, the owner must address them quickly before they cause harm to a visitor. For example, if the handrail on a stairwell is broken, the owner of the premises must get it fixed. He or she should also put up a sign in the meantime warning visitors of the handrail's broken status.
Of course, visitors are expected to exercise good judgment and not act negligently and/or recklessly. If an injured visitor acted in a careless manner and thereby caused an accident, he or she may have a difficult time recovering damages.
Different kinds of properties may have different rules when it comes to determining the liable party for a premises accident case. A general rule of thumb is to file a claim against both the owner and the occupier and let the insurance company sort it out. The following guidelines may help you determine where to start your claim:
- Commercial business: If you are injured at a commercial business, you should immediately notify the business of the incident. They should have an insurance company that will sort out the liability issue based on the terms of the business' lease and/or contract.
- Private residence: Homeowners are primarily responsible for the safety of their guests. In rentals, on the other hand, responsibility is divided between the landlord and the tenants: Landlords are responsible for the common areas and utilities while tenants are responsible for the space inside of their apartments.
- Adjoining properties: In cases where an accident takes place on a boundary line between two properties, such as a fence dividing separate yards, the claimant should file an initial notice of claim against both of the involved owners.
Of course, when you work with us, you will not have to worry about questions of liability. Our attorneys can handle this part, so you can focus on recovering.
Our reliable legal team at Caputo & Van Der Walde can guide you through the premises liability claim process and help you win compensation to cover:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
Do not make the mistake of going up alone against a predatory insurance company that may do their best to deny your claim.