Under California law, a property owner has a legal responsibility to keep their property in a safe condition for themselves and others. Premise liability cases involve injuries to a person that were caused on another’s property. That means that if the owner of the property fails to maintain safe conditions, or there is a defective condition on the property, then that owner may be responsible for any serious injury or death that occurs.
Premise liability cases usually relate to the physical property where a person was injured. However, just because you were injured on someone’s property does not mean that the owner will be held responsible for that injury. In order to win a premise liability case, the injured person must prove that the property owner was negligent with respect to the ownership and/or maintenance of the property.
Types of Premises Liability Cases
Many different types of personal injuries qualify as a premise liability case. These include:
- Slip and fall cases. In these cases, there may have been a defective staircase, snow or ice accumulation, or wet floors that caused you to slip or trip on someone else’s property.
- Negligent supervision of children. When a parent leaves their child in the care of another, such as a teacher, daycare, or hospital, that person has a responsibility to care for the child. If a child has been injured because of lack of care, the injured person may have a premise liability case.
- Dog bites. The presence of a potentially dangerous dog, who injures another, involves an unsafe condition on someone’s property.
- Swimming pool accidents. These cases usually involve children and an unsupervised and/or unsecured pool. Most states and municipalities have laws and ordinances that require swimming pools to have a fence around them, often with a locking gate.
- Elevator and escalator accidents. In these cases, there may have been a defective condition preventing the elevator or escalator from working properly.
- Inadequate building security. These cases usually happen in apartment buildings or offices. Building owners have a duty to act reasonably in securing the building. If someone breaks in and assaults or kills someone inside the building, the injured person may have a premise liability case.
Being injured on another’s property is not enough to successfully bring a premise liability case. Sometimes the property owner is responsible, but other times he or she isn’t. To win your case, the injured party must show that the property owner was negligent. Proving negligence usually involves showing that the property owner was careless in the upkeep of their property. Sometimes, proving negligence will require the services of experts in different areas like engineering, architecture, and fire prevention.
Premise Liability and Insurance Coverage
Rental property owners usually carry premises liability insurance. Premises liability insurance covers damages for injuries caused on the property. Many homeowners also carry personal liability insurance that covers damages for losses suffered as a result of a homeowner’s negligence.
Understanding insurance coverage issues is crucial in your case. Seeking the assistance of a qualified and experienced attorney ensures that all possible sources of compensation are identified to maximize the compensation you receive. To schedule a complimentary consultation with attorney Christopher Kreeger today, call us at (916) 782-8400.