Premises Liability Lawyer
Premises Liability Lawsuit
When individuals are injured on property belonging to another, our premises liability attorneys at Dash Injury Law Firm can work to help the victims receive just compensation. Should you or a family member find yourselves in this situation, we can help by estimating the amount of damages related to the accident and collecting the necessary evidence that shows the property owner is responsible for your losses. Additionally, we can assist with negotiations toward a settlement with the owner, a tenant, or an insurance company. If necessary, we will also provide the skilled representation needed in court.
An Explanation of Premises Liability
Every state in this country requires owners who occupy a property to make reasonable efforts to keep the property maintained at a safe level and environment for any visitor. By failing to do so, a property owner can be held accountable through premises liability. A lawsuit surrounding premises liability is an attempt to hold the property owner responsible for injury and damages to another that occurred on the owner's property.
It should be noted that an injury received on another's property is not sufficient proof alone that there was negligence on the part of the owner. Additionally, the presence of an unsafe condition on the property does not automatically make the owner negligent. Proof must be shown that the owner was aware or should have been aware of the unsafe condition, but did nothing to remedy the problem.
Levels of Care Required for Property Owners
Not everyone stepping foot on an owner's property is due the same level of care as another would be due. We will examine three types of individuals here:
#1 Invitees – Individuals invited to be on the property to benefit the owner commercially are invitees. For example, a convenience store welcomes customers to come onto the premises and engage in the purchase of food, gasoline, and other products. The absolute highest level of care is owed by the property owner to these guests or invitees.
Owners are required to continually inspect the premises and to ensure proper warnings are given and/or displayed for any hazards. Because inspections are mandatory, the property owner should be aware of any hazards and may be held liable for such.
#2 Licensees – Individuals who are invited to come onto or remain on the premises for non-commercial reasons are considered to be licensees. This would include family members, friends, and social guests. The property owner is still required to fix and maintain hazardous areas but is not liable for hazards unknown to the owner.
#3 Trespassers – The level of care owed to a trespasser is far less than to a licensee or a commercial invitee. Of course, a property owner cannot deliberately create or allow hazardous, dangerous areas to adversely affect trespassers.
Showing Liability in a Dog Bite Lawsuit
The strength of a lawsuit and the laws in the state will help determine if a dog owner can be held liable for the damages caused when his or her dog bites and injures someone. There is such a thing as a “one-bite” rule that holds an owner liable if the dog has already bitten someone in the past. In this situation, there is the perception that an owner should know the dog is dangerous if it has already injured someone before. According to California law (Cal. Civil Code § 3342), if an individual was bitten and can prove he or she was legally allowed to be in the place where it occurred, the dog owner can be held liable, no matter what precautions the owner had taken.
Existing negligence and dog bite statutes are in place because owners have a general duty to keep others from being harmed by their dog. The protected people include workers on the property, guests, and individuals in public places. In addition, leash laws must be obeyed, as well as any statutes governing specific breeds or particularly dangerous animals.
Here are the leash laws for our service areas:
Some states allow other individuals besides the dog owner to be held liable for damages. For example, animal caretakers like kennel workers or dog sitters could be deemed liable for injuries caused by a dog in their care. Additionally, a landlord could also be liable.
What Does an Injured Person Have to Prove?
Each state dictates what elements must be in existence for a premises liability case to be viable. One should research or check with an attorney to find the appropriate laws in any given jurisdiction. Usually, though, the victim must be able to show all of the following:
- That the injury was caused by an individual who owned, leased, or occupied the property where the injury occurred
- That this same person was negligent in the management and use of the property
- That the victim was harmed
- That the negligence of the owner/leasor/occupier substantially contributed to the harm
What Can a Victim Recover?
Depending on the specifics of a premises liability claim, a victim's lawyer could potentially help recover damages for the following:
Loss of Wages – Earnings that are lost due to injuries can potentially be recovered, and the victim's decreased future earning capacity may be compensated as well.
Medical Expenses – Victims may receive damages for medical costs resulting from the injury. These expenses may include hospital charges, physician bills, medication, surgeries, physical therapy, rehabilitation, and future medical requirements.
Pain and Suffering – The victim may be compensated for lasting emotional or physical pain from the injury.
Wrongful Death – If a victim died due to another's negligence, as shown above, family members may possibly force accountability and receive compensation.
Speak With a Premises Liability Lawyer Today
The experienced attorneys at Dash Injury Law Firm will help you file a premises liability lawsuit and guide you through the complex legal process. Each case is unique and there are many factors that affect the outcome of your lawsuit, so it is crucial to find a lawyer who will provide you with expert legal advice and support.
Dash Injury Law Firm provides premises liability lawsuit services in the surrounding areas of the following locations:
- San Jose, CA
- Washington, DC
- Northern Virginia
We are committed to serving our clients and fighting for the compensation and justice they deserve. Call our legal team today at 888-(DASH-LAW) or complete an online contact form.
The information contained in these pages should not be taken as a substitute for legal advice and it is in fact not legal advice, especially as to cases which are highly fact-specific.