Premises liability is a personal injury subset often misunderstood, even by those who are seriously injured and may have a legitimate case. If you suffered an injury while on another’s property – whether owned by an individual, company, or government entity – you may be eligible to recover substantial financial compensation for things like medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, lost future earnings, and much more through a premises liability civil lawsuit.
Let’s take a look at what premises liability law entails, the elements of a civil claim, and what legal recourse options are available to injured parties. The experienced and dedicated Riverside premises liability lawyers at Dordulian Law Group are here to answer any questions you may have, and help you get back on your feet with a full recovery as soon as possible.
Premises liability law encompasses incidents occurring on either public or private property. Accidents, injuries, and their circumstances vary, but everyone in California has the right, under the law, to bring legal action after suffering through no fault of their own.
Accident victims prove their cases with the assistance of an attorney and a preponderance of evidence pointing to the responsible party. In the case of a premises liability claim, that could be a government agency, school, retail store, apartment building, third-party contractor, etc. Bring your case to an experienced Riverside premises liability attorney at Dordulian Law Group today to ensure you recover all damages you deserve. Regardless of the severity of the accident, call 951-336-0011 for a free consultation to review your legal rights and discuss your options for financial compensation.
Compensation for premises liability claims may be recovered after various scenarios, such as:
While injuries often occur due to a simple lack of maintenance or malfunction (i.e. an escalator or elevator fire) victims could also be attacked by a dog, assaulted by an intruder, or injured in a building collapse. Those responsible for a property must keep it secure, make it easy to escape during an emergency (i.e. a fire), and maintain equipment like escalators or elevators.
Moreover, a premises liability claim can be the result of a product manufacturer building a defective product, such as a stairwell or entrance ramp. Said manufacturer would then be responsible for any injuries sustained as a result of that product defect. In such situations, your Riverside premises liability lawyers at Dordulian Law Group can file suit against these companies. In many cases, liability may lie with multiple parties, and the experienced DLG team will work to uncover evidence demonstrating the facts, including any responsibility by any party involved in an accident or incident.
Accident victims must learn what warrants a premises liability claim, as the State of California places the burden of proof on the victim. The court asks itself if the at-fault party:
Additionally, these cases often expose the level of suffering the victim endured during the accident. Lawyers must build a compelling case to recover all available compensation, touching on every aspect of the incident and addressing the overall toll. In short, the owner or manager of a property must do everything in their power to protect visitors. Failing to do so can result in an accident that leads to a premises liability lawsuit.
Take a look at some common premises liability accident scenarios below. It’s important to understand that any of these institutions can be found liable for negligence or misconduct via a premises liability civil lawsuit.
School liability: Both private and public schools must keep their facilities in good condition. Injuries, such as broken bones, caused by a lack of maintenance or improper supervision are compensable. Speak with a Riverside premises attorney soon after suffering an accident because suing a government agency is often more difficult than suing a business or private citizen (and the deadline for filing such a claim can vary depending on the statute of limitations).
Rental and hotel accidents: Accidents occurring due to the improper upkeep of hotels, rental homes, or multi-family apartment complexes may be compensable. The owner of a hotel or rental property must maintain both the facility and the landscaping to prevent accidents. When an accident occurs, the owner of an apartment block or management company may have been negligent, or a third-party contractor failed in its duty to maintain the property or facilities. A Riverside premises liability attorney from Dordulian Law Group will help you better understand your options under the law.
Balcony or deck collapses: If a balcony or deck collapses, the homeowner or building owner could be liable for failing to inspect or maintain the structure. Perhaps a contractor built the deck or repaired a balcony improperly, and that company or individual is liable. If faulty parts or tools are involved, the manufacturer of those items is subject to a third-party lawsuit. (In September 2019, a balcony pulled away from a condo in Mountain View, California, leaving five injured.)
Condo and HOA claims: Condo complexes and gated or exclusive neighborhoods often use a homeowner’s association to manage community business. Communal areas such as the clubhouse, pool, or tennis courts are under the purview of the HOA. The same is true for building upkeep, stairwells, entryway flooring, elevators, etc.
Escalators and stairs: Escalators and stairs require quite a bit of maintenance to avoid accidents. Victims might fall down a flight of stairs, suffering several broken bones, or someone caught in an escalator may suffer severe lacerations or soft tissue damage.
Falling objects: Warehouse stores and wholesalers often store products on high shelves, and those items can fall at any time. Victims could suffer from concussions, contusions, spinal injuries, or worse. Even if the victim wears protective gear or the object only falls a short distance, the damage could be irreparable.
Gas stations: Gas stations can present a slipping hazard due to spilled gasoline, improper drainage, or cracks in the pavement. The owner or manager of the station is also responsible for creating a proper flow of traffic across the property to prevent accidents. In the worst cases, victims could be engulfed in a fire or explosion. (An April 2019 gas station explosion in nearby Gardena, California, left no one injured but caused psychological trauma.)
Retail stores: Retail stores are bound by the same rules as other properties. The owner of the building may be responsible for negligent upkeep, or the management of a particular store might be liable for improperly maintaining its space.
Gyms: Gym floors are covered in sweat, equipment, used towels, and people. Gym owners and management companies must provide a safe facility and functional equipment. Everything from a slip in the yoga studio to a broken powerlifting rig can result in a damages claim.
Drowning: Swimming pools, lakes, and ponds are the responsibility of the property owner or manager. Fences and gates keep children or other vulnerable people away from these areas, and a lack of lifeguards or proper supervision makes the area that much more dangerous. Even if a victim does not drown, their injuries might cause a lifetime of pain and fear.
Slip and fall: Slipping and falling on a properly maintained floor is an unfortunate accident that likely does not result in compensation. However, slipping and falling on wet floors with no markings, damaged carpet, raised nails, or loose tiles leave the owner or management company liable. A slip and fall attorney also targets negligent third-party contractors hired to maintain the property.
Medical facilities: Medical facilities must contend with wet floors and vulnerable patients. Every inch of the facility must be safe because even an inadvertent stick with a loose syringe, collision with rolling medical equipment, or an accident involving an automatic door can prove to be quite dangerous.
Improper security: If buildings are not secure, violent assailants can enter the premises and harm innocent people. Victims of crime have the right to file a lawsuit against property owners for allowing a rapist, murderer, or another violent criminal on the premises.
The amount of financial compensation recovered in a premises liability lawsuit is typically based on the strength of the evidence provided and the severity of the accident. Your Riverside premises liability lawyer will use factors such as medical records, lost income, pain and suffering, and/or emotional turmoil to help calculate an overall estimate for how much your claim will likely be worth. These damages are quite common, but they will be considered according to your specific case and circumstances. In these types of cases, you are not necessarily suing for a “round number” that seems appropriate. Rather, you and your legal team will seek compensation that aligns specifically with your losses.
In certain scenarios, California law allows your lawyer to seek punitive damages that are not subject to state caps. Recovering punitive damages requires your lawyer to prove that the defendant knew his or her actions would cause the accident and acted maliciously.
At Dordulian Law Group, we recently recovered $3.25 million for a client who was initially offered pennies on the dollar for her catastrophic injuries sustained after a bench collapsed in a waiting area. Rather than settling for the initial $5,000 offered by the insurance company, we fought for her right to recover maximum compensation and ended up securing a multimillion dollar settlement that will ensure she is able to receive the continued medical care she needs and not be overwhelmed with mounting expenses and a diminished quality of life. This is just one of countless examples where DLG’s experienced premises liability attorneys have recovered multimillion dollar awards despite insurance companies or at-fault parties initially offering paltry four-figure settlements.
DLG also successfully handled a case involving a young man who was severely injured at a trampoline park. Our client was awarded compensation totaling $1.1 million for the premises owner’s negligence, as well as the defective products provided by the manufacturer. The at-fault parties had, once again, initially offered only a few thousand dollars for our client, despite sustaining severe and lifelong injuries.
If you’ve been injured in any type of accident, don’t be surprised if the insurance company or at-fault party involved attempts a lowball offer that will leave you with exorbitant expenses. Having a Dordulian Law Group premises liability lawyer on your side means you never have to worry about having your rights violated.
Let’s break down the most common types of premises liability damages into two categories: economic and non-economic (while also realizing that these are simply the most common examples, and there may be other types of damages that could apply to your case).
Economic Damages for Premises Liability Injuries:
Non-Economic Damages for Premises Liability Injuries:
In the instance of a tragic death caused by a premises liability incident, a wrongful death claim may be brought by the surviving family members. Wrongful death damages may include (among others):
Wrongful Death Damages: Wrongful death damages mirror compensation for personal injury cases because the victim accumulated losses prior to their death. A wrongful death claim helps a grieving family pay final expenses and recover from a loss of support or service.
Having recovered over $100 million in verdicts and settlements, Dordulian Law Group has a success rate of over 98% when bringing legal action against negligent or malicious property owners.
Scenarios vary, and victims should come forward as soon as possible. Under California Code 335.1, victims have two years to bring a personal injury lawsuit against the responsible persons or entities. This can be difficult because accident victims may spend days, weeks, or even months in the hospital. The process of returning to one’s job and working towards supporting one’s family again can be harrowing following a serious injury. It may feel almost counterproductive to leave life “on hold” for even longer to file a lawsuit, but waiting jeopardizes any chance the victim has of recovering much needed compensation.
Are there exceptions to the statute of limitations? In some cases. For example, if you’re filing a premises liability lawsuit against a government entity, you may have only six months. That’s why it’s important to contact a member of DLG’s team as soon as possible.
Most cases brought more than two years after the date of the incident cannot go before the court.
After an accident, review your options when suing a business, school, homeowner, landowner, government office, or large corporation for damages. A premises liability accident lawyer from Dordulian Law Group looks into the facts of the case, reviews everything from medical care to severe disability, and remains at your side for the duration of the case.
With a free consultation and no upfront fees, we offer support for premises liability accident victims and their families throughout the Riverside area. We handle all types of premises liability cases, from a slip/trip and fall to a fire or deck collapse, and can help you recover compensation for your injuries, including the ultimate impact on quality of life and any resulting emotional turmoil.
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