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 Torrance premises liability attorney at Dordulian Law Group today to ensure you recover all damages you deserve. Regardless of the severity of the accident, call (310) 504-1911 for a free consultation to review your legal rights and discuss your options for remuneration.
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 Torrance 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 Torrance 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.
Damages available in the wake of an accident, from benign to severe, divide into three categories: general compensatory damages, special compensatory damages, and wrongful death damages.
General Compensatory Damages: General damages include all the victim’s noneconomic losses. Loss of companionship involves the loss of a spouse, significant other, or family members.
Another common loss involves pain and suffering. The victim feels physical pain, cannot walk properly, loses motor control, or suffers from chronic discomfort. Working with an experienced attorney ensures that these damages are properly documented in a lawsuit.
Emotional turmoil or anguish describes the intense feelings of regret, guilt, anxiety, fear, and depression after an accident. Victims often suffer from flashbacks, nightmares, sleepless nights, or a loss of appetite, and these issues reduce the victim’s quality of life just as much as their physical injuries.
Special Compensatory Damages: Special compensatory damages cover economic losses after an accidental injury. In such instances, the victim loses money, carries medical debt, and may not recover enough to lead a normal life. These damages cover medical expenses from the emergency room, doctor’s visits, surgeries, and/or medications. As medical expenses mount over time, a lawyer may contact a medical expert to determine the precise value of the victim’s care, no matter its duration.
These damages extend to the victim’s lost earnings or earning capacity. Someone who misses a month of work must recover that money to pay their bills, but someone who cannot continue on their chosen path must recover hundreds of thousands of dollars they could have earned during their lifetime.
Specifically, special damages can pay rent or cover the mortgage, household expenses, transportation, or moving costs. Share every available of evidence and every piece of information with your trusted lawyer to ensure the lawsuit is complete in its scope.
Wrongful Death Damages: Wrongful death damages mirror compensation for personal injury cases because the victim accumulated losses prior to their death. Aside from recovering general or special compensatory damages, 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. Review every level of compensation with one of our attorneys to understand the total value of the claim.
After a settlement or judgment, victims do not receive their funds right away. Plaintiffs sign a release stating that the case is closed, and payment goes to their attorney. The attorney deposits the check in an escrow account, and they deduct their fees, expenses, and other liens. (Accident victims are free to compare the contingency fees of different law firms before retaining an attorney.)
The victim receives the balance, and they can deposit the check at their earliest convenience.
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.
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Most cases brought more than two years after the date of the incident cannot go before the court. Victims of medical malpractice, child abuse, and domestic violence have three years from the date of the incident to file suit. Discuss these few exceptions with an attorney before proceeding.
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 Torrance area. We handle all types of premises liability cases, from a 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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