Most Common Types of Premises Liability Claims

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What is a Premises Liability Claim?

What is a Premises Liability Claim?

Feb 11, 2022

Premises liability lawsuits fall within a subset of personal injury law which can encompass various types of scenarios. When a property owner, manager, tenant, or landlord creates an unsafe environment through negligence or carelessness that causes an injury, a premises liability claim may be filed to recover damages. Premises liability claims can be brought after an injury occurs at either a residential or commercial property.

Most Common Types of Premises Liability Claims

Below we will take a look at some common types of premises liability claims, review what damages may be obtained through a civil lawsuit, and discuss when to contact an attorney after an injury.

What are California’s Premises Liability Laws?

California’s premises liability laws are based on negligence, with the obligation under Civil Code 1714(a) to maintain a “duty of care” through a safe environment.

Under California Civil Code 1714(a):

“Everyone is responsible, not only for the result of his or her willful acts, but also for an injury occasioned to another by his or her want of ordinary care or skill in the management of his or her property or person, except so far as the latter has, willfully or by want of ordinary care, brought the injury upon himself or herself. The design, distribution, or marketing of firearms and ammunition is not exempt from the duty to use ordinary care and skill that is required by this section. The extent of liability in these cases is defined by the Title on Compensatory Relief.”

When you file a premises liability civil lawsuit, your personal injury attorney will work to prove that the harm you endured was a result of someone else’s negligence. This typically involves presenting four elements within a premises liability personal injury claim:

  1. The at-fault party (defendant) owned, leased, controlled, or managed the property
  2. The defendant was negligent or careless in maintaining a duty of care
  3. You, the plaintiff, were injured or harmed as a result of said negligence
  4. The defendant’s negligence was the cause of your injury or harm

A “duty of care” in a premises liability claim is often considered under the context of what a reasonable person in a similar circumstance would have done. In other words, if a property owner or manager acted negligently according to how another reasonable person would have acted under similar circumstances, you may have grounds for a damages award.

Some factors that may impact the value of a premises liability claim include:

  • The likelihood of an injury occurring at the property site
  • The property location
  • The likelihood of someone else experiencing a similar injury
  • Whether the property owner or manager knew (or should have known) of the dangerous condition
  • The owner’s purview or level of control over the property
  • The severity of the injury
    • What are the Most Common Types of Premises Liability Claims?

      What are the Most Common Types of Premises Liability Claims?

      • Slip and Falls: As the most common type of premises liability claim, slip and falls (or trip and falls) often occur as a result of improperly maintained sidewalks, parking lots, stairways, or other high traffic areas. Whether there is a spill or a weather condition like rain, snow, or ice makes an area unsafe, property owners and managers need to be vigilant and ensure that when a danger exists, the public is notified through signage or other visible markings. When negligence leads to a slip and fall injury, a victim can file a premises liability clam seeking to recover financial damages.
      • Negligent Security: A property or business needs to be a safe premises for all, and that often means having professional security on-site. Moreover, closed-circuit television (CCTV), alarm systems, locks, and more can help ensure that unforeseen acts of vandalism or break-ins do not endanger patrons. When negligent security leads to a premises liability injury, a victim may file a civil claim seeking to recover applicable financial damages.
      • Lack of Maintenance: Part of ensuring that a property is safe involves properly maintaining the site. Building elevators, appliances, furniture, and more needs to be properly maintained on a consistent basis to prevent accidents from occurring. When a premises liability injury happens as a result of improper maintenance, a victim may wish to file a civil claim to recover financial compensation.
      • Dog Bites: Unrestrained dogs can pose a danger to anyone visiting a property. From delivery drivers to postal workers and even patrons, unrestrained dogs commonly cause injuries – whether an attack or actual bite. California follows the strict liability rule, which means that animal owners are responsible for maintaining their pets and ensuring dog bites do not occur. If you’ve been bitten or injured by a dog on someone else’s property, a premises liability claim may help you recover the financial compensation you need to make a full recovery.

      Who is Responsible for My Premises Liability Injury?

      A premises liability injury claim may be filed against a property owner, lease holder, occupant, or manager/controller. Depending on the type of property where your injury occurred, multiple parties may be liable and therefore named in your claim.

      Common premises liability defendants include:

      • Business owners
      • Property owners
      • Tenants/renters
      • Hotels
      • Stores
      • Parking lots
      • Property management companies
      • Employees
      • Restaurants
      • Event spaces (concert halls, pavilions, arenas, etc.)

      How Can I File a Premises Liability Claim for Damages?

      How Can I File a Premises Liability Claim for Damages?

      If you suffered an injury due to an unsafe property condition that was a result of negligence, you may be eligible to recover financial compensation for various losses. Property owners, managers, occupants, etc. must maintain safe environments at all times. When negligence or carelessness leads to a premises liability injury, the at-fault party should be responsible for covering the resulting expenses, such as medical care costs, lost wages, and more.

      Examples of common damages that may be recovered through a premises liability civil claim include:

      • Lost wages
      • Lost earning capacity
      • Medical care costs
      • Hospital bills
      • Physical therapy or rehabilitation expenses
      • Diminished quality of life
      • Pain and suffering
      • Emotional trauma

      California premises liability claims are typically bound by a two-year statute of limitations. This means that, unless you’re filing a claim against a government or public entity, you most likely have two years from the date of the incident to file a civil claim.

      For government or public entity defendants, the California premises liability statute of limitations is usually much shorter – sometimes only six months from the date of the accident.

      Regardless, injured victims are encouraged to contact a skilled and qualified premises liability lawyer as soon as possible after an incident to ensure evidence is preserved and the chances of reaching a successful resolution (either via a settlement or verdict) are not diminished.

      Contact a California Premises Liability Lawyer

      Dordulian Law Group (DLG) is one of California’s most experienced and proven personal injury firms. Two of our recent premises liability cases led to maximum financial damages awards, with one making the list of Top 20 Premises Liability Verdicts in California for 2019.

      The details of those DLG premises liability cases are as follows:

      – Trampoline Park Injury:

      Our client, a 17-year-old young man, was seriously injured at a local trampoline park. While taking part in the park’s activities, our client’s leg slipped under the equipment, causing his knee to be impaled by an exposed bolt. The young man’s patella was fractured as a result of the improperly maintained equipment.

      Although the defendant initially offered only $5,000 in compensation, our premises liability team fought to ensure our client recovered maximum financial compensation. In the end, we were able to secure a $1.1 million verdict for the trampoline park injury.

      – Lobby Bench Collapse Injury:

      Our client, a woman in her 70s, was sitting on a waiting room bench at a local medical facility when it suddenly collapsed. She suffered a severe spinal cord injury which required multiple surgeries.

      Again, the defendant offered only $5,000 to settle the claim initially. But DLG’s premises liability lawyers fought hard to recover maximum financial compensation for our injured client. In the end, we were able to secure a $3.25 million maximum financial damages award.

      Ready to file a claim and pursue justice through a financial damages award? Our expert attorneys are available online or by phone now.

      File a California Premises Liability Lawsuit

      If you’ve been injured due to another’s negligence, a premises liability claim with DLG may help you recover the justice and financial compensation you deserve. Contact a member of our team today at 818-322-4056. We’re available to answer any questions you may have about a premises liability or other type of personal injury claim.

      DLG’s experienced team of attorneys is led by former Deputy District Attorney for Los Angeles County, Sam Dordulian. We’ve helped injured victims recover more than $100 million in settlements and verdicts while maintaining a 98% success record.

      For your premises liability claim, don’t settle for anything less than the DLG Advantage. We’re here to fight for you and help obtain the justice you deserve after an injury due to negligence or carelessness.

      Contact us today to learn more about how DLG can help maximize your premises liability injury claim.


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