Premises liability is a legal theory that holds an individual or entity – most often the property owner or occupier – responsible for injuries caused by dangerous conditions on the premises. The most common types of premises liability cases involve slip and fall injuries but can also include dangerous dog bites, burns, electric shock injuries, and other injuries caused by defective conditions on the property. If the owner of the place where you suffered your injury was at fault for the accident, contact an Irvine premises liability lawyer today.
Premises liability cases can be highly complex, as they often involve multiple parties with responsibility for causing the injuries. For example, a janitorial company is hired by a property management company to provide cleaning services. The janitorial company leaves a waxy substance on the floor of the bathroom causing someone to slip and fall. The janitorial company has liability as the entity that left the waxy substance on the floor, but the property management company, as well as the owner of the building, may also have liability for breach of their duty to keep the property in a reasonably safe condition.
Types of Irvine Premises Liability Cases
There are various types of premises liability cases. The most common include:
Slip and Fall & Trip and Fall Accidents
A slip/trip and fall accident occurs when a person slips, trips, or falls as a result of a dangerous condition on the property. For example, if a store owner fails to clean up spilled water on the floor of the shop, and a customer slips while walking through it, the customer may be able to bring a premises liability claim against the store owner.
If a dog bites you either on public property or private property (e.g., someone’s home), you likely have a claim for damages against the owner of the dog. You may also have a claim against the individual who had control over the dog at the time of the attack. You may need to prove that the owner or individual with control over the dog knew that the dog had aggressive tendencies which predated the attack.
Most premises liability cases require proof of negligence on the part of the wrongful actor. As the injured party, you need to demonstrate that the wrongful actor had a duty of care, and breached that duty of care, which caused your injuries.
While not an affirmative defense in California, your own negligence – that is your own failure to act with reasonable care – may diminish the amount of damages you can recover. For example, if you knowingly encounter a dangerous condition on a property (e.g., you intentionally run across slippery ice), and you are injured as a result, you may be held in some part responsible for your own injuries.
Filing a Premises Liability Claim in Irvine, California
In Irvine, premises liability claims are typically presented in two ways: (1) by presenting the claim to the insurer of the property, if any, or (2) by filing a lawsuit against the responsible party, most often the owner and managers of the property. These claims and lawsuits are filed in response to a person getting injured on another person’s property. In order to file a successful claim, it is important to know what types of damages you may be able to recover and what types of defenses may be available to the alleged responsible party. It is also crucial that you hire an experienced Irvine personal injury attorney to help you protect your rights and maximize your possible recovery.
In order to file a successful premises liability claim, you must prove that the alleged responsible party owed you a duty of care (i.e., a duty to manage or control their property so as to avoid causing injury to people upon their property)) and that they breached this duty by failing to provide adequate safety measures, security, warnings, etc., and that this negligence was the direct cause of your injuries. If any one of these elements is missing from your case, then you may not be able to recover any damages for your losses.
Collecting Evidence in a Premises Liability Claim in Irvine, CA
If you or a loved one were injured in an accident on someone else’s property, it is important to gather evidence related to the accident and the property owner’s negligence. Here are some tips for collecting evidence in a premises liability claim:
Take Photos of the Accident Scene
Document the scene of the accident. If possible, take pictures from different perspectives to show how the accident occurred, and what caused the accident (e.g., spilled water on the floor). Document your injuries at the scene, as well. Be sure to look around the area of the accident in order to determine whether there are any surveillance cameras present, and if so, take pictures.
Get Names and Contact Information for Witnesses
Determine whether there are any witnesses who saw the accident happen, or anything related to the accident – either before or after. If there are witnesses, get their contact information.
Let an Experienced Irvine Premises Liability Attorney Help You
If you have been injured in a slip and fall, trip and fall, or other accident caused by someone else’s negligence, an Irvine premises liability attorney can help. At Benchmark Injury Law, our team of Irvine premises liability lawyers and case managers represents clients who have been injured in slip and fall accidents, trip and fall accidents, dangerous property conditions, and other types of premises liability cases.
We handle all types of premises liability claims in Irvine, California and are available to provide assistance when you need it most. If you’ve been injured due to the negligence of another person or entity, feel free to reach out to our premises liability lawyers in Irvine at (949) 504-9031 or fill out our contact form, and let’s discuss how we can help you.