When you’ve been injured, and you’re not at home, your first feeling is likely shock. How did that happen? And if you’re on someone else’s property when the injury occurs and the accident was someone else’s fault, your next feeling may be indignation. After that, you may be wondering how you’re going to cover the medical bills to take care of your injury. When you’ve been injured on someone else’s property in an accident that wasn’t your fault, you may be entitled to compensation.

The Fresno personal injury lawyers of OnderLaw can help with that. On your own, you can try to find out who is responsible for managing or maintaining the property, work to gather evidence of how the accident happened, document your injuries, and file a claim to pursue compensation for your accident. Or you could just leave all those details to us.

When you’re injured, your primary focus should be your health. The added stress and worry that come with managing a claim or lawsuit can be overwhelming. The skillful premises liability attorneys of OnderLaw have been successfully relieving clients of the burden of handling their own claims for nearly two decades. We want to help you, too. Call us today to set up an appointment with one of our experienced attorneys to find out how we can help.

What Are Premises Liability Claims

In California, someone who owns, leases, occupies, or otherwise controls a property has a duty to use reasonable care to keep the property in a reasonably safe condition. They’re supposed to discover any unsafe conditions and either make the necessary repairs or replacements or warn others of conditions that could result in injury to another.

Premises liability claims are personal injury claims a person can file when they have been injured on someone else’s property through no fault of their own. In California, any person, even a trespasser, who is injured on someone else’s property may file a claim for compensation for any injuries sustained if they believe that the property was negligently maintained. The possessor of the property has a duty to safely maintain the premises.

Under California law, the duty to maintain the premises is “non-delegable.” This means that if the possessor of the land hired a third party to maintain the property, that third party failed to maintain the property in a safe condition, and an injury occurred, the possessor of the premises is still liable. For example, if the maintenance company that your landlord hired to maintain the apartment building failed to address an unsafe condition, such as a broken handrail, your landlord is still responsible for any injuries which you sustained as a result of the broken handrail.

If you were injured on someone else’s property, in order to obtain compensation for your injuries, you’ll need to first figure out who the owner or property manager of the property is. Then you’ll have to show that some action or inaction of theirs led to the unsafe condition on the property. After that, you’ll need to prove that you were injured by that condition, and then you’ll have to show what your losses or damages are as a result of the accident.

The knowledgeable attorneys of OnderLaw have years of experience with premises liability claims. We can take on the burden of figuring out how to prove all those things off your shoulders. With our vast experience and resources, we know how to put together a strong claim to help get you the compensation you deserve after an accident.

Duty of Landlords/Property Owners/Managers in California

Landlords, businesses, and private property owners have a duty to tenants, customers, and visitors to keep their premises in a safe condition. They also have a duty to warn visitors of any dangers on their premises. Failure to fulfill these duties may make them liable when someone is injured on the property. That is why you often see that a business erects a temporary warning sign if there is a spill on their premises that makes the floor unsafe. Once the spill is cleaned, the business can remove the warning sign.

California Civil Code §1714(a) provides that property owners and property occupiers, such as a  commercial business renting space, have a duty to keep the premises reasonably safe and free of defects. The term “reasonably safe”  has been interpreted to mean the steps that a prudent property owner would have taken in similar circumstances.

California Government Code §835 provides that public entities are liable for injuries caused by the unsafe condition of the property if an unsafe condition at the time of the accident resulted in injury.  The term “public property” is not limited to government buildings. Public property includes any property that is owned by a public agency, such as a municipal park or swim center, a city or county community center, a theater at a public high school or community college, or football stadiums or basketball arenas at public universities.

With respect to public sidewalks, most cities and counties have ordinances that specify that the adjacent landowner is responsible for maintaining the sidewalk. If the adjacent landowner is a public entity and an injury occurs due to an unsafe condition, then the public entity may be held liable.

Common Types of Premises Liability Claims

There are as many types of premises liability claims as there are people who are injured. Even though that’s true, some accident types occur more frequently than others. We’ve listed some of the accidents we see most frequently here.

  • Slip and fall accidents
  • Snow and ice accidents
  • Elevator and escalator accidents
  • Dog bites
  • Swimming pool accidents
  • Porch or deck collapse
  • Stair collapse
  • Loose floor coverings
  • Broken or missing handrails
  • Poor security accidents
  • Electric shock

Due to the high moisture conditions found in the California Bay Area,  wood rot often occurs. Rotted wood has been found to be responsible for the collapse of a number of stairs, decks, and porches. These collapses often result in serious injury and, in some cases, even death. The tragedy is that many of these collapses are avoidable with regular maintenance. Property owners need to be held accountable for these accidents.

Injuries Suffered in Accidents on Private and Public Property

Regardless of where the accident took place, there are several types of injuries that we see more frequently than others. If you’ve been injured in a premises liability accident, you may have suffered any of the following injuries, among others:

  • Broken bones
  • Cuts and abrasions
  • Burns
  • Exposure to toxins
  • Head injuries
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Back injuries
  • Knee injuries
  • Scarring
  • Impalement
  • Blunt force trauma

Compensation for a Premises Liability Claim

When you’ve been injured and are preparing to file a claim, you may wonder what compensation you could get. Your lawyer can talk with you about the particulars of your case. The amount of money you could receive depends upon the severity of your injuries, the amount of time you were off work, and several other factors. When you talk with a lawyer from OnderLaw , we can help you assess the value of your claim.

Compensation comes in three broad categories: economic, non-economic, and punitive damages. Economic damages are those that have a dollar amount attached, such as medical bills, transportation to and from healthcare appointments, lost wages, and future lost wages.

Non-economic damages are harder to quantify, as they are meant to provide compensation for intangible losses, such as pain and suffering, anxiety, loss of enjoyment of life, and more.

Punitive damages are infrequently awarded. These damages are not intended to be compensation for the injured person but are meant to deter the wrongdoer from repeating their actions. Punitive damages are only available at trial.

Why Choose OnderLaw ?

When you hire an experienced premises liability attorney, they can take on the task of preparing your claim for the insurance company or preparing your case for trial. Our attorneys can investigate the circumstances of the accident, collect evidence, interview witnesses to the accident, if there were any, and identify all the responsible parties. We can protect your rights, and we can speak to the insurance company adjusters and the attorneys for the other side on y our behalf.

The majority of premises liability claims are defended by insurance companies. This is your life. For the insurance company, your claim is just business. Their main goal is to pay out as little as possible. Do not speak to them until you’ve had a chance to speak to a premises liability attorney. The insurance company representative may try to use any statement you make against you to justify offering a low sum to settle the claim.

The attorneys of OnderLaw have decades of combined experience handling personal injury cases, including premises liability cases. Since our founding in 2002, we have helped our clients recover over $3 billion dollars in compensation. As a testament to the quality of our attorneys, many of them have earned prestigious recognition, such as being named to the top 100 Trial Lawyers list by the National Trial Lawyers.  Let us use our years of experience and knowledge to help you secure compensation to put your life back together.

Our firm believes that everyone deserves the best legal representation possible. For that reason, we operate on a contingency-fee basis. That means you owe us nothing until we get compensation for you. You pay us nothing at the beginning of your case. Once we’ve obtained money for you, we’ll take an agreed-upon percentage in payment. If we don’t bring in money for you, you owe us nothing.

Contact Us

Don’t wait another day. Contact OnderLaw today to schedule a free consultation. Let us help you figure out your next steps on your road to recovery.