Have you or someone you love been injured in San Jose while on another person’s property? Was this injury caused by the property owner or caretaker’s negligence? If so, you may be able to obtain compensation for your injuries through an injury claim or lawsuit.

The San Jose personal injury attorneys of OnderLaw have years of experience in helping San Jose residents get compensation for their premises liability injuries, and they can use that experience to help you and your family. Contact us today for a free consultation, and let us help you get the compensation you deserve.

What Is a Premises Liability Claim?

Premises liability refers to the duty of the owner or caretaker of a property to provide a basic duty of care for anyone on the property. The liability can apply to any injury to a person visiting the property, legally and in some cases illegally, that was caused by the negligence of a property owner or caretaker. For example, imagine that the owner of your apartment complex refuses to fix a railing along a stairwell. This railing detaches while you are descending the stairs, and you fall, ending up with a broken ankle. You may be able to obtain compensation through a premises liability claim.

‘Duty of Care’ For Property Owners and Managers in California

Premises liability claims revolve around two concepts: negligence and duty of care.

To obtain compensation for an injury on another person’s property, you must prove they were negligent. You have to show that they had a duty to make their premises safe for visitors and that they failed to do so. Then, you have to show that their failure to provide safe premises resulted in an accident that caused you to be injured.

California state law states that “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.” This is the “duty of care.” A property owner or manager is required to take reasonable action to prevent someone from being injured on a property they control. Even if they delegate control of the hazard that caused the injury, such as blaming a contractor for not fixing a railing or blaming an employee for not mopping a spill on a floor, the property owner or manager is still liable. Premises liability claims can also have multiple defendants.

The defendant in a premises liability claim in California can be any or all of the following:

  • Homeowner
  • Tenant
  • Business owner
  • Property management company
  • Restaurant manager
  • Store manager
  • Employee

Premises liability also changes depending on the classification of the person visiting the property. There are three types of visitors under state law, and each requires a different duty of care:

  • Invitees are any people on the property with the owner’s permission or for the owner’s financial benefit, such as tenants or visitors to an amusement park. The owner or manager has a strong duty of care to these visitors.
  • Licensees, such as contractors, are on the property for their own purposes with the owner or manager’s implied permission or consent. The owner or manager has a duty to inform them of any dangers and not to cause them harm.
  • Trespassers are on the property without the owner or manager’s consent or knowledge and are entitled to the least duty of care, though a property owner cannot willfully harm them.

Examples of Common Premises Liability Claims

Premises liability claims can cover a wide variety of property types and possible accidents, such as:

  • Slip and fall cases
  • Uneven floors
  • Broken railings
  • Uncovered swimming pools
  • Elevator accidents
  • Escalator accidents
  • Flooding
  • Amusement park accidents
  • Construction site accidents
  • Dog bites
  • Falling objects

Common Premises Liability Injuries

Injuries from premises liability claims vary widely and can occur on private or public property, and may include the following:

  • Broken bones
  • Lacerations
  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Torn ligaments
  • Pulled muscles
  • Sprains
  • Strains
  • Head or neck injuries
  • Burns
  • Electric shocks
  • Chemical exposure
  • Internal injuries
  • Coma
  • Death

Types of Compensation for a Premises Liability Claim

Compensation for premises liability claims can fall into a few different categories of losses, or damages. Economic damages are any losses that have a financial value attached, such as medical bills, lost wages, or property damage. Non-economic or general damages are any losses that are not easily quantifiable, such as pain and suffering, emotional anguish or loss of reputation. Your attorney can help you decide what type and amount of compensation you should demand for your claim.

There are a variety of economic damages, such as:

Property damage. If your premises liability accident resulted in damage to your personal property, such as when flooding in your apartment destroys your laptop, you could claim compensation for this loss.

Lost wages. If an accident causes you to take time off work to recover or take time off to assist a family member or loved one to do the same, you may be compensated for current or future lost wages.

Medical bills. If your accident ends in serious injury that requires hospitalization or treatment, you can recover compensation for any and all bills related to medical care. This can refer to emergency room fees, emergency transportation, prescription medication, rehabilitation, the purchase of medical devices or prosthetics, and surgery costs.

Household expenses. If your injury results in you hiring extra help for household chores like cooking and cleaning, you can be compensated for this loss.

Non-economic damages can include any of the following:

Pain and suffering. A serious injury can affect your mental health and well-being. Compensation for pain and suffering is meant to make up for the pain and inconvenience you endured because of the accident.

Emotional distress. Compensation for emotional distress is intended to make amends for the psychological harm you experience as a result of your accident and covers mental distress, such as anxiety, fear, depression, worry, insomnia, and PTSD.

Loss of enjoyment of life. If your accident resulted in you not being able to pursue the activities you once enjoyed, such as when a slip and fall case ending in a broken ankle prevents you from running, you could be compensated for this loss.

Lost opportunity. If an accident leaves you unable to complete a planned activity, such as entering higher education or starting a business, you may be able to recover compensation.

California law also allows plaintiffs in premises liability claims to obtain exemplary or punitive damages. Punitive damages are different from economic or non-economic damages in that they are not meant to make up for any loss. They are intended specifically to punish the malefactor that caused your injury and deter them from behaving in the same manner again. Premises liability cases are handled in civil and not criminal court. Punitive damages act as punishment for defendants that may not have committed a crime worthy of a prison sentence or fine but whose actions resulted in harm to others.

Punitive damages are only awarded in cases where the defendant acted with malice, oppression, or fraud. The burden of proof is much higher for punitive damages than for other damages, as it requires the plaintiff to provide clear and convincing evidence the defendant acted with full knowledge that their actions would harm others. There is no cap on punitive damages in California.

Why Choose OnderLaw for My Premises Liability Claim?

OnderLaw has been helping residents of California and elsewhere get compensation for their premises liability claims for almost twenty years. We know California injury law, and we know how to make it work for you and your family. We also believe in providing personalized, professional, and practical legal counsel that takes the mystery out of the claims process and in keeping an open line of communication with our clients at all times.

OnderLaw also believes in supporting the communities that have helped us grow, which is why we provide regular monetary donations to charitable organizations and causes such as MADD, Lupus Foundation of America, and Toys for Tots.

It’s important to note that OnderLaw works on a contingency-fee basis. We use this arrangement because we understand that not everyone has the financial means to hire an attorney after an accident, and we want to provide our services to all who need them. A contingency fee means that you pay nothing upfront, and you only pay for our work if we are successful in obtaining a settlement or award for you. If we aren’t successful, you pay nothing.

The most important reason to use OnderLaw for your premises liability claim is that we have a record of getting great results for our clients. We’ve obtained over $3 billion in settlements and awards over the past twenty years, and we can represent you with the same determination and skills that we used to obtain these results.

Head over to our Testimonials page to hear from some of our satisfied clients.

Contact Us Today

Don’t wait any longer to file your premises liability claim. The attorneys at OnderLaw will provide a free, no-obligation consultation. We are standing by to help you get the compensation you deserve. Call us today and let us help you get your life back after a premises liability injury.