When you’re out in public or on another person’s or business’s property, it’s reasonable for you to assume that the premises is free of obvious and hidden obstacles or other hazards that could hurt you or cause an accident. However, this isn’t always the case. There are instances where an obstacle or hazard is present, unknown to you, that can cause you severe injury or disability. In some cases, these hazards can be so great that death occurs.
If you’ve been injured in a premises liability accident, you may be entitled to significant compensation.
Contact the Santa Ana personal injury attorneys at OnderLaw . Contact us online or call us to schedule a free consultation. You won’t need to pay us anything until we’ve obtained compensation for your injuries.
What Is Premises Liability?
Premises liability is a type of legal action or claim that results when a person is injured on someone else’s property. Property owners/managers have a responsibility to ensure that their property is obstacle and/or hazard-free. Should a property owner or manager know of a potential hazard and neglect to remedy it or otherwise fail to inform visitors of the imminent danger, they can be held liable for any injury or disability that takes place on the premises because of that hazardous condition.
Property Owner/Manager Responsibilities in California
In California, property owners/managers have several responsibilities pertaining to premises liability. One of the greatest responsibilities that property owners/managers have is to ensure that all people who enter onto their property are spared from becoming injured. To achieve this, property owners/managers must ensure that they perform the following duties:
- Regularly inspect and maintain the property to ensure that it’s free of obstacles and/or hazards such as standing water, toxic fumes/materials, cords in walkways/high traffic areas, and other potential dangers
- Quickly correct/remedy potential dangers/hazards on the premises or otherwise inform and protect guests from all known hazards on the property
- Identify and fix potential dangers on the premises to avoid foreseeable accidents
Failure to perform any of these duties is considered negligence on the behalf of the property owner/manager and they can be held liable for any accident, disability, or injury that occurs on the premises.
Places Where Premises Liability Claims Could Arise
Technically speaking, a premises liability accident could occur on nearly any private, public, or commercial property. Some of the most common venues where premises liability accidents occur include:
- Construction sites
- Private homes or property
- Office spaces
- Movie theatres
- Grocery stores
- Retail stores
Of course, this list is not exhaustive. There are many other places where a premises liability accident could occur. If you’re unsure whether the accident you were involved in can be considered a premises liability accident, contact an experienced Santa Ana premises liability attorney from OnderLaw to discuss the details of your case.
Types of Premises Liability Accidents
A premises liability accident is an accident that takes place on private, public, or commercial property where the property owner/manager failed to ensure that the environment was danger/hazard-free. There are many different types of dangers that property owners/managers are responsible for remedying/removing altogether. Some of the most common types of premises liability accidents include:
- Slip and fall accidents
- Dog bite accidents
- Pool accidents
- Snow, ice, and sleet accidents
- Accidents that arise from failure to perform regular maintenance on the premises
- Defective premises conditions
- Inadequate building/premises security, leading to injury, disability, or assault
- Elevator and escalator accidents
- Amusement/water park accidents
- Water leaks or flooding
- Toxic fumes, waste, or chemicals
- Cords in walkways/high traffic areas
Compensation for Injuries on Private, Public, or Commercial Properties
The amount and types of compensation you’re entitled to recover depend on the severity of the injuries you sustained, as well as the time spent in recovery from them. The only considerations when determining your eligibility to recover compensation for a premises liability accident are whether or not the property owner/manager was negligent in their practices regarding the regular maintenance and upkeep of their property, whether their negligence caused your accident, and whether you suffered losses because of the accident. That said, the most common types of compensation those injured or disabled in premises liability accidents may receive include:
- Medical expenses. Whether or not you believe your condition to be mild or severe, it’s recommended that you seek medical attention immediately. Depending on the severity of the accident, you’re likely to incur medical expenses related to your injuries and recovery. Medical expenses include things like transportation by ambulance, x-rays, MRIs, hospital and emergency room visits, physical rehabilitation, therapy, prescription medications, wheelchairs, and other equipment necessary for your recovery.
- Lost wages. Depending on the severity of your condition, your injuries may require that you take time away from work to recover. During the time you’re away from work, you may be unable to earn a living for yourself. Although temporary, this can be a source of anxiety and fear, as you wonder how you’ll be able to afford your living expenses and the mounting medical bills in the meantime. Fortunately, you can seek to recover compensation for the wages you lose as a result of the accident and your injuries.
- Lost earning capacity. Following a premises liability accident, you may develop a disability or have injuries so severe that you’re unable to return to your profession. As unfortunate as this is, you may be entitled to recover damages for your lost earning capacity that results from disabling conditions that arise from your accident-related injuries.
- Pain and suffering. You’re likely to experience pain and suffering because of your injuries. Although money is never going to relieve the pain, it can certainly help ease the financial difficulties your accident brought. Compensation includes past, present, and future pain and suffering associated with the accident.
- Emotional distress. You may have been involved in a premises liability accident so traumatic that you later go on to develop mental health disorders or changes to your behavior/emotions that are unlike you. Possible mental health disorders that can arise from a premises liability accident include depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Additionally, it’s important to note that you can experience two or more of these mental health disorders at the same time, otherwise known as comorbidity. Being affected by any of these or other mental health disorders or emotional disturbances may force you to alter or completely overhaul your lifestyle, depending on the severity of your condition. Luckily, you can seek to be compensated for the emotional distress you’ve developed in the aftermath of a premises liability accident.
- Loss of enjoyment. Following a premises liability accident, you may be negatively affected by a disability or injuries that are so severe that you’re unable to participate in recreational or other activities which previously brought you joy. While it may not be possible to restore your quality of life, you can seek to recover damages for the loss of enjoyment the premises liability accident has caused you.
- Loss of consortium. Some premises liability accidents can be so devastating that you have a loved one die as a result of the injuries they sustained. It’s well understood that nothing can be done to remedy the void left by a loved one taken too soon, but you and your family can seek to be compensated for your loss of consortium, otherwise known as the loss of the decedent’s love, companionship, and guidance.
- Exemplary damages. Exemplary damages are awarded in cases where it’s clear that the accident you were disabled/severely injured in was caused by the willful intent of another person to cause you harm. If this is the case for you, you can seek to recover exemplary damages in addition to the other types of damages listed above. Exemplary damages can only be awarded by a judge or jury, and in order to qualify for them, you must show that the property owner or manager acted with maliciousness, the intent to oppress you or to defraud you.
Contact a Santa Ana Premises Liability Attorney Today
If you or a loved one have been injured or disabled in a premises liability accident in Santa Ana, contact OnderLaw. We don’t want you to have to go through this ordeal on your own. Our lawyers are prepared to stand beside you, protect your rights, and fight for an appropriate amount of compensation for the injuries you sustained due to someone else’s negligence.
And because we know that you’re already under considerable stress right now, the last thing we want to do is add to your financial burden. We believe everyone is entitled to quality legal counsel, regardless of whether they have a fat bank account or not. That’s why we operate on a contingency fee basis. That means you don’t pay us anything upfront.
If we take on your case, we will work it diligently, do all the required investigation and evidence gathering, and communicate with the insurance company on your behalf. We’ll negotiate a settlement for you. If we can’t come to terms with the insurance company, we’ll take your case to trial. And you won’t pay us until we get money for you. We’ll take an agreed-upon percentage from the compensation you receive. If we don’t get you money, you owe us nothing.
You can either call us or contact us online to schedule your free consultation. You have nothing to lose. Don’t wait – call us today.