Torrance Premises Liability Lawyers
California law is very clear. It states, “The owner of premises is under a duty to exercise ordinary care in the management of their premises in order to avoid exposing persons to an unreasonable risk of harm. A failure to fulfill this duty is negligence.” Property owners have a duty to maintain their property in a safe and reasonable manner and avoid putting people at risk of harm from dangerous conditions. Cases arising under this theory of liability are most often slip and falls or trip and falls. Resulting injuries can be serious. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 6.84 million people visit the emergency room every year for unintentional falls. However, premises liability concepts cover many other types of accidents and injuries that happen because property owners fail in their legal duty. Lawsuits by personal injury lawyers have done much in making properties safer for visitors. For example, the reason supermarkets and stores put out “wet floor” signs now is because they are warning customers about risks that they may not be able to see.
Under California law, you may qualify to recover compensation if you were hurt or lost a loved one because of dangerous conditions on a property. El Dabe Ritter Trial Lawyers are committed to enforcing your rights, and our team has extensive experience with settlement negotiations and litigation. We are ready to guide you through each step of the legal process, so please contact our firm today. You can schedule a free consultation with one of our Torrance premises liability attorneys, though some background information is also useful.
Overview of Premises Liability Concepts
Like other personal injury cases, premises liability claims are based upon the concept of negligence. Generally, this theory of liability requires individuals to exercise reasonable care when acting. In the specific context of premises liability, negligence is the failure to take proper precautions to ensure the space is safe for those who enter it. When this breach of duty causes an accident and someone is injured, the victim can pursue the property owner for damages.
There are additional points to note about premises liability cases:
● A property owner is only required to protect against dangerous conditions that are reasonably foreseeable.
● One factor that affects whether a hazard is foreseeable is notice. A property owner must have actual or constructive notice of a dangerous condition before the duty to address it arises.
● In addition to the property owner, other parties that have control or financial interest in the premises may be held liable. Examples include the owner of the real estate, a landlord, a tenant, a property management company, and others.
Examples of Property Owner Negligence
To better understand how a property owner could breach the duty of care, some examples are useful. A party may be held accountable for:
● Failing to wipe up spills or clean up debris;
● Not making repairs to broken railings, balconies, and staircases;
● Neglecting to secure loose flooring, tiles, carpet, and wiring;
● Unsafe, unsanitary food handling; and,
● Allowing equipment, inventory, and supplies to clutter up aisles.
In addition, a property owner may be liable under a specific type of premises liability case called negligent or inadequate security. When a property owner has noticed that criminal activity is foreseeable in the space, it must undertake reasonable measures to protect visitors. Options might include hiring a security guard, installing cameras, and ensuring locks on windows and doors are functioning properly.
Steps in the Legal Process
Business and property owners typically carry liability insurance policies, so you will initially deal with an insurance company. You begin the process by filing a claim and requesting monetary damages for your losses. Even when your rights seem clear, keep in mind that insurers are for-profit businesses. Their focus is on their own bottom line, and your claim represents a loss. You might receive a lowball counteroffer or denial during settlement discussions, and the insurance company may even place the blame on you.
When negotiations stall, the parties may still be able to resolve disputes through mediation. During this informal proceeding, a trained mediator attempts to get the two sides to agree on a settlement amount. If the insurer still refuses to pay fair compensation, the next step is litigation. El Dabe Ritter Trial Lawyers will be at your side at all stages of the process to ensure you receive damages for:
● Medical costs;
● Lost wages;
● Pain and suffering;
● Emotional distress; and,
● Other losses that may affect the quality of life.
Laws That Affect Your Claim
There are a few concepts to note because of how they could impact your rights, and the first relates to timing. California imposes a statute of limitations on premises liability cases, so you have two years to file a lawsuit in court. The clock runs from the date of the accident, and you are barred from recovering compensation if it expires.
The conduct of the victim also plays a part in premises liability cases. If you were trespassing at the time that you were injured because of dangerous conditions on the property, you cannot obtain any monetary damages.
Legal Help with Premises Liability Cases
It is reassuring to know that compensation is available for accident victims, but recovering it requires high-level experience, legal knowledge, and skill. El Dabe Ritter Trial Lawyers is committed to serving your needs and delivering essential support to protect your rights. You can rely on our firm to:
● Conduct an investigation and gather important evidence for your claim;
● Obtain and review your medical records;
● Prepare and submit all insurance claims forms, along with supporting documentation;
● Discuss settlement options with the property owner’s insurance company; and,
● Represent you at mediation in an attempt to resolve disputes and settle out of court.
Our team is equally prepared to take your case to court, so we will draft the complaint and file all paperwork to sue the property owner. A California premises liability lawyer will handle all litigation tasks, including court appearances, discovery and depositions, and motion hearings. We will develop a solid strategy for trial to present evidence, question witnesses, and make strong legal arguments to support your position.
Contact Our Torrance Premises Liability Attorneys to Learn More
Though an overview of the basics is useful, it is still essential to retain skilled legal representation to help you navigate the legal process. For additional details on our services, please contact El Dabe Ritter Trial Lawyers. You can set up a no-cost case review with a California premises liability lawyer by calling (213) 985-1120 or visiting our website.
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