Whether you visit a business, a home, or a piece of land, most property owners have a duty to keep you safe while you are on their premises. If they fail and you are injured due to their negligence, a premises liability suit can be brought against them for damages. Our San Bernardino premises liability lawyers can help you hold the property owner accountable. Call us at (951) 688-0006 or reach us online to schedule a free consultation.
With a San Bernardino personal injury attorney’s extensive experience, resources, and network of industry professionals, you can feel confident in knowing that they will determine the cause of your accident, establish liability, and build a solid case. Property owners are not responsible for all injuries that occur, and you must be able to provide evidence of negligence on behalf of the owner or manager. When filing a claim against the property owner, their insurance company will likely try to devalue your claim by shifting blame for the accident on you. If they’re successful, it can prevent you from recovering the compensation you deserve. An attorney can help you protect your rights, gather the necessary evidence to prove the owner’s failure to use reasonable care, and negotiate a settlement to fully cover your losses.
Every San Bernardino property owner has a legal duty to keep their premises reasonably safe for permitted visitors and to warn of any dangers. This duty also extends to entryways and exits, including parking lots. When a property owner is aware of a hazardous area on the property, it is their responsibility to fix the issue, keep the area blocked off, and warn visitors until it is repaired. As a result, property owners can be liable for any injuries that occur on their property if they are caused by a dangerous condition that they either knew of or should have known about.
A wide variety of property-related injuries can lead to a premises liability claim. Legal action is often taken after one of the following common accidents, all of which our San Bernardino accident attorneys can help you with:
Depending on the circumstances of your accident, the resulting injuries can be severe and long-lasting or possibly permanent. If your loved one suffered a wrongful death in San Bernardino due to the negligence of someone’s property, our attorneys are prepared to fight for you. Common injuries include soft tissue damage, lacerations, broken bones, head injuries, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and other back injuries.
The following types of compensation are often available in a premises liability claim:
California is a pure comparative fault state. Meaning you can recover compensation even if you were partially to blame for your accident. However, your total compensation will be reduced in proportion to your fault. For example, if you are awarded $500,000 and found 60% to blame, you will only receive 40% or $200,000.
To successfully pursue a premises liability claim, your case must contain the following elements:
Whether or not you can recover compensation will also depend on your status on the property and whether you were legally allowed to be there.
The level of responsibility a property owner owes visitors to their property is primarily based on the status of those who enter the premises. There are three main categories of status a person can have:
Individuals who are on the property with the express consent of the owner, manager, or a staff member. Typically an invitee is on a property for a business transaction— for example, a customer at a restaurant or retail establishment or a plumber fixing a pipe in someone’s home. Invitees are owed the highest level of care under the law. As a result, property owners are required to:
A property owner owes a licensee a lower level of care as they are typically a social guest, such as a family member or friend. However, property owners must still correct any known dangerous conditions and warn of potential hazards.
In cases where an individual enters a private property without invitation from the owner, they are considered a trespasser. Generally, trespassers cannot file a claim against property owners for any injuries suffered on the property unless it is a small child who wandered onto the grounds.
Since many types of accidents fall under the umbrella of premises liability, there are many different types of injuries a person may suffer that also vary in severity. For example:
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) can range from mild to severe. However, even a minor TBI or concussion can have long-term consequences. In extreme cases, victims can suffer permanent cognitive or physical impairment.
Broken arms, legs, ribs, and pelvis breaks are all common in even minor premises liability accidents. Fractures can take weeks to heal, may require surgery, and activities are typically restricted.
Victims can suffer all kinds of back injuries, such as herniated or bulging discs, disc fractures, spinal cord injuries, paralysis, and others. These injuries often result in chronic pain and lifelong complications.
A sudden jolt to the body can cause muscles in the neck to become strained when they try to protect your brain and spine, causing what is known as whiplash. Whiplash is a common injury in a fall and can take significant time to heal.
Lacerations or burns can occur, and if severe, they can cause long-term damage and significant scarring.
Damage to internal organs can be life-threatening if not treated immediately.
If a premises liability accident causes a victim’s death, the surviving family has the right to file a wrongful death claim for damages.
Several of these injuries may be immediately apparent after a property-related accident, but some severe injuries can have delayed symptoms. As a result, it is critical to seek medical care as soon as possible to protect your health, and the records will assist you in pursuing a claim.
Each state imposes a statute of limitations on premises liability cases, limiting the amount of time a person has to file a lawsuit for compensation. Starting from the date of injury, you have two years to file a premises liability claim in California (Cal. Civ. Proc. Code § 335.1). There are limited exceptions, and most often, if you file after the statute of limitations has passed, the courts will dismiss your claim, and you will be unable to recover compensation.
If you are injured on another person’s property, there are critical steps to take to protect your legal rights: