Whenever you set foot on someone else’s property, whether it be a private residence or a public store, you expect that it will be a safe environment that does not have any hazards for you to worry about. That is true most of the time, but there are instances where a dangerous condition on someone’s property causes an accident to a visitor that might leave them seriously injured. When that happens, the injured person has the right to seek compensation for their losses from the insurance company of the property owner. That is because an injury on someone’s property that was caused by a dangerous condition on that property falls under premises liability law, which is a subset of personal injury law.
Premises liability laws are meant to protect people who were injured because of a property owner’s negligence, but they will need the help of an experienced personal injury attorney if they want the best chance of getting the full compensation that they are rightfully owed. At the Grossman Law Office, we are professional Fresno premises liability lawyers who can help residents with their premises liability claims or lawsuits. Our attorneys know that an accident on someone’s premises can be very serious and leave you with a lot of expensive bills to pay, and that it can have long-term effects that affect the rest of your life. That is why the premises liability attorneys of the Grossman Law Office are dedicated to holding property owners accountable for any negligence that can cause an injury to a visitor.
So, if you were injured on someone else’s property in Fresno because of a hazardous condition on the premises, then contact our attorneys to get a free consultation of your case; we are here to help you.
The Elements of a Premises Liability Case in Fresno, California
Since premises liability is a subset of personal injury law, a premises liability case needs to have similar elements to a personal injury case in order to be considered valid. The following elements must be present in a Fresno premises liability case:
- The property owner owed the victim a duty of care. A duty of care means that the property owner should behave in the way that a reasonable person would in the same situation. That means they have a duty to maintain the safety of their property, inspect it regularly, fix any hazardous conditions, or at the very least, warn visitors about the hazardous conditions.
- The property owner violated the duty of care. This means that their negligence allowed a dangerous condition to remain on the property. A common example is a business owner failing to clean up a spill that could cause customers to slip and fall.
- The violation of the duty of care caused an accident. In the previous example, it would be if a customer did slip and fall because of the spill that was not cleaned up.
- The accident caused injuries to the victim. This is a straightforward element, but the victim has to prove that their injuries were a direct result of the dangerous condition on the premises.
Who Can File a Premises Liability Claim in Fresno?
In most states, the people who enter a property are divided into three categories:
Invitees and licensees have a legal right to be on the property, whereas trespassers do not. Normally, that means a trespasser would not have the right to file a premises liability claim or lawsuit against the property owner. However, the law in Fresno and the rest of California does not distinguish among those three categories, meaning that even a trespasser has the right to file a premises liability claim or lawsuit against the property owner.
Instead, the California law is based on whether there was a reasonable chance that a trespasser would enter the property and whether there was a reasonable chance that the trespasser could get injured. If the court decides that there was a reasonable chance of each outcome, then the trespasser has the right to file a premises liability claim against the owner of the property.
Types of Premises Liability Cases
There are many different ways in which a person could get injured on someone else’s property due to the negligence of the property owner. The following are some of the most common scenarios.
Slip and Fall
Slip and fall accidents are among some of the most common across the country and while some people might think that they are harmless, they can be very dangerous.
They could cause some of the following injuries:
- Broken or fractured bones
- Hip injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
Some of the conditions that could lead to slip and falls include a spill, freshly waxed floors, poor lighting, uneven flooring, torn carpeting, and so on. It is necessary for property owners to clean up or fix conditions that could cause a slip and fall accident, or provide adequate warning about those conditions.
Swimming Pool Accidents
This kind of accident can be very serious because of the fatal risk it poses to the victim. The main concern is drowning of course, because it could lead to death or severe brain damage. However, since there is a lot of water present, slip and fall accidents are also a possibility. Young children are especially susceptible to swimming pool accidents, and according to the CDC, one in five people who die from drowning are aged fourteen or younger. That is why barriers should be placed around pools and also why young children should always be supervised, whether they are in a private or public pool.
When someone gets attacked by someone’s dog while on their property, then that counts as a premises liability case. California is a strict liability state when it comes to dog bites, which means that the dog’s owner is liable for any injury caused by the dog as long as the attack occurred in a public place or on private property where the victim had the legal right to be there. A dog attack can be very serious since it can cause injuries like puncture wounds, lacerations, avulsions, broken bones, and more. There is also the possibility that the wound could get infected from bacteria in the dog’s mouth.
Infographic from https://topdogtips.com/statistics-on-dog-bites/
A business owner can be held liable for crimes like assault, theft, or burglary if they failed to provide adequate security for their customers. That is because good security serves as a deterrent to criminal activity, while poor security increases the chances that a crime may occur. Poor or inadequate security could mean any of the following:
- The lack of security guards
- Poorly trained guards
- Bad lighting in dangerous areas
- No surveillance equipment
- Nonexistent or poorly maintained security systems
Damages in Premises Liability Cases
An injury that was caused by a dangerous condition on someone’s property could have devastating and long-term consequences. That is why the victim deserves to receive compensation from the property owner or their insurer. Of course, they will need the help of a lawyer if they want the best chance of getting that compensation, which is why they should retain a premises liability attorney as soon as possible after the accident has occurred. The following are some of the damages for which the injured person can receive compensation:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Repair or replacement costs for damaged property
- Pain and suffering
Contact the Grossman Law Office When You Need a Fresno Premises Liability Attorney
If you suffered an injury in Fresno because of the negligence of a property owner, then you have the right to hold that party accountable and request compensation from their insurance company. The premises liability lawyers of the Grossman Law Office will give Fresno residents the best chance of getting the compensation they need to take care of any expenses caused by premises liability accidents, such as medical bills, damaged property, lost wages, and more.
An attorney from the Grossman Law Office will help you through every stage of the process, from filing the claim, to calculating your expenses, to negotiating with the insurance company of the at-fault party. So if you need an attorney in Fresno to help you with your premises liability case, then contact the Grossman Law Office. A lawyer from the firm will give you a free consultation and provide you with the legal guidance that you need.