Fresno Premises Liability Lawyer
Premises Liability Lawyer in Fresno, California
When people set foot on someone else’s property, whether it’s private or public, they expect that the environment will be safe and that they will be made aware of any potential hazards. While most of the time, premises are safe, there are instances where the dangerous conditions on someone’s property can cause accidents that severely injure visitors. When a dangerous element on the property injures someone, the injured person has the right to seek compensation for their losses from the property owner’s insurance company. This kind of accident falls under a type of personal injury known as premises liability.
What Is Premises Liability?
Premises liability is a legal term that describes situations where a person is injured on someone’s property because of a dangerous condition on the property. Under California law, property owners have a duty to ensure that their property is in a reasonably safe condition. Therefore if a property owner fails to keep their property in a safe condition or fails to reasonably warn potential visitors of possible hazards in the property, they can be held liable for any injuries sustained by guests on the property.
Type of Premises Liability Claims
An unsafe property can cause a lot of accidents, such as:
- Slip and fall accidents
- Dog bites and other animal attacks
- Inadequate building security causing an injury
- Porch collapses
- Elevator and escalator defects or accidents
- Swimming pool accidents
- Inadequate maintenance of the property
- Defective staircases or stair collapses
- Defective conditions on the premises
- Water leaks or flooding
- Toxic fumes or chemicals
Several factors can contribute to a premises-related injury. However, in California, the injured party must focus on proving that the property owner was negligent in regard to performing adequate maintenance and keeping the property reasonably safe.
Elements of a Fresno Premises Liability Claim
Premises liability cases are a subset of personal injury law, meaning they must prove similar elements to a personal injury case to establish a valid and strong case. The following elements must be present in a premises liability claim:
Duty of Care
Duty of care refers to the legal obligation the property owner has to behave in a way that a reasonable person would in a similar situation. They have a duty to maintain their property to be safe, to have it inspected regularly, fix potential hazards, and warn visitors about hazardous conditions.
Breach of Duty of Care
Breach of duty means that the property owner failed to meet the standard level of reasonable care.
Causation links the breach of duty of care and the accident. This link is usually established by proving that neither the accident nor the injury to the person wouldn’t have occurred if not for the breach of duty.
One of the final elements of a premises liability case is proving the existence of damages and determining their monetary value.
Who Can File a Premises Liability Claim in Fresno?
Generally, the people who enter a property are divided into three categories:
Typically, invitees and licensees have a legal right to be on the property, but trespassers do not. Normally, being a trespasser means that they don’t have a right to file a premises liability claim against the property owner. However, California doesn’t distinguish people into those three categories, meaning that even trespassers have the right to file a premises liability claim.
Rather than basing a premises liability claim on the three categories listed above, California law is based on whether there was a reasonable chance that a trespasser would have entered the property and whether there was a reasonable chance that the trespasser could be injured. If the court decides that there was a reasonable chance that the trespasser could not only enter the property but also become injured, they have the right to file a claim.
Private Property vs. Public Property Claims
Private properties include:
- Residential apartments
- Commercial buildings
- Retail stores
Public properties include:
- Parking lots
- Public schools
- Public libraries
- Public playgrounds
- Government establishments
It’s important to note that premises liability claims do not differentiate between private and public property when it comes to negligence. Victims injured on public or government-owned property have as much of the right to pursue a premises liability claim as those who were injured on private property. Whether the accident occurred in your neighborhood, the grocery store, or on government property, you are within your rights to file a claim against any negligent property owner. However, governmental entities and private property owners will fight to avoid paying a settlement—this is why it’s important to contact a premises liability as soon as possible.
How a Premises Liability Lawyer Can Help
You may be eligible for financial compensation for your premises-related injuries when you’re injured on someone’s property because of a property owner’s negligence. Through a claim, you can recover damages for:
- Medical bills
- Future medical treatment
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
However, proving negligence and establishing liability can be challenging. An experienced lawyer can help protect your rights and:
- Investigate the cause of the accident
- Establish that the property owner owed you a duty of care
- Collect evidence that supports the existence of a defective, unsafe, or dangerous condition on the property
- Prove that the property owner knew about the hazardous conditions but failed to fix them or provide a prior warning
- Establish that the property owner’s failure to perform maintenance or keep the property safe was a substantial factor to the accident or injury
- Handle negotiations and communication with insurance companies
An attorney can handle the claim process so you can focus on recovering and moving forward.
Work With an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer in Fresno
Setareh Law has handled numerous premises liability cases, and we know what it takes to build strong claims. Our attorneys will provide you with unparalleled representation and aggressively pursue fair compensation on your behalf, even if it means going to trial to ensure you get the compensation you deserve.