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Modesto Premises Liability Lawyer

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Man suffering injury while on premises. Key Components of Premises Liability Claims

Property owners, commercial and residential, have a duty to ensure that their premises are safe for visitors and customers. When property owners fail to maintain their premises in reasonably safe conditions, the owner is considered negligent. In the event a person is injured due to their negligence, the owner can be held liable for the injured person’s damages. When someone is injured due to property owner negligence, they can file a premises liability claim. 

To prove a property owner is liable for damages under California premises liability law, you or an attorney must provide sufficient evidence proving the four essential elements of negligence: duty of care, breach of duty, causation, and damages. Premises liability cases can be complex, and injured victims can substantially benefit from the expertise and resources of a qualified Modesto premises liability attorney. An experienced attorney can help you understand your legal options and help you build a strong case that gives you a better chance of recovering maximum damages.

Key Components of Premises Liability Claims

In California, premises liability cases are based on proof of negligence by the possessor or owner of the premises. California’s civil code 1714 states that property owners are obligated to provide “ordinary care” and that all property owners are responsible for meeting this standard. “Ordinary care” or “duty of care” is a legal standard of reasonable care that property owners need to meet. Reasonable care typically refers to maintenance that a reasonable person would keep up with to maintain their premises safe. To pursue a premises liability claim or lawsuit against a property owner or possessor, the following key components must be true:

  • The property is owned/possessed by the party the claim is being filed against (defendant)
  • The defendant was aware or should have been aware of the dangers on their property
  • The defendant failed to provide “ordinary care,” therefore breaching their duty of care
  • The victim (plaintiff) was injured because of this breach of duty 
  • The defendant’s negligence is a substantial factor in the cause of the plaintiff’s injury

These key factors must be present for a person to have a valid claim under California premises liability law. 

Type of Premises Liability Claims

The most known type of premises liability claim is the slip-and-fall claim. Slip-and-fall accidents are when a person slips, falls, or trips because something on the property was poorly maintained or a liquid substance made the floor slippery. However, various other types of accidents fall under the premises liability category, including injuries sustained because of:

  • Dog bites
  • Animal attacks
  • Poorly maintained steps or stairs
  • Unmarked steps or stairs
  • Swimming pool accidents
  • Broken or missing railings 
  • Broken or uneven pavement 
  • Inadequate lighting 
  • Inadequate security 
  • Falling merchandise
  • Merchandise blocking walkways
  • Exposure to chemicals or toxic fumes
  • Fire and smoke injuries
  • Failure to repair or maintain the property 
  • Collapsing floors, stairs, porches, or otherwise
  • Escalator or elevator accidents

When the fundamental elements of nearly every premises liability case are the same, hardly ever is any case similar to another. The type of accident, the location of the accident, and various other elements can make premise liability cases unique and challenging. Understanding the complexity of premises liability law is an attorney’s job. A skilled and experienced attorney can help you ensure you meet every deadline and file the right paperwork through the proper channels, so you get to pursue the compensation you are owed. 

Who Can Be Held Liable for a Premises Liability Claim?

Under California law, if you’re injured on someone’s property, you may be able to hold the property owner or possessor legally responsible for your injury and any other related losses. Possible liable parties consist of an individual, company, or government entity that owns, leases, occupies or controls the property. Parties that can be held liable in a premises liability claim include:

  • Landowner
  • Homeowner
  • Business owner
  • Commercial company
  • Tenant or renter
  • Property management company
  • Retailer
  • Big box store
  • Restaurant
  • Employee
  • Local government
  • Multiple parties 

Under California premises liability law, control over property is typically sufficient to hold a party legally responsible in the event of an accident. The defendant does not have to own, occupy, and control the property to be held liable. Who is liable for your case depends on the type of property, legal matters such as rental agreement, whether you were at work at the time of the accident, and the defendant’s duty of care. 

The Benefits of Working With a Premises Liability Lawyer

As mentioned above, proving liability requires a lot of knowledge, thoroughness, and resources. After a premises liability accident, you are likely focused on recovering from any injuries you may have sustained physically, emotionally, and financially. Understandably, taking on a legal battle on top of things may seem like too much, but you don’t have to do it alone. Lawyers are here to pursue your right to compensation and protect your rights so you can focus on recovering. A premises liability attorney can help with:

  • Assessing the validity of your claim
  • Determining the best avenue for your claim
  • Negotiating with insurance companies
  • Gathering evidence 
  • Looking through medical history
  • Pausing medical bills until the resolution of your claim
  • Speaking with eyewitness
  • Working with expert witness 
  • Thoroughly investigating the accident
  • Preparing for trial 

While most premises liability cases can be resolved by settling, in the instances where insurance companies or the liable party can’t agree to a reasonable and fair settlement, an attorney can prepare your case to go to trial. They can ensure you have a strong case, so a judge will agree to award you with the best possible results. 

Contact Our Modesto Premises Liability Attorney Today

Setareh Law is a firm dedicated to helping the residents of Modesto pursue the compensation and justice they deserve. We aggressively advocate for our client’s rights and are ready to go to trial if it means ensuring our clients are receiving the best possible outcome for their case. You can reach us by filling out our contact form or calling (310) 659-1826 to schedule a consultation. We also speak Spanish.

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Setareh Law, APLC

931 10th Street, #454
Modesto, CA 95354
(209) 273-5860

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