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Premises Liability

San Jose Premises Liability Attorney

What is Premises Liability Law?

Property owners have a legal responsibility to inspect their property and discover and fix any unsafe conditions that could be reasonably expected to harm others. When you or someone you know suffers injury or harm on another person's property, you may have the right to seek compensation if your injuries were the cause of unsafe conditions.

Premises liability law is the body of personal injury law that holds the owner of land or premises responsible for certain injuries suffered by people on the premises. At Habbas & Associates, a San Jose premises liability lawyer can help individuals seek compensation for injuries occurring in shopping malls, homes, apartment complexes, sports facilities, amusement parks, commercial buildings, farm land, and other open land spaces as well.

What is Premises Liability?

Premises liability refers to the legal responsibility of property owners or occupants for accidents and injuries that occur on their property due to unsafe or hazardous conditions. When someone gets injured on another person's property, they may file a premises liability claim to seek compensation for their injuries and damages.

Types of Premises Liability Cases

Common types of premises liability cases include:

  • Slip and Fall Accidents: These occur due to wet floors, uneven surfaces, inadequate lighting, or obstacles in walkways.
  • Negligent Security: Property owners can be liable if inadequate security measures lead to assaults, robberies, or other criminal acts on their premises.
  • Defective Conditions: This involves dangerous conditions such as broken stairs, faulty handrails, or other structural defects causing harm.
  • Dog Bites or Animal Attacks: Owners can be held responsible for injuries caused by their pets if the attack occurs on their property.
  • Swimming Pool Accidents: Inadequate fencing, lack of warning signs, or failure to maintain pool safety can lead to accidents and drownings.
  • Elevator or Escalator Accidents: Malfunctioning or poorly maintained elevators and escalators can cause injuries.
  • Fires and Burns: Property owners might be liable if a fire occurs due to inadequate safety measures or lack of proper precautions.
  • Toxic or Hazardous Materials: Exposure to toxic substances like mold, lead paint, or chemicals due to inadequate warnings or safety measures can lead to liability.

Proving Liability in a Premises Liability Case in California

In California, to succeed in a premises liability lawsuit, you generally need to establish several key elements. These elements may vary depending on the specific circumstances of the case, but they typically include:
 

  1. Duty of Care: The property owner (or occupier) owed a duty of care to the injured person. This duty of care varies based on the individual's legal status while on the property (e.g., invitee, licensee, or trespasser).
  2. Breach of Duty: There was a breach of that duty of care. This means the property owner failed to fulfill their obligation to maintain a reasonably safe environment or failed to warn about known hazards.
  3. Causation: The hazardous condition or negligent actions directly caused the injuries sustained by the individual. It must be established that the property owner's breach of duty was the proximate cause of the injuries.
  4. Actual Harm: The injured party suffered actual harm or damages, such as medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, or other measurable losses due to the accident.
  5. Knowledge or Foreseeability: The property owner knew or should have reasonably known about the hazardous condition and failed to take appropriate actions to remedy it or warn visitors.

California law also considers the legal status of the individual on the property, which determines the level of care owed to them:

  • Invitees: Those invited onto the property for business or commercial purposes are owed the highest duty of care. Property owners must maintain safe conditions and warn about known dangers.
  • Licensees: Social guests or those with implied permission to be on the property are owed a duty to be warned about known dangers.
  • Trespassers: While property owners owe a lesser duty to trespassers, they still must avoid willfully or intentionally causing harm and, in some cases, warn about hidden dangers.

Proving these elements requires evidence, such as witness testimony, maintenance records, photographs, medical records, and expert opinions to establish the property owner's negligence and the resulting harm. Each case is unique, and the specifics of the incident play a significant role in determining liability in premises liability lawsuits in California.

What to Do After Being Injured on Private or Public Property

If you've been injured on public or private property and you believe it's due to the property owner's negligence, here are steps you can take to start the premises liability claims process:

  1. Seek Medical Attention: Your health is the priority. Get medical help immediately, even if your injuries seem minor. Medical records will be crucial for your claim.
  2. Report the Incident: Notify the property owner, manager, or landlord about the incident as soon as possible. Ask for an incident report and make sure to keep a copy for yourself.
  3. Document the Scene: Take photos or videos of the accident scene, including the hazardous condition or cause of the injury, if possible. Collect names and contact information of any witnesses.
  4. Preserve Evidence: Keep any clothing or objects involved in the incident that might serve as evidence. Don't repair or discard anything related to the accident.
  5. Record Details: Write down details of the accident while they're fresh in your memory. Include what happened, the time and date, weather conditions, and any communication with the property owner or employees.
  6. Contact an Attorney: Consider consulting a premises liability attorney. They can advise you on your rights, assess the strength of your case, and guide you through the legal process.
  7. Don't Discuss the Incident: Avoid discussing the incident on social media or with the property owner's insurance company without legal representation. Anything said might be used against your claim.
  8. Keep Track of Expenses: Maintain records of all medical bills, prescriptions, travel costs for treatment, and any other expenses related to the injury.
  9. File a Claim: With the help of your attorney, file a premises liability claim with the property owner's insurance company. Your lawyer can negotiate on your behalf to seek fair compensation.
  10. Be Patient: Premises liability claims can take time to resolve. Work closely with your attorney and follow their guidance throughout the process.

Remember, each case is unique, and the steps might vary based on the circumstances. Consulting with an experienced attorney can significantly assist in navigating the complexities of a premises liability claim.

Seeking Compensation for Your Premises Liability Case

Premises liability cases can be legally complex and they usually require the assistance of legal experts who can navigate through the laws and stipulations of filing a claim. It is important to hire an experienced attorney from a well-established law firm who has significant resources and an extensive knowledge of the law in order to determine the cause of an accident. At Habbas & Associates, we have over 200 years of experience fighting for victims who have been needlessly injured, and we aggressively fight for the compensation they deserve.

In order to seek compensation for your premises liability claim, you must be able to prove that there is actual fault or negligence on the behalf of the property owner or occupier. Our firm can help you gather the necessary evidence to prove that the owner failed to use reasonable care to keep the property in a reasonably safe condition. We will stay by your side throughout the entire process, and we will advocate tirelessly for your rights in the courtroom.

Give us a call at (888) 387-4053 or fill out our contact form for a free consultation today!

Hear It From Our CLients.

Testimonials

  • "She made the whole process smooth and simple. She fought to get me what I deserved when a drunk driver crashed into me. I will recommend her and the team at Habbas and Associates to everyone I know!"
    Grace T.
  • "I was severely hurt in a car accident involving a tractor trailer that rear ended my vehicle. Hiring the Habbas firm and working with Mr. Habbas and his colleagues was the best decision I ever made."
    Gordon T.
  • "He answered all of our questions every time we had one and that's why we are so happy and blessed to have Habbas and Associates on our side. I strongly recommend them."
    Feliciano & Maria Verzosa
  • "Omar Habbas will fight for you and give you the best results out of your case I know. They take good care of their clients I’ve never been happier. Thank you to the whole entire team at Habbas & Associates. You are highly recommended."
    Nina Wright
  • "The experience I had with Laura was exceptional and will 100% refer her and Habbas to anyone seeking an attorney for an accident. She made the experience a great one."
    Juan A.


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