Orange County Premises Liability Lawyer
Premises liability is an area of personal injury law covering harm suffered at another’s property because they didn’t use enough care or take precautions that they should have. Many of these cases involve injuries due to slips and falls, but that’s only the beginning.
Injured on Another’s Property? You May Have a Legal Right to Seek Compensation
Orange County premises liability lawyer Aaron Hicks understands that these cases can involve severe, disabling injuries resulting in long-term income loss and physical and emotional pain. If you’re seriously injured on someone else’s property, contact the Hicks Law Firm at 949-541-9944 today.
What is a Premises Liability Case?
Premises liability cases involve a party’s liability for injuries to others arising out of the possession or ownership of real property. They can happen when you’re at someone’s home, an office, a store, a parking lot, or staying at a hotel.
These lawsuits generally arise when the owner or occupier of a property negligently fails to maintain a safe environment or warn visitors or guests about known hazards. The facts and how the law applies will vary on the situation, but generally, they act negligently because they do not use reasonable care to:
- Maintain the property in a reasonably safe condition
- Discover unsafe conditions and repair, replace, or provide adequate warnings of something that could reasonably be expected to harm others
Like most personal injury cases, these injuries are usually covered by liability insurance purchased by the property owner or occupier. Nearly all these cases are resolved through a negotiated settlement.
What Would Cause One of These Accidents?
Some situations where these injuries can occur include:
- Slip and fall accidents: You slip, trip, or fall due to hazardous conditions such as wet floors, uneven surfaces, poorly maintained stairs, or inadequate lighting
- Inadequate maintenance: Property owners must maintain their premises in a reasonably safe condition. Failure to repair or address issues such as broken handrails, faulty electrical wiring, or structural defects can lead to accidents and potential liability.
- Negligent security: If a property owner knows of crime in the area, fails to provide adequate security measures, and you’re injured, they may be held liable. These measures can be sufficient parking lot lighting, security personnel, or door locks
- Defective conditions: Due to defects or hazards, such as uneven sidewalks, inadequate signage, or malfunctioning elevators or escalators, the property owner may be held responsible for injuries caused as a result
- Dog bites or animal attacks: An animal owner is liable if it bites you and causes injuries, even if it hasn’t bitten anyone in the past
- Swimming pool accidents: Swimming pool owners are responsible for ensuring that safety measures, such as proper fencing, warning signs, and supervision, are in place to prevent accidents and injuries
If this type of accident happens to you, get medical attention as quickly as possible. Take photos or videos of the area and contact whoever is responsible for the area. If they’ll write an incident or accident report, ask for a copy. You should get witnesses’ names and contact information and call the Hicks Firm so we can talk about your case and how to protect your rights.
How Do We Prove a Premises Liability Case?
Premises liability claims are usually based on the negligence legal theory. Property owners and occupiers must maintain the property so it’s reasonably safe for visitors, and they must warn visitors of known dangers on the property. How this applies to you depends on your situation.
The elements of a premises liability/negligence case come down to:
- Duty: The defendant has a duty to keep the property to a given standard of care. A business must keep its property in a reasonably safe condition for customers. They need to adequately warn them of open and known dangers
- Breach: That duty is breached, and the defendant doesn’t meet their legal obligations. This must be proven by a preponderance of the evidence (it’s more likely than not). A spill on a store floor isn’t cleaned up, a property owner in a dangerous neighborhood doesn’t light his parking lot, or a building’s electrical system violates the applicable building codes
- Causation: That breach is the factual and legal (or proximate) cause of the accident and your injuries. No event, like the actions of another party, breaks the connection between the breach and your injuries
- Damages: Your injuries result in problems for which you can be compensated. You can document your injuries and medical and rehabilitation bills. You lost income because you missed so much time at work. You also suffered pain and suffering due to the injury and its treatment
If the defendant’s actions, or failures to act, are extreme and show indifference to the health and life of others, you may also seek punitive damages to punish them and discourage them and others from making the same mistakes.
Contact an Experienced Attorney in Orange County
The team of lawyers at Hicks Law Firm helps people injured on another’s property get the compensation they deserve. Our premises liability lawyers serve all of Orange County including Costa Mesa, Irvine, Tustin and all local cities. Our clients receive dedicated attention, and we forcefully advocate for them so they obtain the MAXIMUM compensation available.