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What Are the Most Common Types of Premises Liability Cases? How Can You Prevent Yourself From Getting Involved in One?

A premises liability claim is a type of personal injury claim that involves a visitor getting injured on someone else’s property. Liability for a personal injury claim is based on negligence. If an individual, entity, or group was found guilty of committing negligence, which ultimately resulted in the victim’s injuries, then they will be held accountable for any damages.

In order to win a premises liability case, the victim is required to provide convincing proof of the property owner’s negligence. This includes showing evidence of the following:

  • The property owner owned, leased, or occupied the territory.
  • The property owner did not follow California’s legal standard of care.
  • The property owner knew or should have known about the unsafe conditions, but failed to take any reasonable actions to resolve the issue.
  • The property owner did not warn any guests or visitors of potential hazards that were present on the premises.
  • Your injuries.
  • The property owner’s negligence was the main cause of your injuries.

Now, premises liability cases do not always mean that the property owner is at-fault for someone else’s injuries. For example, a property owner invited a few guests over to celebrate their birthday. The property owner inspected the area to make sure that it was clear from any potential hazards. As guests arrived, one of them appeared to be noticeably drunk. That drunk guest was unable to function normally and was often found falling on the floor due to the effects of the alcohol. This resulted in the guest sustaining multiple cuts and bruises. In this type of situation, the property owner is not at-fault for the guest’s injuries since the guest was the one inflicting harm onto themself.

If you were involved in a premises liability incident and would like to file a claim against the party at-fault, West Coast Trial Lawyers has San Francisco premises liability attorneys with over 60 years of collective legal experience in handling personal injury cases. With our track record of recovering more than $1 billion in settlements for our clients, we are confident that we will deliver a good outcome to your case.

To schedule a free, no-obligation consultation at our San Francisco personal injury law firm, please contact us by calling (415) 326-8794 or emailing [email protected].

Common Types of Premises Liability Cases

A slip and fall accident is one of the most common types of premises liability cases occurring in California. Older people are often associated with slip and fall accidents. As they experience physical, sensory, and cognitive changes while growing older, it becomes more difficult for them to walk cautiously, which is why they are known for falling down quite often. They are also at a high risk of suffering serious injuries or death since their bones begin to weaken as they continue to age. According to the National Floor Safety Institute, falls contribute to 87 percent of bone fractures among those who are 65 years old and older.

Children are also considered as a high risk group for a slip and fall accident. Due to a child’s curiosity, they will have the intention of exploring their surroundings without realizing that they are putting themselves in harm’s way. For example, a child is interested in walking up the stairs. There are no adults around to supervise the child. The child begins to rush upstairs, however, they trip on a step, fall down, and injure themself.

Falls occurring in the workplace are also very common, especially in construction sites. In 2019, there were a total of 1,102 fatal construction accidents in the United States. About 37.9 percent of these deaths were caused by falls, slips, and trips.

Lack of proper security protection is another factor that contributes to a premises liability case. Property owners are expected to have protection available on their premises, such as:

  • Video Surveillance. Installing security cameras may help discourage robbers from breaking into the property. Furthermore, if an incident does occur where the property owner is accused of negligence, security cameras may be used as proof to determine whether the victim is telling the truth.
  • Security Alarm Systems. This device is used to enforce building protection and safety. It can detect conditions, such as smoke, fire, poisoning, or water damage to alert those inside to evacuate.
  • Electronic Access Control. Electronic access controls, such as key cards, are provided to employees and/or cleaning crews.The intention of having this is to reduce theft and prevent customers from entering areas that are only permitted to staff members.
  • Security Guards. If the property owner has their premises located in a high crime area, they are expected to have security guards present. Security guards will watch, patrol, and monitor the property to ensure that no theft or violence takes place.

If a property owner fails to incorporate a structured security system, they will likely face a premises liability case for any injury that was reasonably foreseeable and could have been prevented.

Swimming pool accidents have also been associated with premises liability cases. According to the Centers for Disease Controls and Prevention (CDC), children ages 1 to 4 years old have the highest rate of fatal drownings. For this age group, drowning is the second leading cause of an unintentional injury or death, following after motor vehicle accidents. One of the main factors that have contributed to these deaths is lack of supervision and missing fences surrounding the body of water. It is very important for a property owner to make sure that trespassers, particularly children, do not enter their premises due to an attractive nuisance, such as a swimming pool. If a property owner provides easy access to their swimming pool, children will likely wander off into the area and swim without having any proper supervision to ensure their safety. Any deaths or injuries that take place will likely result in the property owner facing a premises liability case.

A dog bite has been another common element that has contributed to multiple premises liability claims. A dog owner is expected to train their dog to ensure that it exhibits good behavior, especially when visitors are over. If a dog owner intentionally influences their dog to misbehave and act aggressively towards anyone, it could create an unsafe environment for those who are near the animal. Unfortunately, many dog owners have chosen to raise a hostile pet, which in turn has resulted in several dog bite cases across the United States. It has been reported that the country experiences an estimate of 4.5 million dog bite cases a year. According to the CDC, more than 800,000 people were in need of medical care to treat their dog bite wounds. At least 50 percent of these dog bite cases have involved children. With dog owners allowing their dog to attack people on their property, it is very likely for premises liability lawsuits to be filed against them for negligence. The only exceptions for a dog bite include the following:

  • The injured person was found trespassing on private property,
  • The injured person provoked the dog, or
  • The dog was performing work-related duties as a police dog.

What to Do After Being Injured on Someone Else’s Property

Below, we have created a list of tips a premises liability victim should follow in order to acquire recoverable compensation.

  • Medical Treatment. If you were hurt on someone else’s property, or anywhere for that matter, your health must always be your first concern. You should visit a doctor to receive medical care. The doctor will examine your injury to determine a treatment plan that will help you with your recovery. Any visit that is related to your premises liability injury can be used as evidence that you did, in fact, get harmed while on someone else’s property.
  • Gather Evidence. Make sure to take photos or video footage of your injuries, damages, what caused your injury, and where the incident took place. If any witnesses are nearby, you should ask for their consent to acquire their contact information. Witness testimonies will help strengthen your claim.
  • Obtain an Incident Report. If your injury occurred in a public setting, such as a grocery store, then you should report it to the store manager. They will create an incident report and send it over to the corporate office. You may also request a copy of this report to use as evidence.
  • Be Careful With What You Say. It’s perfectly normal to feel emotional after being hurt, however you should try not to speak at all about the accident with the property owner or landlord. Most importantly, do not blame anyone for the accident nor should you admit to liability.
  • Reach Out to a San Francisco Premises Liability Attorney. Do not speak to your insurance company before you contact a premises liability attorney. The attorney will guide you through the do’s and don’ts of filing a claim.

West Coast Trial Lawyers Is Here to Help

If you suffered an injury on someone else’s property due to their negligence, you may be eligible to file a premises liability lawsuit. At West Coast Trial Lawyers, our experienced San Francisco personal injury attorneys are available 24/7 to offer legal assistance. We will help you get the compensation you deserve for your losses.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us today by calling (415) 326-8794 or emailing [email protected] to schedule a free consultation at our San Francisco personal injury law firm.

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