In Los Angeles, property owners are required to maintain reasonably safe buildings and surrounding areas and warn patrons and visitors of potential hazards.
The following are considered hazardous conditions in Los Angeles premises liability cases:
- Aggressive animals
- Hazardous materials
- Uneven or unstable stairs
- Slippery floors
- Uneven or loose carpet or rugs
- Unstable railings or balconies
- Unsecured objects
- Swimming pools
Many swimming pool accidents involve children near unsecured pool areas. For this reason, property owners are required to install additional protection around swimming pools. According to Senate Bill No. 442, private swimming pools need to have two safety measures, with enclosures, fences, and pool covers being the most common types. Property owners who fail to add these measures can be found liable for any pool-related accidents.
Suffering an injury on someone else’s property does not automatically mean the property owner is at fault. Property owners must be aware of the danger and take steps to repair or remove that danger. In other cases, they may need to warn of the danger, for example, displaying a wet floor sign after cleaning the floor. Property owners who knowingly conceal a hazard are also often at fault.
Children, regardless of whether they were allowed in a specific area or building, are also protected under liability laws.
Common Locations for Premises Liability Conditions
Premises liability applies to any public or private property, including the interior of buildings and surrounding areas. Common locations of accidents due to hazardous conditions include:
- Shopping malls
- Restaurants and bars
- Stadiums and theaters
- Apartment buildings
- Sidewalks, walkways, and parking lots
Hazardous conditions also include inadequate security, especially for properties like apartment buildings and hotels. Property owners should have cameras, security guards, and other security procedures in place to prevent robberies and assaults.
Compensation Options for Hazardous Conditions Accidents
You have options for receiving compensation after an accident due to a hazardous condition. The first step is to file a claim with the property owner’s insurance. Most commercial and private property owners carry insurance that covers these types of accidents.
You can also build a premises liability case due to a hazardous condition in Los Angeles. Lawyers typically settle these types of lawsuits outside court without ever going to trial.
If you suffered an injury on public or government-owned property, the city, county, or state could be held liable. Claims against one of these entities involve different processes than private or commercial property owners, so if you have this kind of claim, you might want to hire a lawyer who can help you with it.
What to Do After Suffering from an Injury Due to a Hazardous Condition
If you have suffered an injury due to a hazardous condition, you are not alone. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that 800,000 people are hospitalized annually due to injuries resulting from a fall. Here is what you should do if a hazardous condition caused you pain and suffering:
- Seek medical attention. If you suffer from any sort of injury, get medical attention as soon as possible. Some injuries can linger without proper care, so it is critical to get treated quickly. Save your medical records and bills to help build your case or claim.
- Gather evidence. Documentation, like witness reports and photos, will help your case. Take pictures of the area where the accident occurred as soon as you can. If possible, get the names and contact information for potential witnesses who can corroborate your claim.
- Determine liability. To file a successful claim, you need to show that the property owner is liable for the hazardous condition. Your evidence should show the hazardous condition, such as a stairway with no railings or warning signs.
- Consult with an attorney. Filing a claim can be a tedious process, especially if you are suffering from pain and emotional distress. You could hire a law firm to build your claim or file your lawsuit.
Statute of Limitations for Premises Liability Cases
The statute of limitations to file a premises liability claim in California is two years, according to the California Code of Civil Procedure (CCP) §335.1. Even though you have two years to file a claim, it is important to speak with a lawyer as soon as possible to begin the process. Beginning a claim as soon as you are able allows you to compile your evidence quickly. Working with a lawyer can help you meet all the deadlines for filing your lawsuit.
Filing a lawsuit against a public entity usually has a different statute of limitations. Depending on the entity, you may have as little as six months to sue. An attorney can advise you further on this matter.
Pintas & Mullins Law Firm May Be Able to Help You
If you believe a hazardous condition caused you injury, you could be entitled to compensation. Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm to discuss the possibility of filing a premises liability claim. We offer a free consultation at no obligation, so you can call us at (800) 223-5115 any time to learn how we may be able to help you build your case.