In Los Angeles, property owners need to have safety standards in place to keep their buildings and surrounding areas reasonably safe for visitors, tenants, and occupants. The Los Angeles County Code has detailed provisions that regulate all parts of the building process. It also contains regulations requiring property owners to keep all aspects of their building up to code. They need to renew licenses annually and submit to inspections should the proper official feel it is necessary. Property owners need to adhere to the following safety codes:
- Building Codes
- Electrical Codes
- Plumbing Codes
- Mechanical Codes
- Existing Building Codes
These codes exist to protect the well-being of occupants and visitors. Failure to meet these codes can result in an unsafe area that could potentially cause accidents and injuries. A poorly maintained building can present several hazards, such as cracked floors and faulty lighting, that could cause you harm.
Common Injuries that Result from a Property Owner Failing to Meet a Safety Standard
Depending on the safety code violation, you could suffer several types of injuries that impact your physical and emotional health, including:
- Broken bones
- Sprains and fractures
- Neck and spinal injuries
- Bruised or damaged internal organs
- Internal bleeding
- Dislocated joints
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Emotional distress
Even if you feel the initial pain of your injury was minor, it is crucial to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Some injuries only get worse over time, and some, like back injuries, can linger for years. Additionally, continuing your daily routine could aggravate a small injury, making it worse.
Emotional distress can also be a serious issue after experiencing an accident due to a property owner’s negligence. You could develop anxiety, depression, and even PTSD after suffering an injury. Dealing with emotional distress can be just as crippling as a physical injury.
Property Owner Liability for Failing to Meet Safety Standards
If you suffer an injury as a result of a property owner’s negligence of a safety standard, you could be entitled to compensation. In addition to having safety standards in place, Los Angeles property owners need to notify occupants and visitors of potential safety hazards. They also need to repair the danger as quickly as possible to continue to meet safety standards.
The most common safety violations that result in slips and falls include uneven or broken floors or stairs, inadequate lighting, and a lack of visible warning signs of potential hazards. Falling objects, like ceiling tiles and lights, can also cause injuries like concussions and contusions.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also cites cluttered walkways, loose floor mats, and slippery floors as potential slip and fall hazards.
Ways to Gain Compensation if You Suffer an Injury
When you suffer an injury because a property owner did not meet a safety standard, you have a couple of options. The first route to try is filing a claim with the property owner’s insurance. Nearly all property owners carry insurance for accidents, but the claims process can be tedious, and many insurance companies try to negotiate a settlement that is less than what you are entitled to. The second route is to sue the property owner. You can likely settle the lawsuit, saving you the hassle of undergoing a trial.
Regardless of whether you file a claim with the property owner’s insurance or sue the property owner, you need to be able to show that the building or area did not meet the required city and state safety standards. This means that you will need evidence, such as photos of the hazard and witness statements, to make a solid case.
For either route, you should consider working with a lawyer to navigate the complexities of the claim or case. A lawyer could be able to help you recover the full amount of compensation that you are entitled to, including:
- Lost wages (both current and future)
- Medical expenses
- Emotional distress damages
- Damage to physical property
- Pain and suffering
In order to receive a sum that covers the extent of the accident, keep all of your medical bills and salary records. A lawyer should be able to help you calculate the full amount.
File Your Claim within the California Statute of Limitations
According to the California statute of limitations, California Code of Civil Procedure (CIV) §335.1, you have two years to file a personal injury claim. If you do not file your claim within the two-year period, you will not be able to try to gain compensation at all. Since the claims process can be tasking, consider getting the assistance of an attorney to help you file within this deadline.
Pintas & Mullins Law Firm Can Help
The team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can help you determine if you have a case or claim. Give our team a call at (800) 223-5115 to see if you can file a claim due to a property owner’s negligence. We’re available 24/7 to provide free and fast consultations, and we do not get paid unless you do.