The owners and occupiers of property in Los Angeles owe a duty to keep their premises free from unreasonably dangerous hazards. While this duty’s specifics vary from one visitor to another, the failure of a property owner to maintain the premises in a safe condition can result in legal action.
If you suffered a severe injury due to a dangerous hazard on another person’s property, you could have a viable premises liability claim. If successful, your claim could result in compensation for your injuries, pain and suffering, and even property damage.
The reality of premises liability law is that it is more complicated than the typical negligence case. Taking on these claims on your own could risk missing out on compensation for your injuries entirely. Put your claim in the hands of an experienced Los Angeles premises liability lawyer. To get started with your claim, contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 223-5115 right away.
How Can a Lawyer Help Me with My Premises Liability Case?
The value of experienced legal counsel is impossible to overstate in these complex cases. From start to finish, your choice of attorney impacts every aspect of your claim. Some of the ways an attorney can assist with a premises liability claim include:
- Investigating your claim. In most premises liability cases, the investigation around the cause of the accident is crucial. An attorney can determine not only the factors that caused the injury but also the duty owed by the property owner as well.
- Negotiating on your behalf. Many premises liability claims end through a negotiated settlement. These settlements do not appear out of thin air, however. Your attorney can build a strong claim based on their investigation and use it to negotiate a fair settlement.
- Serving as your advocate. There can be many different interested parties in a premises liability case, and your attorney can deal directly with them on your behalf. This includes speaking with other attorneys, insurance companies, and witnesses to the accident.
- Filing a lawsuit. When settlements fall apart, litigation is the final option. Your attorney can pursue a legal claim on your behalf.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for a Premises Liability Claim in Los Angeles?
The specific statute that relates to this type of claim is California Code of Civil Procedures (CCP) §335.1. As with all injury claims, the statute requires a plaintiff to file their premises liability lawsuit within two years from the date the injury occurred.
Los Angeles courts strictly enforce the statute of limitations. Should you file your claim after the deadline expires, the court will likely dismiss your claim with prejudice. This dismissal can occur regardless of how strong your underlying injury claim might be.
Some limited exceptions can extend the time limit to file a lawsuit. These exceptions pause the two-year window for a set amount of time. Exceptions can occur when a defendant is absent for the state or when the injured plaintiff is a minor under the age of 18.
While these exceptions exist, it is a mistake to assume they will apply in your case. Always discuss the applicable deadline for your claim with seasoned legal counsel to ensure you comply with the statute of limitations. Discuss your case with an attorney could be the difference between recovering the compensation you need and walking away empty-handed.
For a free legal consultation with a Premises Liability Lawyer serving Los Angeles, call (800) 794-0444
What Happens When You Go to Court for a Premises Liability Case in Los Angeles?
The answer will depend largely on the status of your claim. One of the benefits of working with experienced legal counsel is that your attorney can appear in your stead in most circumstances.
You will not have to appear for most preliminary hearings. In situations where the court requires an appearance for a status update or a motion hearing, your attorney can generally represent you without the need for you to appear in person.
The exception to this is any hearing that requires your testimony. Primarily, your appearance is limited to your trial. There are some limited cases where the court may require you to testify prior to trial, as well.
As a party to the case, you have the right to attend the proceedings help within the courtroom. If multiple witnesses are testifying other than yourself, you are entitled to remain in the courtroom for their testimony as well. With preliminary hearings, you are typically free to leave once your testimony is complete if you choose.
Los Angeles Premises Liability Lawyer Near Me (800) 794-0444
How Much Is the Average Premises Liability Settlement in Los Angeles?
It is impossible to precisely calculate an average settlement. The vast majority of these settlements come to a resolution outside of legal proceedings, and most include clauses that guarantee confidentiality. The end result is a lack of objective data regarding what these claims are typically worth.
That does not mean reliable estimates are impossible to come by. An experienced Los Angeles premises liability lawyer can investigate your claim and advise you on your potential compensation. This process begins with a review of liability in your case and concludes with an estimation of your possible damages. Your attorney will consider your measurable losses like medical expenses as well as your unmeasurable losses like your pain and suffering. Ultimately, this careful review can represent your best opportunity to understand the potential value of your case.
If you are ready to move forward with a premises liability claim, the team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm is ready to help. To get started, dial (800) 223-5115 to schedule your free consultation as soon as possible.
Click to contact our Premises Liability Lawyers today
What Damages Can I Receive for a Premises Liability Claim in Los Angeles?
Ultimately, the goal of every premises liability claim is financial compensation. There are multiple types of damages you can claim. The extent of this compensation will vary depending on the type and severity of your injuries. Compensation commonly available in these claims include:
- Medical Costs. The cost of medical treatment can be substantial following a premises liability claim. These cases could recover the cost of hospital bills, surgical expenses, and medical devices, among other expenses.
- Lost Wages. Many premises liability accidents are so severe that the injuries prevent you from immediately returning to work. Any wages lost due to an injury could lead to financial compensation.
- Pain and Suffering. The physical suffering that follows a premises liability injury can also result in financial damages. Often these damages scale with the amount of medical bills you accrue.
- Property Damage. In some cases, a premises liability accident could destroy your personal property. Common examples include watches, tablets, and mobile devices. A successful claim could provide compensation to repair or replace these items.
- Disfigurement. Some injuries leave permanent scarring or disfigurement. You could recover compensation for this disfigurement and the impact it has on your quality of life.
Complete a Free Case Evaluation form now
What Evidence Do I Need to File a Premises Liability Claim in Los Angeles?
Regardless of the nature of your injury, a successful premises liability claim will require substantial evidence. The evidence will depend on the facts of your case. In general, the more evidence that points to the property owner’s negligence, the stronger your claim may be. Some examples of strong evidence in a premises liability claim include:
- Photographs. Photographic evidence is invaluable in many premises liability claims. Pictures of the area where you fell as well as images that depict your injuries are particularly helpful.
- Witness Statements. Premises liability cases often come down to your word versus that of the property owner. A statement from an independent witness confirming your account of the story is strong evidence at trial.
- Medical Records. Proving your damages is one vital step in a premises liability claim. This typically starts with demonstrating the amount of medical bills you require compensation for.
- Physical Evidence. If a substance resulted in a fall, a sample of that substance could be evidence at trial.
- Incident Reports. Most businesses take incident reports after an accident. These reports could be useful to your attorney.
Can I Sue Someone If I Hurt Myself on Their Private Property in Los Angeles?
Often, the focus on premises liability laws centers on injuries that occur at a business. The reality is that these claims could originate from anywhere. Private property is only one of the places these claims typically stem from. Some of the locations that commonly lead to premises liability claims include:
- Public Sidewalks. Public sidewalks often have heavy foot traffic. When the city or county government that is responsible for caring for these sidewalks fails to address a dangerous hazard, they could face liability for any injuries that occur. Examples of these hazards could include cracks, potholes, or accumulated water.
- Private Residences. Private property is a common location for a premises liability claim. These claims could emanate from a hazard with a person’s private residence or outdoors on their property.
- Government Buildings. Government buildings are also common locations for premises liability claims. Spilled cleaning supplies are only one example of a typical hazard.
- Grocery Stores. Grocery stores are full of potential hazards. Frozen foods, spilled beverages, and dropped fruit all have the potential to cause an injury.
What Is a Premises Liability Case?
A premise liability case is a type of personal injury claim. This legal concept is based on the duty of a property owner or occupier to address unreasonably dangerous hazards on their property. These defective and dangerous conditions could be man-made or they could appear naturally. What matters is whether or not the property owner took the steps a reasonable person would have to make those dangerous conditions safe.
Some premises liability claims result from a property owner’s failure to take any action to resolve a dangerous hazard. An example could include a business owner failing to clean up a spilled drink on their floor. It is important to note that the manner a reasonable person would respond to a hazard depends on the circumstances. For example, a court is less likely to hold a business owner accountable for a spilled drink that was on their floor for a manner of seconds compared to a spill that the owner went days without addressing.
There are also naturally-occurring hazards that cannot be removed entirely from a piece of property. Property features like ponds or caves are inherently dangerous, but the reasonable response to these hazards could be limited to warning visitors of the danger they represent.
How Long Does a Premises Liability Claim Take to Settle in Los Angeles?
There is no uniform amount of time a premises liability claim will take. The time frame will depend on a range of factors. In a best-case scenario, you and your attorney could settle with the at-fault property owner within a matter of weeks.
One important factor that could result in a quick settlement is an acknowledgment of liability. If the property owner accepts responsibility for your injury, the case will typically boil down to agreeing on a fair amount of compensation. These cases are much more likely to end in a settlement than others.
The process of settling these cases usually begins as soon as you hire an attorney. Your attorney will review your claim, identify the value of your case, and send what is known as a demand letter to the at-fault property owner or their insurance company. This letter will spell out the compensation you seek in exchange for your promise not to sue.
Cases involving disputed liability can take much longer to wrap up. In some cases, they will never settle and ultimately go to trial. A settlement remains possible up until the point of trial in these cases, and in some instances, the parties will reach an agreement years after the plaintiff files their case.
Who Can I Sue in a Premises Liability Claim in Los Angeles?
The legal process starts with determining the at-fault party or parties responsible for your injury. However, it is not always immediately clear who is at fault for a premises liability claim. Some of the potential defendants in a premises liability lawsuit include:
- Property Owners. The owner of the property where the injury occurred is a natural defendant in a premises liability lawsuit. The duty to address dangerous hazards ultimately falls to the owner.
- Agent. In some cases, property owners leave the management of the premises to an agent or an employee. If that person is entrusted to ensure the property remains in a safe condition, they could face liability in a lawsuit for any injuries that occur.
- Occupiers. In addition to property owners and their agents, the occupiers of real property could also be responsible for an injury claim. This could include both commercial or residential tenants.
How Can I Prove Negligence in a Premises Liability Case in Los Angeles?
Ultimately, premises liability cases are a form of negligence claims. There are four elements required to prove negligence in a premises liability case in Los Angeles. According to California Civil Code (CIV) §1714(a), these elements include the duty of care, breach of the duty, causation, and damages.
Identifying whether or not a duty of care is central to many premises liability cases. Property owners and occupiers owe varying duties to visitors depending on their status on the property. For example, a property owner owes a much higher duty to a house guest compared to a trespasser.
After establishing that a duty of care exists, you must next show the property owner violated that duty. In a premises liability claim, this occurs by showing the property owner failed to take reasonable steps to address a dangerous hazard on the property.
The third element of negligence in these cases is known as causation. A property owner is not responsible for just any injury. Only the injuries directly linked to a property owner’s breached duty will result in compensation.
Finally, you must also establish that you suffered compensable damages in your premises liability case. Without proving damages, you may not recover compensation for your injuries.
When Can I Expect to Get Paid from My Premises Liability Claim in Los Angeles?
The amount of time it takes to get paid on your Los Angeles premises liability claim will depend on a number of factors. First and foremost, whether or case settles or goes to trial will primarily determine how long it takes to resolve your claim. The process of wrapping up a settlement can also cause delays in certain circumstances.
You can expect to get paid on your premises liability claim much faster if you reach a settlement with the at-fault party. While settlements can happen within a matter of weeks, cases that go to trial typically take months or years to conclude. What’s more, obtaining a verdict at trial does not guarantee that you will recover on your judgment. There is no guarantee that the defendant will have the assets needed to pay a judgment after you obtain one.
Some settlements can also take longer than others. Most settlements include a process where the parties release each other from any future liability claims related to the injury. Sometimes the parties will hammer out a release and execute it in short order. When there are disagreements about the language in these releases, you might have to wait to get paid until the attorneys negotiate the release language.
Does Premises Liability Cover Assault in Los Angeles?
Most premises liability claims involve common hazards like slick floors or falling objects. However, Los Angeles premises liability claims can cover assault as well. This type of claim does not cover standard assault negligence lawsuits against the person that committed the violent attack, however. Premises liability claims involving assaults instead focus on a property owner’s failure to protect you from a criminal act or warn you that criminal activity was common on the premises. These claims are known as negligent security claims.
Property owners in L.A. have a responsibility to provide customers and patrons with safety and security in some cases. This duty could include preventing a fight at a bar or securing the common area of an apartment complex from criminals. When businesses and property owners fail to take the necessary steps to prevent crime or warn of recent criminal activity, anyone injured in an assault on the premises could have a legal claim.
Negligent security claims are complex, as most business owners refuse to accept responsibility for criminal acts of another person. Despite that fact, a Los Angeles premises liability lawyer could recover compensation for your injuries under these circumstances. To discuss your injuries, contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 223-5115.
Does Premises Liability Cover Animal Attacks in Los Angeles?
In cases of domestic animal attacks, strict liability laws generally apply to the owner of the animal. That said, premises liability can cover some animal attacks in Los Angeles. According to state law, it is possible to pursue a claim for damages involving attacks from wild animals through a premises liability claim. There are limitations on the ability to pursue these claims, however.
For the most part, wild animals are “natural conditions” that are exempt from causing premises liability claims. Property owners are not liable for attacks by these animals except under two specific circumstances.
First, a property owner could be liable for a wild animal attack if they took steps that increased the risk of harm by that wild animal. Second, a property owner could be on the hook for damages if they knew a specific dangerous animal posed a risk to anyone on their property.
With the help of a Los Angeles premises liability lawyer, you could pursue a claim for a wild animal attack against a private business owner or even a government entity. Contact Pintas & Mullins Law firm at (800) 223-5115 to discuss your claim.
If I Suffer an Injury on Public Property Is the City Liable in Los Angeles?
Most premises liability lawsuits involve claims against the owners of private businesses or residences. However, the City of Los Angeles could be liable if you suffer an injury on public property. Pursuing a claim against the city is far more difficult than suing a private individual.
Unlike private defendants, municipalities enjoy immunity from many personal injury claims. This immunity is not absolute, but it does cover a wide range of circumstances where injuries can occur on public property. To pursue a claim against the city,
It is never wise to undertake an injury claim against the City of Los Angeles alone. Any injury case can be difficult to prove, but claims against the city are more complex than most. A Los Angeles premises liability lawyer can help ensure that you maximize your chances of financial recovery against the City of Los Angeles.
Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can pursue injury claims against the City of Los Angeles. To discuss your options, call (800) 223-5115.
What Is Considered a Hazardous Condition in a Los Angeles Premises Liability Case?
There are many different hazardous conditions in Los Angeles premises liability cases. In general, these hazards fall into one of two broad categories. The first category involves man-made hazards. These can include anything from spilled cleaning chemicals to abandoned swimming pools. The second category involves hazards that occur naturally. These could include anything from accumulated ice to obscured cave entrances. Other hazards common to premises liability cases include:
- Broken stairs
- Faulty electrical outlets
- Spilled beverages
- Leaking cleaning supplies
- Empty swimming pools
- Abandoned refrigerators
- Frayed carpet
Identifying the hazard involved in a claim is only part of the claims process. Your Los Angeles premises liability lawyer can also evaluate your claim, negotiate a settlement, and prepare a lawsuit on your behalf. If you are ready to discuss your options with experienced legal counsel, call (800) 223-5115 to schedule a free consultation with Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today.
How Long Does a Hazard Need to Be Present for a Property Owner to Be Found Liable?
The amount of time a hazard needs to be present for a property owner to be liable varies. How long a hazard is present can have an impact on a premises liability claim. Ultimately, a court must decide if the property owner or occupier failed to address a hazard in a reasonable manner. The window of time the owner had to address a hazard is part of that calculation.
Typically, the more time a property owner has to address a hazard, the greater their responsibility to do so. This is why a particular hazard might result in a premises liability claim in one instance but not the other.
Consider the following example. A custom enters a grocery store intent on making a purchase. As they walk down an aisle, they slip and fall on a piece of fruit that has fallen from a display.
If this piece of fruit had fallen seconds before the customer slipped on it, the business owner would have had virtually no time to clean it up or warn the customer. However, if the fruit remained on the floor for hours, the failure to act likely becomes unreasonable.
It is worth noting that the steps a defendant takes to address a hazard are relevant. Not all hazards can be removed or repaired entirely. In these cases, reasonable steps to address these hazards could include blocking access or warning visitors of the danger. In these cases, the length of time it took the property owner to take these actions is what matters.
What Safety Standards Do Property Owners Have to Have in Place in Los Angeles?
There are countless safety standards that apply to Los Angeles property owners. These codes apply to every aspect of the construction and maintenance of a building. While not directly linked to premises liability cases, it is worth understanding the role safety standards can play in a civil lawsuit.
Prevailing in a premises liability requires a showing of negligence. Specifically, the plaintiff must establish that the property owner failed to take reasonable steps to address a dangerous hazard on their property. What constitutes a reasonable effort is a subjective standard that is up to the jury to decide. However, a violation of city, state, or federal safety regulations is routinely treated as evidence of negligence in these cases. If a plaintiff can prove the property owner failed to build or maintain their property up to code, it could be the evidence they need to recover compensation for their injuries.
On a county level, safety regulations are enforced by the Los Angeles County Public Works Department. The regulations fall into seven categories, which include:
- Building Code (Title 26)
- Electrical Code (Title 27)
- Plumbing Code (Title 28)
- Mechanical Code (Title 29)
- Residential Code (Title 30)
- Green Building Standards Code (Title 31)
- Existing Building Code (Title 33)
A violation of these codes could be strong evidence of negligence in a premises liability case.
Do I Need a Lawyer for My Premises Liability Case?
You are under no obligation to rely on legal counsel when pursuing a premises liability claim. That said, taking on the legal process alone while you are recovering from your injuries can be difficult. Without an attorney, you may risk settling your case for less than its actual value or making a mistake that could cost you any chance of financial recovery.
Negotiating a settlement with a property owner or their insurance company can be difficult, even in cases where they do not dispute liability. Valuing a personal injury claim takes a thorough understanding of both the law and the insurance industry, and carriers use that to their advantage against unrepresented plaintiffs. The insurance adjusters may not offer you a settlement that fairly compensates you for your losses. Your attorney can negotiate on your behalf and determine what fair compensation would look like.
Additionally, the process of litigation can also be challenging. There are strict deadlines and rules of evidence you must comply with. The failure to do so could result in your loss of the right to take legal action.
What If I’m Partly At Fault in a Los Angeles Premises Liability Case?
With many premises liability claims, determining the at-fault party is simple. When the defendant is entirely at fault, you are entitled to 100 percent of your damages resulting from the premises liability accident. Things are more complex if you are partly at fault in a Los Angeles premises liability case.
California has adopted a legal theory known as “pure comparative negligence” for this situation. Pure comparative negligence does not bar plaintiffs from recovering compensation when they are partially responsible for a premises liability injury. That said, your role in causing your injury could still play a role in your claim.
Under pure comparative negligence, a plaintiff is only entitled to the portion of their damages resulting from the defendant’s fault. In other words, a plaintiff that is 25 percent at fault for a premises liability claim could recover at most 75 percent of their total losses.
There are varying ways a plaintiff could share in the responsibility of a premises liability accident. Examples include provoking an animal attack or ignoring safety warnings.
What Are Some Examples of Dangerous Conditions that Qualify for a Premises Liability Claim?
There are too many examples of dangerous conditions that qualify for a premises liability claim to count them all. Any hazard that is unreasonably dangerous could qualify. These hazards could result from the carelessness of the property owner or they could occur naturally.
The nature of hazards in a premises liability claim can also vary. Many claims involve a risk of slipping and falling. Anything from wet floors to poor lighting could result in a fall. The injuries in these cases are particularly severe, especially for plaintiffs that land on their head or neck in the fall.
Falling objects are another common form of a dangerous condition. While these hazards are more common on construction sites than in finished buildings, falling objects could occur anywhere.
Exposure to hazard elements or chemicals is another common hazard. Examples could include exposed wiring, spilled caustic liquids, or fire hazards. Anyone making contact with these dangerous elements could have a viable premises liability claim.
Will My Premises Liability Case Be Settled Out of Court?
There is a chance your premises liability case could be settled out of court. In fact, a large percentage of all personal injury claims end with a negotiated settlement. While settlements often happen, there is no guarantee you will get an offer that you find reasonable.
While a settlement is the ultimate goal for most plaintiffs, it is important to approach every case understanding that a trial is a possibility. By preparing each case as if it would ultimately go before a jury, your attorney can negotiate with the property owner and their insurance company for fair compensation.
What Should I Do After Injuring Myself on Someone Else’s Property?
There are several things you should do after injuring yourself on someone else’s property. By following these steps, you greatly increase the chances of recovering compensation for your injuries.
You should immediately seek medical treatment for your injuries. This is true even if you feel your injuries could be minor. Frequently, seemingly-minor injuries can become severe in the hours or days following an accident.
If your accident occurred at a business or government building, ask to fill out an incident report. Most places will have a form available.
Should I Accept a Cash Settlement from the Insurance Company Adjuster for My Premises Liability Injury?
You should never accept cash from the insurance company adjuster for your premises liability injury without speaking with an attorney first. A fast settlement offer might seem like a blessing, but insurance companies rarely make fair offers early on in the process. In fact, these offers are typically part of a strategy aimed at reducing the amount of compensation they are required to pay.
Insurance companies often reach out in an attempt to settle claims with injury victims immediately after an accident to exploit that fact. If insurance companies make an offer before you have time to assess your losses accurately, you could end up accepting a settlement that does not fairly compensate you for your losses.
Your attorney can ensure you never accept an unfair settlement offer. By carefully reviewing your case, your attorney can advise you on what you are likely to receive should your case go to trial. By building a strong case, your attorney can help you seek the compensation you deserve.
Types of Premises Liability Claims
There are many types of premises liability claims. Some premises liability claims involve slips, trips, and falls. Others involve contact with hazardous materials or falling objects. Some common examples of premises liability claims include:
- Slip and Fall Accidents. One form of premises liability claims involves slip and fall accidents. These accidents could involve a wide range of hazards, including slippery surfaces, poor lighting, or broken steps.
- Electrocution. When it comes to electrical wiring, some properties lack appropriate safety precautions. Exposure to live electricity could lead to an injury claim.
- Animal Attacks. Property owners that keep animals on their property are responsible for their actions. Bites from wild animals are a common cause of premise liability claims.
- Falling Objects. Property owners that fail to prevent the risk of injury due to falling objects could also face civil liability. These claims are common in construction sites and partially built homes.
- Hazardous Chemicals. There are special rules and regulations regarding the storing and use of hazardous chemicals. When these regulations are violated, these chemicals could spill. Contact with hazardous chemicals, including caustic cleaning agents, frequently leads to injury claims.
What Do Premises Liability Lawyers Do?
Premises liability lawyers do the bulk of the work for your injury claim. Every task from investigating your claim to negotiating a settlement is part of their job. The right legal counsel could dramatically increase your odds of financial recovery. Some of the things a premises liability lawyer could do for you include:
- Investigate Your Injury. Every successful premises liability claim starts with a thorough investigation. Your attorney can carefully review the facts of your accident to determine who was at fault.
- Evaluate Your Claim. A premises liability lawyer can provide you with an understanding of what your claim could be worth. After reviewing your medical records and considering your other losses, your attorney could provide an estimate of your potential recovery.
- Negotiate a Settlement. Premises liability cases settle frequently, but fair settlement offers require hard work. Your attorney can do the heavy lifting required to obtain a fair settlement offer and recover compensation on your behalf.
- Hold the Property Owner Accountable. Not all negligent property owners are willing to settle. Your attorney could hold them responsible for their negligence through legal action. This process starts with filing a lawsuit and continues until you collect on your judgment.
A Premises Liability Lawyer Can Help You Seek the Compensation You Deserve
Premises liability accidents can happen in an instant. One moment, you are minding your own business and going about your day. The next, an unexpected hazard causes you to suffer a serious injury. When these injuries occur due to no fault of your own, you might be entitled to financial compensation.
You deserve to enter a public sidewalk, a government building, or a grocery store free from concerns of suffering a severe injury through no fault of your own. Unfortunately, careless and reckless property owners often fail to ensure the public’s safety in these situations. Thankfully, a Los Angeles premises liability lawyer can help you seek fair compensation for the injuries you suffer due to the actions of a careless property owner.
Pintas & Mullins Law Firm proudly advocates for Los Angeles injury victims. We understand how a serious injury can turn your life upside down. You deserve fair compensation for your injuries resulting from a dangerous hazard on someone else’s property. Call (800) 223-5115 for your free consultation.