What happens when you’re injured on someone else’s property? If the property owner was negligent, you may be able to hire a lawyer and file a claim to recover compensation. Whether it was a simple slip and fall at the grocery store or stepping through rotting porch floorboards, premises liability cases can be devastating.
Anytime property owner negligence is involved, property owner negligence lawyers can help.
What is a premises liability claim?
Premises liability is a type of negligence claim. The general idea is that property owners have a duty to keep their property free of hidden hazards—or at least warn visitors appropriately. However, these claims can become quite complex, depending on why the visitor was on the property, whether the hazard was obvious and other issues. That’s why it’s so important to hire a lawyer when you suspect a property owner of negligence.
To prove a premises liability claim, you must meet the following elements:
- The defendant owns or possesses the property
- The defendant failed to provide ordinary care to remove or warn of the hazard
- The plaintiff was injured
- The plaintiff’s injuries were a result of the defendant’s failure to provide ordinary care
California has a two-year statute of limitations on premises liability suits. That means you have two years from the date of the accident to file a claim. If the claim is successful, you should be able to recover compensation for your injuries, medical bills, lost wages and more.
Defenses to premises liability
There are three main defenses a defendant might use in a premises liability case:
- Trespassing: Generally, property owners owe a far lower duty of care to people who weren’t invited onto their property or in certain parts of the property. If the injured plaintiff was trespassing on the property at the time of the accident, they’re far less likely to recover compensation for their injuries.
- No knowledge of the hazard: When you bring a premises liability claim, the property owner must have actual or constructive knowledge of the safety hazard. In other words, they either knew or should have known about the hazard. If there was no way they could have or should have known about the safety hazard, it’s less likely that they’ll be held responsible for the plaintiff’s injuries.
- Comparative negligence: Finally, the defendant might claim that the plaintiff was also engaging in negligent behavior at the time of the accident. If proven, this can either reduce or eliminate the plaintiff’s potential award.
Every year, thousands of people are injured on other people’s property. The most severe cases can result in brain damage, paralysis and even death, but even broken bones can be expensive and life-altering.
Whenever you’re dealing with a negligent property owner, working with seasoned lawyers is the best way to recover compensation. You shouldn’t have to bear the costs of your injuries alone. A good lawyer can help you file your case before the statute of limitations runs out and fight for compensation. Call The Law Offices of Max G. Arnold, Inc. today to learn more.