If you were injured on someone else’s property — whether that was a private residence or a commercial establishment — you may be eligible for compensation.
Orange County property owners are financially responsible for injuries you sustain on their premises if they failed to implement reasonable safety measures.
Read on to learn about common injuries in premises liability accidents and find out whether your injury qualifies for reimbursement under California’s premises liability laws.
What Is Premises Liability?
Premises liability is a subcategory of personal injury law. Under California’s premises liability regulations, individuals and organizations that own, occupy, lease, or otherwise control a property are responsible for the safety of visitors.
Whether you are a tenant, guest, invitee, customer, patron, or passerby, property owners must take adequate measures to protect you from known or reasonably expected hazards.
For instance, property owners should put warning signs on wet surfaces and promptly address dangerous conditions like broken handrails. Failure to do so would likely amount to a breach of their duty of care under California’s premises liability laws.
Who Is Liable in Premises Liability Cases?
Property owners, as well as anyone who controls the premises, are potentially liable for injuries sustained on the property. That’s the case even if an employee was technically at fault, such as when a security guard forgets to lock the door and an intruder then enters the building and assaults you.
In some cases, there may be multiple liable parties. For example, if you suffered injuries in an elevator accident, you may be able to seek compensation from the property owner as well as the elevator manufacturer or the company that serviced the equipment.
An experienced premises liability attorney can analyze your case and identify all potentially liable parties. This is essential to ensure that you pursue all potential avenues of compensation.
What Are Some Common Types of Premises Liability Cases?
Premises liability incidents can take place on virtually any property — from restaurants and nightclubs to department stores, government budlings, and private homes.
Common types of premises liability cases in California include:
- Slip- and trip-and-fall accidents
- Elevator and escalator malfunctions
- Broken staircases
- Collapsed balconies
- Ceiling collapse
- Fires and explosions
- Floodings and water leaks
- Swimming pool accidents
- Construction accidents
- Exposure to mold and other toxic substances
- Dog bites and animal attacks
- Accidents due to negligent security
What Causes Premises Liability Incidents?
Negligence is the root cause of the vast majority of premises liability accidents in Orange County.
In legal terms, “negligence” is failure to behave with the level of care expected of an ordinarily prudent person in the circumstances. That means the standard of care varies depending on the context.
For instance, the safety measures that would be expected of a homeowner are different than those expected of the owner of a large department store.
Negligence comes in many forms. Some of the ways in which negligence can present itself in premises liability accidents include:
- Missing or inadequate warning signs
- Poor lighting on the property
- Broken or defective stairways
- Missing or unstable railings
- Unstable displays, shelves, or furniture
- Loose floorboards or carpeting
- Wet, slippery, or uneven floor surfaces
- Potholes and cracked sidewalks
- Walkway obstructions
- Broken escalators or elevators
- Exposed or faulty electrical wiring
- Defective swimming pool pumps
- Dirty air filters
- Toxic substances such as mold, asbestos, or lead-based paint
- Inexperienced or untrained security personnel
- Missing or broken security equipment
- Irregular inspections, maintenance, and repairs
- Safety and building code violations
Common Injuries in Premises Liability Accidents in Orange County
The vast majority of injuries in premises liability accidents aren’t too severe. The injured person usually walks away with a sprained ankle or some bruising.
A minority of premises liability victims sustain catastrophic and even fatal injuries. These types of injuries often require prolonged medical treatment and can change your life completely.
Common injuries in premises liability accidents include:
- Cuts and bruises
- Soft tissue injuries
- Nerve damage
- Broken or shattered bones
- Scarring or disfigurement
- Severe burns
- Electrocutions and electrical shock
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Head and neck injuries
- Back, spine, and spinal cord injuries
- Impalement injuries
- Internal organ damage
- Loss of limbs
- Illnesses due to exposure to toxic chemicals
- Psychological injuries like depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Even if you think that your injury is minimal, you should still contact a premises liability lawyer to discuss your legal options. You shouldn’t have to pay your medical bills out of pocket if someone else is at fault.
Besides, it’s possible that you aren’t yet aware of the full extent of your injuries. What feels like a minor neck injury at first could develop into a debilitating spine trauma.
What Compensation Can You Seek in a Premises Liability Case?
Depending on the type and severity of your injuries and related losses, you may be able to seek the following compensation after a premises liability accident:
- Medical bills. This category includes everything from ambulance transport and hospital stays to surgeries, doctor’s visits, medications, rehabilitation, and so forth. Note that in addition to your past medical expenses, you can recover compensation for the cost of future treatment.
- Lost income. You can seek reimbursement for lost wages, bonuses, vacation days, and other work-related perks. If you won’t be able to return to work or will need to work less in the future due to your injuries, you may also seek compensation for reduced earning capacity.
- Property damage. You may be able to recover reimbursement for the cost to repair or replace items damaged during the incident.
- Non-economic damages. Compensation is also available for non-financial losses such as pain and suffering or loss of enjoyment of life.
Contact an Orange County Premises Liability Attorney
Premises liability cases may be a common type of personal injury claims, but that doesn’t mean you can hire just any lawyer. To maximize your payout, you want to work with a premises liability attorney with a proven record of success.
At Khalil Law Group, we have many years of experience helping clients seek compensation for common injuries in premises liability accidents. We can help you too. Call (714) 617-7870 or contact us online to book your free consultation.