Under California law, a property owner has a duty to keep his or her property reasonably safe and to warn others of any dangerous condition if such a condition exists. Premises liability cases cover all cases where the owner breaches that duty of care, allowing dangerous conditions to exist on the property that cause bodily injury to others.
Common types of premises liability claims include injuries from: trip or slip and fall, falling debris, exposure to hazardous material, swimming pool accidents and drownings, fires, inadequate security and insufficient lighting in common areas. Often such injuries occur due to the negligence of the property owner, either in failing to reasonably maintain or repair the property to eliminate the dangerous condition or failing to warn of the existence of such dangerous conditions.
Slip and fall cases refer to situations where the person slips on someone else’s property. Slips usually occur while walking over slippery surfaces. Pedestrians are often unaware that the surface they are walking on is slippery, such as when someone walks into a building’s lobby and the floor has just been polished. Another common cause of slips is when a liquid is spilled on the floor. This commonly occurs in super-markets, such as when a customer spills a beverage, a container leaks, a floor is mopped but not properly dried, fruit is dropped and trampled on, or refrigeration equipment fails. In each instance, the store may be liable for the injuries. Each situation is different and must be properly evaluated by an experienced attorney.
Trip and fall cases refer to situations where someone trips over something, such as an offset in a sidewalk or a tear in carpeting. People who trip generally fall forward as opposed to people who slip, who normally fall backwards), resulting in injury to the wrists, arms, shoulders, knees and face.
Because conditions of the property where the injury occurred change rapidly, time is of the essence in premises liability cases. As soon as possible following the accident, you should have someone take pictures of the scene of the accident. Pictures of the scene should be taken with a good camera and in good lighting. If picturing an offset in a sidewalk, a rule or other point of reference should be used to illustrate the size of the offset. Getting the names, phone numbers and addresses of witnesses is also very important.
If you, a family member or friend has suffered a personal injury as a result of a property owner’s negligence, call Mr. Waldman. The initial consultation is free. If Mr. Waldman agrees to represent you, you don’t pay unless funds are recovered on your behalf.