California Premise Liability Attorneys – Negligent Security
Please contact us at 949-203-3814 for a free and confidential consultation.
Whether you are pursuing a claim against an individual, corporation or a governmental entity, it is important that you have an experienced premises liability lawyer on your side, who knows and understand the law and who will fight tirelessly for your legal rights and best interests.
The experienced California premises liability lawyers at Bisnar Chase have a long and successful track record of handling these types of cases and helping seriously injured clients secure maximum compensation for their significant losses.
What is Premises Liability
Premises liability refers to the responsibility of property owners to provide reasonably safe conditions for visitors, workers and residents. Under premises liability law, California property owners can be held financially accountable for accidents and injuries that occur on their premises. Not all accidents result in valid injury claims, but anyone who has suffered an injury on someone else's property would be well advised to look into their legal rights and options. Financial compensation may be available for their considerable losses.
California Premises Liability Law
Under California law, a proprietor, or commercial landlord, owes patrons a duty to exercise reasonable care to keep the premises safe. For example, property owners must regularly inspect their buildings and ensure that they are safe for visitors, tenants and/or guests. All California proprietors must act with the same care as other reasonably prudent persons would under the same circumstances. In other words, property owners are not responsible for every accident that occurs on their premises, but they can be held accountable for an accident that directly resulted from their failure to provide reasonably safe conditions.
Examples of Dangerous Premises
The types of premises liability cases are numerous and varied. Visitors can suffer devastating injuries by falling down broken stairs, slipping on wet surfaces, drowning in a swimming pool, getting burned in a fire or explosion, suffering lacerations from broken glass, getting bitten by a dog, suffering injuries from a roof cave-in or from being mugged or assaulted because of inadequate security. Dangerous conditions can exist in any type of open space or building. Devastating incidents commonly occur at shopping malls, grocery stores, government buildings, commercial facilities, theaters, apartments and even private homes.
The key factor in establishing liability for a premises liability issue is to determine if the proprietor had actual knowledge of the dangerous condition. In general, property owners cannot be held liable if they were not aware of the dangerous conditions. There is, however, an important exception to that rule. Property owners who do not properly inspect their buildings can be held accountable for failing to comply with their duty to inspect or properly maintain their properties. This can be done by showing that the hazardous location was not inspected within a reasonable amount of time.
These types of cases are complicated because victims have to do more than prove that they were injured. Property owners cannot be expected to prevent visitors from tripping on their own shoelaces. Property owners can and should post slippery floor signs when a walkway has just been cleaned. They must also mop up spills, repair damaged steps and put up caution cones, tapes and signs when dangerous conditions cannot be fixed right away.
A tort rule for allocating damages when both parties are at least somewhat at fault. If an unsafe condition on a property is clearly visible and avoidable it is the responsibility of the visitor to observe it and respond accordingly. Furthermore, property owners do not have to 'warn visitors' of hazardous conditions that are so obvious that any reasonable person would observe the condition as potentially dangerous. In such cases, the concept of 'comparative negligence' may apply. This is when the victim's fault is compared to the percentage of the defendant's fault. The amount of damages recoverable by the victim will be reduced to his or her responsibility for the accident.
When we invest our precious time and hard earned dollars into amusement parks, sports areas, concert venues and other miscellaneous recreational activities, we expect not only top quality service, but also security and peace of mind. Some accidents are unavoidable, however, it is the responsibility of the premises to hire enough help to keep events and the area overall safe.
For example, a recent victim of negligent security, Bryan Stow, pressed charges, with his family, against the Dodgers and former owner Frank McCourt stating that if the facility had enough security and lighting in the Dodger's stadium parking lot, he wouldn't have sustain the injuries he did went Stow was beaten up in the Dodger's parking lot after a playoff game.
A jury ruled in favor of Stow's family with a jury verdict of $18 million to compensate for his brain injuries as well as other pain and suffering sustained that night on account of the baseball team's lack of security that night. Former owner Frank McCourt was not held liable.
Many instances of negligent security happen so often throughout the country on a daily basis, especially with the tension and angst that currently exists in our society. Some places where you can potentially become a victim of negligent security include:
- Shopping Centers
- Parking Garages
- College Dorms
- Night Clubs/Bars
- Concert Venues/Outdoor Festivals
If your injury could have been prevented or reduced with adequate security, it is best to seek legal council as soon as possible to see if you can be compensated for the pain and injury you had sustained. If you are trying to prove the premises and their security was at fault, ask yourself the following questions:
- Did the premises have adequate surveillance and security cameras?
- Was the area of your incident well lit and had good lighting overall?
- Were security measures (locks, fences, barriers, etc.) in place at the time and location of your incident?
- Did the venue/company perform detailed background checks on the security personnel that they hired?
- Was security personnel properly trained before tout accident?
- Was the premises properly staffed to accommodate the number of visitors present during your encounter?
If you answered "no" to any or all of these questions, you have a case of negligent security on your hands and we advise to to contact one of our premise liability lawyers now to discuss your rights as a victim and to see if the circumstances of your accident qualifies you for compensation.
Injuries Suffered in Premises Liability Cases
Many premises liability cases involve slip-and-fall accidents. Slip-and-fall accidents can result in injuries ranging from sprains, strains and lacerations to multiple bone fractures, traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord damage. Many of these injuries result in time away from work, lengthy hospitalization, complicated surgeries, required physical therapy, pain and suffering and a number of other related losses. Financial support may be available for all of these injuries and damages if the victim can prove that the negligence of the property owner or manager contributed to the accident.
What to do After an Accident
If you have been injured on someone else's property, there are several steps you can take to ensure that your legal rights are protected:
- Make sure you file a report with the property owner or manager and then obtain a copy of that report. Filing such as report not only documents the incident, but also helps pinpoint the date, time and manner in which the injury occurred.
- Take photos of the scene where the incident occurred. For example, if you tripped on a broken stair, make sure you take at least cell phone images with a date and time stamp. Such dangerous conditions may be repaired right away and you may lose a valuable piece of evidence.
- Obtain contact information for anyone who may have witnessed the incident. When another person can corroborate your account of the incident, it certainly helps bolster your case.
- Do not accept a settlement or sign any documents before talking to an experienced California premises liability lawyer. Doing so may jeopardize your claim. When you accept a settlement agreement, your case will be closed and you will be unable to claim any future expenses related to your injuries.
For immediate help with a premises liability case please call 949-203-3814.