How a Santa Monica Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help with Premises Accidents
Premises accidents are one of the most common problems dealt with by a Santa Monica personal injury lawyer. Accidents that result from defective or dangerous property inside or outside any building are considered premises liability. Premises liability accidents often take place at commercial buildings, such as stores and office buildings, but they may also take place at private residences, residential rentals, or public property. Premises may have a variety of risk factors, including faulty design and construction, low quality building materials, dangerous clutter, or poor maintenance. These premises may cause accidents such as falling, tripping, slipping, or fallen object injuries. If you were injured by a dangerous property condition, there are various people who may be held liable for your injuries. A Santa Monica personal injury lawyer may be able to help you determine who to file a claim against.
Basic Liability Rules
There are two main types of rules used to determine liability in a premises accident. The first rule states that the owner of any property is responsible for maintaining a safe property. Any owner or occupier of a property is legally obligated to provide safe conditions for anyone entering the property as a tenant, shopper, or personal, or business visitor. Such people may not be placed at an unreasonable risk of injury due to the property’s design, construction, or general condition. The reasoning behind this liability is that the owner of the property has control over the safety of the premises while you, the visitor, do not. If the owner of a shopping complex does not fix a broken tile piece, he or she is responsible if you trip and fall on the tile. The second rule of liability is that you must use the property normally. This means that if you were injured during unauthorized or unexpected use of the property, the property owner or occupier is not liable. Likewise, the owner is not liable for your injuries if they were sustained during reckless or careless behavior, such as sliding down the stair rail. A Santa Monica personal injury lawyer may be able to help you prove that you were not acting recklessly in a premises accident.
Property owners also have an obligation to provide a safe environment for workers on their property. If you were injured at work, you would have to file a worker’s compensation claim instead of a private injury claim. Employees who are injured on property in a place where they do not work may file a personal injury claim against the owner like anyone else. Contact a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer for more information on whether your claim meets the standards of worker’s compensation or personal injury law.
Owner or Occupier Responsibility
When a property has both an owner and an occupier, such as a home being rented from a landlord, liability may vary. If the owner and occupier are different people, it can be difficult to determine who bears responsibility. You should always file a notice of claim against both parties. The insurance companies will then determine which party is responsible for damages caused by your accident.
If you sustain injuries at a store or other business, the owner’s liability may depend on where the accident occurred as well as the terms of the lease or other business contract with regard to liability. You should always notify the business of your accident and any injuries you sustained as soon as possible. Either the insurance company of the business will directly handle your claim or will pass it along to the owner’s insurance company.
If you are a tenant in a rented apartment and you are injured on the property, the party responsible for maintaining the property is responsible for your injury. Landlords are responsible for everything outside the apartment, including hallways, stairs, entrances and immovable objects inside the apartment, including floors, walls, fixtures, and appliances. You are responsible for anything that is movable inside the apartment, including appliances you brought into the apartment. If you were aware of a dangerous condition within the apartment, such as a broken floorboard, you may be liable for your own injuries if you did nothing to change the condition. You may also be held liable for any injury to another person that was caused by the dangerous condition. If you are injured in a private residence due to a defective condition within the home, the owner of the home is responsible for your injuries. If the home is a rental, the tenant may also hold liability.
Adjoining Property Accidents
Accidents that occur on the edge of two properties, such as between the yards of two neighbors or on a cracked sidewalk, liability may be difficult to determine. In such cases, you should file a claim against the owners of both properties. The owners and their insurance companies will then work out which one is responsible for your claim. A Los Angeles personal injury lawyer may be able to provide clarity as to which party is responsible for your accident.
Contact a Santa Monica Personal Injury Lawyer
When it comes to personal injury liability gray areas, contacting an attorney is often the best course of action. Contact Martin Stanley Law today at 310-399-2555 for more information on personal injury liability. A Los Angeles personal injury attorney may be able to help you receive the compensation to which you are entitled.