Premises Liability Lawyers serving all of Sonoma County
Premises Liability Claims in Santa Rosa, CA
While the term “premises liability” might be new to some, most understand it as a slip and fall case. The actual accident is not always a slip and fall. Premises liability refers to an accident that happened on property that another person owned and did not maintain to a safe standard. If you’ve been injured due to someone’s negligence on their property, contact our seasoned Santa Rosa premises liability attorney today.
Premises liability accidents can happen anywhere, from an amusement park to high rise office. The determining factor in these cases is whether or not the owner of the property acted in a negligent manner.
Liability in a Premises Liability Case
Proving negligence is the most important part of the personal injury case. In a premises liability claim, negligence means the property owner was required to keep his or her property in a safe condition and failed to do so. This can happen in a number of situations:
- A store owner neglected to treat an icy walkway, and you slipped and fell on the property.
- A property owner knew about a defective condition on his property but did not get it fixed, which resulted in an accident.
- A building owner allowed his workers to work knowing there were hazardous toxic fumes on the premises.
- A landlord failed to notice or fix a water leak which led to flooding.
- A building did not have property security and you were assaulted on the property.
- An accident occurred at an amusement park because the ride was not properly maintained.
These are just a few scenarios, but as you can see, premises liability claims are varied. Property owners are expected to keep their property in safe, working condition so that anyone entering the property is not at risk of injury. Negligence in a property liability case can be tricky so it is important to hire an experienced Sonoma County premises liability lawyer. You must prove:
- The property owner directly caused the spill, slippery surface, or other event that made the area unsafe…
- Or the property owner (or an employee) knew about the dangerous situation, but did not repair it…
- Or the property owner or employee “should have known” about the dangerous situation, because any other “reasonable” person would have noticed it.
The third situation basically relies on common sense. The judge will decide if the property owner or employee “should have known” about the dangerous situation. For example, you would typically notice a leak in a hallway. If the leak led to flooding or falling ceiling tiles and caused an accident, it can be assumed that the property owner “should have known” the leak was there in the first place and fixed it before it got worse.
Comparative Negligence in California
Comparative negligence also comes into play quite often in premises liability cases. There are some cases when the plaintiff (you) may have acted in a way that contributed to the accident. For example, was there signage about the dangerous situation (leak, slippery surface, etc)? Would a more “careful” person have noticed the situation and avoided it? Were you acting in a way that enhanced your risk of getting hurt, like running or jumping?
All of these situations may mean that you contributed to the accident. However, the state of California still allows for plaintiffs to receive compensation, even if they were partially responsible for the accident. As long as you are found to be less than 50% at fault, you will receive compensation based on that percentage.
Experienced Santa Rosa Premises Liability Attorneys
Speak with us at North Bay Legal to discuss your options for a premises liability claim. We are based in downtown Santa Rosa and work with clients throughout Sonoma County and the other surrounding counties of the North Bay area.