Stockton Accident Attorney Explains Premises Liability Law
Have you incurred an injury or personal damage due to negligent maintenance of a physical space such as an apartment complex? You may have a case under Premises Liability law. Speak with a Stockton accident attorney if you’ve been injured.
The owner or possessor of a property is required to maintain the premises such that an individual will not experience harm or damage during its use. This responsibility is even greater when considering children as they do not have the capacity to assess risk and act with appropriate caution.
In order to have a strong case against a defendant, the plaintiff must establish the following:
- The defendant was in control of the property. (Liability)
- The defendant did not adequately maintain the property to prevent injury. (Negligence)
- The plaintiff was harmed.
- The defendant’s negligence was a significant factor in the plaintiff’s injury.
Who owns, possesses, and controls the property? This is the person or organization who is responsible for maintaining a reasonably safe space and thus may be at fault for injuries arising from the condition of the physical space.
**It is very important to establish who is in control of the property. Control of the property is the basis on which these cases are built as this is what enables the implementation of safeguards to prevent injury or damage. Without definitive evidence that an individual or organization is in control of the property, it is impossible to prove that they have a responsibility to maintain the premises to prevent damage or injury. A defendant does not need to be the owner or lessor of a property to be deemed liable – so long as he or she is the controller of that property, he or she is responsible for the reasonable maintenance of safety on the premises.**
The duty for a property owner to maintain a safe environment is not transferable to independent contractors! If you have questions regarding liability of your case, speak with a Stockton accident attorney.
Negligence is the failure of the duty of the property owner to maintain the premises as to prevent exposing individuals to unreasonable risk of a known harm. If there is a concealed or not readily known danger on the property, it is the responsibility of the owner or possessor of the premises to either remedy the problem or inform individuals that the danger is present. The defendant is not required to warn individuals of harms that are readily or easily observed.
It must be determined that:
- There was an unreasonable risk of harm present on the premises
- The controller of the property was aware of this harm
- The controller of the property did not remedy the cause of harm nor establish clear warning of this risk of harm
Premises Liability is often seen in slip and fall and trip and fall ‘ cases, but also relates to dog bite injury cases, construction injury cases, and injuries resulting from intentional or negligent action by a third party on the premises.
Not only does the controller of the property need to ensure the premises itself does not pose a danger, it must be ensured that no activities on the property pose a risk to individuals visiting said property.
The controller of the property must also take precautions to prevent damage or injury by third parties that may come onto the property, should this danger be reasonably anticipated. For example, certain safeguards should be provided in areas with higher crime or previous incidences of damage or injury. The foreseeability of this danger is very important to the case and is determined in court on a case-by-case basis. The court also must balance the foreseeability of a third party danger and the burden imposed on the controller of the property to prevent third party damage or injury. A Stockton accident lawyer can explain the foreseeability of danger in your case specifically.
The court will take the following into consideration when hearing a case regarding premises law:
- The manner in which the plaintiff came onto the defendant’s property
- The probability of exposure to injury
- The seriousness of the probable injury
- The burden on the defendant of preventing such injury
- Whether the condition of the property itself presented an unreasonable risk to harm within the normal parameters of use of that property.
- The location of the property
- The amount of control of the defendant
- A landlord must inspect the property for potential cause of harm before giving released possession of a property to a new tenant, upon lease renewal, or upon repossession of a property after a former tenant vacates. A landlord must make reasonable efforts to remedy any conditions that may cause injury that were discovered or that reasonably should have been discovered upon this inspection.
During the lease:
- A landlord must inspect and prevent conditions that may cause injury in areas under the landlord’s control. The landlord must be aware of the dangerous condition and have the right and ability to remedy this situation. If the condition cannot be immediately resolved, a warning of such dangerous condition must be provided.
If you have been injured on someone else’s property, or a property you rent as the result of an unsafe condition, or property hazard, you should contact a Stockton accident attorney. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries, and contacting an attorney with premises liability knowledge and experience will help you get the compensation you deserve. Call an attorney today for a free consultation!
Get Legal Help About Your Premises Liability Case Now
Call us today to speak with a Stockton accident attorney about any property damage or injuries you’ve suffered while being on someone else’s premises. Email us to schedule an appointment or call us for a free initial consultation.