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Riverside Premises Liability Attorneys

Wire-FenceHave you been injured while on another person’s property? Did you slip and fall while at the grocery store or walking to your car in a parking lot? Trip over a toy, fall down stairs that had no handrails? Did you suffer injury due to something on the property that caused you to get hurt? If so, you may be entitled to receive compensation for your injuries under California premises liability laws. However, you must act quickly to preserve evidence and begin building a case for liability on the part of the property owner.

The premises liability lawyers of Heiting & Irwin have helped clients recover damages sustained from an accident on another party’s property by holding the negligent property owner responsible. Contact our office to schedule a free consultation to discuss your legal rights under premises liability law.

What is Premises Liability?

Property owners, whether it is commercial property or residential property, have a duty to ensure that their property is safe for visitors and customers. When a property owner fails to maintain the property in a safe manner, the owner maybe negligent. If someone is hurt due to the failure of the property owner or manager to be careful, the owner then may become liable for the person’s damages. The term “premises liability” is used to refer to the property owner’s (or manager’s) legal responsibility to compensate a person who is injured while on the owner’s property.

In order to prove that the property owner is liable under California premises liability law, your attorney must provide evidence that substantiates all of the required elements. This may be difficult depending on the location of the accident and the circumstances surrounding the accident. Because premises liability cases can be complex and difficult to prove, you want to take photos/videos, to act quickly, and to engage an attorney who understands premises liability laws in California and who has experience handling this type of personal injury claim.

The insurance companies for property owners aggressively fight premises liability claims using a variety of tactics and defenses. In order to hold the owner responsible for your damages and to receive compensation for your injuries, we must prove:

A dangerous condition existed on the property at the time of your accident (duty to provide safe premises);

  • The owner or responsible parties knew or should have known about the danger (notice);
  • The owner or responsible party had an opportunity to correct or warn you the problem;
  • You were injured while on the owner’s property (injury);
  • The reason for your injury was the dangerous condition (causation); and,
  • You have damages as a result of your injuries (financial and other losses).

What Should I do if I am Injured on Someone Else’s Property?

In most premises liability cases, preserving key pieces of evidence is vital. Therefore, if you are injured while on another person’s property, you should take a video and/or photos immediately (or get somebody to do so) and contact our office as soon as possible so that our team of legal professionals can begin investigating the accident to identify, gather, and preserve evidence that supports your claims.

Steps you should take if you are able to do so following an accident:

  • Document the scene and the problem; note and preserve evidence that maybe relevant; note the location types of cameras that may be there;
  • Seek immediate medical attention for your injuries. Even if you do not think you are seriously injured, you could have injuries that are initially “quiet” or that are difficult to diagnose right away.
  • Report the accident to the property owner, if he or she is on site, or to the manager or in charge. If an accident report is created, make sure that you obtain a copy of the report.
  • Take video and/or pictures of the location as it existed at the time of your accident. You should also take photos of your injuries at the time of the accident and throughout your recovery.
  • Obtain the names and contact information of any witnesses, the property owner, the manager, and any employees who witnessed the accident or were present immediately following the accident.
  • Keep copies of all documents or other paperwork related to the accident such as medical reports, bills, receipts, records of lost wages, etc.
  • Preserve all the clothes and shoes you were wearing without washing them or using them.

It is also beneficial if you keep a diary of your recovery, noting things you cannot do because of your injuries, your pain level, and how your injury has affected you and those around you in any way.

Types of Premises Liability Claims

Slips and falls are a common type of premises liability claims. However, there are many other accidents that fall under the category of premises liability, including injuries sustained due to:

  • Improperly maintained steps or stairs
  • Dog bites or animal attacks
  • Swimming pool accidents
  • Missing or broken railings
  • Broken or uneven payment
  • Inadequate security
  • Inadequate lighting
  • Falling merchandise or merchandise blocking the walkway
  • Unmarked steps or stairs
  • Exposure to chemicals or toxic fumes
  • Fire and smoke injuries
  • Failure to make repairs or maintain the property
  • Fluid(s) in the aisle/walkway/on the sidewalk
  • Unmarked holes
  • Debris in the walkway
  • Collapse of floors, stairs, porches, or walls
  • Escalator and elevator accidents
  • Any injuries caused by the faulty character of the properties.

Choosing an Inland Empire Premises Liability Attorney

It is always in your best interest to consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer before speaking with the insurance company or signing any forms or documents related to the accident. Before you make a decision about your situation, get the facts and learn about your legal rights. We are here to help you make an informed decision.

To protect your legal rights after an accident on someone else’s property it is important that you do not delay in taking immediate action. Call us for a free consultation. The personal injury attorneys of Heiting & Irwin understand the complexities of holding those accountable in premises liability actions. If you are unsure whether your accident was caused by a property owner’s negligence, contact our office to discuss your accident with one of our attorneys.