Premises Liability Attorney in Santa Barbara
Owning a home or business in California is part of the American dream. But that dream comes with responsibility. Homeowners and property owners should have several types of insurance including fire, theft, and premise liability to protect themselves and visitors.
What Is Premise Liability?
A property owner is responsible for the safety of visitors. Premises liability insurance typically pays the medical bills and for the related pain and suffering of anyone who is injured in an accident at a covered home or business.
Types of Premise Liability Accidents
There are several types of premise liability law. If you have been injured on someone else’s property, it can be helpful to know what those categories are.
The experienced Santa Barbara premises liability lawyers of Maho Prentice, LLP can help you get fair compensation for your injuries after an accident.
Slip and Fall
Slip and fall accidents are the most common type of injury people sustain on California properties. Businesses with a lot of customer traffic, such as retail stores, have the most slip-and-fall accidents.
At businesses, customers often spill slippery items such as liquids or fruits that can pose fall risks in store aisles. It is typically the responsibility of a store manager to make sure that any spills or hazardous items on the floors are cleaned up quickly so that no one slips. When mopping up spills, employees should mark the area off with a sign indicating that the floor is wet. If they do not put signage where they have cleaned, any resulting accidents could be the owner or business’s fault.
At an individual’s home, if a homeowner does not clean debris such as tree branches or slippery leaves from a lawn or walkway, a visitor can easily have a slip-and-fall accident and the homeowner could be at fault.
Elevator and Escalator Accidents
There is nothing quite as stressful as being caught in an elevator. Apart from the anxiety that comes with being trapped inside, there’s also a risk of physical injury. A broken elevator can drop suddenly, causing injury or death.
Elevators must be inspected regularly to ensure all their parts are working properly. If inspections are not done and repair is not made, a property owner may be liable.
Escalators can also be dangerous. While people are often injured on escalators because they are playing around, the escalator may have mechanical or design issues that lead to injury. Broken steps or handrails, missing screws, or poor installation can cause an escalator to work improperly. A property owner or manager must have repairs and maintenance done regularly to ensure the safety of business patrons and visitors.
Many people neglect to ensure the safety of their homes or commercial buildings. However, it is important to get them inspected every few years. Improper maintenance can cause stairs to collapse and cause injury. If a step collapses under your feet, you could sustain injuries such as a broken bone or head injury.
Whether it is a store, hotel, or large apartment building, it is important for the owner of a building to provide security. If an owner doesn’t provide security and someone is robbed or assaulted, they could face a lawsuit. There are several security measures that a company can take to make their building safer. In addition to hiring a security team, they can install:
- Parking lot lights
- Security cameras
- Key cards
- Limited elevator access
- Digital locks
In the state of California, swimming pool accidents are more common than in other states. Many people own pools, and there are a lot of hotels in travel destinations here. Failing to ensure the safety,security, and proper maintenance of a pool could make a property owner liable for any injuries.
What to Do if You Are Injured at a Home or Business
Any lawyer can tell you the most important thing you can do when you are injured is document everything. Look around you and see what caused your accident. Take pictures of any hazards that may have contributed to your injury. If there are witnesses, get their names and numbers.
If you are in a business when your accident happens, the manager should fill out an accident report with you. They should also provide you with the company’s insurance policy and contact information. If you are injured in a private home, get the homeowner’s insurance information.
Go to the doctor after your accident. Save a copy of every medical bill you get. Request a letter from your employer stating the number of hours you have missed from work. If you need extra services, such as a maid, document that as well.
To begin the process with the responsible party’s insurance company, you must first open a claim. It is always in your best interest to talk to a lawyer before you start to determine whether representation would be beneficial or necessary.
Common Types of Premises Liability Injuries in Santa Barbara, CA
The most common types of injuries seen on premises liability claims include:
- Broken wrists
- Back injuries
- Head injuries
- Neck injuries
- Knee injuries
- Ankle injuries
- Hip injuries
What if I cannot afford an attorney?
Premises liability lawyers usually work on a contingency basis. You will not have to pay them anything upfront. They will only get paid a percentage of your settlement, if settlement is reached.
What should I bring to my free consultation?
Liability attorneys want to see the same thing that insurance adjusters do. Bring every piece of documentation that you have including photographs, incident reports, and medical records and bills.
Can I Sue for Damages?
When an insurance company’s settlement offer is too small, a personal injury attorney from our firm can represent you. In California, you have a two year statute of limitations to file a personal injury lawsuit on a premises liability case.
Why Should I Choose Your Firm?
With over 20 years of experience in personal injury law, the attorneys at Maho Prentice, LLP are committed to serving our clients in Southern California. If you have been injured or lost a loved one due to an accident, our premises liability attorneys can represent you. They have a proven track record of success and client satisfaction. Call us today.