Premises Liability

Premises Liability Attorneys in Fresno

We Have Recovered Millions For Our Clients

Injury cases that involve premises liability laws, or the legal responsibility of property owners to protect others from injuries occurring on their premises, can be quite complex. Under both state and federal laws, property owners have an obligation to maintain their land and buildings to a certain standard of care. Establishing neglect in a lawsuit requires the guidance of our skilled and knowledgeable Fresno premises liability attorneys.

Why Hire Our Firm?

Some Common Causes of Accidents that Fall Under Premises Liability Laws Include:

  • Slip and Fall Accidents: These occur when a person slips, trips, or falls on a slippery or uneven surface, such as a wet floor, icy sidewalk, uneven pavement, or debris-strewn walkway.
  • Trip and Fall Accidents: Similar to slip and fall accidents, trip and fall accidents occur when a person trips over an obstacle or hazard, such as uneven flooring, loose carpeting, or protruding objects.
  • Inadequate Maintenance: Cases involving inadequate maintenance occur when a property owner fails to properly maintain the premises, leading to dangerous conditions such as broken stairs, crumbling pavement, or malfunctioning handrails.
  • Negligent Security: Property owners have a duty to provide adequate security to prevent foreseeable criminal acts on their premises. Negligent security cases may arise when inadequate security measures lead to assaults, robberies, or other crimes.
  • Dog Bites: Property owners may be held liable for dog bite injuries if they were aware of a dog's aggressive tendencies or if the dog was not properly restrained or controlled on the property.
  • Swimming Pool Accidents: Property owners with swimming pools have a duty to maintain safe conditions and comply with safety regulations. Swimming pool accidents may occur due to inadequate fencing, lack of supervision, or malfunctioning equipment.
  • Elevator and Escalator Accidents: These accidents can occur due to mechanical failures, improper maintenance, or defects in elevator or escalator systems, leading to injuries such as falls or entrapment.
  • Falling Objects: Cases involving falling objects occur when objects such as merchandise, equipment, or construction materials are improperly stored or secured, leading to injuries when they fall and strike a person.
  • Exposure to Hazardous Substances: Property owners may be liable for injuries caused by exposure to hazardous substances such as toxic chemicals, mold, lead paint, or asbestos if they failed to warn visitors or take appropriate measures to mitigate the risk.
  • Fire Hazards: Property owners have a duty to maintain safe conditions and comply with fire safety regulations. Cases involving fire hazards may arise from inadequate fire suppression systems, blocked exits, or failure to provide adequate fire safety equipment.
  • Construction Site Accidents: Construction sites pose numerous hazards to workers and visitors alike. Accidents on construction sites can result from falls from heights, scaffolding collapses, machinery malfunctions, electrocution, falling debris, and other construction-related dangers. Liability may fall on property owners, general contractors, subcontractors, or equipment manufacturers depending on the circumstances.
  • Amusement Park Accidents: Amusement parks are responsible for ensuring the safety of their attractions and premises. Accidents at amusement parks can occur due to ride malfunctions, inadequate maintenance, operator error, or insufficient safety measures, leading to injuries such as falls, collisions, or ejections from rides.
  • Negligent Supervision: Property owners, particularly those operating facilities catering to children such as daycare centers, schools, or playgrounds, have a duty to provide adequate supervision to prevent foreseeable accidents and injuries. Negligent supervision cases may arise when inadequate supervision leads to injuries such as falls, fights, or accidents.
  • Retail Store Accidents: Retail stores have a duty to maintain safe conditions for customers and employees. Accidents in retail stores can occur due to spills, cluttered aisles, falling merchandise, malfunctioning equipment, or inadequate lighting.
  • Parking Lot Accidents: Property owners are responsible for maintaining safe conditions in parking lots and garages. Accidents in parking lots can result from hazards such as potholes, inadequate lighting, negligent driving, or criminal activity such as assaults or robberies.

Suffering From Any of These Injuries? We Can Help

If you were injured by another's negligence, it is important you seek medical treatment as soon as possible. This can help your claim in a few ways:

  1. It shows the seriousness and existence of your injury.
  2. It shows that this was not a pre-existing illness.
  3. It eliminates the possibility that the severity of your illness could be blamed on not seeking medical treatment.

California Premises Liability Laws

Premises liability laws in California govern the legal responsibilities of property owners and occupiers to ensure the safety of individuals who enter their premises. These laws are designed to protect visitors, customers, tenants, and others from harm caused by dangerous conditions on the property.

To succeed in a premises liability lawsuit, the plaintiff (the injured party) typically needs to establish several key elements. These elements form the basis for proving that the property owner or occupier was negligent and therefore liable for the injuries sustained.

Here are the elements generally required to succeed in a premises liability case in California:

  1. Duty of Care: Property owners and occupiers owe a duty of care to ensure that their premises are reasonably safe for visitors. This duty extends to both invitees (those who are invited onto the property for business purposes) and licensees (social guests or others with permission to be on the property). In some cases, even trespassers may be owed a duty of care under certain circumstances, such as if the property owner is aware of their presence.
  2. Types of Visitors:
    • Invitees: These are individuals who enter the property for business purposes, such as customers in a store. Property owners owe invitees the highest duty of care and must take reasonable steps to ensure their safety.
    • Licensees: These are individuals who enter the property with permission but for non-business purposes, such as social guests. Property owners have a duty to warn licensees of known dangers that may not be obvious.
    • Trespassers: While property owners generally owe a lower duty of care to trespassers, they still must refrain from intentionally causing harm or setting traps.
  3. Breach of Duty: The plaintiff must show that the property owner breached their duty of care by failing to maintain the premises in a reasonably safe condition or failing to warn of known hazards. This could include hazards such as slippery floors, uneven walkways, inadequate lighting, or other dangerous conditions.
  4. Causation: The plaintiff must establish a direct link between the property owner's breach of duty and the injuries suffered. They must demonstrate that the hazardous condition on the property directly caused their injury.
  5. Notice: The plaintiff may need to prove that the property owner knew or should have known about the hazardous condition that caused the injury. This can involve showing that the property owner had actual knowledge of the condition or that the condition existed for a sufficient period that the owner should have discovered it through reasonable inspections.
  6. Foreseeability: The plaintiff may need to demonstrate that the injury was foreseeable, meaning that a reasonable person would have anticipated the risk of harm under similar circumstances. This can be important in cases where the property owner claims they could not have reasonably foreseen the danger.
  7. Damages: Finally, the plaintiff must prove that they suffered actual damages as a result of the injury, such as medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, or other losses.

California follows a comparative fault system, which means that the plaintiff's own negligence may reduce the amount of compensation they can recover. If the injured party is found partially responsible for their own injury, their compensation may be reduced proportionally.

The statute of limitations for filing a premises liability lawsuit is generally two years from the date of the injury.

When to Hire a Premises Liability Attorney

Do you need to hire a premises liability lawyer to manage your injury claim? You do not. You are allowed to work on your claim alone and represent yourself as it progresses. However, as with any legally and technically complicated situation, relying on a professional to manage the details and key points is highly encouraged.

There are many ways an attorney can help your claim, but three specific ways you will probably want are:

  • Evidence collection and use: Proving that the property owner caused your injury can be a steep evidential hill to climb. Even if the hazard that hurt you was “open and obvious,” the defendant could try to argue that it was so open and obvious that you should have known to avoid it. To prove their liability and lower your own, tangible evidence like medical reports, witness testimonies, and photographs are crucial. An attorney knows how to find all available evidence and utilize it in a way that enhances your claim.
  • Insurance evaluator negotiations: Once your claim is filed, the responding insurance company will probably want to offer a settlement amount to conclude it before details go public. How can you be certain that the settlement is fair compared to your current and future damages? One way to negotiate carefully for the right amount is by letting a premises liability lawyer manage the negotiations for you. Our attorneys have decades of collective experience dealing with insurance companies, so we know all of their tactics before we even start your claim.
  • Litigation representation: If settlement negotiations fail because the defendant will not offer anything close to a fair amount, then your case will need to go to court. Allowing a premises liability attorney to represent you takes all the stress of courtroom procedures and litigation off your shoulders. Hiring a local attorney also means you will be represented by a professional who is familiar with courts, judges, and jurors in your area. A bit of familiarity can build plenty of empathy in a case, which might tip the outcome in your favor.

Call Fowler | Helsel | Vogt Today at (559) 900-1280 to Request Your Free Case Evaluation with a Member of Our Caring and Dedicated Legal Group.

Our Wins

Our Fresno Personal Injury Lawyers Will Fight to Recover What You're Owed

Our Fresno firm is known for the committed and fierce advocacy of our clients. At Fowler | Helsel | Vogt, we work hard to protect the individuals we represent, and we work to collect compensation for your injuries and losses after an accident. Some insurance companies are not looking out for your best interests: Their ultimate concern is to protect their own profits. At Fowler | Helsel | Vogt, you can expect a better standard of treatment. We fight for our clients and refuse to settle for less than aggressive pursuit of the equitable outcome they deserve.

  • $2,000,000 Premises Liability

    The client suffered severe injuries to his legs when the 2-story ladder he was climbing (which was affixed to the building), detached causing him to fall approximately 15 feet.

  • $975,000 Rear-End Collision

    The client was rear-ended by a commercial work truck resulting in serious neck and back injuries. After months of conservative treatment, the client eventually underwent surgical repair to her cervical spine.

  • $920,000 Wrongful Death

    FHV filed a lawsuit against a local agribusiness on behalf of the father and dependents of a young man whose life was cut short following the release of ammonia gas from the company's refrigeration equipment.

  • $750,000 Rear-End Collision

    Multiple Car Pile Up Results in $750,000 Recovery for Client.

  • $650,000 Burn Injury

    The driver suffered severe burns due to a salvaged vehicle catching on fire. Settled to the plaintiff for damages.

    Contact Our Firm for the Aggressive Representation You Need

    Our Fresno premises liability lawyers encourage you to take action now to pursue the compensation you deserve. The sooner you contact an experienced attorney, the better your chances can be of a successful result.

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    Contact Us

    We've Helped Recover Millions on Behalf of Victims Just Like You. Don't Wait, Get Help Today!

    Schedule your free consultation or call us at (559) 900-1280.

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