Here in Santa Ana, we expect property owners to maintain their premises, whether they own a business, apartment building, or house. This means cleaning up spills, fixing dangerous wiring, putting up warning signs at unlit staircases, and taking every possible measure to prevent foreseeable injuries. When they fail in this duty, property owners can be found liable for a guest’s injuries.
If you have suffered an injury due to a negligent property owner, do not hesitate to contact HN Injury Lawyers. Our Santa Ana premises liability attorneys have more than 50 years of combined experience and can provide the strong representation you need after an accident. We can dig into how your injuries were caused and hold the property owner accountable. Call our office today at (657) 333-5726 to talk about your case in a free consultation.
Premises liability is a broad area of law that refers to the responsibility property owners have to provide compensation to residents, guests, or visitors when they are injured by a safety hazard on the owner’s property. This can cover a wide variety of situations, including:
- Slip-and-fall accidents
- Dog attacks
- Swimming pool accidents
- Staircase accidents
- Elevator and escalator accidents
- Negligent security
- Assaults at bars
- Chemical exposure
In the state of California, property owners have a duty to keep their premises free of safety hazards and take necessary steps to protect guests from injuries, according to California Civil Code 1714. If a property owner fails in this duty of care, either by failing to fix a safety hazard or failing to warn guests about the hazard, then they can be found liable in a premises liability claim.
This duty of care can extend beyond just the property’s owner. For example, restaurant owners share a duty of care with their managers, supervisors, and staff. If a customer slips on a spilled drink that a waiter failed to mop up in a timely manner, then the restaurant owner may be found liable in a claim.
It is important to note that California does not categorize the type of victim the way other states do. Other states limit liability depending on whether the victim was an invitee, licensee, or trespasser, with trespassers rarely receiving compensation for their injuries. Here in California, even if the victim is a trespasser, the property owner had a duty to prevent reasonable injuries. For example, if a homeowner is aware that neighborhood children sneak onto his property to play on broken playground equipment, he can be found liable if a trespassing child is injured by that equipment – and he failed to close the grounds to intruders.
If something a negligent Santa Ana landlord did hurt you, then you deserve full compensation for your injuries. Property owners must ensure that their premises, whether a department store or apartment building, are free of defects and safety hazards. When they fail to fix these defects in a timely manner or warn guests of the dangers, it can make them liable for all damages suffered by a victim.
However, the victim has to prove several elements:
- The property owner had a duty of care toward the victim, whether a resident, guest, or visitor;
- The property owner was aware, or reasonably should have been aware, of a safety hazard on the property;
- The property owner failed to fix, repair, or clean up the safety hazard or warn guests about the danger;
- The victim suffered an injury due to the safety hazard; and
- That injury let to damages, such as medical bills, lost wages, or mental or physical trauma.
To support your case, you will need to thoroughly investigate how your accident occurred and who was responsible.
In addition to California’s broad premises liability laws, Santa Ana has its own ordinances for property owners, who include both homeowners and business owners. Outlined under Santa Ana’s laws, property owners are required to:
- Maintain all sidewalks, walkways, and driveways and keep them free of defects, cracks, or potholes (Sec. 8-1951)
- Ensure walls, fences, and hedges are free of safety hazards, such as leaning fences or weak walls (Sec. 8-1951)
- Ensure the livability of a rental unit or house and prevent substandard conditions (Sec. 8-1965)
- Submit to an inspection from the city once every four years (Sec. 8-1973)
Beyond violating these local ordinances, property owners can also be negligent if they:
- Fail to clean up spills
- Leave tools and equipment in hallways
- Have loose carpets
- Leave cracks in uneven sidewalks
- Have poorly lit walkways and staircases
- Take weak security measures in dangerous neighborhoods
Property owners have no excuse for allowing a customer, resident, or guest to suffer an injury due to a lack of foresight or care. If you were injured on another person’s property, then our team at HN Injury Lawyers can fight to get you full compensation for your injuries.
Our Santa Ana injury attorneys have more than 50 years of combined experienced standing up for injured clients throughout Orange County. We can sit down with you in a free consultation, learn how your injuries have affected your life, calculate the costs of your trauma, and investigate the property for signs of negligence. As dedicated trial lawyers, we are well-prepared to take your case to court to get you the amount you deserve.
To get started on your claim, call HN Injury Lawyers at (657) 333-5726 and get a free case evaluation.