Property owners owe you a duty to maintain safe premises and warn you of potential hazards. This rule applies to virtually any place you might go, including retail stores, offices, entertainment complexes and government buildings. If a property owner breaches this duty, the Law Offices of Richard J. Staskus can help you recover compensation. Our firm has focused exclusively on personal injury law since 1977. We know the California law inside and out and will not back down until we recover the compensation you deserve. We pursue damages for injuries arising from uneven walkways, wet floors, unsecured construction zones, unsafe structures and falling objects.
While most trespassers won’t be able to recover in premises liability actions, there are exceptions. Property owners may be liable for injuries caused by willful and wanton conduct. This often comes up in cases in which the property is rigged to keep trespassers off the land. For instance, the property owner would not be liable for a deep pit, but may be liable for digging and concealing the pit with the intention of hurting anyone who trespassed on the land.
Property owners may also be liable under the attractive nuisance theory, which recognizes that children are easily tempted by and cannot understand the dangers of such items as pools, trampolines, jungle gyms or dilapidated structures. A landlord may be held liable for injuries to trespassing children who are harmed by such an enticement.
California law requires all rental units to be habitable, meaning fit for human occupation and up to health and safety codes. Under the implied warranty of habitability, your landlord must maintain your residence and make repairs to defects that render your apartment unfit to live in. However, the landlord is not responsible for problems caused by you, your family, guests or pets.
Responsibility for other smaller repairs is typically governed by your lease. In general, you are required to take care of your apartment unit and may be held responsible for certain types of repairs.
Whether your landlord may be held liable for the injuries you sustain in your rental unit depends upon several factors. First, a condition that renders your apartment uninhabitable is prima facie evidence of fault, since the landlord would have violated California law. As for other defects, breach of the terms of your rental agreement may give rise to both a contractual and personal injury cause of action. Finally, your landlord may be liable for responsibilities not covered by your lease if the landlord knew about the problem and failed to warn you or make a comparatively inexpensive repair.
Most major businesses and large-scale landlords carry premises liability insurance. In addition, smaller entities and individual tenants may choose to purchase a policy in case a guest or patron is injured on the property. Policies typically cover slip and fall accidents and other accidents that cause injuries. Premises liability insurance ensures that financial resources are available, so when we file suit on your behalf for injuries sustained on someone’s premises, collecting damages when we obtain a settlement is often more efficient and reliable. If you’ve suffered a premises liability injury on someone’s property or the property you’re renting, we have the skill and experience to obtain the compensation you deserve.
The Law Offices of Richard J. Staskus is an established injury firm handling premises liability cases from our San Jose office. If you’ve been injured on someone’s property in the Bay Area, call us at 408-533-1855 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. You owe us no fees unless we recover compensation for you.