Santa Ana & Irvine Premises Liability Attorney
Bentley & More, LLP has helped premises liability clients in Anaheim, Santa Ana, Irvine and Orange County secure millions of dollars in compensation for their personal injury claims and various other types of legal issues. In premises liability lawsuits, plaintiffs must prove that the property owner was negligent in his or her care of the property. We have the resources and experience necessary for handling even the most complex litigation, and we want Orange County residents to know their rights under California premises liability law.
Property owners have a duty to the lawful visitors and guests who visit their properties. When property owners fail to maintain safe grounds and facilities or fail to provide guests to their property with notice of known hazards and these guests suffer injuries as a result, California premises liability law dictates the property owner is liable for any resulting damages.
Types of Irvine Premises Liability Claims
Any property owner must ensure that his or her grounds and facilities are free of hazards that might injure visitors to the property. This could include:
- Snow and ice accumulation on walking paths and outdoor stairs. Property owners need to make sure that they clear away snow and ice as soon as possible after a snowstorm in order to prevent injury to visitors. Example: Slipping on a ill maintained staircase at Big Bear Ski Resort because the staff failed to properly shovel and salt the staircase.
- Broken staircases. A loose handrail or stairs in disrepair can cause catastrophic injuries. Example: A broken, neglected handrail at Angels Stadium in Anaheim that causes a game attendee to lose balance and fall down the stairs.
- Poor lighting. Dark spaces and poor lighting can cause tripping hazards. Example: A store at Fashion Island that dims their lights to set a certain “mood” and causes danger for customers.
- Wet floors. Freshly cleaned floors should have posted signs to warn passersby of slipping hazards. Example: Common issues in crowded areas that serve food and drinks, like Disneyland in Anaheim, can have several wet floors throughout the area – it’s important for the owner/manager of the property to take care of the spill as soon as they learn about it.
- Sinkholes and landscaping hazards. If a property owner has any landscaping work in progress, it should be clearly marked to prevent injury to guests on the property.
Property owners only owe a duty of care to lawful visitors on their property. This includes guests invited to the property for social or business reasons, contracted workers performing work on the property, and anyone else other than trespassers. Trespassers who suffer an injury won’t have a claim against the property owner. The only exception is in the case of interloping children who trespass on the property. A child does not have the same judgement and awareness as an adult. If children on a property are a possibility, the property owner needs to take reasonable steps to prevent injuries in the event they happen to wander onto the property.
Securing a Reliable Santa Ana Premises Liability Lawyer
After suffering an injury due to a property owner’s negligence, the victim can pursue damages through a personal injury lawsuit under premises liability law. This involves proving four elements of negligence in court:
- Duty. The plaintiff must prove he or she was a lawful visitor on the property and thus that the property owner owed the plaintiff a duty of care.
- Breach. The plaintiff must then show how the property owner breached this duty of care. This typically involves showing the court the property owner knew of the injury-causing hazard but failed to address it in a timely or reasonable fashion.
- Substantial factor causation. The plaintiff must prove that the defendant’s negligence was a substantial factor in causing his or her injury. The defendant’s negligence need not be the only cause of the injury, because a “substantial factor” is a broad standard, requiring only a cause that is something more than negligible or theoretical.
- Actual harm. Plaintiffs can recover for all of the harm they sustained due to another’s negligence, including both economic damages (medical bills, lost wages) and noneconomic damages (pain, suffering, emotional distress, anxiety, humiliation, etc.).
The Anaheim premises liability attorneys at Bentley & More, LLP want to help Orange County residents who have suffered injuries due to negligent property owners get the compensation they deserve. We have put our legal skills and resources to work securing millions in damages for our clients in Anaheim, Irvine, Santa Ana, and throughout Orange County. Contact our team today to speak with one of our premises liability attorneys to know what to expect from a lawsuit.