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San Jose Premises Liability Attorney

A premises liability claim can arise after an accident that injures a property visitor. While not every accident leads to a lawsuit, those that stem from property owner negligence might. California has laws in place that grant injured parties the right to pursue financial compensation after an accident that occurs due to a property hazard or defect. After a slip and fall, elevator/escalator accident, parking lot fender bender, ice/snow accident, staircase fall, or criminal attack on public or private property in the Bay Area, come to the San Jose premises liability attorneys at Henshaw & Henry, PC for legal advice.

 

What Was Your Classification as a Property Visitor?

The main question in a premises liability claim is whether or not the owner of the property used and maintained it according to his or her duties of care. The injured party must establish the property owner’s negligence or breach of duty. Property owners owe different standards of care to other people depending on the status of the visitor. Visitors can fall under one of three classifications:

Invitees

Invitees are people the property owner invites onto the property for the owner’s purposes, therefore, they can expect the highest standards of care. Shoppers at a grocery store are invitees, as are invited guests at a pool party. Property owners owe invitees a duty to repair known hazards, warn of potential hazards, and search for unknown hazards before welcoming visitors onto the premises.

Licensees

These are people invited to enter a property, but for their own reasons (e.g., a door-to-door salesperson). Property owners do not owe licensees as many duties of care as invitees. Licensees may expect the duty to keep a property defect-free and to warn of known risks, but not the duty to search for unknown hazards.

Trespassers

Trespassers are on a property without the express or implied permission of the owner. They are people the owner does not want on the premises. Property owners do not owe any duties of care to trespassers. Property owners must not intentionally cause them harm. If the trespasser is a child, however, the same duties as to invitees apply.

Duties of care can vary depending on the circumstances of the case. You might have a premises liability claim if you or a loved one suffered damages in accidents because of dangerous swimming pools, trip and fall hazards, negligent security, dog bites or animal attacks, faulty staircases, uneven curbs, cracked sidewalks, or blocked exits. It is worthwhile to speak to a San Jose premises liability attorney after any type of accident on someone else’s property. It may surprise you to find that you are eligible for significant monetary compensation.

Types of Premises Liability Accidents

Many different kinds of accidents fall under premises liability. Though a fall on a city sidewalk or slip in a grocery store may seem like your fault, such incidents may not have occurred without the negligence of another party. To know if your injury or damages could mean compensation, discuss your case with one of our qualified San Jose premises liability lawyers.

Some of the types of cases that may be eligible for compensation include:

Can You File a Claim if You Suffered an Injury on Government Property?

Injury on another’s property may be cause for a premises liability case, but different rules apply to injuries sustained on government property. At the core, you must still be able to prove your injury was a result of the government’s action or lack of action, but stricter time restrictions make it crucial to file your claim early.

In the state of California, you have up to six months to file a premises liability claim against the government – less time than other premises liability cases. You must also provide the proper notice of claim to the government. It is best to take pictures and report your accident to an official on the property at the time of your accident to that they can fill out the necessary forms and provide documentation of your accident.

Your lawsuit cannot begin until after the government has completed its investigation and denied your claim. With the six-month time limit on government claims, it is important to contact a premises liability lawyer in San Jose and begin your claims process as soon as possible after your accident.

Government Exemptions

Even when you follow the proper guidelines for filing a premises liability claim against the government, exceptions still exist for these types of claims that can give the government immunity from your accident.

Discuss your case with one of our San Jose premises liability lawyers to determine your chances of succeeding in a personal injury lawsuit against a government organization; it may be that another party is responsible for your injury as well.

Landlord Liability for Tenant Injury in San Jose

It’s important to understand the legal responsibilities your landlord owes you as a tenant at an apartment complex. Landlords have certain duties of care as the parties in charge of property in California and around the country: control, maintenance, and upkeep. The main concern of a landlord is the safety and well-being of tenants. Landlords are responsible for the “reasonable and prudent” care of a property to prevent tenant injuries. These duties include:

The specific duties a landlord will have depends on the property, circumstances, and the tenant agreement. However, a landlord will always have the legal responsibility to do what a reasonable landlord would in similar circumstances. The landlord is likely guilty of negligence if another landlord would have acted differently in the same situation. Landlords will be liable for tenant injuries they reasonably could have prevented.

Can I Sue My Landlord for Premises Liability?

Explore your rights to file a claim or lawsuit against your landlord in San Jose. California civil laws permit tenants to file claims against their landlords (or another party that controls the property) after property-related accidents and injuries, including criminal attacks. The landlord might be liable for the premises accident if he or she failed to fulfill one of his/her legal duties to tenants. You need the following elements for a successful premises liability claim against a landlord:

  1. Proof of duty of care. You will need proof that you had a landlord-tenant relationship with the defendant. Furthermore, you must prove the defendant owed you duties of care as the party in charge of repairs and maintenance.
  2. Evidence of a breach of duty. Then, you will need to show that the landlord breached one of his/her duties to you. Breaches can be acts of negligence such as ignoring a known property problem, hiring unqualified contractors for repairs, or failing to respond to maintenance requests promptly.
  3. A link that shows causation. Next, you will need to show that your landlord’s act of negligence was the proximate cause of your injuries. If something else also contributed to your injuries, you may be able to hold more than one liable.
  4. Documentation of damages. Finally, you need to present evidence that the landlord’s breach of duty caused you real, compensable damages. These include physical injury, medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering.

The San Jose personal injury lawyers at Henshaw & Henry, PC, can help you find out if you have grounds to file a lawsuit against your landlord in California. After any premises-related incident that causes an injury, contact us and request a free legal consultation. Our San Jose premises liability lawyers will listen to your story.

What You’ll Learn in a Free Consultation with Us

Henshaw & Henry, PC knows how important it is to get in touch with San Jose premises liability attorneys following a harmful accident. We offer complimentary, zero-obligation case evaluations to give everyone the chance to have a conversation with a legal professional. You can schedule your consultation online or call (408) 533-1075 to request an appointment.