A premises liability claim is based on the legal duty that a business owner or landlord has to protect people from dangerous conditions on the property. These dangers could include slippery floors, defective stairs, and other hazards. In most states, premises liability claims are covered under a theory of negligence. For example, if you slip and fall in a store because the floor was wet, you can sue for damages if it can be shown that the store was negligent in keeping the floor clean and free of spills.
Injuries that occur in a public place like a park, school, grocery store, restaurant, or any other publicly accessible premises are also considered premises liability cases.
The frequency of premises liability suits in the US has grown significantly over the past ten years. Premises liability claims are the most frequent form of Personal Injury Claim. In 2007, there were 8,000 reported cases. In 2016, that number was up to about 45,000 cases. This is largely because more and more people are renting homes and apartments – which mean more opportunities for slip-ups from landlords.
Countrywide the cost of premises liability claims has risen to $92.6 billion annually. The average cost per claim is $36,000. In the United States, there are approximately three million premises liability claims brought each year. Out of those, 75% of the claimants are successful in their case.
In the United States, premises liability claims are governed by state law, which may vary from state to state.
The two most common types of premises liability claims are:
- Slip and fall cases
Injuries in slip and fall cases can take a variety of forms, including bruises, broken bones, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injury, neck injuries, paralysis, chronic pain, and other related damages.
Over 95% of premises liability claims are from slip and fall injuries. Every year more than $1 trillion worth of property is damaged as a result of slip and fall accidents in commercial properties. Approximately 3.5 million people in the United States suffer a slip and fall injury each year. The most common reason for these types of injuries is wet floors, with over 50% of claims for slip and falls being caused by wet floors.
- Third-party injuries
Third-party injuries typically arise from dog bites or other animal attacks. In 2018, there were four million animal bite claims in the U.S., costing businesses $2 billion in damages
In California, a dog attack on premises liability claim is governed by the “one bite rule,” which means that if a person is injured by a dog and no prior warning or knowledge of its vicious propensities, they can only collect damages from the owner up to the full extent of their injuries.
The one bite rule is in place to curtail dog owners’ liability when the dog has not previously shown any vicious propensities. However, it does not apply if the victim has been warned or if they had knowledge of the dog’s vicious propensities.
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Proving a Premises Liability Claim
There are two types of premises liability claims: an “intentional wrongful act” and a “negligence claim.” The intentional wrongful act is usually a crime that results in injuries to someone on the property, while the negligence claim is when someone suffers an injury due to lack of care or provision of safety.
Premises liability falls under the category of “tort liability“. There are four elements that must be established in order to have a successful claim for premises liability:
1) The defendant had ownership or control of the property;
2) The plaintiff was injured while on the property;
3) The injury was caused by something other than the plaintiff’s own intentional misconduct; and
4) The defendant was negligent either in providing, maintaining, or repairing the property.
Premises liability cases can be complex and confusing, which is why it is important to have an experienced Premises Liability attorney with the right knowledge and resources on your side. They will be able to advise you during the process and get you the settlement that you deserve for your injuries.
We at Garcia and Phan Southern California Lawyers understand and respect your rights as a victim. Through the counsel of the team of our expert Personal Injury Lawyer you can recover from these types of incidents at peace and let the professionals do all the hard work. For more information about your legal options, give us a call at 714-586-8298