Property owners throughout the Huntington Beach area have a legal responsibility to properly maintain their properties. If a lawful visitor to any property suffers an injury due to the property owner’s failure to maintain the premises, they should speak with an attorney. The visitor may have grounds for a personal injury claim under California’s premises liability laws.
If you or a loved one recently experienced any kind of injury at a retail store, private business, residence, or any other establishment open to the public, contact our firm. Your legal team can help you determine whether the property owner is liable for your damages, which may include expensive medical bills, lost income, and more.
Representing Premises Liability Claims in Huntington Beach
The team at Easton & Easton has more than 100 years of combined professional experience practicing California civil law. If you need legal representation after an injury like a slip and fall that you believe occurred due to a property owner’s failure to maintain their property adequately, call our office. We can help you determine the swiftest route to securing compensation for your losses. Our team is accustomed to handling difficult claims involving substantial damages and unclear liability.
Rest assured, when you choose Easton & Easton as your Huntington Beach premises liability attorneys, you are securing legal representation from one of the most highly experienced teams of civil litigators in Orange County.
We believe in individualized legal representation for every client we accept. When you meet with our team during your initial case evaluation, we will review the details of your injuries, assess the full scope of your claimable damages, and determine the likelihood of success with your premises liability claim. California state law is quite clear on the legal duties of private property owners, and Easton & Easton can help you recover when a property owner has failed to meet these duties.
How Does a Premises Liability Claim Work?
A premises liability claim is a form of personal injury claim filed in civil court. The plaintiff, or the injured party claiming damages, creates their claim by identifying the defendant, or party responsible for the injury in question. Their initial Complaint must explain the plaintiff’s claim in full, including their reasoning for assigning liability to the defendant, available evidence, and proof of damages. At this point, there are several possible outcomes.
After the plaintiff and their Huntington Beach premises liability lawyer file their Complaint with the local courthouse, the defendant will have an opportunity to answer. The defendant may accept liability and agree to settlement negotiations or deny liability and demand a trial. The former is typically the swiftest route to resolution for all parties involved in a premises liability claim. However, if the defendant contests liability, disputes their responsibility for certain damages, or otherwise disagrees with elements of the plaintiff’s Complaint, the parties must either negotiate a settlement or proceed to a trial.
Proving Premises Liability
In any personal injury claim, the plaintiff must establish the defendant was negligent in some way that directly caused the plaintiff’s claimed damages. California state law requires property owners to take reasonable steps to ensure their properties are as safe as possible for lawful visitors. “Lawful” is an important distinction as California state law does not provide legal protection for trespassers, burglars, or intruders who do not have permission to enter a property. For example, suppose a person breaks into a private residence with the intent to burglarize the property and falls down an unmarked flight of broken stairs. In that case, they will not have legal grounds for a premises liability claim since they were not lawfully present on the property.
Lawful visitors include individuals invited onto the property for the property owner’s own purposes. These invitees can include friends, relatives, and neighbors visiting for social reasons. Lawful visitors may also include people visiting the property for their own purposes with the owner’s express or implied permission to enter the property. These licensees often include mail carriers, utility workers, or contractors.
To succeed with a premises liability claim, the plaintiff must prove they were lawfully present on the property where the injury occurred. Next, they must show that the dangerous element responsible for their injury was a foreseeable hazard and that the property owner failed to take reasonable steps to correct the problem. Finally, it’s important to prove that the property owner has the knowledge of the hazard and the opportunity to fix it prior to the injury taking place. Plaintiffs must show that if they had taken more immediate action, the injury could have been avoided.
Possible Recovery from a Successful Premises Liability Claim
Your Huntington Beach premises liability attorney can help you recover any and all losses resulting from your experience. Like most personal injury claims, premises liability claims allow plaintiffs to claim compensatory damages for direct expenses incurred from the negligence of other parties:
- If a plaintiff suffered physical injury, they can claim the cost of treatment as well as expected future medical costs related to their injury.
- When plaintiffs’ injuries force them to miss work, they may claim lost income during recovery as well as lost future earnings if their injuries leave them unable to work in the future.
- An injury from a premises liability incident can be incredibly painful or even result in trauma and emotional distress if it results in a permanent injury. California state law allows personal injury claimants to receive compensation for pain and suffering in proportion to their other damages.
In most premises liability claims, the plaintiff and the defendant property owner will settle the claim privately. However, if the defendant contests liability, the case could proceed to litigation, which will cost much more money and a great deal more time than settlement for all parties involved.
Find Your Legal Team Now
Easton & Easton have successfully handled many difficult premises liability claims for Huntington Beach clients. We understand the complexities these cases often entail and how to maximize our clients’ recoveries. If you believe a recent injury occurred due to a property owner’s failure to address a preventable safety hazard, contact Easton & Easton to discuss your options with an experienced and reliable Huntington Beach premises liability lawyer.