ARE BUSINESS OWNERS OR LAND OWNERS LIABLE FOR INJURIES TO OTHERS ON THEIR PROPERTY?
In California, a land owner or a business owner has a duty to exercise ordinary care in the management of the premises in order to avoid exposing persons to unreasonable risk of harm. This legal concept is called premises liability. The lawyers at Frank P. Barbaro & Associates regularly represent people that have been injured as a result of a business owner’s or land owner’s failure to maintain safe premises for customers and guests.
Whether or not the business owner or land owner is liable requires a careful analysis of the facts of each case and an application of the law. However, legal liability only arises when the business owner or land owner breaches the duty to keep reasonably safe premises which causes injury to another.
IS IT THE BUSINESS OR THE INSURANCE COMPANY THAT PAYS FOR THE INJURIES CAUSED?
Most businesses recognize that there is a chance that their actions may cause harm to others. For this reason, most responsible businesses protect themselves and their customers/guests by purchasing $1,000,000 or more commercial liability insurance coverage. Most big businesses often carry multiple millions of dollars in insurance coverage to cover catastrophic losses such as death and dismemberment. Because the insurance company will generally pay for all the legal costs they will aggressively defend their insured to minimize its own exposure from large verdicts and settlements. The lawyers at Frank P. Barbaro & Associates have a reputation with the insurance companies for being experienced, prepared, aggressive and willing to take matters to trial if our clients are not fairly treated.
IS A HOTEL, SUPERMARKET, OR RESTAURANT LIABLE FOR SLIP AND FALLS ON FOREIGN SUBSTANCES?
Customers and guests of hotels, supermarkets, restaurants and other businesses are sometimes seriously injured after slipping on foreign substances such as water, food, and other things that just don’t belong. These dangerous conditions can cause major injuries including orthopedic fractures, spinal disc herniation and head/brain injuries. However, just because there was a foreign substance on the floor does not necessarily mean that the business is automatically legally responsible for paying for the injuries.
In order for a business to be held responsible for a slip and fall injury, the injury must not only be caused by substance causing the surface to be slick or dangerous but also the owner had to have notice of the substance on the floor at time of the accident. For example, a restaurant may be responsible for injuries to a customer where a slippery substance was dropped on the floor and enough time passed where the business owner actually knew or should have known about the dangerous condition.
Determining whether or not the business is legally responsible for a slip and fall requires a careful analysis of facts and the law. This analysis often requires employing experts with specific knowledge and understanding of safety standards to conduct scientific testing in determining whether a dangerous condition existed.
WHEN DO I NEED TO HIRE A LAWYER FOR INJURIES ON SOMEONE ELSE’S PROPERTY?
An injured victim should hire an attorney as soon as reasonably possible after the incident occurred. An early investigation and preservation of evidence is key in a premises liability case. Most dangerous conditions are fixed shortly after the injury causing incident, video surveillance footage often gets destroyed, witnesses become harder to find and their recollection of the incident quickly fades. For this reason, the sooner our firm is hired to represent the injured party, the more effective our investigators are in assessing the dangerous condition, conducting interviews and preserving key evidence.