Slip and Fall Attorney in San Francisco711 Van Ness Ave, Suite 500
San Francisco, CA 94102
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San Francisco Premises Liability Lawyers
In San Francisco, the law protects you if you get injured on someone else's property due to their negligence or recklessness. While you may be entitled to compensation, there is so much you need to know about the legal process. First, you should contact Morgan and Morgan, America's largest injury firm, to find out if you have a valid claim.
If your claim is valid, our San Francisco premises liability lawyers may be able to hold the other party accountable for their actions or inactions and secure the compensation you or your loved one deserves.
Cases San Francisco Premises Liability Lawyers Can Handle
The legal concept of premises liability covers many different scenarios. Below are some of the most common in San Francisco.
Slip and Falls
When a person slips and falls due to a hazardous condition on someone else's property, they may be able to sue the property owner or other responsible parties. A good example of such a scenario is when someone slips and falls on a wet floor in a grocery store that was not properly marked or cleaned, resulting in injury.
Anyone bitten or attacked by a dog while lawfully on someone's property may have a valid premises liability case, usually against the dog owner. That's because dog owners are responsible for maintaining control over their pets and preventing them from causing harm to others.
Hotels are supposed to provide a safe and relaxing environment for guests. So if you get injured due to a slip and fall, defective equipment, inadequate maintenance, negligent security, or anything along those lines, you may be able to take legal action against the responsible party.
Parking Lot Accidents
Parking lot accidents are more common in the United States than you may think. In these accidents, the legal concept of premises liability may come into play when determining liability.
Construction Site Accidents
A quick look at construction site statistics shows you just exactly how serious and common these accidents are in the United States. Just to give you some perspective, at least 1,000 people died in the country in 2021 due to construction site accidents. If you are injured at a construction site, you may be entitled to compensation.
Swimming Pool Accidents
Swimming pools are fun, but not when accidents occur. They can lead to serious injuries or even death. That's why the law requires property owners with swimming pools to ensure the safety of visitors. If anyone sustains injuries due to negligence on the part of the property owner, that could give rise to a premises liability claim.
Inadequate security incidents often arise when individuals suffer harm due to criminal acts, such as assault, robbery, or theft, on a property with inadequate security measures. In such cases, the property owner or security agency in charge of keeping the premises safe may be liable.
Benefits of Hiring a Premises Liability Lawyer
Hiring a premises liability lawyer means choosing someone with experience in this area of law and an understanding of how it applies to different situations in San Francisco. This alone can significantly improve your chances of obtaining the compensation you need and deserve after getting injured on someone else's property due to their negligence or recklessness.
These attorneys are usually aware of the potential hitches you may face when pursuing your claim, common defenses the other party may use to avoid or minimize liability, and effective strategies needed to build a strong case on your behalf.
In addition, seasoned premises liability lawyers often have established networks and relationships with expert witnesses, investigators, and other professionals in San Francisco and beyond whose insights can add more value to your claim. For example, in situations where liability is disputed, a medical expert specializing in injuries caused by slips and falls can help prove that you got injured due to someone else's negligence.
Choosing a premises liability lawyer to handle your case shows you're determined to maximize your chances of success. That's because the right attorney understands how important it is that you obtain reasonable compensation for your injuries and losses.
In some cases, multiple parties may be responsible for your injuries. Think of a situation where you got injured due to negligent security at the mall. The mall's owner may hold a certain degree of liability.
The same also applies to the security company hired to secure the premises — they may owe you a duty of care, which also makes them responsible for your injuries or losses if they fail to fulfill this duty. An experienced premises liability attorney with powerful legal resources can hold these parties responsible as you focus on recovering from your injuries.
What to Look for In a San Francisco Premises Liability Lawyer
We understand how difficult it can be to choose an attorney to represent you, let alone one who specializes in premises liability cases. That's because hiring an attorney, especially for injury-related reasons, could be a good or bad thing depending on who you choose.
The first thing you need to look for is a premises liability lawyer with a solid track record of handling cases similar to yours. Earlier, we mentioned that one of the reasons these cases can be complex is because premises liability law is broad. For example, the laws that apply to slip and fall accidents may not be the same as those that govern dog bite incidents.
Next, consider the resources available to the premises liability lawyer you believe may have what it takes to represent you. A lawyer with powerful legal resources can greatly strengthen your case, limiting the chances of the other party disputing liability or minimizing your claim.
Also, evaluate the lawyer's past results in premises liability cases. It's even better if they've handled your specific type of case, such as a dog bite, slip and fall, swimming pool accident, or anything along those lines. Such a lawyer usually has a higher chance of representing your best interests and achieving favorable results.
Read reviews and testimonials from past clients explaining their experience working with the shortlisted attorney. Their feedback will reveal everything you need to know about the attorney. In most cases, positive reviews and recommendations can indicate that the lawyer is reliable and capable of handling your premises liability case. While not all reviews will be positive, you shouldn't settle for an attorney whose reviews are mostly negative.
Many premises liability cases are settled outside of court. But that's not always a guarantee. Some insurance companies may refuse to negotiate, so it is important to ensure that your lawyer has the necessary trial experience and is prepared to go to court if needed.
A lawyer who is comfortable and confident in a courtroom will not feel the pressure to settle for a lowball offer. On the other hand, an attorney who lacks experience fighting in court will do anything within their powers, even if it means setting the case for less than you deserve, to avoid going to court.
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How Is Fault Determined in a Premises Liability Case?
When establishing fault (liability) in a premises liability case, or most personal injury matters in general, four key elements come into play. They include duty, breach, injury, and damages.
Under the element of 'duty', your attorney will establish whether the other party owed you a duty of care. In other words, did they have a legal responsibility to maintain a safe environment for visitors or customers? If so, then they owed this duty.
The extent of 'duty' depends on your status as a visitor. Under premises liability law, the plaintiff can either be an invitee, licensee, or trespasser. Each category carries different levels of duty owed.
Once the duty of care is established, you'll also need to prove a breach of that duty. This entails showing that the other party failed to take reasonable precautions to prevent potential hazards or unsafe conditions on their premises.
Next, you must prove that you sustained an injury or harm while on the premises due to the defendant's breach of duty.
Finally, you need to demonstrate that the breach of duty caused actual damages to you or a loved one. More on that below.
What Are Some Common Injuries in a Premises Liability Claim?
In a typical premises liability case, some common injuries may include:
- Fractures, sprains, or head injuries.
- Broken bones, cuts, or bruises.
- Spinal injuries
- Limb injuries
- Burn injuries
- Wrongful death
If you or a loved one has sustained serious injuries on someone else's property, you should have your case evaluated by an experienced attorney.
How Long Do I Have To File a Premises Liability Case in San Francisco?
In San Francisco and California as a whole, you have a period of two years from the date of the injury to file a lawsuit. If you fail to start legal action within this timeframe, your case may be dismissed, and you may be unable to recover compensation for your injuries.
The two-year deadline, also known as the statute of limitations, starts to run from the date of the injury or when the injury was discovered or should have reasonably been discovered. This allows for situations where injuries may not be immediately apparent, such as health issues resulting from toxic exposure at someone else's property.
California also has some exceptions to this deadline. In cases where the injured person is under the age of 18 at the time of the incident, the statute of limitations is usually tolled or "paused." In layman's language, the clock does not start to count until they reach the age of 18. Once they turn 18, they will have two years from that point to file a lawsuit for their premises liability claim.
Can I Sue if I Got Injured at a Government Property?
Yes, you may be able to bring legal action against a government entity. However, you must file this claim within six months from the date of the injury or risk losing your right to do so.
What Damages Can a Premises Liability Lawyer Help Me Recover?
If you win a premises liability case in California, you may be able to recover economic and noneconomic damages. These include the likes of medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life. Additionally, in certain cases involving egregious conduct by the property owner or any other liable party, punitive damages may be awarded to punish the defendant and warn others in similar situations of such conduct. That said, there is no predetermined set of damages in these cases; the specific damages you can recover will depend on the unique circumstances of your case.
Can I Still Recover Damages If I Was Partially Responsible for the Accident?
Yes, you may be able to. That's because California follows the pure comparative negligence law to determine liability and allocate damages when multiple parties are found to be at fault for an accident or injury. Under this legal doctrine, the amount of compensation you may be entitled to is reduced by your percentage of fault. That means you can still recover damages even if found to be 99% at fault.
Can I Afford a Premises Liability Lawyer?
Most premises liability attorneys work on a contingency basis, meaning you only get to pay them if they win the case, not before taking on your case. So, yes, you shouldn't be too worried about not being able to afford an attorney since there are no costs involved unless you win. And if you do win, the attorney's fee will come from the liable party or their insurer, not your own pocket.
Injured On Someone's Property? Talk to Morgan and Morgan
At Morgan and Morgan, we have an army of over 900 lawyers who can handle different types of claims, including those involving injuries sustained on someone's property. Whether it's a slip or fall, swimming pool accident, dog bite, assault, or anything in between, we may be able to get you the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.