Property owners of all types in Murrieta have a legal duty to use reasonable care to ensure their property is free from hazardous conditions in order to keep visitors safe. However, if owners or managers negligently breach their legal duty their visitors can be injured or even die as a result. If a victim can prove this occurred and caused their injuries on another’s property, the owner or manager may be on the hook for the victim’s injuries. If you have been injured on another person’s property, you could be entitled to an award of damages, so it is advisable to consult a Murrieta attorney experienced in premises liability claims to understand your rights and know your options.
Factors Affecting Injury Risk in Temecula
The population of Murrieta was 103,466 in 2010 according to the United States Census Bureau. Murrieta experienced a 133.7% population increase between 2000 and 2010 and continues to grow exponentially today, making it one of California’s most rapidly growing cities. This growing population results in an exploding number of homes, businesses, and recreational destinations to serve Murrieta residents and tourists alike. The tourism industry in Murrieta is thriving thanks to activities such as:
- Tours at Inland Wharf, 8 Bit, and Electric Brewing Companies;
- Horseback Riding at Susie Q Ranch; and
- Tours and tastings at Lorimar Winery.
These, along with nearby golf courses, parks, and hot air balloon rides, provide a myriad of opportunity for an owner, manager, or caretaker to become liability for injuries to visitors on their property.
What Legal Duties Do Murrieta Property Owners Have To Visitors?
Murrieta property owners, managers, or caretakers have a legal duty to use reasonable care to keep their property free from unsafe, hazardous conditions to protect visitors. This duty carries to owners, managers, and caretakers of commonly visited properties including homes, retail stores, apartments, hospitals, bars, restaurants, hotels, malls, grocery stores, arenas, parking lots.
The party controlling the premises has a legal duty to all visitors to exercise reasonable care to adequately warn them of existing dangers or keep the premises in safe condition, exercise reasonable care to discover unsafe conditions through premises inspection, and adequately warn of existing dangerous conditions or abate them.
If it is so glaringly obvious that a condition on a property is unsafe even a reasonable person would recognize it and take steps to avoid it, a manager or owner is not required to warn about it. To that end, though, a property owner or manager’s lack of knowledge that an unsafe condition exists (and therefore failure to warn about the condition) will not always excuse them from liability. Under the theory of constructive notice, if it can be proven an owner or occupier should have, by inspection, discovered the condition before the victim’s injury through use of reasonable care then they are considered aware of its existence for premises liability claims.
What Conditions May Give Rise to a Murrieta Premises Liability Claim?
Due to the California construing unsafe conditions very broadly for purposes of premises liability, innumerable conditions could injure visitors and result in owner or manager liability. These conditions are often not obvious to an ordinary person, but may include:
- Poor or nonexistent lighting;
- Negligently screened security personnel;
- Animals on the property;
- Faulty or nonexistent handrails;
- Falling objects;
- Lack of proper elevator and escalator inspection or maintenance;
- Liquids on the floor;
- Broken or missing steps;
- Broken glass;
- Lack of or broken sprinklers or smoke detectors;
- Inadequate pool safeguards;
- Failing to warn about dangerous conditions.
What Injuries Are Caused by Dangerous Conditions?
Premises liability claims commonly arise on residential or commercial property. They can also stem from incidents on public property such as sidewalks, in parks, and on government-owned land.
Especially common injuries at private residences and other private properties may include:
- Slip or trip and falls;
- Swimming pool drownings;
- Diving injuries; and
- Dog bites.
Flaws in or lack of security can also give rise to premises liability claims – property owners’ duties to visitors includes reasonable care to shield them from known crime risks. For example, if an apartment manager knows the building’s poorly lit front entrance is a common location for muggings but they don’t take exercise care to remove the risk and warn property visitors, they would be liable if injury occurs from a mugging at that entrance.
Commercial buildings possess two additional features which can injure visitors but are uncommon in residential properties have features that pose injury risks not commonly associated with residential homes. Escalators and elevators injure numerous individuals every year. It’s not uncommon for a faulty elevator door, a sudden elevator drop, a piece of clothing or a shoe catching in an escalator, or an unexpected escalator stop or start to injure visitors.
What is My Case Worth?
If the victim can prove a property owner or manager acted negligently by allowing a hazardous condition to exist on their property and this negligence caused their injuries, the defendant is liable for their proven damages unless they can raise a valid legal defense.
An economic compensatory damage award can be given for quantifiable damages like medical bills, funeral costs, and lost income. Emotional, psychological, and mental injuries that do not have a fixed value, such as permanent disability or disfigurement, pain and suffering, and emotional distress, are addressed through an award of noneconomic compensatory damages. Discretionary punitive damages to punish the wrongdoer may also be awarded if the victim can show by clear and convincing evidence the conduct was perpetrated with malice, fraud, or oppression. A Murrieta attorney experienced with premises liability claims can advocate for you in a way that maximizes your potential for recovery.
Do I Need an Attorney?
Victims of accidents on another’s property can lead to lifelong, severe, and potentially fatal injuries with lasting consequences for the victim and their loved ones. You should speak with the experienced Murrieta premises liability attorneys at Walton Law today for an evaluation of your case and guidance on how to preserve your rights. We have spent years delivering personalized representation for clients like you and recovering millions in compensation. Contact us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at (866)-338-7079 or via our Contact Page to schedule a no-risk, confidential case evaluation today. The initial consultation is free, and you pay nothing until we win your case. Our skilled attorneys will review your unique case and deliver aggressive advocacy to get the results you deserve.