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In Temecula, property owners have an obligation to keep people that visit their premises safe. Unfortunately, all too often owners fail in their duty, resulting in injury or worse. When this occurs and can be proven, the property owner is liable for a victim’s damages. Just a few years ago, a victim in a slip-and-fall case was awarded $2.8 million in damages against the Temecula-based Pechanga Casino. If you are injured on another’s property you may have a right to compensation, so you should consult an experienced Temecula premises liability attorney to protect your rights and understand your options.

Factors Affecting Injury Risk in Temecula

Temecula is a rapidly growing city with over 10 percent population growth between 2017 and 2018, reaching over 113,000 residents. In addition to a largely affluent population which allows large numbers of retail establishments to flourish, Temecula has a sizeable tourism and resort industry with destinations such as:

  • Temecula Valley Wine Country;
  • Old Town Temecula;
  • The Temecula Valley Polo Club;
  • The Temecula Valley Balloon & Wine Festival; and
  • The Temecula Valley International Film Festival.

These, along with numerous golfing destinations and resorts, provides ample hotels, swimming pools, stores, and restaurants that can all incur liability for injury-causing incidents on their property.

What Duties Do Temecula Property Owners Have?

Temecula commercial and residential property owners (or their caretakers) owe a legal duty to protect guests and visitors by using reasonable care to keep the premises free from hazardous conditions. This duty applies to all property types – apartments, houses, restaurants, motels and hotels, shopping malls, stores, supermarkets, arenas, parking lots, and fitness centers. The owners, lessors, or possessors of the property generally must:

  • Exercise reasonable care to either maintain the premises in a safe condition or to adequately warn about existing dangers;
  • Use reasonable care to inspect their premises to uncover unsafe conditions; and
  • Provide adequate warning about the existence of dangerous conditions or eliminate the danger.

Constructive Notice

If a dangerous property condition is so glaringly obvious that a reasonable person would be expected to notice it, the owner has no duty to warn about the hazard. However, just because a property owner does not know a dangerous condition existed does not mean they are immune from liability. The principle of constructive notice means that if evidence shows an owner or occupier using reasonable care to inspect should have discovered the dangerous condition before the injury occurred, they are considered to have known it existed for purposes of premises liability. For example, someone is injured by and slip and fall in a fast food restaurant lobby and it can be proved the liquid they slipped on was present for several hours, that would likely impute constructive notice for litigation purposes.

What Constitute Unsafe Property Conditions in Temecula?

Due to California’s broad application of premises liability in, many different conditions can constitute an unsafe property condition or failure to adequately warn and result in liability for injuries. Unsafe conditions may or may not be obvious and can include:

  • Slip or trip and falls;
  • Inadequate or broken lighting;
  • Insufficient or negligent security;
  • Improperly screened security staff;
  • Dog bites;
  • Broken, missing, or inadequate handrails;
  • Falling objects such as items on a shelf;
  • Unsafe or uninspected elevators and escalators;
  • Spilled liquids;
  • Broken or missing steps;
  • Broken glass;
  • Unsafe or exposed electrical wiring;
  • Nonfunctioning or missing smoke detectors and sprinkler systems;
  • Improper or inadequate security at swimming pools;
  • Failure to post signs warning of dangerous conditions.

What Risks and Injuries Fall Under Premises Liability in Temecula?

Private property and residential homes give rise to many common injuries such as: slip and falls, trip and falls, swimming pool drownings, diving injuries affecting a victim’s neck and spine, and dog bites. Additionally, malfunctioning or inadequate security can become personal injury claims as well. The duty property owners owe to protect their guests extends to keeping them safe from violence and criminal acts. For example, if an apartment complex owner has reason to know there have been numerous recent crimes in their parking lot and fails to take reasonable measure to remove the threat and warn guests, they can be liable if a guest is injured as a result of crime on the property.

Commercial properties have features that pose injury risks not commonly associated with residential homes – elevators and escalators. It is common for malfunctioning elevator doors, drops, escalator steps catching shoes or clothing, and sudden starts and stops to injure guests.

Additionally, Temecula’s prolific tourist and festival industry and the properties and events associated with them also give rise to a number of additional risks such as whiplash, broken bones, back injuries, brain injuries, and internal injuries.

What Can I Expect to Recover for My Injuries?

If you are injured on the premises of another, it’s common to wonder what you are entitled to recover for your traumatic experience. If you can prove the owner or caretaker was negligent, and that their breach of duty caused your injuries, you can recover damages you are able to prove. Compensatory damages may be awarded for concrete damages such as medical expenses and lost wages, while mental and psychological damage that has no price tag can receive damages for pain and suffering, mental anguish, and loss of consortium. Working with an experienced premises liability attorney in Temecula can help you recover the maximum possible amount for your injuries.

Should I Contact a Temecula Premises Liability Attorney?

Premises liability injuries can be serious, traumatic events with very real personal and financial consequences for you and your loved ones. Speaking with an experienced premises liability attorney at Walton Law is advisable, as we can help personalize the path to help you receive just compensation for your injuries. Contact us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at (866)-338-7079 or through our online Contact Page to set up your no-risk, no-obligation initial consultation today. The consultation is confidential, and you do not pay unless we win your case. Our professional, skilled attorneys will review the facts of your situation and help you and your loved ones get the best possible outcome from a bad situation.