Good hospitality dictates guests should be made to feel welcome and kept safe when invited to someone else’s property. However, all too often the duty to keep guests safe is not upheld by the owners, managers, and caretakers of property. Visitors are often injured in accidents due to dangerous conditions on another’s property – accidents which can bring about severe, potentially lifelong injuries. If you were hurt by dangerous conditions while visiting another’s property, you should contact a skilled Wildomar premises liability attorney because you may be entitled to monetary compensation for your injuries.
Am I At Risk for Premises Liability Injuries in Wildomar?
Wildomar may be a small town in Riverside County of just over 37,000 residents, but it is a bustling hub for hikers, bicyclists, and nature lovers. The city has nearly tripled in size in the last two decades, and because of this growth of retail establishments, restaurants, and businesses. There also numerous parks on city property including Marna O’Brien, Regency-Heritage, and Windsong. Additionally, public events such as Free Music Fridays at the Links at Summerly attract residents and visitors alike. Any of these sites could have an unsafe condition that results in injury to a guest and gives rise to the potential of a premises liability claim.
Does a Wildomar Property Owner or Manager Have an Obligation to Protect Guests?
Every property owner, caretaker, or manager in Wildomar has the legal duty to protect their guests by exercising reasonable care to keep their property free of hazardous or unsafe conditions. Additionally, the party responsible for the property has a duty to exercise reasonable care to discover these conditions by inspecting the property and either abate dangers they find or warn others about the hazard or unsafe condition. The duty to warn, however, does not exist if the condition is so obvious a reasonable person would see the hazard, recognize it, and take measures to avoid it.
If a guest was injured on someone’s property and can prove the party controlling it should have discovered the hazard if they upheld their duty to use reasonable care and inspect the property, the owner, caretaker, or manager is deemed to have had constructive notice of the hazard or unsafe condition for purposes of premises liability.
What Count as Unsafe or Hazardous Conditions?
In California, for purposes of premises liability, unsafe and hazardous conditions are construed very expansively. Common property conditions considered to fall under this umbrella are:
- Broken glass;
- Liquids on the floor;
- Broken steps;
- Missing handrails;
- Inadequate, malfunctioning, or nonexistent fire safety systems;
- Insufficient or nonexistent lighting; and
- Failing to warn guests about known hazards.
Though many unsafe conditions would be obvious to a reasonable person, other hazards might not be easily recognizable – this makes it important if you were hurt as a guest on property that you speak to a Wildomar premises liability lawyer to find out if the circumstances surrounding your accident could entitled you to damages.
What Kinds of Injuries Give Rise to Premises Liability Claims?
Premises liability claims can arise on commercial, residential, governmental, and public properties. Though there are limitless possibilities that can bring about injuries and claims, some situations are more common than others:
- Falling objects;
- Faulty elevator doors;
- Sudden elevator drops;
- Clothing caught in escalator parts;
- Sudden escalator starts and stops;
- Dog bites; and
- Slip or trip and falls.
Property owners and managers may also be responsible for injuries to guests resulting from insufficient or nonexistent security on their property. Their legal duty extends to warning visitors of known hazards and exercising reasonable care to protect visitors. A bar owner who knows there have been multiple muggings of patrons leaving the property but does not hire security, post cameras, warn patrons, or install better lighting may be liable if a guest is hurt during a subsequent mugging.
What Can I Recover for My Injuries?
Once a victim establishes a defendant negligently caused their injuries, they are entitled to recover damages they can prove in court. Compensatory damages are the most common way to make a victim whole for harm they suffered due to negligent conduct. They may be either economic or noneconomic in nature and will be awarded by a judge or jury.
Economic damages are meant to address definite injuries that can be substantiated by evidence such as paystubs and hospital bills. Common harms resulting in a damage award are:
- Funeral expenses;
- Medical bills;
- Property damages; and
- Lost wages.
Noneconomic damages, conversely, are meant to compensate for more abstract injuries that can result from mental, emotional, and psychological trauma caused as a result of the accident and the victim’s injuries. These may issue for harm such as:
- Emotional distress;
- Loss of consortium; and
- Pain and suffering.
Victims may, in some cases, also be given an award of punitive damages. These are meant to punish a defendant’s vile or reprehensible behavior while also deterring them and others from repeating this behavior in the future. Punitive damages require satisfying a much higher burden of proof than compensatory damages, which merely require a defendant’s negligence be proven “more likely than not.” They are also completely discretionary.
Due to the different burdens of proof required for different damage awards, as well as the difficulty of establishing certain types of harms occurred, it’s wise to have an experienced Wildomar premises liability attorney representing you to avoid what could be costly pitfalls in your case.
Contact a Premises Liability Attorney in Wildomar
If you suffered injury while you were a guest on another’s property, speak to the Wildomar premises liability attorneys at Walton Law without delay. Our knowledgeable attorneys have years of experience providing tailored, dedicated representation for injury victims and securing millions of dollars in compensation for our clients. Contact us at (866)-338-7079 or use our online Contact Page to schedule a risk free, no obligation evaluation today. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The initial consultation is always free, and do not pay until we win your case. Let our attorneys evaluate the facts of your situation, help you understand your options, and obtain the best possible outcome in your case to help you get your life back on track.