PERSONAL INJURY I SLIP AND FALL I WRONGFUL DEATH – Wrongful death and Landlord Negligence

PERSONAL INJURY I SLIP AND FALL I WRONGFUL DEATH – Wrongful death and Landlord Negligence

August 27, 2020

Hundreds of people in California suffer serious injuries as a result of dangerous property conditions, some of these injuries lead to death.  Often times the victims shy away from filing suit because they fear retaliatory action by the landlord or property owner such as an eviction or harassment; however, California has laws in place to protect against retaliatory acts and to allows survivors of wrongful death claims to bring an action to seek compensation for their injuries.

Injuries and Wrongful Deaths on Government Owned Buildings and Public Property – Public Premises Liability Law

Government owned lands include any land or structure owned by a public agency. This includes parks, public university campuses, public schools, roadways, public transit, sidewalks just to name a few.  California Government Code § 835 codifies a public agency’s liability, specifically “a public entity is liable for injury caused by a dangerous condition of its property if the plaintiff establishes that the property was in a dangerous condition at the time of the injury.” In short, a public entity can be held liable for injuries due to a dangerous condition on a public premise, even when such injury results in death.

Injuries and Wrongful Deaths on Privately Owned Buildings and Property – Landlord and Property Owner Liability – Premises Liability Law

Similarly, private landowners and landlords, owe tenants, residents, customers, and visitors the duty to maintain their premise in a reasonable safe condition and warn against any dangerous conditions.   If a property owner or landlord fails to keep the premises safe for use it may be responsible for injuries or death occurring on the premises. This liability can extend to third parties such as security guards, janitors, handyman and others whom a landlord or property owner hired to perform certain services and maintenance on the property depending on the facts surrounding the incident. A tenant, resident, customer, or visitor whom was injured on the private property has the right to file a lawsuit against the landlord for injuries or death of a loved one.

Injuries and Wrongful Deaths on Common Areas – What Property Areas is a Landlord Responsible for?

If a landlord knows about a dangerous condition, property hazardous or a latent defect on the premise, they have an obligation to correct the condition so that the premise is reasonably safe, and/or should warn tenants and visitors of the hazardous condition to prevent foreseeable injuries.  A landlord has to maintain a standard of care for all common areas of their property, these areas often include:

  • Lobby
  • Mailroom
  • Common Gathering areas
  • Conference rooms
  • Community rooms
  • Hallways
  • Handrails
  • Stairs
  • Floors
  • Elevators
  • Sidewalks
  • Swimming pools
  • Store displays
  • Unmarked rises

Common Causes of Premises Liability Cases – What Constitutes a Dangerous and Hazardous Condition on a Property or Premise?

There are many ways that a property can be unsafe.  While every premises liability is fact specific and should be evaluated independently there are common conditions that are often deemed to be a hazard and otherwise dangerous for foreseeable use.  Some common causes of premise liability claims include:

  • Elevator and Escalator Defects
  • Porch Collapse
  • Catastrophic deck failure
  • Stair Collapse
  • Defective stairways
  • Building Rot
  • Ceiling collapse
  • Fires / Fire hazards
  • Falling Objects
  • Unsafe Swimming Pools
  • Unrestricted Swimming Pools
  • Dangerous roadways and sidewalks
  • Other conditions leading to Slip and Fall Accidents
  • Animal attacks and bites
  • Dog bites
  • Inadequate lighting
  • Poor visibility
  • Negligent Security
  • Failure to protect against known violence and dangers
  • Fire safety and building code violations
  • Inadequate handrails
  • Falls in potholes or uneven stairs
  • Tripping over tree roots or uneven sidewalks
  • Tripping over merchandise on the floor, poor carpeting and wires on the ground

For further discussions on Premise Liability, Slip and Fall Accidents and Negligent Torts in general, links are included below:

If you are wondering “do I need a slip and fall lawyer?” please see our previous blogs on this subject below:

Premises liability cases are complex and should be discussed with an experienced personal injury attorney.  If you or a loved one sustained a serious injury or a wrongful death as a result of a premises liability issue, please call our offices today to discuss your matter with a seasoned wrongful death attorney at 619-432-5145.

    Diana Legal