Top Reasons Why Your Premises Liability Claim Could Be Denied
Even if you have suffered an injury while on another’s property does not mean that you are entitled to receive financial compensation for the injuries you have sustained. Many injured victims tend to automatically assume that the owner of the property or property caretaker will be liable for the injuries because their accident occurred while on the property. Regrettably for the victim, this is not always the case.
Under State of California’s premises liability laws, the property owner or caretaker as well as his or her insurance carrier can either:
- Reduce the value of the claim to be paid
- Dismiss the claim entirely if they can successfully prepare any of the following premises liability defenses
Even if the property owner or caretaker raises the following defenses against your claim, you may have the opportunity to challenge this by ensuring that you have a well-fortified case.
Premises Liability Claims: Essential Factors Needed
In order to have a successful premises liability claim and recover damages for the injury, there are certain elements that you will need to demonstrate:
- That the identified party does have management or ownership over the property
- The identified defendant was negligent in the maintenance of the premises
- You were injured in the property
- The identified defendant’s negligence was the primary factor in causing your injuries
Under California law, a person visiting a dwelling is usually required to practice a degree of care or prudence in the interest of his or her own safety that another individual would practice under similar conditions. Visitors, therefore, are to a certain degree, required to practice a reasonable degree of care for their own safety.
Potential Defenses For a Premises Liability Claim
When a premises liability claim is filed in California, many insurance companies will attempt to raise the following defenses in effort of invalidating the claim or to reduce a fair settlement amount.
The assumption of risk – While this is the most commonly used defense in a premises liability claim, this defense can only be used for specific properties or businesses. In order to defend against the liability claim, the property owner or manager will need to demonstrate that you had knowledge of the possible hazards within the premises upon entering the premises. Further, even after having knowledge of these hazards, you did not do anything to stop the possibility of causing yourself harm. For instance, if your case involved a slip and fall injury where a sign was visibly posted alerting you of the wet floor, the property owner could argue that you assumed all risks when deciding to walk through the wet floor in spite of the posted sign.
Comparative negligence – The majority or property owners or caretakers, when facing a premises liability claim, will argue that the alleged victim was partly at fault for instigating the event that caused his or her own injuries. In the event that the property owner or manager are able to prove that you were at least partly at fault for the injuries, there is a great possibility that you will only be able to recover a percentage of the restitution.
Pre-existing medical conditions – Insurance companies in the State of California will inquire about your past medical history upon entering into a premises liability lawsuit. If you have had any similar injuries or other affecting medical conditions in your past, the owner or property caretaker will argue that the accident did not entirely cause the injury. The owner or property manager could argue that the accident aggravated the injury or that the injury was simply caused by another past medical condition.
Obtain Financial Compensation For Your Injuries
If you have been injured while in another’s property, it is your legal right to file a lawsuit in effort of recovering compensation for your losses. The support of a qualified attorney can help you build a strong claim against the liable parties.
The Moga Law Firm is highly skilled in the field of premises liability lawsuits in the State of California. The firm is dedicated to preserving the rights of victims that have been injured as a result of another’s negligence. Premises liability lawsuits are subject to time limitations; obtain legal support as soon as possible.
Scot Thomas Moga, a dedicated attorney in San Bernardino & Riverside Counties who represents clients in the many types of personal injury, workers’ compensation and estate planning cases.