The State Bar of California
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Building Code Violations

Premises Liability Lawyers Helping Residents of the Los Angeles Region

California has numerous building codes that property owners are expected to follow, at least when building a home or remodeling. Usually, these are not retroactive, which means that once a building is built, a property owner may not have a duty to comply with subsequent revisions to the code, unless they are renovating or change the use of the property. The relevant building code will be what was in effect when the building was built. If you are injured on a piece of property due to building code violations, you should consult the Los Angeles premises liability attorneys at Sharifi Firm.

Building Code Violations May Indicate Negligence

The building code is there to protect people from harm. Injuries may arise out of unsafe balconies, cracked sidewalks, poor lighting, broken railings or banisters, and broken elevators. Under premises liability law, property owners in California are supposed to make sure that their premises are safe for customers and other lawful visitors. This includes making repairs that comply with the building code and providing warnings about hazards of which they knew or should have known in the use of due care.

Among other things, premises liability plaintiffs must prove that a dangerous property condition caused their injuries. A building code violation may be used as proof of a dangerous or defective condition. Often, expert witnesses are reluctant to determine that a property condition is unsafe if there is no building code violation.

Establishing a violation alone is not enough to assess liability, however. You will also need to show that the owner knew or should have known about the dangerous condition. Actual or constructive notice may sometimes be shown by the length of time that a dangerous condition existed or by how many complaints a property owner received about it. For example, if surveillance footage of a retail store shows that there was a broken step on an interior staircase for many months, it is likely that you will be able to establish constructive notice. Similarly, if a retail store hires someone without a contracting license to do renovations in order to save money, and the result is a dangerous renovation that the owner suspects is not up to code, you may be able to establish constructive notice.

If a homeowner performs remodeling on their home, and the result is not compliant with building codes, they may be held responsible under a theory of negligence if a visitor is injured as a result. For example, if a homeowner does work on their fireplace, but the fireplace is not up to code, and as a result, there is a serious fire that causes burns and scars to house guests, an injured houseguest may be able to recover damages under a theory of negligence. It is also possible that the visitor may use a theory of negligence per se, or negligence as a matter of law, to hold the homeowner accountable. Negligence per se applies when a violation of a safety law causes injuries of the type that the law was designed to prevent.

Discuss Your Case with a Los Angeles Attorney

Whether you are visiting a store or visiting a friend, you do not expect to suffer serious injuries. You probably assume that a reasonable person would take measures to make sure that others do not get hurt. At Sharifi Firm, our experienced Los Angeles lawyers may be able to help you recover compensation if you were hurt as a result of a building code violation. Contact us online or call us at (866) 422-7222 to set up a free consultation with an injury lawyer. Our firm also represents people in Temecula, San Bernardino, Rancho Cucamonga, Glendale, Covina, and Riverside, among other Southern California cities.

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