Inadequate Warnings or Barriers
Property owners have a responsibility to visitors to properly maintain their property and adequately warn of any hazards. Sometimes owners realize that there is a problem, but they may fail to conduct repairs quickly enough or warn visitors of the problem. If you are injured on someone else's property due to inadequate warnings or barriers, you should retain an experienced Los Angeles premises liability attorney. These cases can be very challenging. At Sharifi Firm, APC, we understand the complexity of these cases and how to establish property owner liability.Seeking Compensation for Harm Caused by Inadequate Warnings or Barriers
Property owners in California need to use reasonable care to keep their property in a reasonably safe condition and inspect for hazards like broken steps, broken rails, rotted beams, holes, slippery or wet surfaces, missing fences, inadequately maintained elevators, and uneven surfaces.
Once they have inspected the property, they need to provide adequate warnings or place barriers that allow visitors to avoid getting injured. The duty to make repairs, provide warnings, or put barriers in place arises only after a property owner has actual or constructive notice, or when an owner creates the hazard.
Actual notice is self-explanatory — it arises if an owner actually knows about the dangerous condition. For example, if a guest in a motel complains to management that the rail of the balcony attached to the common room is loose, the management owes a duty to inspect the railing and to call someone about fixing the railing. However, it may not be possible to get someone to repair it right away, which means that the motel must place a barrier or provide warnings to guests. If the management does not cordon off the area, and as a result a guest falls off the balcony, the motel will likely be held liable for having actual notice but providing an inadequate warning or barrier.
Constructive notice exists when a dangerous condition exists so long that it should have been reasonably discovered by the property owner or occupier. Retail stores, grocery stores, and other places that cater to customers are supposed to check their property for any problems on a regular basis. They should, for example, walk through the customer areas to make sure that the property is safe before customers come into the store. They should also make sure that they comply with relevant building codes, since an owner may be found negligent per se if a visitor's injuries are caused by a violation of a code. While a grocery store owner is unlikely to be found constructively negligent for a spill that occurred 20 minutes prior to a fall, it is more likely to be found constructively negligent for a spill that sits on the floor for three hours.
Whether there was a prior injury can be a relevant factor in whether an owner is held liable. However, it is not necessary in every case. A warning could be found inadequate in a particular situation even if it was adequate in prior situations. Moreover, a property owner cannot avoid liability simply by delegating the issue of maintenance to a property manager.
Injuries arising out of inadequate warnings or barriers can result in serious injuries, such as fractures, brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, burns, or even death. As an injured plaintiff, you can recover compensatory damages for your injuries. These are damages that are intended to make you "whole" or put you back into the position in which you would have been had you not gotten into the accident. Compensation may include past and future medical expenses, loss of earning capacity, out-of-pocket expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, mental anguish, and loss of consortium.Discuss Your Accident with a Los Angeles Attorney
Inadequate warnings or barriers can give rise to substantial awards of damages in cases in which they cause injuries to visitors or customers. At Sharifi Firm, APC, our Los Angeles attorneys may be able to help you recover compensation from negligent property owners. Contact us online or at (866) 422-7222 for a free consultation with an injury lawyer. We also represent victims in cities such as Riverside, Temecula, Rancho Cucamonga, Glendale, Covina, and San Bernardino.