Santa Barbara Premises Liability Lawyer
When you get hurt on someone else’s property, whether it’s a friend’s house or a department store, you likely have a lot of questions regarding how to pursue a claim, prove your case, and get the care and compensation you are entitled to. It’s okay to have lots of questions so long as you know where to go for answers. At Zavala Law, we aim to make a difference in your life, not just your case. We are skilled and experienced in getting results for injury victims, but we truly excel in providing the utmost in client service. Your lawyer, Matt Zavala, is accessible to you when you need him, and you can count on Matt to answer all your questions, explain your options, and provide you with the guidance you are looking for. Getting hurt on someone else’s property is a stressful experience all around, but Zavala Law is here to help you get the results you need. Contact our experienced Santa Barbara premises liability lawyer today.
Types of Premises Liability Incidents in Santa Barbara We Handle
Santa Barbara exudes the image of an upscale paradise that caters to its visitors and guests. It’s not a place where you should expect to encounter dangers and hazards at every turn. But even when you are doing your part to watch where you are going while enjoying yourself out and about, there are many ways a property owner’s negligence can land you on the floor or in the hospital with a painful injury. Here are some of the common types of premises liability claims we run into most often in our Santa Barbara premises liability practice.
- Unsteady Surfaces: Slips & Trips – Ever taken a spill in a supermarket or tripped over an uneven floor? You’re not alone; these incidents are the most common type of accidents that fall under the title of premises liability law.
- Animal Attacks: The Reality of Dog Bites – Not all of “man’s best friends” are friendly. A dog bite can result in a mountain of medical bills and emotional distress. Whether you knew the dog or not, and even if the dog had never bitten before, the owner is likely liable to you under California law.
- Mechanical Failures: Elevators & Escalators – It’s not just movie drama; these machines can and do malfunction, leading to painful, frightening, serious injuries.
- Aquatic Hazards: The Risks of Swimming Pools – Injuries aren’t limited to the deep end; a slippery pool deck can be just as dangerous. California law is clear on what it requires of pool owners to provide a safe environment.
- Lax Security: The Underrated Risk – Whether it’s poor lighting, broken locks or inadequate surveillance, inadequate security can make a property a hazard by inviting assaults or crime onto the premises. Yes, crime victims can hold Santa Barbara hotels and other properties liable for assaults due to negligent security.
Who’s Liable? Common Culprits in Premises Liability Cases
All property owners owe a duty of reasonable care toward people lawfully on their property as customers, social guests, or who have a license to enter and conduct business, such as making deliveries, repairs or sales calls. Still, premises liability claims tend to turn up on some properties more than others. These include:
- Supermarkets: Think about all those unattended spills and wet surfaces from produce aisles and refrigerated cases.
- Retail Outlets: Stockrooms and shopping aisles are both common sites for trip-and-fall and falling object hazards.
- Bars and Restaurants: These bustling businesses are prone to spills as well as fights and assaults if security is inadequate, unsupervised or overly aggressive.
- Hospitality Sector: From hotels to casinos, these venues often become a breeding ground for premises liability issues, including slips, trips and falls, elevator and escalator malfunctions, and negligent security.
The Injury Spectrum: What You Could Face
Injuries in premises liability cases can range from mild to severe, including:
- Muscle sprains
- Open wounds
- Physical lacerations and scarring
- Fractures in wrists, ankles, and hips
- Cranial trauma
- Spinal injuries
- Emotional trauma and psychological injuries, including anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder
What California Personal Injury Law Says About Recoverable Damages
Accident victims should be able to recover compensation for the full range of harm done to them by another’s negligence. Damages in a premises liability case often include:
- Hospitalization costs and future medical expenses
- Loss of earnings during recovery or due to permanent disability or diminished earning capacity
- Emotional suffering
- Mental anguish
Proof Required for a Successful Claim
As with other personal injury claims, the burden falls on the premises liability victim to prove their case, hold the property owner liable, and justify the amount of monetary damages they are seeking. A strong case will persuasively demonstrate all of the following:
- Property Custody: First, pinpoint who actually owns, occupies or manages the property.
- Owner’s Negligence: Prove that the owner was aware or should have been aware of the risks yet did nothing to warn of them or fix them.
- Cause and Effect: Show that your injuries were a direct result of this negligence.
- Damages: Provide documentation and testimony that shows what level of compensation you should receive.
Proving a premises liability case can be tricky. Insurance companies love shifting responsibility onto the victim by claiming victims weren’t watching out to avoid noticeable hazards. They’ll also dispute the extent of your injuries, saying you aren’t really hurt or if you are, it’s due to some other accident or a pre-existing condition. However, with Matt Zavala’s experience as a former insurance defense lawyer, an adept mediator and a successful litigator, you’ll have an attorney and legal team on your side qualified to build and present a strong case that proves the property owner’s liability to you for the full amount of damages that befall you.
Contact Zavala Law for Help With Premises Liability Claims in Santa Barbara
If you’re in Santa Barbara County and find yourself entangled in a premises liability issue, let Zavala Law light your way. We’re more than lawyers; we’re your advocates, your counselors, and your guide in a complex legal world. Call 805-429-4292 for a free consultation and immediate assistance.