Premises liability written on a wooden board
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Have you ever walked into a store, restaurant, or any property and noticed something off, like a wet floor without a sign, or cluttered aisles you had to navigate around? These seemingly minor issues can lead to serious injuries if you’re not careful. Premises liability is a legal principle that holds property owners accountable for injuries that occur on their property due to unsafe conditions. This covers a wide range of accidents, from slip and fall incidents to more complex situations involving inadequate security or maintenance failures. But what happens next if you’re the one who gets hurt?

Understanding Premises Liability

Premises liability revolves around the concept that those who own or control property must keep it safe for visitors. This legal responsibility means ensuring that the environment is free from hazards that could cause harm, whether it’s a slippery floor, an unstable structure, or inadequate lighting. The nature of your visit plays a role too; the duty of care owed to a customer in a store differs from that owed to a guest at a private home or a trespasser. From slip and falls to injuries from falling objects or even dog bites, premises liability encompasses various situations. Understanding the breadth of this responsibility is important for recognizing when a property owner’s negligence might have led to your injury.

The Clock is Ticking: Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations is like a countdown timer on your ability to seek justice through the legal system after an injury. In California, you generally have two years from the date of the incident to file a premises liability claim. This period is crucial because once it expires, you lose the right to sue for damages, no matter how strong your case might be. Acting swiftly ensures you don’t miss this window of opportunity to hold the responsible party accountable for their negligence. Understanding and adhering to this timeline is essential for protecting your legal rights and potential compensation.

Evidence Fades With Time

As time passes, the evidence necessary for supporting a premises liability claim can become harder to collect and preserve. Surveillance footage, often a key piece of evidence, may be overwritten or deleted. Physical conditions at the accident site can change, with hazards being repaired or removed, erasing the proof of negligence. Witnesses’ memories fade, making their accounts less reliable or harder to obtain as details become blurred. Prompt action to document the scene, gather witness statements and secure video evidence is imperative. This early evidence collection strengthens your case, providing clear, contemporaneous records of the conditions that contributed to your injury.

Negotiating With Insurance Companies

Negotiating with insurance companies can be daunting, especially when recovering from an injury. Insurers often employ tactics to minimize payouts, such as disputing the severity of injuries or arguing over liability. Acting quickly to file your claim can prevent them from taking advantage of any delays to weaken your position. A prompt start allows you to gather comprehensive evidence, reinforcing your claim’s legitimacy and value. This preparation puts you in a stronger position to negotiate a fair settlement, ensuring you receive the compensation needed for your recovery and losses. 

Ardalan & Associates Can Help with Your Premises Liability Claim

Ardalan & Associates can guide you through the complexities of your premises liability claim. Our experienced team is adept at investigating accidents, collecting vital evidence, and negotiating with insurance companies on your behalf. Don’t navigate this challenging time alone. Contact us today to discuss how we can advocate for your rights and secure the compensation you deserve.

About the Author
P. Christopher Ardalan has been a champion for the people since becoming an attorney in 2000 and establishing Ardalan & Associates, PLC. His practice, rooted in Southern California, emphasizes personal injury law where he, alongside a formidable team, tirelessly advocates for his clients. A Cum Laude graduate of California State University, Northridge, and Loyola Law School where he also graduated Cum Laude and Order of the Coif, Ardalan's early legal acumen earned him the moniker “The kid with the golden tongue.” His accolades include numerous mock trial victories, prestigious memberships, and high-profile awards such as being a Litigator Award® recipient and an inductee into ABOTA and the Million and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forums. Recognized by both his peers and prestigious legal associations, Ardalan’s relentless pursuit of justice is fueled by a lifelong dedication to learning and a heartfelt commitment to his clients. With a reputation as a seasoned trial lawyer and a compassionate advocate, he finds the greatest fulfillment in making a positive change in his clients’ lives, honoring his role as their voice for justice.