When an injury occurs to an individual as a direct result of bad or defective conditions on someone else’s property, then there might be the likelihood of a grounds culpability claim against the owner of the building. Grounds culpability wounds can occur due to a flood of circumstances, some of which include trip and fall accidents, roof and floor collapse, animal attacks (particularly dogs), fires and defective electrics, swimming pools not being properly covered, and in the case of shops, defective store displays. All of these conditions can happen in private and public buildings including personal houses, banks, shopping centers, cinemas, sports complexes and even public parks and lakes.
The law states the owner of a property has an accountability for the upkeep and general upkeep of the property so as not to cause injury to others who enter the building. This includes members of the general public, invited people and even trespassers. However other people such as contractors working on a building, a property manager or perhaps a renter, could also be held responsible should a claim be made.
One thing should be made clear, and that is that simply because an owner of the property has his name on the title deed, it doesn’t make her or him responsible for any injuries sustained inside that property, unless carelessness can be proved by the petitioner. The state of California decrees that an owner of a property can be presumed negligent if he/she fails to maintain the property to a safe standard. In a few cases it is up to the jury to determine whether this is really the case. A good premises liability attorney who is well capable in this kind of case will assess your claim quickly and be able to tell you what your chances are.
On the flip side of all this, a visitor to a property should act in a responsible manner. If the visitor to the property saw a danger and didn’t avoid it, then a case of comparative neglectfulness may occur. This means that there will be a proportion of blame assigned to each party and funds will be awarded to the victim as a proportion of this blame. For instance, if an individual had a dog that was locked behind a gate with a warning sign, and a visitor opened the gate against the wishes of the property owner and the dog then attacked and bit the petitioner, then this would be a case of comparative neglectfulness. The jury may find that the property owner was 60 percent responsible and the complainant was 40% responsible. This implies that the complainant would only receive 60% of the final costs of the damages claim allowed for their injuries.
As you can see, when it comes to grounds responsibility claims, they aren’t as straight forward as one may think. In reality they can be quite complex. An experienced accident lawyer who fully understands the idiosyncrasies of the law will be well placed to guide the complainant as to which route to go down in order to file a successful claim. They may want to call in reconstruction experts in the event of an accident that will help decide the result, and they may additionally want to talk to witnesses and take statements from them.