Premises Liability

Under premises liability theories, a property owner can be held liable for injuries caused to people on the property in certain instances.  The Law Offices of Mark A. Doughty represent people in the Sacramento area who have suffered personal injury due to the negligence of another in allowing a dangerous or unsafe condition to exist on the property.

Property owners owe a duty to maintain their premises in good condition for the safety of others who may enter upon the property.  This duty includes a duty to inspect the premises with reasonable frequency and to make any repairs or otherwise correct unsafe conditions which exist.  If the unsafe condition is not remedied, property owners owe a duty to warn of the unsafe condition, unless it is patently obvious.  For instance, a normal set of stairs may not require a warning that stairs can be dangerous, but an abrupt slope that is not readily noticeable should be clearly marked or have a sign nearby warning of its existence to avoid trips and falls.  Instances of exposed wiring or a sidewalk in disrepair should also be remedied or adequately warned about.

An unsafe condition may be created by someone other than the property owner.  Water can be spilled in a restaurant by a diner, or food spilled in a grocery store by a shopper, creating the likelihood that someone will slip and fall.  In these cases, a crucial fact is the time which elapsed between the creation of the unsafe condition and the accident.  Property owners are not required to maintain their premises 100% safe at all times, but if an unreasonable time passed and the spill was not cleaned up before someone fell and was injured, the property owner should be held liable for the injury.  Similarly, a storm may have caused the sidewalk outside of a store to be icy or slippery.  The property owner should be aware of this likelihood and either remedy the situation promptly or provide adequate warning of the condition.

The commonly-used phrase "slip and fall" does not do justice to the serious injuries that can occur from a fall, including fractures and concussions that can cause long-term or even permanent disabilities.  A head injury from a fall can cause traumatic brain injury (TBI).  A broken neck or back can result in permanent paralysis of the legs (paraplegia) or the entire body (quadriplegia).  A severe enough spinal cord injury (SCI) can cause death, or require the victim to be dependent on mechanical aids such as ventilators and feeding tubes.

At the Law Offices of Mark A. Doughty, you will find an attorney who is caring and concerned for your physical, emotional, and financial well-being, and who will fight to see that you are compensated for injuries caused by the negligence of another.  If you have been injured in a slip, trip, or fall on another's property, contact the Law Offices of Mark A. Doughty for caring, tough, and effective representation from an experienced personal injury lawyer in Sacramento.


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