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Defective Medical Products

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I was Injured by a Drunk Driver, What do I Do?

  America has a drinking problem. Alcohol related deaths are the fourth leading preventable cause of death in the United States; and every two minutes, a person is injured in an alcohol related crash. Although drunk driving is a crime

What is Premises Liability?

Image: American Dream Home Inspection

Premises liability involves injuries caused by unsafe or defective conditions on another person’s or business’s property. For example, if you slip and fall on another person’s property due to an unsafe condition, or if an elevator breaks and injures you, these cases would fall under premises liability. If an unsafe condition exists on someone’s property and it causes injuries to an individual, then the owner of the property may be at fault.

A court may follow the “reasonableness” rule to decide whether someone’s injury is the owner’s responsibility. The court will evaluate if the owner was acting reasonably and whether they cared for their property well. In addition, the owner knew their property was unsafe  and did not remedy the hazard, or they did not safeguard their property. Using the slip and fall example, if an owner did not know there was an oil spill on the floor, it is unlikely it will be the owner’s fault unless the spill was so obvious that he should have cleaned it.

Although premises liability laws usually follow this “reasonableness” rule, personal injury laws vary by state. Some use a different rule that categorizes people as “invitees, licensees, and trespassers.”1 California law considers invitees as individuals given permission and invited onto a business property, like a customer in a store. Business owners are responsible for making their property safe by maintaining conditions such as leaky roofs, broken pipes, or spills on the floor. Licensees are defined as social guests, such as friends or family coming over to your house. Owners are accountable for a licensee’s safety to the extent that the owner at least makes reasonable effort to repair unsafe or dangerous conditions. Liability of business owners to invitees differs because business owners have a greater responsibility to keep a safe environment for their guests. Lastly, trespassers, are individuals an owner does not invite onto their property. Owners are not required to ensure the safety of trespassers unless they know of the trespasser (for example, kids who sneak onto a property to use the pool). In this case, the owner is required to use care concerning the trespasser’s safety.

At Kershaw, Cook & Talley, we specialize in personal injury cases including premises liability. If you were seriously injured on a property, and the owner knew of the hazards, call us for a free case evaluation at 888-997-5170.

1 “Premises Liability: Who is Responsible?” FindLaw, http://injury.findlaw.com/accident-injury-law/premises-liability-who-is-responsible.html, June 19, 2017.

California Premises Liability

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If you are renting property, there are certain expectations as to the living conditions which your landlord must provide. If you are injured due to an unsafe condition in your apartment or other rental property, it is possible that you may have a premises liability claim against your landlord. A landlord is most likely to be liable for poor maintenance of property or an unsafe condition under a negligence claim. California jury instructions instruct liability may be found according to the following:

[Plaintiff] claims that [he/she] was harmed because of the way [defendant] managed [his/her/its] property. To establish this claim, [plaintiff] must prove all of the following:

1. That [defendant] [owned/leased/occupied/controlled] the property;

2. That [defendant] was negligent in the use or maintenance of the property;

3. That [plaintiff] was harmed; and

4. That [defendant]’s negligence was a substantial factor in causing [plaintiff]’s harm.[1]

Part of a negligence finding involves showing that the landlord breached the duty they owe the lessee. California Jury Instructions describe the duty:

A landlord must conduct reasonable periodic inspections of rental property whenever the landlord has the legal right of possession. Before giving possession of leased property to a tenant [or on renewal of a lease] [or after retaking possession from a tenant], a landlord  must conduct a reasonable inspection of the property for unsafe conditions and must take reasonable precautions to prevent injury due to the conditions that were or reasonably should have been discovered in the process. The inspection must include common areas under the landlord’s control.

After a tenant has taken possession, a landlord must take reasonable precautions to prevent injury due to any unsafe condition in an area of the premises under the landlord’s  control if the landlord knows or reasonably should have known about it.[2]

In short, a landlord owes a duty to the tenant and general public to keep the premises in safe condition. However, a landlord is usually precluded from liability where the dangerous condition arose after possession was transferred.[3] In deciding whether the defendant used reasonable care, a jury may consider the following factors[4]:

(a) The location of the property;

(b) The likelihood that someone would come on to the property in the same manner as [plaintiff] did;

(c) The likelihood of harm;

(d) The probable seriousness of such harm;

(e) Whether [defendant] knew or should have known of the condition that created the risk of harm;

(f) The difficulty of protecting against the risk of such harm; [and]

(g) The extent of [defendant]’s control over the condition that created the risk of harm; [and]

(h) [Other relevant factor(s).]

Additionally, it is important to note that there is a category of things for which the landlord’s duty is established by law. A presumption of negligence will arise in these circumstances if the defendant violated the legal obligation and this caused plaintiff harm.[5] For example, a landlord’s failure to install smoke alarms will fall under this doctrine where state law requires installation of smoke alarms.[6] Whether the landlord was reasonable or not in their behavior, they will be liable if you are injured from a fire that likely would have been extinguished had the smoke alarms been in place.

[1] Judicial Council Of California Civil Jury Instruction 1000, Judicial Council Of California Civil Jury Instruction 1000.
[2] Judicial Council Of California Civil Jury Instruction 1006, Judicial Council Of California Civil Jury Instruction 1006.
[3] Garcia v. Holt, 242 Cal. App. 4th 600, 604 (2015).
[4] Judicial Council Of California Civil Jury Instruction 1001, Judicial Council Of California Civil Jury Instruction 1001.
[5] Cal. Evid. Code § 669.
[6] Cal. Health & Safety Code § 13113.7.

Electrical Fire in Citrus Heights Causes Significant Injuries

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Photo Courtesy of Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District

Citrus Heights, CA- A child and two adults were taken to the hospital with significant injuries after an electrical fire broke out at a Citrus Heights apartment complex on September 9th. Two Citrus Heights police officers also suffered minor injuries. As reported on CBS Sacramento, the cause of the fire was determined to be accidental. Thankfully, five people survived the fire that broke out in the two-story building on Greenback lane.

Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District personnel arrived on the scene and saw flames coming from a second-floor apartment. Firefighters searched the complex after they were told people were trapped inside. Metro Fire rescued a child and two adults from a balcony of an adjacent unit after they fled their burning apartment. Two apartments were burned and three other units were ruined by smoke and water with an estimated $200,000 in damages.

Premises Liability in California

Premises liability involves a property owner’s responsibility in maintaining a safe environment for those on the property. If an owner of a premises is to be held liable for an unsafe condition on the property, the plaintiff must prove the following:

For a defendant to be found “negligent in the use or maintenance of property”, the plaintiff must show the following:

Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyers | Premise Accident

If you are injured on a property, as a result of the owner’s negligence, you may have a personal injury claim. If you believe the property owner is liable or at fault for the injuries, you are potentially entitled to compensation for accident related expenses including medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering. If you or a loved one has been harmed by a premises owner’s failure to exercise reasonable care in the maintenance of his or her property, contact our office.

Slip and Fall

Falls are an overwhelmingly common cause of injury. According to the National Fall Safety Institute (NFSI), they account for 21.3% of hospital visits, making them the most common reason for hospitalization. Slips-and-falls account for about one-eighth of those falls. The most serious consequence of falls are fractures, occurring in 5% of falls. Hip fractures tend to be the most serious and lead to the most health problems and/or deaths.

The #1 cause of workers’ compensation claims are slips-and-falls, and there is no more common cause of occupational injury for those aged 55 and older. Falls represent the second leading cause of injury-related death for people aged between 65 and 84 years, and they are the leading cause of injury-related death for people over age 84.

40% of all nursing home admissions result from falls, and over 60 percent of nursing home residents fall each year.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), 2 million fall injuries per year are attributable or partially attributable to floors and floor material.

Falls Resulting From Negligence

Owners of premises have a duty to exercise care in keeping the premises reasonably safe. This duty includes a duty to ensure that floor conditions are not likely to result in slips-and falls, trips, or other forms of accidents. Where 1) a condition on property creates an unreasonable risk of harm, 2) the property owner knew or should have known about the unsafe condition on the property, and 3) the owner either failed to repair, protect against harm from, or give adequate warning of the condition, that property owner will be held liable for damages involving the unsafe condition.

Such unsafe conditions can include floors situated in ways likely to cause slips-and-falls or other injury. If you or someone you know has tripped or slipped on premises kept in an unreasonably unsafe condition, please contact our office.

Defective & Dangerous Products

Chicago Medical Malpractice Lawyers

The attorneys at Kershaw, Cook & Talley successfully represent consumers in lawsuits against manufacturers and companies involving defective products and product recalls. Our experienced trial attorneys recover thousands of dollars on behalf of injured individuals in cases involving defective medical devices, dangerous drugs, car defects and more.

Referring Attorneys

Best Chicago Medical Malpractice Lawyers

At times, attorneys require further expertise and resources, legally and financially, to resolve a legal matter. We have the team, capability and dedication to handle challenging cases. If you have a case exceeding your resources with respect to workforce or experience, consider contacting our firm. We welcome referrals from firms in Sacramento and throughout the United States.

Our Services

Medical Malpractice Lawyers, Kershaw, Cook & Talley

We provide free case consultations. If you, or a loved one, suffered an injury due to another’s negligence or wrongful conduct, call our firm. We will examine your individual situation and explain your legal rights. Our attorneys have extensive experience representing injured individuals, in both jury trials and settlement negotiations.

Personal Injury Attorneys, Personal Legal Service.

Kershaw, Cook & Talley is a Sacramento law firm founded on the principle of helping our clients through personalized legal services. With this philosophy, Kershaw, Cook & Talley has garnered a statewide and national reputation for providing outstanding legal representation and obtaining significant compensation for our clients.

Nationally Recognized Personal Injury Law Firm.

We understand personal injury cases are often emotionally and financially straining. Our team of top personal injury attorneys in Sacramento is committed to seeking justice for individuals injured as a result of another's negligence or intentional misconduct. At Kershaw, Cook & Talley, our experienced personal injury attorneys will hold the responsible parties accountable for their actions.

CLIENT TESTIMONIALS

“Bill and Stu worked expeditiously to get my hip claim resolved.
I couldn’t believe how personable they were and easy to contact.”

-S. Thomas

“Stuart helped me with a case involving a defective hip replacement. He was incredibly responsive to my calls and concerns and really kept me updated on what was going on in the litigation. Even though his office was not in my hometown, he actually flew out to meet with me. He was incredibly knowledgeable about the case and really helped me through a very difficult time.”

-Personal Injury Client, as seen on AVVO

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