A woman in Van Nuys, California died at a hospital, prompting her survivors to file a wrongful death lawsuit. While this lawsuit is over the wrongful death of the woman, it is also a type of lawsuit that falls under the umbrella of premise liability claims. These lawsuits are filed when a property owner is negligent in providing a safe environment for people on the premises that they own. Not all of these claims, of course, involve wrongful death.
The woman in question died when she suffered a slip and fall that left her with severe injuries. Those injuries eventually led to her death. Being elderly, she was particularly vulnerable to these types of injuries, which is an all too common occurrence all over the country.
Not all premise liability claims are clear-cut. A premises owner may have different obligations to the people on their property, depending upon the situation. In the instance described above, the woman was at a hospital, was an Alzheimer’s patient and was elderly, and the hospital staff allegedly failed to notice that she was in danger.
On private property, such as your home, your obligations for providing a safe environment may be much different. For example, if you invite people over for a party at your swimming pool, it’s reasonable for those people to expect that you are providing them with a safe environment. Should one of them slip and fall and suffer an injury, you may find yourself facing a lawsuit. This is not always the case, however. There are instances when the homeowner, or property owner, will be found to not have done anything to put anybody at unreasonable risk and when there will be no claim.
If you believe that you do have a legitimate premise liability lawsuit that you want to pursue, you will have to sit down with an attorney and get their opinion on the matter first. You can do this for free, in most cases, as attorneys generally take these cases on contingency.
Retail establishments, grocery stores, hospitals and other places where people expect a reasonable degree of safety are oftentimes the targets of premise liability lawsuits. Private homes, however, are also sometimes involved in these lawsuits. If you’re not sure whether you were wronged by being put at unreasonable risk, be sure to contact an attorney and ask them whether or not they think you have a valid claim and if they want to take you on as a client.