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Orange County Premises Liability Law Blog

Family of four falls ill after banned pesticide used at resort

In the United States, every state has laws on its books that hold property owners liable for the condition of their premises. Here in California, a property owner is required to maintain a safe premises and address any hazards that could result in injury. If a person is injured or killed because of a failure to correct a known safety hazard, then the property owner may be held liable to pay compensation to the victim or the victim's family.

But are the same liability laws present in U.S. territories? This is one of many questions that could be raised by a recent case involving a family of four who may have fallen ill because of a property owner's negligence. This case presents a unique legal situation that may not have an easy answer.

Is an automaker liable for a crash if the car used to be safe?

Most people know enough about safety regulations for motor vehicles to know that over the course of time, these guidelines change. From the mandate of seat belts to corrections in potentially fatal vehicle designs, federal safety regulations are meant to guide manufacturers toward making the safest vehicle possible using the most current information available.

But as anyone who has passed by a used car lot knows, vehicles that were once considered safe 10 years ago don't just go away because they don't meet today's safety standards. Unless there is a recall of the vehicle, most people wouldn't even know if a used car was safe or not until after becoming involved in a serious or fatal accident. This begs the question though: is an automaker liable for a crash if the car used to be safe?

This is what a spinal cord injury could really cost you

Whether an accident occurs on someone else's property or in a motor vehicle, chances are that if you suffer injuries in an accident, you will have questions about how your medical expenses will be covered. In most cases, the answer is simple: your insurance or the other person's insurance will cover the cost. But in some cases, such as those involving negligent parties, compensation can come from a civil settlement.

If you've never filed a personal injury lawsuit before, you may think that you can do it on your own. After all, how hard can it be? But thinking this is perhaps the worst way to start your road to recovery as it could cost you a lot more than compensation. It could cost you your best chance at claiming the financial security you may need to return to a relatively normal life later on.

A landlord's responsibility to report lead and protect tenants

A news story on the other side of the country may have some of our California readers reconsidering the safety of their own apartment buildings this month. That's because, inspectors from the Health Department recently discovered that construction dust from a rent-stabilized apartment in New York state contained lead amounts that were 210 times higher than the EPA standard.

Tenants of the building are now concerned their health may be in danger and are taking legal action against their landlord as a result. It's a move some here in California might say is justified, especially considering a landlord's responsibility to provide a safe premise.

Is a property owner liable for injuries caused by a wild animal?

A lot of people consider California a good place to live because of its natural beauty and year-round warm climate. Unfortunately, a lot of dangerous wild animals also find this habitat perfect as well. You might be thinking, "what does this have to do with premises liability?" To answer to this question, we'd like you to consider first the duty of a property owner here in California.

As we have said before on this blog, property owners in our state are required by law to ensure the safety of anyone who visits their property. Owners must maintain their grounds and residence by addressing potentially hazardous conditions and remedying them to avoid accidental injury or death. So, considering the chances of a wild animal entering a property, we ask this question:

New wrongful death case calls attention to danger of laundry pods

As frequent readers of our blog know, we like to educate our readers about the dangers in our everyday lives that can lead to civil litigation and sometimes compensation for victims. Back in a November 2014 post on our blog, we highlighted the danger of laundry pods and the fact that they can lead to personal injury or even wrongful death claims.

The danger is that the chemicals found in these pods can make a person incredibly sick or may cause considerable damage to an individual's esophagus and digestive tract. As we explained in the post, a majority of cases that have highlighted the dangers of laundry pods involve children who oftentimes ingest the packs because they mistake them for candy.

Motorcyclists have rights in an accident too

Imagine for a moment that you are a motorcyclist here in Santa Ana. Out for a drive one day, you make a left turn onto another street. Suddenly though, you are struck by a car that has taken a right turn into your lane. Your motorcycle immediately topples over, causing more injuries than the initial strike. But you're alive and you're grateful for that because you survived an accident that could have gone quite differently.

But if you're like most people across the nation, your mind likely begins to race and you start considering the answers to some rather important questions like: who had the right of way? Did the other driver clearly signal their intent? Why did they hit me? Did they not see me or were they distracted? Could the other driver have been intoxicated?

Researchers hope $1.7 million grant will help victims with SPIs

From vehicle collisions to slips and falls, spinal cord injuries can result from any accident where damage is directly suffered to the vertebrae, disks or ligaments within the spinal column. The severity of injury greatly depends on the type of accident, the forces applied to the body, and where the injury is suffered. This means that not all SPIs are the same or have the same impact on a person's life down the road.

As our more frequent readers know as well, there is a huge difference between a partial SPI and a complete SPI. Patients with partial SPIs sometimes regain some or mostly all function thanks to advancements in nerve reconnection surgeries as well as our body's natural ability to repair connections. Unfortunately, those with complete SPIs may never regain function in the affected regions, oftentimes because the damage is too severe to repair.

Selfies are unsafe, no matter what motor vehicle you're driving

Twenty years ago, cellphones were a rarity found only among those rich enough to afford them. Now, with advancements in technology, just about everyone has one, making us more connected now than we ever were.

But this seemingly innocent advancement has come at a price. The need to stay connected is now ingrained in the fabric of our society, blurring the lines between when it's safe to use such technology and when it's not. It's an issue our Orange County readers know all too well because it's something that is causing more and more motor vehicle accidents every year.

Measles outbreak in California raises liability questions

Every state across the nation has some tort law that explains what negligence is. Here in California, we have Section 1714 of the California Civil Code, which states that if your actions or mismanagement of your property results in injury or death of another, then you can be held liable for damages in a civil lawsuit.

Though most people in the state may not be able to site this exact section of law, most people know that if you act negligently or have reason to believe that your actions are negligent, then you should be held accountable by the law. If we apply this line of logic though to the recent measles outbreak case, then it might leave our readers wondering to what extent the definition of negligence may be stretched.

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