It should be pretty obvious that, if not properly maintained, an automatic gate could cause significant injuries, and possibly even death. Heavy metal and faulty mechanisms are not a good combination. Under the laws applicable in Los Angeles, premises owners are responsible for maintaining their property, including any gates and fences, and will most likely be held liable if they should have been aware of the defect in question, or neglected to repair a fault they knew existed. In certain circumstances, the manufacturer of the automatic gate may be partially responsible, where the parts used weren’t fit for purpose.
In one Los Angeles case of this type, the plaintiff and property owner were both found to be partially responsible, with the injured man being awarded $1 million in damages, which was reduced by 45% after he was deemed to be 45% at fault.
How Both Plaintiff and Defendant Can Be Responsible
If you’re finding it a bit tricky to work out how someone injured by a faulty automatic gate could be deemed to be almost equally responsible for the accident, it’s understandable. After all, if the landlord of the apartment complex where the gate was installed didn’t properly maintain it, they’re at fault, right? Yes, and no. The landlord was responsible for maintaining and repairing the gate, which had been reported faulty prior to the accident. However, the injured man had his arm and wrist broken by the automatic gate after he stuck his arm into it, despite knowing it was malfunctioning.
After deliberation, the jury returned a verdict awarding a gross amount of just over $1 million to the injured man, which was reduced to $559,625 due to his part in causing his own injuries. He and the defendant eventually settled on $500,000 plus waived costs.
Do You Need a Los Angeles Premises Liability Attorney?
There can be numerous reasons why you may need the services of a Los Angeles premises liability attorney. From damaged or crumbling steps, to slips and falls at work, or accidents in restaurant kitchens, the owners of premises are obligated to ensure employees, residents and others accessing their premises are kept safe through proper maintenance and repair work.
Some of the most common scenarios where accidents occur through premises owner fault include:
- Slip and fall accidents
- Hotel accidents
- Wet floor accidents
- Accidental drowning
- Fire-related accidents
However, an experienced Los Angeles premises liability attorney can act in your best interests in any case, regardless of the circumstances.
The injuries sustained in accidents such as the automatic gate incident outlined earlier, or when slipping or falling over an obstacle, for example, can be incredibly serious, leading to significant pain, suffering, and even disability.
If you’ve been injured due to a preventable accident, a Los Angeles premises liability attorney can investigate the incident thoroughly, using aggressive and comprehensive legal representation to win the compensation you deserve.