With real estate prices high in California, many residents find that storage space is at a premium. Many areas offer quaint older homes with loads of charm and character but little in the way of usable storage. However, savvy landlords have been quick to install overhead garage storage shelves to provide valuable storage space and maximize their rent potential for the property. These units are mounted from the ceiling of the garage and typically occupy space that was once useless. You would think this is a win for tenants and wise landlords who are making the most of every square inch of their properties.
While these innovative storage solutions typically have a substantial load limit, nothing is perfect. So there have been cases of these units collapsing. As you can imagine, it is not usually an empty shelf that falls. It is a fully loaded garage shelf collapse that can result in severe injuries and damage. And the first question many tenants are asking after they have gotten the medical care required for their injuries is, can I sue my landlord?
If you have recently become the victim of a garage shelf collapse, the team at DTLA Law Group is here to provide the answers to all your legal questions about a garage shelf collapse lawsuit and who could be to blame for this issue. Our expert staff of garage shelf collapse lawyers is available to take your call 24/7 to answer any immediate questions and schedule a free consultation at your earliest convenience. Please call DTLA Law Group today to learn more about your right to file a garage shelf collapse lawsuit and how to protect your rights as a personal injury victim.
Understanding Your Landlord’s Responsibility
All properties, including rental units and private homes, must follow the guidelines of premises liability. These laws are designed to protect the safety of guests and the general public when they are visiting a property. In addition, they offer protection to renters like yourself when living on another person’s property. At its most basic level, these rules dictate the level of care and maintenance a property must receive for the owner to be safe and hazard-free.
It is also vital to understand that premises liability only applies to people who are legally visiting the property. Legal visitors include any invited guests, tenants, renters, and others with permission to use or be at the property. Trespassers and other uninvited occupants, such as a burglar, would not be protected under premises liability.
In addition, to have the ability to sue the property owner or landlord for an injury that occurred on the property due to safety issues, one of the following criteria must be met:
- The owner must have known about the safety hazard but chose not to repair it or warn the victim of the hazard
- The owner created the safety hazard
- The owner should have known about the safety concern or discovered it during a property inspection, but they were not making the regular and required inspection of the space
Your DTLA Law Group garage shelf collapse lawyer will provide an evaluation of the legal merit of your case during your free consultation. The evaluation will include an explanation of your right to sue your landlord for the injuries and losses due to the garage shelf collapse and information related to any other part which could be liable for your injuries and losses.
Who Else Could Be Responsible For My Injuries And Losses
In some instances, the liability for a garage shelf collapse does not involve your landlord. The safety issue with the shelf could be due to improper installation, a defective shelf, or even defective parts used to install the shelf. So you could be filing a garage shelf collapse lawsuit against the installation company the landlord hired for the job or the manufacturer of the shelf. It is even possible that you would become a member of a class action lawsuit against the manufacturer if the shelves were defective and recalled. Your DTLA Law Group garage shelf collapse lawyer will help you understand who is liable for your losses and injuries and how to seek the compensation you deserve.
How Much Is My Garage Shelf Collapse Lawsuit Worth?
The value of every lawsuit varies based on the losses and expenses incurred by the victim. You will work closely with the DTLA Law Group legal staff to compile all of the expenses that can be included in your claim against your landlord or any other responsible party, which can include:
- All medical expenses related to the garage shelf collapse
- The value of any personal property that was damaged or destroyed in the incident
- Your legal fees for the garage shelf collapse lawsuit
- Any lost wages if the injuries you sustained prevented you from working
In situations where there are severe injuries or an extended recovery time, it is possible to include a dollar amount to compensate you for your pain and suffering. Your DTLA Law Group garage shelf collapse lawyer will be instrumental in determining the amount to include for pain and suffering based on their expertise and experience in handling similar cases.
Documenting The Garage Shelf Collapse Damage
Your priority should always be seeking emergency medical care for any injuries sustained when the garage shelf collapses. However, it is also critical to document the results of the incident as soon as possible. Your medical records will help verify your injuries. You should also take pictures of any visible injuries to include with the medical records.
When you return home, take pictures of the collapsed garage shelf before moving any of the items that were on the shelf. Try to get images of the general area and then close-up shots of the damage to each specific item. If the shelf fell on your vehicle, be sure to take detailed pictures of the debris on the car and then of the damage after the items have been removed. Finally, take pictures of the care on the ceiling where the shelf was mounted and any hardware that is still on the ceiling or attached to the shelf. This documentation can be very beneficial if you decide to file a garage shelf collapse lawsuit to recover compensation for your losses.
Common Injuries Suffered In A Garage Shelf Collapse Incident
Unfortunately, many of the injuries sustained when a garage shelf collapses are severe because of the location of the shelf and the weight of the objects on the shelf. Many of the victims face extended recovery periods, extensive medical care, costly medical bills, and added stress and depression. The list of typical injuries includes:
- Back, neck, and spinal cord damage
- Facial injuries to the skin, eyes, ears, nose, mouth, and teeth
- Broken or fractured bones
- Dislocated joints
- Soft tissue and nerve damage
- Severe lacerations or puncture wounds
- Internal bleeding and damage to internal organs
- Head injuries such as a concussion, skull fracture, brain contusion or hemorrhage, or other traumatic brain injuries
Clearly, these injuries not only have the potential to be life-altering, but some can also be life-threatening. Victims of these injuries have the right to seek compensation for someone else’s negligence or a defective product as the cause of their pain and suffering.
When To File A Garage Shelf Collapse Lawsuit
As a personal injury victim in California, you have two years from the date of your injuries to file a claim with the court. If you wait longer than that time, you will likely lose the right to seek compensation for injuries or losses due to that event. However, there are exceptions to that time limit that could apply to your case. If any exceptions apply, your DTLA Law Group garage shelf collapse lawyer will explain them and why they could benefit you and your lawsuit.
In addition, it is vital to note that there is no limitation on how soon you can file your claim after the incident. So your lawyer will advise you when the case is prepared and ready to file. Contacting DTLA Law Group as soon as possible after your injuries is often a wise choice to ensure you file your claim quickly. This fast action helps to get your settlement or verdict funds to you as rapidly as possible.
How To Get The Best Garage Shelf Collapse Lawyer
Many personal injury victims worry they cannot afford to hire an excellent lawyer to handle their garage shelf collapse lawsuit because they cannot afford the upfront legal fees. However, the DTLA Law Group staff wants every victim to have access to the best legal assistance possible. So we provide our services with no fees due until you have the settlement or verdict money needed to pay our fees and all your other expenses.
In addition, if we fail to win your case, you owe us nothing for our time. Only when we are successful in servicing the compensation you deserve do we deserve to be paid. So don’t hesitate to get in touch with DTLA Law Group today to learn if you have grounds to sue your landlord for a garage shelf collapse or if your garage shelf collapse lawsuit will name the installer or manufacturer of the unit as the responsible party for your injuries and losses.