| Read Time: 2 minutes | Liability

California Landlord Liability Attorney

California Civil Code establishes that landlords are required to provide a safe living environment for tenants. When a landlord fails to maintain the property in a reasonably safe condition, they can be held liable for any injuries that occur due to their negligence. For all individuals who rent property in California, it is important to know that there are legal remedies for injuries which take place on a rental property.   WHAT ARE LANDLORDS LIABLE FOR?   When a property is leased or rented, the landlord has a legal obligation to maintain the apartment, home, or property in a safe condition. When a landlord fails to do so, they may be liable for injuries that occur on the property as a result of their negligence.   Examples of common injuries that may result from a landlord’s failure to maintain safe conditions may include: Injuries on poorly maintained stairwells, which may be exposed to the elements, poorly lit, and slippery; Drowning incidents in improperly maintained pools and pool areas, including young children who drown due to landlords failing to have required safety gates; Injuries that occur on playgrounds and other recreational equipment for children in common areas; Burns and other injuries sustained through faulty or dangerous water heaters; Collapsing materials such as ceiling tiles, exterior siding, roof pieces.   PROVING LANDLORD LIABILITY   Landlords are expected to use the care of a “reasonably prudent” landlord to manage rental properties. This requires that landlords keep all property in safe conditions, including not only the living areas but common areas as well.  The upkeep and maintenance of pools, gyms, stairways, spas, playgrounds, basketball courts, dog parks and other common areas are landlord’s responsibilities.   Whether or not a landlord acted “reasonably prudent” in maintaining property will always depend on the circumstances. Common examples of landlord negligence include:   The failure of the landlord to make repairs upon receiving notice of dangerous conditions; The landlord leaving repairs incomplete or negligently completing them; The landlord fails to provide warning of existing dangerous conditions that are not apparent to tenants.   Before a landlord can be found liable for injuries, the landlord must have knowledge of the potentially dangerous condition. Tenants should always notify landlords immediately when they become aware of an unsafe or hazardous condition.   WHAT TO DO IF YOU HAVE A LIABILITY CLAIM AGAINST YOUR LANDLORD?   If you believe you have a liability claim against your landlord, it is crucial that you consult with an attorney about your claim. An attorney is best able to analyze and prepare evidence to prove the landlord both knew a hazardous condition existed, and that they failed to repair it properly. An attorney is also able to evaluate all legal defenses your landlord may raise to avoid liability.   An attorney will also be able to determine if there are additional defendants who may be responsible for injuries, such a property management company, ensuring you receive maximum compensation.   If you have been injured due to a landlord’s negligence, reach out to an attorney at Silva Injury Law.  

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Auto Accidents

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Bodily Injury Arbitration

When a person is injured in a car accident caused by the negligence of another driver, the injured party may make a claim against the negligent driver’s insurance for their damages. What often occurs, however, is that the negligent driver’s insurance policy limit is insufficient to cover the damages, or the negligent driver has no insurance at all. In this instance, the injured party may be able to make a claim to their own insurer to cover all or the remaining damages. The feasibility of this depends on individual policies and will not be triggered unless the negligent driver’s insurance policy limits have been collected.   THE ROLE OF ARBITRATION   Regardless of whether the claim is due to an uninsured or underinsured motorist, when the insured injured party and their insurance company are unable to agree on the amount of the claim, California Vehicle Code §11580.2(f) requires that it must be set for arbitration.  This is considered to be a condition precedent to the payment of policy benefits, therefore unless there are unusual circumstances, arbitration must occur before the insured-injured party brings suit against the insurer.   Arbitration is required before an injured party can file suit against their own insurance whether it be due to the insurance company’s unwillingness to pay or bad faith offers and negotiations. California law requires that insurance companies act in good faith to come to an agreement with the insured party before the parties go to arbitration. However, if an insurance company fails to act in good faith, following arbitration the injured-insured party can file suit. POTENTIAL BAD FAITH CLAIMS   The outcome of arbitration often makes it clear whether or not there is a potential bad faith case against the insurance company. When the outcome of arbitration is an award significantly greater than the offers from the insurance company before arbitration, this is very strong evidence that the insurance company made the offer in bad faith. On the other side, however, when the arbitration award is either the same or similar to the amount initially offered by the insurer during pre-arbitration, it makes it significantly more difficult to have a viable bad faith case against the insurance company.   When the bad faith actions of the insurance company require the parties to go to arbitration, and the injured-insured party subsequently sues the insurance company, the insured can seek damages costs associated with their expenses related to the arbitration. This includes any attorney’s fees or costs. The costs of an attorney to represent the insured in arbitration are often one of the main elements of economic damages sought in bad faith actions.   SEEK LEGAL REPRESENTATION Ultimately, when an insured party is injured by either an underinsured or uninsured motorist, they can seek a claim from their insurance. If they are unable to agree on the amount of loss with the insurance company, it is most likely they will have to go to arbitration in order to pursue compensation. Given the stakes of arbitration, the insured party should always seek legal representation. An attorney will be best able to handle the claim and represent the insured-injured party in arbitration, as well as any subsequent bad faith actions against the insurer.   Contact the attorneys at Silva Injury Law if you were injured in an automobile accident and have not been fairly compensated for your damages.  

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Liability

California Toxic Mold Lawyer

Mold that grows inside of buildings and homes can be not only harmful to one’s health, it can also cause damage and even destroy the structure of buildings and its contents. The attorneys at Silva Injury Law can represent you in toxic mold cases.   WHAT IS TOXIC MOLD   It is common for mold and mold spores to grow within homes and buildings. Mold is a common component of household dust. There are hundreds of different species of mold throughout the United States which do not pose a threat to humans. However, certain types of mold, commonly known as toxic molds, can be extremely harmful to humans. Stachybotrys, or “black mold” is especially dangerous and can cause a variety of serious health problems.   Potential symptoms of exposure to mold include: Cold and flu-like symptoms Bloody noses Asthma Headaches Pneumonia Skin rashes Allergies Lung damage Chest and joint Pain Liver Disorders   HOW TO CHECK FOR MOLD IN YOUR HOME   In order to grow and spread, mold needs moisture. This necessary moisture can typically come from defective construction, maintenance, and repairs, such as door or window leaks, plumbing leaks, roof leaks, as well as grading or drainage problems. Mold grows in moist and warm areas. Damp basements, closets, bathrooms, wood, ceiling tiles are very common places for mold to grow. The most serious place that mold has a tendency to grow is inside the walls and flooring in homes.  Mold can develop very quickly on water damaged materials, in as few as 24-48 hours.   There are two main ways in which you can test for mold in your building or home. The first, air testing, involves taking air samples through an air pump and petri dish. The sample is then sent to a laboratory to be analyzed. If mold grows on the petri dish, then it can be determined that mold is present in the home. The second method, called bulk testing, involves a variety of tests such as sending mold-laden drywall in a sealed container to a laboratory for analysis, and tape lift sampling.   LITIGATION OF TOXIC MOLD DAMAGES   Exposure to toxic mold can cause a variety of problems, both related damage to health and property. Courts take these issues seriously and will hold the parties responsible for the construction or maintenance of the building where the mold was located. Whether this is in your place of work, your rented apartment, or other property. When mold has been identified, those who have been exposed can be eligible for a claim for compensation for both the physical as well as emotional injuries caused by the exposure.   CONTACT A LAWYER IF YOU HAVE BEEN EXPOSED TO TOXIC MOLD   If you have become sick due to exposure to toxic mold, or have experienced damage to property from mold, an attorney can help you discuss the possible solutions to your situation. An attorney can help you take legal action to hold landlords, builders, sellers, contractors, and other entities responsible for your damages and injuries.   The attorneys at Silva Injury Law are dedicated to advocating for victims. If you have been a victim of mold exposure, please contact us for a free consultation.

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