Is the City Liable for an Airport Premises Liability Injury?
Flying out of Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) or LA/Ontario International Airport can mean a bustle of rushing passengers, busy staff members, and confusion. As one of the world’s largest hubs for air transportation, LAX sees almost 75 million passengers every year. And Ontario International Airport, which is the Inland Empire’s primary airport, saw a total of 4,209,311 passengers in 2015. With this many people coming in and out, slip and fall accidents are inevitable. From uneven curbs to spills left on the floor, airports in LA are rife with potential premises liability accidents. Knowing who is responsible for your airport slip and fall accident in LA will help you file a claim and receive compensation.
Find Out Who is Responsible for Your Slip and Fall Accident
In most premises liability accidents at airports, it’s not the airline that’s responsible. Instead, it’s the public authority that runs the airport. The Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) owns and operates LAX. LAWA is an agency of the Los Angeles government. A slip and fall case at LAX would most likely identify LAWA as the defendant. Even if an employee caused the accident, the rules of strict liability place the airport’s owner at fault.
If your slip and fall accident occurred at LA/Ontario International Airport, ownership officially lies with the city of Ontario. The Ontario International Airport Authority owns and operates this airport after the city of Los Angeles transferred ownership back to this entity last year. The city of Los Angeles itself wouldn’t be liable in airport cases, as it’s the entity that owns the property that must keep passengers free from harm. Pursuing compensation for a slip and fall injury based on premises liability against the owner of an airport in LA requires the expert help of an attorney.
Bringing a Slip and Fall Accident Case to Court
Once you’ve identified the defendant(s), you can bring a claim against the responsible party in the California civil courts. Always speak with an attorney to discover if your specific case has the makings of a lawsuit. Each premises liability case is different, but they have a few elements in common. To successfully bring a premises liability claim of any sort, one of three facts must be true:
- The airport owner or an employee caused the spill, obstacle, or other dangerous surface or condition.
- The airport owner or an employee knew about the dangerous surface and did nothing to remedy the situation.
- The airport owner or an employee reasonably should have known about the dangerous surface.
The third scenario is the most common, in which a reasonable person would have known about the dangerous condition but the airport owner/employee did not, and so the person failed to repair it before an accident occurred. Proving liability in an airport slip and fall case is relatively easy, as all such establishments and employees automatically have a duty to provide for the reasonable care of passengers. Passengers of LAX and LA/Ontario International are “invitees,” or guests that each airport implicitly or expressly invites to the property.
Airports owe the highest level of care to invitees. This includes repairing known hazards, checking for unknown hazards, and warning guests of hazards that aren’t yet repaired. If a passenger trips and falls on a loose carpet and breaks a hip, for example, the passenger would have grounds for a lawsuit since the airport owner reasonably should have noticed the dangerous carpet and completed repairs.
In many cases, a passenger is partially at fault for slipping, tripping, or falling at the airport. LAWA or the Ontario International Airport Authority may try to place fault with the injured passenger, but the courts will likely assign at least partial fault with the defendant. California abides by pure comparative fault laws, meaning a passenger can recover damages even if he or she was partially responsible for the slip and fall.
Free Consultations from Our San Bernardino Premises Liability Lawyers
If you were injured from a slip & fall accident in an airport in Los Angeles, your talented team of personal injury attorneys can help with your case. Contact them today at the San Bernardino office for a consultation free of charge. Call today! 909-693-3631