Premises Liability

A premises liability claim maintains that a property owner is responsible for whatever damages result from an injury on said person’s property. All states, including the state of California, agree that owners of a property are required to demonstrate a reasonable effort to keep a safe environment for all guests and visitors. If the property owner fails to keep the premises safe for visitors, this results in what is called "premises liability."

Frequent Scenarios That Lead to Premises Liability Lawsuits are:

Premises liability incidents can occur on both residential and commercial properties.

Who can be Considered a Guest or Visitor?

A guest or visitor is someone who is invited to the property for personal or commercial reasons. A personal guest is someone who may have been invited as a friend, while a commercial guest refers to a shopper in a store or restaurant because they are there to patronize the premises. Whoever is invited or permitted to enter has a reasonable expectation of safety.

However, most states agree this definition applies only to those who are welcomed onto the property; this courtesy is not extended to trespassers. Trespassers on the property who happen to get hurt are not able to gain from their crime. The owner or occupant is expected to refrain from deliberately harming the trespasser or imprisoning them. Property owners are also encouraged to post signs warning against trespassing.

Premises Law in California

As stated by California's “premises liability” laws, property owners are required to keep their property in a reasonably safe condition. This is often referred to as the “duty of care” and mandates people who own property must demonstrate reasonable care.

Reasonable care is demonstrated by:

  • Maintaining their property regularly
  • Inspecting the property regularly
  • Recognizing and repairing any hazardous or dangerous conditions
  • Providing reasonable warning of such hazardous conditions

Any property owner who neglects to keep up their property in a reasonably safe condition can be held liable for whatever injuries another person sustains while there. The injured party would have grounds to file a personal injury lawsuit against the property owner for medical bills, as well as for any pain and suffering.

Who may be Liable in a Premises Liability Case?

Most commonly, the individuals who may be held liable for a premise liability injury could be:

  • The property owner
  • The leasing agent of a building
  • The occupants of a unit
  • The property manager
  • The property management company
  • The commercial retail center
  • The restaurant owner
  • The store owner

Some property owners may try to claim they are not responsible if they outsourced responsibilities to others, such as agents, brokers, or contractors. This does not shield them from liability; however, a qualified attorney and a detailed investigation may be needed to show the conditions of the property and that the owner failed to take necessary actions to keep the premises safe.

California and Non-Economic Damages

In California, premises injury cases may also qualify for non-economic damages. In California, a victim’s pain and suffering damages are considered part of a broader category, referred to as “non-economic” damages. These would include such expenses as medical bills and emotional trauma. A qualified and experienced attorney can help you determine what damages you are entitled to with your case.

How an Attorney can Help You

We hold negligent property owners accountable! California properties are highly coveted and come with great responsibility. We know how complicated these laws and cases can get. Let our firm advocate for your case instead of trying to handle it all alone. We know the difference between a fair settlement and when there is more work to be done.

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Your win is our win, and we advocate for justice. We work on a contingency basis, which means there is no cost to you. With nothing to lose, you have everything to gain. Give us a call today for a free consultation. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year. Hablamos Espanol!

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