For a successful premises liability claim, an injured person bears the burden of proving that a property owner or manager was negligent in property maintenance. You may have been hurt on someone else’s property, but it doesn’t mean that the owner was negligent.
The laws surrounding premises liability in California are incredibly complex. You should know what these laws entail to determine who is responsible in these cases.
- What to Know About Premises Liability in California
- Who Is At-Fault in a Premises Liability Case?
- What Defenses Could a Property Owner Use in a Premises Liability Case?
- What Are Examples of Premises Liability Cases?
- What Kind of Damages Can You Get in a Premises Liability Claim?
- What’s the Best Way to Approach a Premises Liability Case?
What to Know About Premises Liability in California
With premises liability cases, you need to show that the property owner owed you a duty of care. Since this can be tricky, it’s important to hire a personal injury lawyer to represent you in a premises liability case.
As the injured person, you will need to show that you were hurt because a property owner or manager was negligent regarding the maintenance of the property. You also have to show that your injuries happened on this property and that the negligence of the owner was the reason you suffered injuries.
Every property owner owes a duty of care to keep their premises in a safe condition. In a premises liability case, many considerations will be considered. Among them, the law must consider how likely an injury would occur under the circumstances and the severity of injuries. Additionally, it will need to consider if the owner knew or should have known about the hazardous condition and if they had control over it in any way.
Who Is At-Fault in a Premises Liability Case?
If you were hurt on another person’s property, you could file a premises liability claim against the person or company that owns, controls, leases, or occupies it. Even if a property owner or manager hires someone else to maintain the property, they still could be liable for an injury.
When a hazardous condition causes an injury, owners or managers of a property could be held responsible for the damages. Depending on the unique circumstances of your case, you could file a premises liability lawsuit against a homeowner, business owner, tenant, renter, property management company, retail center, restaurant, store, or even any of the employees who works at the property.
What Defenses Could a Property Owner Use in a Premises Liability Case?
You will want an attorney to represent you because property owners will have insurance companies and lawyers to protect them. They will often present defenses to negate your claims.
For example, they may claim that the hazardous situation was “open and obvious.” In other words, they will claim that a reasonable person should have seen and avoided the dangerous condition. They could then say that you should have been aware of the dangerous circumstance before you suffered your injury.
They could even say trivial defects in the property caused the injury. Whatever they try to say, if you were hurt on someone else’s property, an experienced attorney can help you recover compensation for your damages.
What Are Examples of Premises Liability Cases?
Premises liability cases can cause an array of injuries in a variety of scenarios. California employers can be held liable for negligence on behalf of their employees. If an employee neglects to fix a dangerous condition or doesn’t tell their employer when they notice the danger, that employer is still liable for negligence.
Perhaps you were bitten by someone’s dog on their property. California is very generous regarding dog bite liability. Victims can recover compensation even if the owner didn’t do anything wrong in the situation.
Construction sites have their fair share of hazards waiting to happen. A property owner can be held liable for the accidents that occur on the property. However, they can also be liable for accidents that occur just outside the property when caused by dangerous conditions at the construction site.
To illustrate this example, imagine a construction zone that does not have signs or has done nothing to block access to the construction areas. If someone were to wander into this area, the property owner would be liable for their injuries.
In California, you can sue for premises liability at water parks and amusement parks if the conditions are unsafe. You can also sue for injuries at someone else’s home. Whether it’s a friend, family member, or even someone you just met, every homeowner must keep their property in a safe condition. If you’re hurt because they were negligent, you can file a premises liability case.
Even if you rent your property from a landlord, whether they are renting out a home or you are one of many tenants at an apartment complex, you can sue if you are hurt by unsafe conditions. This includes broken stairs or railings, hazardous flooring conditions, and other dangers.
What Kind of Damages Can You Get in a Premises Liability Claim?
According to Maho | Prentice, LLP, an injury victim in a premises liability case may be entitled to both economic damages and non-economic damages. Economic damages are your financial losses from your injury that can be accurately determined by receipts and records. Your medical bills to treat your injuries from the accident are a prime example, though you can also pursue lost wages, lost earning capacity, property damages, and future medical expenses.
Non-economic damages may also be gained, though these are harder to prove. You need an attorney to prove losses from pain and suffering, scarring, disfigurement, loss of enjoyment of life, and mental anguish.
What’s the Best Way to Approach a Premises Liability Case?
When you have been hurt on someone else’s property, it is important to consider if they were negligent in the maintenance of the property. It’s not always easy to tell, and often, people that are hurt in this way don’t realize they have legal recourse.
If you’re not sure, you should take advantage of a free case review with a personal injury attorney to obtain valuable legal advice.