A premises liability claim can usually be made if you were injured on another person’s property due to that property’s dangerous or unsafe conditions.
Premises liability cases are a subset of personal injury law, and premises liability cases are similarly based on negligence.
Do You Have a Claim?
Like most personal injury cases, getting a settlement and winning a premises liability case depends on proving negligence.
If you incur an injury on someone else’s property, then you need to show that your injury was the result of the owner’s negligence in maintaining his property.
In more precise legal terms, winning a premises liability case depends on showing that the property owner breached a “duty of care.”You may even have a case if you were injured on an owner’s property by a third party.
For instance, some assault cases that occur on an owner’s property can still hold the owner legally accountable for injuries. These are known as third-party premises liability cases. The negligent owner in a third-party premises case is said to be “vicariously liable” since the assault occurred on his property.
It’s important to remember, though, that premises liability cases center around proving that the property owner was negligent, and that the negligence resulted in your personal injury.
Simply because you are injured on another person’s property is necessary but insufficient grounds for a premises liability case – the owner must have known that the premises were in a dangerous condition and failed to take action to make the property more safe. This is where the owner would have breached his duty of care.
Common Premises Liability Cases
A property owner has a responsibility to maintain a certain level of safety when it comes to visitors’ safety.
If the owner fails to maintain a reasonable level of safety and someone gets injured, that’s when a premises liability claim might come into play.
Here are some of the most prevalent kinds of premises liability cases that people in California file against negligent property owners:
- Dog bites
- Slipping accidents
- Elevator accidents
- Inadequate property maintenance
- Swimming pool accidents
- Amusement park accidents
- Restaurant accidents
- Retail store accidents
Premises liability cases cover a broad spectrum of personality injury cases. The commonality across these premises liability cases, though, is a negligent property owner that failed to maintain safe conditions, which resulted in a personal injury.
Premises Liability in California
California premises liability cases involve aspects of both case law and statute law. In California, a property owner has a responsibility to maintain safe conditions.
The property owner has to show “due care” towards keeping his property safe and, if s/he fails to do that, then that might be a breach of the owner’s legal duty and grounds for a premises liability case.
Winning a premises liability case in California largely depends on showing that the property owner owned and controlled the premises at the time of the accident.
If the owner had no control over the premises when your accident occurred, then s/he can’t be held liable since the owner didn’t have a duty to exercise a reasonable care to prevent the personal injury.
In the state of California, the property owner’s duty of care extends to both “invitees” and “licensees.”
An invitee is a person who has implied permission to come onto the property (e.g., friends) whereas a licensee is coming onto the owner’s property for his own reasons (e.g., salesperson). Trespassers, unlike invitees and licensees, are owed a far smaller duty of care.
Contact a personal injury lawyer today if you’ve suffered a personal injury and you feel the property owner is responsible.