What is Premises Liability?

Property owners have a legal duty to maintain their premises safely and warn visitors of any potential hazards. Visitors are also responsible for exercising reasonable care while on someone else's property. Premises liability is a legal theory that holds property owners and occupiers responsible for injuries on their property. They have a legal duty to maintain their premises reasonably safe for visitors. This includes warning visitors of and fixing any hazardous conditions, such as:

  • Uneven floors
  • Broken stairs
  • Wet floors

When someone is injured on another person's property, it is essential to determine who is at fault.

The property owner may be liable for the injuries sustained, while in other cases, the injured party may have contributed to their injuries and may be partially at fault.

It is important to note that not all injuries that occur on someone else's property will result in a successful premises liability claim. The injured party must be able to prove that the property owner was negligent in their duty to maintain a safe environment. Negligence can take many forms, such as:

  • Failing to repair a broken staircase
  • Failing to warn visitors of a slippery floor
  • Failing to provide adequate security
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What Are Some Examples of Premises Liability Claims?

There are several types of premises liability claims, including:

  • Slip and fall accidents, which occur when a person slips, trips, or falls on a dangerous condition on the property, such as a wet floor or a broken step
  • Dog bites
  • Swimming pool accidents can occur when a person drowns or is injured in a swimming pool on the property
  • Inadequate security, such as when a person is assaulted or robbed on the property due to insufficient security measures

California Premises Liability Laws

California Civil Code 1714 states that property owners and occupiers are generally liable for injuries on their property. However, liability can also extend to third parties, such as contractors or vendors, if they were responsible for creating the dangerous condition that caused the injury.

You can also sue a party controlling the property, such as a property manager or store manager. When an injury occurs, the party in charge of the property can be held liable since they must keep all areas they control reasonably safe. Some other examples of California premises liability laws include:

  • Independent contractors do not relieve property owners of their duty of care. The owner remains responsible even if an independent contractor fails to correct an unsafe condition that injures someone.
  • Employers may be liable for negligent employees who fail to repair hazardous conditions or warn visitors of dangers on the property. Because the principal is responsible for the agent’s negligence, an employer is vicariously liable for the employee’s negligence.
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Proving Fault in a California Premises Liability Case

To establish a premises liability claim in California, the plaintiff must show that the defendant owed a duty of care to them. This depends on the plaintiff's legal status on the property:

  • If the plaintiff is an invitee, the defendant owes the highest duty of care, which includes taking reasonable steps to inspect the property and correct any dangerous conditions
  • If the plaintiff is a licensee, the defendant owes a duty to warn of known hazards
  • If the plaintiff is a trespasser, the defendant owes a duty not to harm the plaintiff intentionally

Once the plaintiff establishes that the defendant owed a duty of care, the plaintiff must show that the defendant breached that duty by:

  • Showing that the defendant knew or should have known about the dangerous condition and failed to take reasonable steps to correct it
  • Demonstrating that the defendant created the dangerous condition

The plaintiff must also demonstrate that the defendant's breach of duty caused their injuries by showing that their actions or inactions were a substantial factor in causing the plaintiff's injuries.

Finally, the plaintiff must prove that they suffered damages due to the defendant's breach of duty. Damages can include:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering
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Some firms try for quick settlements. We get every dollar you deserve.

Premises Liability Representation From a Real Trial Firm

Most lawyers want to settle your premises liability case quickly. Settling a claim means that you agree to accept money in return for dropping your action against the person who injured you. You'll also sign a release absolving the other side of any further liability. 

Fiore Legal is not your average law firm. We are a real trial firm looking at your issue from a different perspective than lawyers who will pressure you into settling, whether or not it’s your choice. Because we always have your best interests at heart, we would never settle a case unless for the total value. We’re here to represent you in your pursuit of justice, whatever that takes.

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Fiore Legal: Fighting For West Covina

You may have a personal injury claim if you’ve been injured on someone’s property because they failed to maintain safe conditions. However, you’ll need a West Covina premises liability attorney invested in your case, not just someone looking to make a quick buck by settling for less. You deserve a lawyer interested in being your confidant-and Fiore Legal is here for you.

Our dedication to understanding and representing everyday people against powerful insurance companies has resulted in eight locations with over thirty team members providing extensive experience, empathy, and a tireless work ethic. We fight for our clients, so they receive what they are owed. Contact us today to schedule your complimentary consultation.

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