Places like stores, restaurants, offices, and homes belonging to friends and family members are supposed to be safe places.
Nobody ever visits these types of places and expects to get seriously hurt while doing so. But for far too many people every year, that’s exactly what happens. When these types of accidents happen, they’re known as premises liability accidents.
What is premises liability?
Premises liability is a legal concept that comes into play when a person is injured on property that belongs to someone else. Premises liability laws determine who is liable for damages caused by the accident.
California premises liability law
Premises liability laws vary from state-to-state. California’s premises liability law is covered by California Civil Code 1714(a), which states, “Everyone is responsible, not only for the result of his or her willful acts, but also for an injury occasioned to another by his or her want of ordinary care or skill in the management of his or her property or person, except so far as the latter has, willfully or by want of ordinary care, brought the injury upon himself or herself.” In simple words, this means that property owners, tenants, and managers have a legal responsibility to make sure their property is reasonably free of hazards that could result in another person being injured.
When it comes to caring for a property, the concept of “ordinary care or skill” can include things like doing routine maintenance projects, repairing dangerous conditions on the property, and warning visitors of any dangerous conditions that haven’t yet been repaired. If a property owner fails to exercise ordinary care and someone is hurt as a result, the property owner could be found negligent.
California premises liability law can apply to someone who owns, leases, manages, or otherwise occupies a property. This can include owners of private residences, business owners, property management companies, people/businesses renting a property, or government entities, just to name a few. Some common places involved in premises liability accidents include private homes, apartment complexes, stores, and amusement parks.
Who is covered by premises liability law?
To be protected by premises liability law, a person needs to have legally have been on the property at the time the accident occurred. Under premises liability law, people who are legally on a property are classified as either an invitee or a licensee.
An invitee refers to someone who has an express or implied invitation to be on the property for a reason that provides a financial benefit for the owner/occupier. This would include people like customers in stores, restaurants, and other places of business. Licensees also have permission to be on a property, but there isn’t necessarily a financial benefit for the owner/occupier. Some examples would include someone visiting a friend’s home or a postal worker delivering mail.
In most cases, trespassers are not covered by premises liability law. However, there may be exceptions if a case involves a child getting hurt by something that could be considered an attractive nuisance. The law provides extra protections for children who are injured on another person’s property, even if they were trespassing at the time of the accident.
Types of premises liability accidents
Premises liability accidents can be caused by many different things, including:
- Slips, trips, and falls caused by things like spills, wet floors, loose carpeting, loose cables, or uneven flooring
- Poorly lit or maintained staircases
- Drownings and other types of accidents involving swimming pools
- Dog bites and other types of animal injuries
- Poorly maintained parking lots, driveways, and sidewalks
- Failing to properly maintain water slides and amusement park rides
- Neglecting to repair obvious hazards in a building
Common injuries suffered in premises liability accidents
Damages in a premises liability accident
If you’re considering making a claim over injuries caused by a premises liability accident, some types of damages you can collect include:
- Medical expenses, including future medical expenses
- Lost income
- Pain and suffering
Contact a Los Angeles premises liability lawyer
Premises liability claims can be very complex and if you’ve been injured on someone else’s property, it’s very important to have a premises liability lawyer on your side who can fight for you. At The Wallace Firm, we have premises liability lawyers who have helped many people just like you in the Los Angeles area get the compensation they need. Contact us today to get started.