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California Premises Liability

Posted By SNL Law Group, APC

Many people are familiar with the most common type of California Premises Liability claim, the slip and fall, but premises liability is much more than that. If you have been injured on another person’s property, you may have a claim against the owner for negligence based on premises liability. The only way to be sure is to consult with a San Bernardino personal injury attorney.


What is California Premises Liability?

Under California Civil Code Section 1714(a), property owners in California owe a duty of care to the invitees or guests on their property. This means that the owners have an obligation to keep their premises safe and secure for their guests. Owners are required to take reasonable care in addressing dangerous conditions on the property or at least give warnings to their guests of the hazards.

Premises liability holds all property owners liable for accidents that occur on their property. It does not matter if the property in question is a business, a home or a government building. Property owners have a responsibility to take steps to protect their guests from hazards on the property.


Common Examples of Premises Liability Claims:

While slip and fall accidents are by far the most common example of claims based on premises liability, there are many other hazardous conditions which may pose a danger to guests on an owner’s property. Other common injuries that give rise to premises liability claims are:

· Being bitten by a dog

· Being assaulted or battered on the premises

· Drowning in a swimming pool

· Getting burned in a fire or explosion

· Falling through a floor

· Tripping down a stairwell

These types of injuries are usually caused by inadequate lighting, lack of security, disrepair of property and design flaws present in the property.

 Determining Liability under California Premises Liability Law

California courts look at a number of issues when determining liability in a claim under premises liability.

· The use of the property where the injury occurred

· The foreseeability of the accident

· The circumstances under which the visitor entered the property

· The reasonableness of the efforts made by the owner to repair a dangerous condition or warn visitors of a dangerous condition

The law in California differentiates the types of visitors when it comes to determining the level of care a property owner owes their guests. Business owners owe the highest level of care to their customers and others that they want to visit their property. Customers to a business are considered invitees and are owed the highest level of care.

Homeowners who invite friends, family members and other guests to their home owe a lower level of care to these people. These people who are invited to the home are known as licensees. They are invited in for a limited non-business purpose.

Property owners have little to almost no obligation to trespassers on their property. This is due to the fact that property owners do not invite trespassers onto the property and their presence is generally not known and unforeseeable. Therefore property owners have almost no duty of care to a trespasser. This does not mean however that a property owner may deliberately set up dangers or traps on their property to stop trespassers, and owners may still be required to have signage posted to warn everyone of man-made hazards.

 What Reasonable Steps does a Property Owner need to take to avoid a Premises Liability Claim?

The type of steps that a property owner must take to keep their property clear of dangerous conditions or hazards is entirely dependent on the circumstances. However, there are many common situations where generally acceptable steps to be taken have been established over time. These steps can include:

· Posting warning signs around foreign substances on the floor in supermarkets

· Removing ice on walkways

· Putting up fences and gating a swimming pool

· Keeping the general premises in a good state of repair

· Leashing dogs

 Statute of Limitation for California Premises Liability Claims

If you have been injured on someone else’s property, California Code of Civil Procedure Section 335.1 requires that you file your claim within two years of the accident. While two years may seem like a large amount of time, bringing a successful case can require large amounts of time to properly investigate and prepare. Therefore it is imperative that you speak to an experienced San Bernardino personal injury attorney as soon as possible after an accident.

 What if I am Partially At Fault for my Injuries?

If you may have contributed to your injuries and accident, this does not mean that you are barred from bringing your claim against the property owner. California has adopted the pure comparative fault rule. Under the pure comparative fault rule, the injured person may still collect damages even if they were partially at fault for the accident. The only caveat is that the amount of damages that are recovered will be reduced by the percentage of blame.

 What Damages May I Collect in a Premises Liability Case?

The amount and type of damages you will be able to recover will vary case to case. However, you should always be able to recover damages for:

· Lost wages

· Hospital bills

· Future medical expenses and care

· Loss of earning capacity

· Psychological trauma

· Pain and suffering

Compensation in these types of cases is intended to make the injured party whole again. An injured person can and should collect for all the injuries, physical, emotional and financial.

 Do Not Delay; Speak to a Licensed San Bernardino Premises Liability Attorney for your Injuries

If you or someone you know was injured due to a dangerous or hazardous condition on someone else’s property, it is important that you seek the advice of a licensed California attorney familiar and experienced with personal injury claims and premises liability law. Property owners will take steps to limit their costs and liability when an accident happens on the premises and insurance companies may offer quick but low pay out settlements in attempt to limit costs.

An experienced attorney can help you understand your rights, gather evidence, interview potential witnesses, negotiate with insurance companies and assert your interests and rights in a court of law. At Schwartzberg | Luther, APC, in San Bernardino County, you will find the legal help and assistance that you need to successfully recover for any injuries that you have sustained due to a property owner’s negligence. Let us work for you to get the best possible result.

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SNL Law Group, APC

At SNL Law Group, APC, our attorneys are able to assist you and your family with a wide variety of legal cases. We integrate technology into our firm’s operations so that we are able to spend more time focused on you and your needs and less time managing our firm’s operations. This translates into a better experience for you, our client. We have helped numerous California clients successfully resolve their legal disputes, including those involving the following areas of law:Family & DivorceCriminal & DUI DefensePersonal InjuryCar AccidentsInsurance Claim DenialsOntario, California LawyersIn every facet of our practice, communication is key! The Ontario, CA attorneys and staff... View full business profile here: SNL Law Group, APC

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