What Is Premises Liability?
Premises liability is a legal phrase that means a property owner/operator is legally responsible for the condition of his or her property. If a property owner allows a premises to fall into a state of disrepair, resulting in unsafe conditions, the owner could be liable for a related visitor injury. Learn more about premises liability to find out if you have this type of claim.
What Are a Property Owner’s Duties of Care?
A premises liability civil suit is based on the argument that a property owner, occupier or controller failed to meet the duty of care, and that this caused the accident. A duty of care is a legal obligation to act in a way that a prudent person or party would under similar circumstances. In premises liability law, a property owner’s duties of care change according to the status of the person entering the property. There are three distinct classifications, each with unique duties of care:
- Invitee. Someone who enters the land for the property owner’s benefit, such as a customer at a business. A property owner must check for unknown property defects, repair known issues and warn an invitee of potential hazards.
- Licensee. Someone who enters the land for his or her own benefit, with permission from the property owner. An example is a social guest or contractor. A property owner must repair or warn of known dangers for a licensee, but does not have to check for unknown dangers.
- Trespasser. Someone who enters the land without the owner’s permission. A property owner owes no duties of care to a trespasser other than not to willfully harm the individual. The rule is different, however, if the trespasser is under the age of 18.
Proving a premises liability case in California generally requires evidence that the defendant was the owner or occupier of the building at the time of your accident, that he or she failed to meet the expected duties of care, and that this caused or greatly contributed to your accident. You must also have evidence of your losses, such as medical billing statements or pay stubs for missed wages.
Types of Premises Liability Cases
Many different circumstances can lead to a claim brought against a property owner in Los Angeles for a defective or hazardous property condition. It can help you understand whether you have a case if you look at common types of premises liability lawsuits in California. The following are examples:
- Airbnb accidents
- Asbestos exposure
- Construction accidents
- Cruise ship injuries
- Dog bite injuries
- Elevator or escalator accidents
- Fires or floods
- Inadequate maintenance injuries
- Negligent security
- Parking lot accidents
- Slip and fall accidents
- Structural collapses
- Swimming pool accidents
- Unsafe staircases
These accidents can cause a wide range of injuries, including broken bones, lacerations, burns, head and brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and wrongful death. In general, if you have proof that the owner or leaser of the property did or did not do something that they should have, and that this was the proximate cause of your injury, you will be eligible for financial compensation through a premises liability lawsuit.
Do You Have Grounds for a Premises Liability Case?
If you or a loved one was recently injured in an accident on someone else’s property in California, contact a Los Angeles premises liability lawyer to find out if you have grounds for a lawsuit. A lawyer will listen to your accident story, ask you questions and let you know if your case has merit. If so, the lawyer may offer to represent you during an insurance claim or premises liability lawsuit.
A lawyer can help you fight for maximum financial compensation for your present and future foreseeable losses, including medical bills and lost income. Contact Rose, Klein & Marias LLP for a free consultation today for more information.