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In California, “premises liability” refers to the duty imposed by law on landowners and some tenants to maintain their premises in a “reasonably safe condition.” If people are injured while on somebody else’s property, whether that property is residential, commercial, or public, the owners of the property may be held liable, or in other words legally responsible for those injuries. In such cases, the injured person would be able to recover financial compensation for the resulting medical bills, pain and suffering, wages lost as a result of the injury, and more.
According to California law, property owners owe different levels of care toward people who are on their property, depending on whether those people were invited or not, and, if invited, whether they were invited for social or business purposes. The highest duty of care is owed to “invitees”–people who are invited onto the property for business reasons, such as a store’s customers or a restaurant’s patrons. In the case of invitees, the property owner has a duty not to create any hazardous conditions that might harm them, to inspect the property for any unknown dangers, and to eliminate hazardous conditions once they are known or, at a minimum, warn about them.
A lower duty of care is owed to “licensees,” who are people invited onto the property as social guests. Where licensees are involved, the property owner is only required to take reasonable care to protect them from any hazardous conditions that the property holder knows about.
In addition to eliminating hazardous conditions such as slippery floors or poorly lit hallways, property owners must also provide reasonable security measures to protect guests against criminal acts, when such acts are foreseeable.
However, property owners are not responsible for injuries caused by minor or insignificant defects on their property. Whether an injured person was an “invitee” or a “licensee,” whether an owner took “reasonable” protective measures, and whether a condition was a “minor defect” are the kinds of questions that often arise when injured victims seek compensation.
If you or someone you love was injured in California while on somebody else’s property, you should discuss the particulars of your case with an experienced California premises liability attorney. At Ziff & Cohn, we offer decades of collective experience in handling premises liability cases; in addition, we understand the special requirements and limitations that arise in accidents involving public entities. Contact us today for a free consultation to discuss your chances of receiving compensation for the harm that you suffered.
When a child is injured on someone else’s property, whether the injury is caused by a slip and fall, a dog bite, an unfenced swimming pool, or other circumstances, the child’s legal guardians may bring a premises liability suit on the child’s behalf. While property owners have no duty to protect most trespassers, the law is more protective of children who trespass–especially when the property contains a condition that may attract children, such as a pool or a trampoline. Unfortunately, premises liability accidents may sometimes cause catastrophic injuries; if your child was severely injured in such an incident, please contact us today.
Based in Los Altos, California, the experienced personal injury attorneys at Ziff & Cohn offer a free consultation to people who are interested in pursuing a premises liability claim. We work hard to ensure that our clients are fully compensated for their injuries, and we don’t get paid unless our clients receive monetary recovery.