What is Premises Liability?
When a person gets injured on someone else’s property, then he or she may be able to receive compensation through a premises liability claim. Like many other personal injury claims, a premises liability claim is also based on the legal concept of negligence. A property owner, manager, or occupier who fails to maintain his or her property in a reasonably safe condition, may become liable for injuries caused to another person due to such failure.
For example, a restaurant owner has the responsibility to ensure that all the furniture and fixings in the restaurant are maintained properly in a safe condition. If a customer falls and gets injured due to a broken staircase or a broken handrail, then the restaurant owner may become liable for a premises liability claim.
What do I need to prove to have a successful premises liability claim?
In order to have a successful premises liability claim, three elements must be shown: duty, breach and causation:
a) Duty: It must be shown that the property owner or occupier had a reasonable duty of care towards the injured person. For example, a shop owner is responsible to ensure that the shop is maintained in a reasonably safe condition for customers who visit the shop.
b) Breach: It must be shown that the property owner or occupier was negligent and breached such duty of care.
c) Causation: It must be shown that the injury suffered was a result of the negligence of the property owner or occupier. For example, a person visiting an amusement park may not be able to make a claim, if he or she failed to follow the safety instructions and wear the safety equipments.
Who can be held liable in a premises liability claim?
A property owner, occupier or controller may become liable for a premises liability claim. Examples include:
a) A home owner has a reasonable duty of care towards guests or visitors who come to the house.
b) A shop owner who has leased a commercial space to run the shop has a reasonable duty of care towards customers visiting the shop.
c) A company that has leased an office space for its 100 employees has a reasonable duty of care towards its employees.
Who can sue for a premises liability claim?
An invitee or a visitor who gets injured on someone else’s property due to the negligence of that person may file a premises liability claim. Examples include:
a) Invitees such as guests invited for dinner, a personal home trainer or a domestic worker.
b) Visitors such as shop customers, patients at a doctor’s clinic or a delivery person.
c) Tenants or licensees who get injured due to inbuilt defects in the house.
d) Family members or legal heirs of person of who died due to such injuries can sue for wrongful death.
What are some types of premises liability accidents?
a) Slip and fall
b) Defective stairways
c) Injuries at an amusement or water park
d) Dog bite or injuries caused by other pets
e) Electric shock
f) Ceiling collapses
g) Inadequate lighting
h) Fire safety violations
What type of damages can I get in a premises liability claim?
A person who gets injured on someone’s else property, can seek compensation for:
a) Medical bills including future medical expenses
b) Loss of wages
c) Loss of future earning capacity
d) Pain and suffering
e) Loss of limb
f) Wrongful death
What to do if you get injured on someone else’s property?
a) Immediately seek medical help.
b) Preserve and record all evidence including the date, time and place of the accident.
c) Inform the property owner or occupier about the accident and injuries caused.
d) Contact a California premises liability lawyer.
What else do I need to consider before filing a premises liability claim?
Generally, premises liability claims have a two-year limitation period. Further, factors such as warning signs at the property, likelihood of someone visiting the property, location of the property, extent of the victim’s own negligence are also considered in a premises liability claim. While California does not completely ban trespassers from filing a premises liability claim, the chances of such claim being successful are low.
If you’ve suffered injuries on someone else’s property, then contact the Ledger Law Firm for a free consultation on your claim.