Everything You Need To Know About California Premises Liability Laws
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Premises liability is a legal term that refers to property owners’ responsibility to keep their premises safe for visitors. This includes taking reasonable steps to prevent accidents and injuries on their property.
In California, the Civil Code governs premises liability laws. These laws dictate when and how property owners can be held liable for accidents and injuries that occur on their property.
If you have been injured in an accident on someone else’s property, it’s important to understand the laws that apply to your case. This post will explain everything you need about California premises liability laws.
Introduction to California Premises Liability Laws
In California, property owners have a legal duty to keep their premises reasonably safe. This duty applies to public and private property, including businesses, residences, and other property types. If a property owner fails to live up to this duty and someone is injured; as a result, the property owner may be held liable under California premises liability laws.
Many hazards can give rise to a premises liability claim, such as slips and falls, dog bites, and defective conditions. To successfully bring a claim, the injured party must be able to show that the property owner knew or should have known about the hazard and failed to take steps to fix it. If you have been injured on someone else’s property, you may be able to recover compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and other damages.
How Do We Determine Whether a Property Owner is Liable for An Accident?
Three factors must be considered to determine whether a property owner can be held liable for an accident:
- The first factor to consider is the type of visitor on the property. In California, there are three different types of visitors:
- Inviteesare people who are invited onto the property for business purposes, such as customers or patients. Property owners owe invitees the highest duty of care. This means that they must ensure the property is safe for invitees and warn invitees of any dangers that may exist.
- Licensees:People allowed on the property for their conveniences, such as social guests or delivery people. Property owners owe licensees a medium duty of care, which means they must take reasonable steps to ensure the property is safe but do not need to warn licensees of potential dangers.
- Trespassers:These are people who enter the property without permission. Property owners owe trespassers the lowest duty of care, which means they only need to avoid causing intentional injuries.
- The second factor to consider is the reasonable care the property owner owes to the visitor. As we mentioned, property owners owe invitees the highest duty of care, which means they must ensure the property is safe and warn invitees of potential dangers. Property owners must take reasonable steps to ensure the property is safe for licensees. And for trespassers, property owners only need to avoid causing intentional injuries.
- The third factor to consider is the property owner’s failure to live up to the standard of care. To hold a property owner liable, you must be able to show that they knew or should have known about the hazard and failed to take steps to fix it. For example, if you slip and fall on a wet floor, you would need to show that the property owner knew or should have known that the floor was wet and failed to take steps to fix the problem.
How Can You Protect Yourself from Liability as a Property Owner?
There are a few things you can do as a property owner to protect yourself from liability:
- Make sure you are up to date on all the latest safety regulations.
- Conduct regular inspections of your property and make sure to fix any hazards that are found.
- Post warning signs in areas where there are potential hazards.
- Have insurance to protect yourself if someone is injured on your property.
What Should You Do If You are Injured in a Premises Liability Accident?
If you have been injured in a premises liability accident, you should:
- Seek medical attention as soon as possible.
- Take photos of the accident scene, if possible.
- Get the contact information of any witnesses.
- Do not give a statement to the property owner’s insurance company.
- Contact a premises liability lawyer to discuss your legal options.
Contact and Visit Us At Oracle Law Firm
The experienced premises liability lawyers at Oracle Law Firm can help you if you have been injured in an accident. We will thoroughly investigate your case, gather evidence, and build a strong case to get you the compensation you deserve. Contact us today at (888) 547-1778 to schedule a free consultation.