Public and private property owners have a responsibility to properly care for their property. Otherwise, people can get seriously injured. This is especially true at swimming pools, restaurants, and other public places. When property owners fail to take the necessary precautions and someone gets hurt, they must be held responsible for their actions.
That’s where we come in. Our California premises liability attorneys at Rafii & Associates, P.C. can fight for your rights every step of the way. We know what to do because we’ve been doing this work for more than 20 years. Our job is making sure you get the maximum compensation for your premises liability incident.
What does premises liability mean?
Premises liability is a legal concept that holds property owners and occupiers responsible for maintaining safe conditions on their property. If a property owner or occupier fails to maintain their property and someone is injured as a result, they may be held liable for the victim’s injuries and damages.
In premises liability cases, the standard that applies depends on the relationship between the injured person and the property owner/occupier. In general, property owners and occupiers owe different levels of care to different types of visitors on their property. Here are the three primary standards that apply in California:
- Invitee: A property owner or occupier owes the highest level of care to invitees. An invitee is someone who is invited onto the property for business purposes, such as a customer in a store or a client in an office building. The property owner or occupier must inspect the property for hazards, repair any hazards they know about or should know about, and warn the invitee of any hazards that cannot be fixed.
- Licensee: A property owner or occupier owes a slightly lower level of care to licensees. A licensee is someone who is invited onto the property for non-business purposes, such as a guest in a home. The property owner or occupier must warn the licensee of any hazards that they know about or should know about, but they do not have a duty to inspect the property or repair any hazards.
- Trespasser: A property owner or occupier owes the lowest level of care to trespassers. A trespasser is someone who enters the property without permission. The property owner or occupier does not have a duty to inspect the property for hazards or warn the trespasser of any hazards. However, the property owner or occupier cannot intentionally harm the trespasser.
It’s important to note that these standards can be more complex in certain situations, and there may be other factors that affect the property owner or occupier’s liability. If you have been injured on someone else’s property in California, it’s best to consult with an experienced premises liability attorney who can evaluate your case and help you understand your legal rights and options.
To prove premises liability in California, you must establish the following elements:
- Duty of care: The property owner or occupier owed a duty of care to the injured person. The duty of care owed depends on the relationship between the parties, as explained in my previous response.
- Breach of duty: The property owner or occupier breached their duty of care by failing to maintain safe conditions on the property or failing to warn the injured person of any hazards.
- Causation: The breach of duty caused the injured person’s injuries. In other words, if the property owner or occupier had maintained safe conditions or warned the injured person of any hazards, the injuries would not have occurred.
- Damages: The injured person suffered damages, such as medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses, as a result of the injuries.
To establish these elements, you may need to provide evidence such as:
- Photographs or videos of the hazard that caused the injury
- Eyewitness testimony
- Medical records and bills
- Expert testimony from professionals such as engineers or safety experts
- Maintenance records or other documents that show the property owner or occupier knew or should have known about the hazard
If you believe you have a premises liability case in California, it’s important to consult with an experienced attorney who can evaluate your case and help you understand your legal rights and options.
What type of premises liability case are you dealing with?
Premises liability cases in California can cover a wide range. Some of the most common – and most complicated – premises liability cases we handle at our law firm include:
- Slip & Fall Accidents
- Daycare Facility Injuries
- Burn Injuries
- Drowning Accidents
- Playground Accidents
- Dog bites
- Swimming pool accidents
- Inadequate security leading to assault or other injuries
- Exposure to toxic substances
- Accidents on construction sites
- Elevator and escalator accidents
- Amusement park accidents
Whatever type of premises liability case you’re dealing with in California, make sure you take your case seriously right from the start. Make sure you talk to an attorney who knows the law and knows what to do. Make sure you talk to us.
Insurance companies often fight hard to deny premises liability claims. They know your case could be worth a lot of money. That’s why they’ll do everything to deny your case. That’s not right. That’s why we want to meet with you.
What should I do after my premises liability accident?
If you or a loved one has been injured in a premises liability accident on someone else’s property, we recommend taking the following steps to protect your rights.
- Seek immediate medical attention. Your health matters most.
- Don’t talk to the property owner. Anything you say could be used to deny your claim.
- Don’t talk about your accident with other people. The less you say, the better.
- Don’t post anything on social media about your accident. Insurance companies carefully read your posts and try to use this information against you.
- Contact our law firm as soon as possible. We can review your case (free of charge) and explain your legal options.