Under California state law, property owners may be liable for accidents that occur on their property. In order for an injured person to receive compensation for an injury that happened on someone else’s property, they must prove that the property owner is legally liable.
If you have been injured on someone else’s property, contact California premises liability attorney Johann Hall today. Attorney Johann Hall handles many different types of personal injury cases, including premises liability cases. Contact our office to schedule a consultation to learn more about your legal options regarding your potential premises liability accident case.
Proving Liability in a Premises Liability Case Under California Law
To successfully prevail on a claim for compensation for personal injuries that occurred on someone else’s property, there are four elements that must be proven. First, you must prove that the defendant in your case owned, leased, occupied, or otherwise controlled the property on which you were injured. Next, you will need to show that the defendant property owner was negligent in the use or maintenance of the property. You will also need to prove that you were injured. Finally, you must show that the defendant property owner’s negligence was a substantial factor in the harm that you suffered. Essentially, this means that you will need to prove that your injuries were caused by negligence.
If you have recently suffered an injury on the property of another person or a business, you may not know whether your injuries were caused by their negligence. It is always a good idea to speak with an experienced premises liability lawyer. An experienced attorney in this area can review the facts of your case and can advise you of your legal options moving forward.
California case law has established that an owner of a premises has a duty to exercise ordinary care in the management of the premises in order to avoid exposing people to an unreasonable risk of harm. Brooks v. Eugene Burger Management Corp. (1989) 215 Cal.App.3d 1611. Assuming you are able to demonstrate that the defendant in your case owned, leased, occupied or controlled the property on which you were injured, your next hurdle is to prove that the defendant was negligent.
What Is Considered Negligence Under California Law in a Premises Liability Case?
Under California law, it is considered negligence for the occupier (or owner) of the property to be aware of a concealed condition that poses an unreasonable risk of harm to those who come in contact with it, and to be aware that someone will come in contact with it, and then fail to warn that person or repair the condition. The duty of care that a property owner owes depends, in part, on the circumstances.
For example, a homeowner who is aware that there is a broken step in his house that his guests will likely encounter during their visit may be negligent if he did not warn his guests of the dangerous condition, and a guest suffered an injury due to the broken step. However, there are exceptions to this duty to warn. In a case where the dangerous condition on the property is so obvious that a person can be reasonably expected to observe it, there is generally no duty to warn.
In another scenario, a store owner who, by the nature of his business, invites others onto the premises may be negligent if he either knows of a dangerous condition, or by exercising reasonable care could discover a dangerous condition on the premises that is reasonably foreseeable to pose an unreasonable risk of harm to his business patrons. In other words, the store owner not having actual knowledge of a dangerous condition on the store premises does not absolve him of liability. There is an expectation under the law that the store owner is responsible for exercising reasonable care to find dangerous conditions on the premises. Additionally, if the store owner himself or an employee acting within the scope of their employment created or caused to be created the dangerous condition on the premises, he cannot claim that he lacked notice or knowledge of the condition. The knowledge is imputed to him under the law.
If you have suffered a premises liability injury of any kind, give attorney Johann Hall a call today. Personal injury cases are subject to a filing deadline called the statute of limitations, so it is crucial to act as soon as possible to ensure that you are able to move forward with your case.