When you visit the property of another person, whether it is a restaurant, grocery store, amusement park, or someone’s home, you expect that the premises is safe for visitors. If a property owner or occupier fails to warn others of hazardous conditions on their property and an accident occurs, they may be liable for damages. At Deldar Legal, the experienced premises liability attorneys have represented many clients throughout California in their claims for compensation following an accident on another person’s property. Call or contact us today to learn more and schedule a free evaluation of your case.
California Premises Liability Laws
California law imposes a duty on all property owners and occupiers to keep their premises in a reasonably safe condition for others. This duty of care extends to anyone who owns, leases, occupies, or controls the property. Examples of parties liable in a premises liability lawsuit include homeowners, business owners, tenants or renters, property management companies, parent companies, retail centers, restaurants, amusement parks, stores, bars, and theaters.
Unlike other states that differentiate between the type of visitor to the property, California law does not. Under the law, those responsible for a premises have an affirmative duty to fix hazardous conditions and warn visitors of possible dangers on the property. An owner or occupier must exercise ordinary care in maintaining the property and cannot use ignorance of an issue as an excuse. When determining whether a person knew or should have known about the hazard, the court will consider the following factors:
- The obviousness of the hazard
- Prior complaints about the dangerous condition
- Length of time the hazard has existed
- Prior injuries caused by the dangerous condition
- Poor attempts to fix the hazard
Compensation for a Premises Liability Claim
If a person is injured in a premises liability case, the victim may receive compensation for economic and noneconomic damages. Economic damages include payment for all out of pocket expenses caused by the accident, including all medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and the loss of future income and benefits. Noneconomic damages compensate the victim for their pain and suffering, emotional distress, scarring, disfigurement, disability, and loss of enjoyment of life.
In addition, the victim in a premises liability case may be entitled to additional punitive damages. Punitive damages go beyond economic and noneconomic damages, and are meant to punish the property owner or occupier for their actions. Punitive damages are allowed only if the victim can show that the owner or occupier’s reckless actions caused catastrophic injury or death, intentionally destroyed evidence of liability, or intentionally caused the accident or injuries. These additional damages are meant to serve as a deterrent to other premises owners and occupiers who would consider similar actions on their property.
Call or Contact Our Office
If you would like to learn more about the wide range of legal services offered by Deldar Legal to our clients with premises liability claims or to receive a free evaluation of your case, call or contact our office today.