Premises Liability And The Application Of ‘Obvious Danger’
Many plaintiffs in premises liability claims often wonder what line, if any, is drawn between litigable negligence and avoidable circumstances. Like many states with tort laws, California courts concentrate on clear distinctions between ‘obvious danger’ and ‘willful negligence’.
Let’s say claimants approach their chosen Los Angeles premises liability attorney with claims of ‘foul play’. Individual was meandering somewhere they shouldn’t have been, and broke their leg falling into a loosely covered hole. That attorney would more than likely issue their apology for having such injuries happen, but dismiss their claim as potentially frivolous.
Conversely, if somebody was invited to mingle on the same property, was told no dangers existed but still fell into that same shallowly covered pit, premises liability claims would pass based on negligence since the individual was invited, and the premises was unsafe although disclosed as otherwise.
We compare negligence and the element of obvious danger which defendants can use in certain situations where reasonable intelligence may have averted physical injury.
Negligence is litigable. Here’s how.
Reckless abandon of one’s duty to inform of, and protect from, potential hazards when patrons, tenants and other paying customers or invitees exist on property is negligence. Failing to alert people that wet floors exist in common walkways, for example, exhibits one’s disregard for public safety. This is considered litigable negligence.
There are many tangibles in premises liability claims where actionable negligence takes place. Provided injured plaintiffs have not been warned of danger, have not caused property damage which led to injuries and there’s clarity in who’s at fault, there’s substantial cause for action and compensation.
Your Los Angeles premises liability attorney may take extreme cases of willful negligence to trial should defendant(s) wish to contend that reasonably intelligent people could have avoided slipping on wet surfaces.
‘Obvious danger’ may not be litigable. Here’s why.
Trespassers – provided they’ve been warned of possible dangers via signs or verbal warnings – may not get compensation if injured should dangers prove obvious to any reasonably intelligent layperson under similar circumstances.
However, property owners are liable for trespassers which property owners themselves knew may trespass when dangers aren’t obvious. Jumping a fence that lacked warning signs, entering an abandoned warehouse then getting injured when the structure collapses would be an example of actionable trespass-related injuries.
In either scenario, and many like it, there’s an element of obvious danger which defense attorneys and defendants may use to lessen (or dispel) monetary claims. Tripping on an obtrusive rock is deemed dissimilar to having rocks fall from ceilings onto someone’s head, according to law.
Remember, premises liability claims have complexities
There’s no such thing as ‘slam-dunk’ premises liability cases. They cannot exist because too many variables – including fault and nature of premises violation – must be investigated properly. Sure, defendants may approach victims’ Los Angeles premises liability attorney to settle claims before juries listen to facts, but that’s only when they’re an obvious participant in another’s serious injury or death.
Complex litigation, fact-finding and accident studying may be necessary to strengthen premises liability claims. There must be an irrefutable distinction between at-fault party and victim, which means there cannot be reasonable doubt that victims perpetrated their own injuries.
This content compares two opposing premises liability elements, and shouldn’t be taken as direct legal advice.