Premises Liability: Who is Responsible? (Duties of Care That Apply For Property Owners)
Premises liability is arguably the most commonly used legal concept in personal injury lawsuits. And yet, so many Los Angeles residents don’t know the basics of premises liability and how these laws may apply in your case to help you sue the property owner.
Today, our Los Angeles premises liability attorney at Compass Law Group, PC will review who is responsible when you suffer injuries on someone else’s property (or in public places controlled and maintained by the city), and what duties of care apply.
Was the property owner responsible for your injuries?
When it comes to premises liability lawsuits in Los Angeles, courts consider several factors to determine liability and conclude whether or not the owner of the property where the injury occurred could have prevented the injuries had he or she exercised a high standard of care.
In the vast majority of all premises liability claims in California, negligence on the part of the property owner is the main culprit behind injuries and fatalities occurring on the property.
There are certain elements of premises liability that must be proven in order to seek economic and non-economic damages for your injuries. Our attorneys at Compass Law Group, PC outline the following elements to prove negligence or failure to exercise one’s legal duties as a property owner:
- The owner intended the harmful result or created/caused the dangerous conditions intentionally;
- The owner was aware of the harmful consequences of their actions or inaction;
- The owner was aware of the dangerous conditions on his/her property but failed to fix them and ensure the safety of visitors;
- The owner acted with reckless indifference or carelessness;
- The dangerous condition existed for such a long period of time that the owner should have learned about it before someone got injured.
What’s your legal status?
Before filing a claim to sue the property owner for your injuries and damages, our best premises liability attorneys in Los Angeles say that it’s critical to identify your legal status. Are you an invite, social guest, licensee or trespasser?
- An invitee is a person who was invited onto the property of another individual or business (customers at shopping malls, stores and other places all can be categorized as invitees).
- A licensee is a visitor whom the property owner permits on the property. For example, a houseguest is a licensee.
- A social guest is a person who is a welcome visitor to the property of another individual.
- A trespasser is a person who enters the premises without any right to do so.
If you’re a trespasser or licensee, the property owner will most likely not be held liable for your injuries and damages under premises liability laws in California. That’s because the property owner does not owe you a legal obligation to take reasonable steps to assure the safety of the property.
However, our Los Angeles premises liability lawyers say that there may be exceptions in every case, which is why it’s vital to speak to an attorney before filing a claim (or choosing NOT to file a claim thinking that you aren’t entitled to compensation).
Can you file a premises liability claim?
It doesn’t matter HOW you got injured on someone else’s property and it doesn’t matter if the property is owned by an individual or the city. What matters is the fact that you suffered injuries and that you need to hold the property owner (or city) responsible for failing to prevent the accident.
Whether you’re a victim of a slip and fall accident, hotel accident, wet floor accident, accidental drowning, fire-related accident, or others, you may be entitled to financial compensation.
Let our premises liability attorneys at Compass Law Group, PC review your case in order to determine whether or not the property owner was liable (and to what extent), find evidence of negligence or recklessness, document the conditions that prove that the owner breached duty of care, and help you file a premises liability claim.