Injuries Caused by Hazards on Another Person’s Property
The term “premises liability” defines the legal responsibility of property owners to be held liable for any injuries sustained on their property (“the premises”). In order to take legal action in a premises liability case, you must be able to prove that the injuries you sustained were a direct result of the negligence of the property owner. Injuries that qualify as examples of premises liability include but are not limited to: slipping on a wet floor, unsecured items falling, or any injuries caused by shoddy construction.
If you have been injured because someone has failed to correct or identify dangerous conditions on their property, you may have a premises liability case. This is determined on a case-by-case basis, but certain criteria can play a role in determining whether or not your case qualifies as premises liability, and if you are entitled to compensation.
Property Owner’s Level of Responsibility
A landowner’s upkeep of their property, along with the nature of the injured guest’s visit, can influence how “duty” is established in a premises liability case.
Elements of proving premises liability in California include the following considerations regarding the landowner's duty:
The degree of injury that the plaintiff suffered
The foreseeability of harm to the plaintiff
The policy of preventing future harm
The degree that the plaintiff suffered injury
The correlation between the defendant's conduct and the injury suffered
For example, places of business are generally held to a higher standard of responsibility than residences because they are expected to have frequent visitors and have an obligation to keep those visitors safe on their property. The expected level of responsibility for a private residence increases in cases where guests are invited over for any reason, if proper safety precautions have not been taken.
The Resulting Injury and Its Cause
The severity of the injury sustained in a premises liability case can be a major factor in deciding the outcome of the case and the awarded damages. Intense injuries, generally, will warrant greater financial compensation. However, the cause of the injury may be even more important than the injury itself, no matter how severe.
The main dilemma in most premises liability cases is simple: What caused the injury, and who is responsible? Of course, it is rarely as simple as that, and differing accusations of blame can easily result. Proof of direct negligence is often needed — this can mean the property owner failed to complete routine inspections, or was aware of unsafe conditions and did not make improvements. This relates back to the owner’s level of responsibility in the maintenance of the property and if they had a duty to take safety precautions.
Contact a Thousand Oaks Premises Liability Attorney
The nuances of a premises liability case make placing blame difficult. Unfortunately, premises liability cases are not always as straightforward as “I was injured on this property, which is owned by this person, so they are responsible.” There are many influencing elements that can put in question who the responsible party is, and what resulting financial damages are appropriate.
The assistance of a lawyer can help define the uncertainties present in your situation, and develop a strategy for recovering compensation for your medical bills. We are dedicated to guiding your understanding of your premises liability case.
Call Ercolani Law Group with any questions you have regarding premises liability. We are available 24/7 via phone at (805) 338-6880, as well as online.
Timing is Everything.
Do not delay in addressing your legal concerns. If your situation has gotten out of hand, contact a Ventura County lawyer at the Ercolani Law Group to learn more about how we may be able to help you.