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Common Premises Liability Legal Cases

Premises Liability Law and Common Cases

For the most part, personal injury claims are based on someone’s negligence. This also applies to premises liability cases. An aggrieved individual must show that a property owner was negligent regarding ownership or maintenance in order to have a claim for premises liability. Just because you were hurt on another individual’s property does not necessarily mean a property owner was negligent. Also, just because a property itself presents a hazardous condition, does not mean a property owner was negligent, either.

Below, our experienced premises liability attorneys will discuss the elements of filing a claim, along with common cases that involve premises liability. If you have suffered injuries while on someone’s property in California, our skilled attorneys at West Coast Trial Lawyers are always here to answer any questions you may have about premises liability claims and available damages.

Common Types of Premises Liability Cases

Common Premises Cases

Premises liability cases include, but are not limited to:

  • Slip and falls
  • Inadequate building security
  • Elevator and escalator accidents
  • Dog bites
  • Inadequate property maintenance
  • Swimming pool accidents
  • Amusement park accidents
  • Fires
  • Water leaks or flooding
  • Toxic fumes or chemicals

Property Owner’s Duty of Care

California requires all property owners to use reasonable care in the ownership and maintenance of their property. Visitors to a property can be broken up into three groups, which include:

  1. Invitees.Those who are invitees are granted permission by the property owner to be on the premises. They are given the greatest duty of care. Invitees are typically friends, relatives, or neighbors.
  2. Licensees. A licensee has a landowner’s permission to be on the property, but are there for their own purposes, such as a salesperson or a plumber. Property owners usually owe licensees less of a duty of care than invitees, but must warn licensees of hazardous conditions if:
    1. The landowner is already aware of the hazardous condition.
    2. A licensee is unlikely to discover the hazard on their own.
  3. Trespassers. A trespasser is not allowed on someone’s property. A landowner usually does not owe a duty of care to a trespasser, unless that trespasser is a child.

Premises Liability Cases Explained

Slip and Falls: The most common and most straightforward type of premises liability claims are slip and falls. Slip and falls are caused by:

  • Defective or broken staircases
  • Accumulated ice and snow
  • Slippery floors
  • Loose rugs or carpets
  • Wet floors
  • Loose or broken flooring, sidewalks, steps, stairs, etc.

Insufficient Building Security: This usually occurs in apartment buildings and offices. A property owner of an apartment and/or office are required to have a reasonable amount of security in their buildings, such as door men, security guards, gates, locked doors, and surveillance. If a trespasser breaks into an apartment building and hurts or kills someone, a victim may file a premises liability claim against the property owner. However, the victim must show proof of the property owner not using enough reasonable care to adequately secure the building.

Swimming Pool Accidents: This will generally involve children who are near unsupervised or poorly maintained pools. Swimming pools must be properly fenced with locks installed to secure the area from people wandering in. If a property owner leaves a pool open while unguarded, then they could be held liable for any injuries that take place in or around the pool.

Available Damages

Accidents happen. If you were injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. Below is a brief explanation of damages. Damages are a type of monetary award that is determined by a court of law to help compensate an aggrieved individual for any losses or injuries sustained as a result of someone’s negligence.

Economic Damages

Economic damages are intended to compensate a plaintiff for losses that a dollar amount can readily be attached to. Economic damages are calculated by determining the amount of out-of-pocket losses an aggrieved individual has or will expect to incur as a result of their injuries.

A few examples of economic losses include:

  • Loss of Earning Capacity
  • Medical Bills
  • Lost Wages

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages are essentially intended to cover losses that are thought of as subjective and will not necessarily cover out-of-pocket losses. Non-economic damages may include compensation for:

  • Emotional Distress
  • Pain and Suffering
  • Loss of Enjoyment of Life

Punitive Damages

The third type of damages a California court may award are known as punitive damages. Punitive damages are intended as punishment and are only awarded when a defendant’s behavior is especially harmful. Punitive damages are relatively rare and in fact were only incorporated in 5 percent of all verdicts.

Furthermore, there is no real set standard for calculating and awarding punitive damages. Punitive damages are awarded at the court’s discretion and will vary depending on the specific circumstances of a case.

Contact West Coast Trial Lawyers to Find Out How We Can Help

If you or a loved one was injured on someone’s premises and would like to file a claim against the property owner, our team of expert premises liability attorneys at West Coast Trial Lawyers will help you get the compensation you deserve for the losses you have suffered, which includes medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Contact us today at (888) 341-9802 or email [email protected] to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with our caring, compassionate, and experienced legal team.


If you have been injured in an accident, you can count on the legal team at West Coast Trial Lawyers to fight for your rights every step of the way. Contact us today to schedule your free case evaluation with a personal injury attorney.
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