Prior Awareness Of A Hazardous Condition
In the state of California, bad weather doesn’t generally play a large role in causing premises liability accidents. The most common weather conditions that may present an accident risk, however, are ice and snow.
If a property owner is already aware of the possibility of hazardous ice and snow, he or she is required to clear up that hazard for any guests or invitees who may be on their property. Failure to do so is an act of negligence.
Some accidents may also occur in parking lots or stairs. The same applies. A property owner is required to take reasonable steps to maintain safety on their premises, especially if they are already aware of the hazard. Failure to do so may result in liability.
For the most part a property owner will be sufficiently aware of the possibility of ice or snow on their property. Anytime an individual is harmed on a property where the foreknowledge of inclement weather is common knowledge, the odds will likely be stacked against the property owner. The greater the expectation of poor weather -- such as in a popular winter resort in the mountains -- the higher the expectation will be on a property owner to anticipate poor weather conditions and take the necessary steps to guarantee safety for their visitors.
Is There Enough Time to Clear The Hazard?
A property owner not only needs to be aware of a hazard, he or she needs to have enough time to take the necessary steps to address it. A property owner typically has up to 48 hours to remove ice and snow in order to avoid liability, especially if he or she is already aware that such hazards are a possibility. If a property owner delays in taking necessary action, he or she may likely be held liable for any losses caused due to their negligence.