Determining Liability in a Premises Liability Case
Who Can Be Found At-Fault in a Premises Liability Case?
In order to successfully pursue a claim for premises liability, an injured person needs to show that a property owner was negligent regarding property ownership or maintenance. However, just because you were hurt on someone else’s property does not automatically mean that a property owner was negligent. Also, a property that presents a hazardous condition does not automatically imply that a property owner was negligent, either.
Premises liability cases can be quite complex to deal with as multiple factors are considered when determining who is at-fault. At West Coast Trial Lawyers, our skilled premises liability attorneys have over 60 years of collective legal experience in handling personal injury cases. With our track record of winning more than $1 billion in settlements for our clients, we are confident that we will deliver a good outcome to your settlement.
Premises Liability 101
According to California Civil Code 1714(a): “Everyone is responsible, not only for the result of his or her willful acts, but also for an injury occasioned to another by his or her want of ordinary care or skill in the management of his or her property or person.”
Premises liability lawsuits require an injured individual to prove that he or she was hurt specifically because of a property owner/manager’s negligence. Specifically, an injured person must show that the:
- Defendant leased, owned, occupied, or was in control of the property where the incident took place
- Defendant acted negligently regarding the use or maintenance of that property
- Plaintiff suffered injuries
- Defendant's negligence was the primary reason for a plaintiff's injuries
All property owners have a duty of care to maintain their premises in reasonably safe conditions. A duty of care for a property owner means he or she must take the same action that another reasonable property owner should take or should have taken under similar circumstances.
When determining whether or not a property owner or manager breached his or her duty of care, the following elements will be considered:
- How likely is an injury to occur given the circumstances?
- How serious could such an injury be in these circumstances?
- Did the owner know about or should have known about the hazardous condition that caused the accident?
- Where is the property located?
- How much of a burden would it have been to minimize or eliminate the hazardous condition?
- How much control did the property owner have over the hazardous condition?
Who Is At-Fault in a Premises Liability Case?
Someone who was hurt on another person’s property is entitled to file a premises liability claim against the person or company that owns, leases, occupies, or controls the property where the accident took place.
Property owners or managers do not make themselves immune to liability by delegating the task of property maintenance. A property owner or manager is responsible for the safety of their premises, even if they hire someone else who is later found guilty of negligence.
Anytime a hazardous condition contributes to causing injuries, the property owner or manager can be held responsible for the resulting damages. According to respondeat superior laws, the principal will always be held liable for the negligence of one of their agents.
The defendant(s) in a premises liability suit can include:
- Business owners
- Tenants or renters
- The property management company
- Retail centers
- Any employees of the above
Contact Us to Find Out How We Can Help
If you have sustained injuries as a result of a premises liability accident, our experienced premises liability attorneys at West Coast Trial Lawyers can help you recover financial compensation for the losses you have suffered, including medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
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