Premises Liability Attorney in Los Angeles
An Overview of Premises Liability, Types of Accidents & Injuries
Explanation of Premises Liability Law
Premises liability laws hold property or business owners legally responsible for accidental injuries to visitors on their property if those injures can be proven to result from the property owner’s negligence. All property owners and tenants are required by California law to keep their property or business safe.
When Premises Liability Applies
For premises liability to apply the plaintiff must be the victim of a property owner’s negligence or other wrongful act. Premises liability does not normally apply to those injured in the workplace unless special circumstances are in evidence.
Premises liability can seem straightforward. If a visitor falls on a broken step that the homeowner or property owner knew about but did not rectify or warn the visitor of, then the property owner can be considered responsible for the fall. In this case premises liability appears clear and obvious, but it is often much more complicated. For example, public areas such as the sidewalks in front of shops are considered to be the responsibility of the shop owner to keep clear of snow or debris, even though they do not legally own the sidewalk. Or, in the case of third party premises liability, a property owner may be considered partially responsible for a crime committed to another person while on their property, even though they themselves did not commit the crime.
Premises Liability- Duty of Care
Property owners and tenants are considered to owe all visitors a duty of care, whether they are invitees, visitors or trespassers. Those responsible under for premises liability may include the owners of private residences, business owners, and rental tenants.
Premises Liability- Comparative Fault and Reasonable Care
Premises liability actions against a property owner may be limited if it can be argued that the injured party was partially at fault for the accident. This is called comparative fault. A visitor or invitee to a property is considered to have a duty to exercise all reasonable care for his or her own safety. If that reasonable care is not exercised appropriately and it can be proven that any injury was partially or fully a result of the visitor’s negligence, the plaintiff’s recovery can be limited or reduced.
Premises Liability- Landlords and Tenants
Another instance in which premises liability may be limited is in the case of landlords. Legally referred to as lessors, landlords are generally not held responsible for any physical injury to their tenants or lessees, or anyone else who visits their rental property that occurs as a result of a hazardous condition on the property. This is because the landlords have a presumed lack of control over their property once it has been leased, and all hazards are considered the responsibility of the tenants. However, there are exceptions. For example, if there is a dangerous condition that existed at the time the tenant took possession of the property that the landlord knew of or had reason to know of, then the landlord may be legally responsible under premises liability law for injuries or damages occurring to visitors or tenants as a result of the hazard.
Types of Accidents & Injuries Covered by Premises Liability Laws
Slip and fall accidents are the most common type of accident caused by owner negligence. Any business or property owner that fails to repair or clean hazards such as broken stairs or wet floors that injure a visitor due to a slip and fall may be held liable for damages. Other injuries and accidents that occur on properties due to the negligence of property owners are accidents or crimes resulting from poor lighting conditions or lack of security, fires and burns, electrocutions, falls from roofs or ladders, all manner of swimming pool related injuries and poisoning or illness due to exposure to hazardous wastes or materials.
Premises Liability Injury & Accident Articles