Premises Liability Frequently Asked Questions

a person walking up a set of stairs

California’s Civil Code section 3-1714 states that owners and occupiers of property have a duty to maintain the premises in a reasonably safe condition. California law places an affirmative duty on property owners and occupiers to routinely inspect the premises and make dangerous conditions safe. 

What Elements Must Be Proven in a Premises Liability Case?

To receive compensation for injuries resulting from an unsafe condition, a plaintiff must show: 

  1. The defendant owned, occupied, or otherwise controlled the premises;
  2. The defendant was negligent in maintaining the property so that it would be safe for visitors;
  3. The plaintiff was injured because of the defendant’s negligence in maintaining the property; and
  4. The harm suffered by the plaintiff caused actual damages. 

What Factors Are Considered by a Court to Determine if the Property Owner or Occupier Acted Negligently?

When determining whether a property owner or occupier acted unreasonably in maintaining safe premises, the Court will consider: 

  • The location of the property in question
  • The likelihood that it would be used by other 
  • Whether an injury is likely to occur and the gravity of such injury
  • Whether the defendant knew or should have known of the unsafe condition based on obviousness of the condition, complaints from visitors, and other factors
  • The defendant’s control over an unsafe condition that caused injury to a visitor

However, this list above is not exhaustive, and a court will consider any other factors that it deems relevant to the case. 

What Type of Situations Can Cause Injuries?

Common situations in which an owner or occupier of a property will be held liable for injuries caused by a dangerous condition include: 

  • Slip and fall accidents 
  • Animal bites 
  • Accidents occurring at amusement parks
  • Accidents occurring at a person’s home
  • Construction site accidents 
  • Accidents caused by unsafe stairwells

What Damages Are Available if I am Injured on the Property of Someone Else?

Common damages awarded in a premises liability case include those for pain and suffering, past and future medical expenses, lost wages, and emotional distress. Courts avoid awarding punitive damages, or those intending to punish the wrongdoing. However, they may be awarded where the owner or occupier caused severe injury or death through their negligence, intentionally destroyed evidence, or intentionally caused the accident. 

Who Can Be Held Liable for My Injuries?

While the owner can be held liable for your injuries resulting from a dangerous condition on his or her property, there are other classes of individuals who are in control of the property that can be held liable, including: 

  • Occupiers, such as lessees and tenants
  • Employees 
  • Managers, supervisors, and other authoritative figures present on a business property 

What if I Was Injured on the Property of Someone Else?

If you were injured on someone else’s property, call the personal injury lawyers at Jahrmarkt and Associates, PLLC. Our experienced attorneys will help you understand whether you were injured by an unreasonably dangerous condition and fight for the compensation you deserve. Call (310) 226-7676 or visit our website to schedule your free consultation.