Premises Liability

Los Angeles Lawyers Handling Premises Liability Lawsuits

The types of accidents that can lead to a premises liability lawsuit may happen inside or outside. Some common situations that give rise to liability for a property owner are slip and falls, cracks in the sidewalk, dog bites, broken balconies or railings, unsafe escalators or stairs, falling merchandise, and lack of security that results in criminal assaults. In California, courts examine whether property owners regularly inspected the property for dangerous conditions and repair hazards when they are found. All property owners are expected to pay attention to safety issues for those visiting the property, but property owners are not considered insurers of visitors' safety. Visitors must also act reasonably while on someone else's property. If you are hurt on someone else's property in Los Angeles and need to bring a premises liability lawsuit, let our experienced injury attorneys fight for the compensation to which you are entitled.

Liability for Dangerous Property and Inadequate Maintenance in Southern California

In California, most premises liability cases are brought based on principles of negligence. A plaintiff alleging he or she was harmed because of how a defendant managed the property must prove: (1) the defendant owned, occupied or controlled the property, (2) the defendant was negligent in using or maintaining the property, (3) the plaintiff was harmed and (4) the defendant's negligence was a substantial factor in causing the plaintiff's injuries.

Generally owners or possessors of property have a duty to act reasonably to keep property safe for others. The degree of care owed to children is higher because children cannot appreciate risks the way adults can. In California, unlike some other states, a property owner or occupier's duty to keep property safe exists whether the condition is natural or artificial.

California courts determine whether someone who controlled the property owed a duty to an injured plaintiff by balancing factors such as: foreseeability of harm, degree of certainty that a plaintiff was hurt, closeness of a causal connection between the defendant's acts and the injury, moral blame, public policy to prevent harm, burden to defendant of imposing a duty, and availability of insurance for the risk.

A key issue in whether a defendant was negligent in maintaining or using property is whether the defendant had actual knowledge of the dangerous condition. A defendant usually is not held responsible if he didn't have actual knowledge in spite of regularly inspecting the property and making repairs as necessary. However, a defendant can be held responsible under a theory of "constructive knowledge" where an owner or occupier failed to inspect the property regularly, but would have known of a particular danger had she or he inspected the property.

For example, a grocery store can be held accountable if a plaintiff who slipped and fell can prove that a spilled substance was on the floor for so long that a reasonable grocery store owner would have seen it and cleaned it up. Similarly, a hotel can be held responsible by a plaintiff who falls off a balcony due to a damaged railing if it can be shown that the railing was damaged for long enough that a reasonable hotel owner would have posted a warning sign or conducted a repair. Proof can be accomplished through witness testimony, photographs, video footage, and maintenance records.

Hire a Riverside Premises Liability Lawyer

It can be challenging to prove that a property owner knew or should have known about a dangerous property condition. Our Riverside premises liability attorneys at have years of experience gathering evidence for these cases on behalf of injured plaintiffs and recovering damages through presentation of claims to insurers or taking a case to trial. We represent accident victims in San Bernardino, Rancho Cucamonga, and Temecula. Contact us at 1-866-422-7222 or via our online form for a free, no-obligation consultation.

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