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What Is California’s Premises Liability Law?

Premise liability is a law that ensures that a person’s or company’s property is safe for others to access and use. Understanding California’s premise liability law is critical for anyone hurt while visiting another person’s home, a government, or a commercial location.

The goal of premise liability law is always to protect others from dangerous conditions that the property owner should have known were present and did not take steps to rectify them. The person responsible, such as the property owner, may be required to pay economic and non-economic damages to the victim. Talk to a Los Angeles premises liability attorney from The Liberatore Law Firm today.

Duty of Care

One of the components of the premise liability law in California is establishing the duty of care. This means the owner is responsible for keeping their property free from hazardous conditions. This means they must perform routine inspections and then fix or improve the risks present or warn about the unsafe property conditions so that others do not engage with it.

Examples of the dangers a property owner should know about and take care of include:

  • Unreasonable risk of harm associated with the condition of the property (this could include, for example, that the stairs leading up to the home were faulty)
  • The owner should have known or did know about the incident and could have fixed the problem with reasonable care
  • The owner failed to remedy or prevent this or warn about the condition well enough.

Unsafe Conditions Put Others at Risk

Under California’s premise liability law, a property owner must keep the property safe for anyone who enters it. For example, a person walking up [the driveway] could be at risk if a dangerous object is on the driveway. If the property owner places a sign warning of the risk, and that sign can easily be seen, then they have done their part.

Premise liability does not just apply to residential property. It also applies to commercial property. If a commercial retailer, for example, opens their business, a person walking in as a customer should be able to assume that it is safe for them to be there. However, if the floors are slick or an electrical hazard, that limits that safety.

In these situations, you must establish that the owner or manager knew about the problem or should have known about it. You must then show that the property owner or manager did not take steps to rectify the problem, warn about it, or do so effectively. In these situations, if you suffer injuries that lead to financial or other losses, you may be able to file a claim for those losses.

Premise liability laws can be challenging, but they are designed to help ensure that people can safely move around society without the risk of being hurt through no fault. If you suffered losses like these, seeking legal support from an attorney is critical.