California law empowers injured parties to seek damages if their injuries are caused by a property owner’s negligence in supervising, flagging hazards, or maintaining a premise. Determining negligence, of course, depends on specific circumstances, such as the owner’s knowledge of prior accidents owing to the same condition on the property or the danger’s reasonable foreseeability. Lawyers earn their keep by demonstrating how these circumstances can shift responsibility depending on the context of an injury.
Broadly framed, the victim in a premises liability claim must demonstrate that they were harmed due to the defendant’s property management. This includes:
- Premises owned, occupied, leased, or controlled by the owner or its agents;
- The owner or its agents were negligent in maintaining and using the property;
- An injury occurred to the claimant;
- The owner or agent’s negligence caused the victim’s injuries.
Under California law, several standards exist to define negligence, or the failure to exercise ordinary care.
It is important to understand that a party need not own or possess the property to be considered liable. In certain circumstances, control over the premise will also trigger a duty, and potential liability, as when a security company is entrusted to maintain the safety of a public event.
Negligence is a defined legal term, requiring a showing of four elements that must be proven in order to establish a cause of action in premises liability.
- Breach of duty
Put simply, to prevail in such a case, an injured party must provide evidence that their injuries were caused by an owner’s neglectful conduct, and it should be shown how this conduct led directly to their injuries.
Damages Available In A Premises Liability Case in California
Compensation may be awarded in your case if liability is proven and may take any of the following forms:
- Medical care
- Lost Income
- Pain and Suffering
- Punitive Damages
Statute Of Limitations
Generally, injured claimants have two years from the date of their injury to file a lawsuit in premises liability cases. A lawsuit filed after this deadline will likely be dismissed, and the injured person will not recover anything.
Importantly, there is a major exception to the two-year statute of limitations in California:
- Statutes of limitations in claims against the government are a bit different than if you were filing against another private person or company. A lawsuit against a government agency is known as an “administrative claim” (which is a precursor to a lawsuit), and must be filed within six months of the injury. It is necessary to file an action within one year of the date of the breach or damage if the action is for breach of contract or real property damage.
In turn, the government must respond within forty-five days of a properly lodged claim. If it is denied, a claimant must file a lawsuit within six months from the date of denial.
Californians Deserve A Better Life. Contact A Premises Liability Lawyer In California
If you or a family member has sustained an injury due to the negligence of another party, call 415.360.5477 or contact us online for a free consultation.