Working to Hold Negligent Property Owners Accountable
In California, property owners have a duty to provide premises that are reasonably safe for others. This is known as a “duty of care,” and it applies to all property owners—public, private, and municipal. Property owners owe this duty of care to anyone who is legally on their property, such as employees, tenants, customers, clients, guests, etc. Generally speaking, property owners do not owe this duty of care to trespassers, except in very limited circumstances.
If you were injured as a result of unsafe property conditions, and you believe a property owner acted negligently in maintaining a reasonably safe property, contact Saeedian Law Group for a free consultation with an experienced premises liability lawyer in Beverly Hills.
Examples of Property Owner Negligence
While all property owners owe a duty of care to legal visitors to their properties, the scope of this duty of care varies somewhat, depending on the circumstances. For example, a store owner typically owes a greater duty of care to her customers than a homeowner owes his friend who comes over for a visit. Store owners must either conduct routine maintenance or ensure that such maintenance is carried out by a manager or employee.
Homeowners, in contrast, do not need to routinely maintain their properties. However, this does not mean that a homeowner cannot be held liable for a dangerous condition if he or she is found to have acted negligently in fixing, addressing, or warning a visitor of the condition. The same is true of other types of property owners, such as owners of stores, offices, amusement parks, governmental buildings, medical facilities, and schools.
In order to bring a premises liability claim against a property owner, you must prove the following four elements:
- The Property Owner Owed You a Duty of Care: This can be established by showing that you were legally on the premises (as a customer, invited guest, employee, tenant, etc.) at the time of the incident. In cases of trespassing, victims may still be able to hold property owners liable. Some examples include when the trespasser is a minor or if the property owner actively tried to harm the trespasser.
- The Property Owner Breached this Duty of Care: To show this, you will need to prove that the property owner was negligent in some way. This is usually accomplished by showing that a dangerous condition existed and that the property owner knew of or should have known of the condition, yet did nothing to repair, fix, address, or warn others of the condition.
- You Suffered Injuries/Damages: You must be able to show that you were actually injured or that you suffered damages in some way. If you trip on uneven flooring in a doctor’s office and start to fall but catch yourself before you are injured, you will likely not be able to bring a successful premises liability claim.
- You Were Injured as a Result of the Breach of Duty of Care: You must show that your injuries and/or damages were a direct result of the property owner’s negligence/failure to uphold the duty of care he/she owed to you. For example, if you slipped and fell on a puddle of water in a store that was not marked and broke your wrist as a result, you will most likely be able to prove that the store owner’s negligence led to your broken wrist.
Dedicated Legal Representation You Can Rely On
At Saeedian Law Group, we represent individuals who have suffered serious injuries or the death of a loved one in all types of premises accidents. We can help you if you slipped and fell in a store, were bitten by a dog at someone’s home, suffered severe injuries in an amusement park accident, or lost a loved one in a drowning accident at a public pool. Our Beverly Hills premises liability attorney understands what you have been through; we are here to guide you through the legal process and seek the maximum compensation you are owed.
Contact Saeedian Law Group today for a free consultation: (310) 288-3000. We are available by phone 24/7.