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Premises Liability

Premises liability is a category of personal injury litigation where an individual suffered from harm while on another party’s property. California law states that every property owner has a legal obligation to maintain their premises. Any property owner who does not keep their property clear from hazards can be held responsible under premise liability law.

It is the responsibility of the owner of the property or establishment to maintain safe conditions for the public. If you have been injured on another’s property due to premise negligence, it is essential that you contact a personal injury attorney. Property owners that do not maintain their premises put others at the risk of slip and falls, trip and falls, assault, battery, or other dangerous incidents.

Los Angeles Lawyers for Premises Liability, CA

A property with hazardous conditions can create lasting physical harm and damages. The owner of the property is required to maintain a safe environment under California law. Any sort of negligence or recklessness while maintaining a property is a violation of their duty of care.

If you or someone you know has been injured due to another’s poorly maintained premises, it is imperative that you seek a premise liability attorney. The lawyers at Yarian & Associates, APC are dedicated to advocating for victims of negligent property owners. Injuries from slip and falls, battery, robbery, assault, or other hazardous events, can be costly and long-term. Do not let another party’s bad decisions dictate your life. Contact Yarian & Associates, APC, we accept clients throughout the greater Los Angeles County and Tulare County area and nearby cities including Visalia, Long Beach, Glendale, Irvine, Pasadena, Santa Monica, and Riverside.

We want to be your partner and guide you through this legal process. Call (844) 291-1911 or submit an online contact form for a free consultation today.

Overview of Premises Liability in California


What is Premises Liability?

Premises liability is the obligation of a property owner to upkeep certain conditions on their premises. He or she is to follow “duty of care” which is to keep their grounds reasonably safe and free of potential hazards. If potential hazards have occurred, the landowner is required to warn visitors of it.

California’s Jury Instructions state that certain elements must apply to successfully file a claim for premises liability.

  • That the defendant owned, leased, occupied, or controlled the property;
  • That the defendant was negligent in the use or maintenance of the property;
  • That the plaintiff was harmed; and
  • That the defendant’s negligence was a substantial factor in causing the plaintiff’s injury.

Premises liability incorporates private properties as well. When a person is injured on private property, the landowner still faces liability for the injury regardless if the property is residential or commercial.

A premises owner must do all that is reasonably possible to avoid injury on their property. Not maintaining wet floors, poorly illuminated stairs, damaged sidewalks, store flooring, and more can be considered premises liability.

If these points apply to you and your injury, it is important that you seek a personal injury attorney.


Causes for Property Liability

Premises liability applies to nearly all public and private properties in California. A claim for premises liability can range from small local businesses to large corporations. A few types of premises that can be held responsible include, but are not limited to:

  • Shopping centers or malls
  • Movie theatres
  • Water parks
  • Restaurants
  • Bars
  • Lounges
  • Night clubs
  • Sporting arenas
  • Playgrounds
  • Amusement or Theme Parks
  • Supermarkets
  • Offices
  • Parks
  • Museums
  • Universities
  • Schools
  • Parking lots

Unsafe conditions can exist in any number of ways. Normally, injuries sustained from poorly maintained premises are temporary conditions or dangerous areas that are not adequately marked. A few common causes for injury on a public or private property include, but are not limited to:

  • Cracked or broken sidewalks
  • Collapsing decks
  • Exposed wiring
  • Wet floors
  • Icy sidewalks
  • Poorly-marked steps, ramps, or slopes
  • Stairways without adequate handrails
  • Icy sidewalks
  • Malfunctioning elevators and escalators
  • Unmarked repair or construction sites
  • Bumps in carpets
  • Falling equipment
  • Negligent security
  • Dog bites or attacks
  • Failure to provide adequate lightning

Common Injuries for Premises Liability Cases

Injuries for premises liability can range from relatively minor to severely life-threatening. Psychological injuries can also be incorporated for premise liability, such as assault or sexual battery. A few common injuries for premise liability include, but are not limited to:

  • Broken or dislocated bones
  • Slip and falls & trip and falls
  • Traumatic head injuries
  • Amputation
  • Pool accidents
  • Lacerations, contusions, and abrasions
  • Neck injuries
  • Spinal injuries
  • Cosmetic disfigurement
  • Burns
  • Sexual assault
  • Assault
  • Battery
  • Dog bites

Trespassers vs. Licensees vs. Invitees

Victims in landowner liability laws are classified in three different ways. The conditions of the claim are heavily influenced by which category the plaintiff falls under. The categories a plaintiff can fall under as a visitor to the property include:

  • Invitee – This is a person who is invited upon the premises. He or she could be a customer coming in order to conduct business with the property owner. For instance, a shopper at any kind of retailer is considered an invitee since the landowner wants he or she to purchase merchandise. An invitee is treated with the highest duty of care.
  • Licensee – A licensee is an individual who enters the premises at the owner’s consent for a non-business purpose. Normally a licensee is a social guest of the landowner. To be able to recover damages as a licensee, the plaintiff must establish the following elements
    • The property owner should have known of the dangerous condition and should have known that it created an unreasonable risk of harm, and likewise reasonably he or she should have known that the plaintiff would not know of the dangerous condition.
    • The property owner did not make the condition safe or failed to warn the licensee of the condition
    • The licensee did not know of the dangerous condition or the risk involved
  • Trespassers – A trespasser is treated with no duty of care. Trespassers are people who have entered the premises without the possessor’s consent. Despite this, if a landowner knows of potential trespassers, he or she must give reasonable warning for dangerous conditions if it is not obvious.

Damages for Property Liability

Any person who has been injured on another’s property has the option of filing a claim. If he or she is successful in filing their claim they may be entitled to compensation for the following damages including:

  • Past, present, and future medical costs
  • Loss of present or projected earnings
  • Emotional and psychological distress
  • Pain and suffering

Additional Resources

California Civil Jury Instructions for Unsafe Conditions – Visit the website of the California Judicial Branch Home and find a downloadable copy of jury instructions for unsafe conditions. Read the documents that the jury themselves will follow to dictate their decision during litigation if you are injured on a business property or residential property.

When May You Hold a Property Owner Liable for Your Injuries? – Visit HG.org, a resource for legal professionals. Get answers for your questions such as: if someone is injured on your property are you liable, can you sue if you fall in a store, if someone trespasses on your property and get hurts are you liable, and more.


Find an Attorney for Premises Liability Claims in California

Suffering from an injury while on another party’s property can be a painful experience. You should not have to be in pain because of another person’s negligence. If you have been injured on another landowner’s property, it is vital that you obtain legal representation from a personal injury attorney.

Yarian & Associates, APC is comprised of a group of attorneys who are experienced in personal injury law. Our attorneys have an over two decades of experience. We are compassionate with our clients and are aggressive in fighting for what you deserve. You should not have to face this stressful situation alone. Do not wait another moment. Visit Yarian & Associates, APC, we accept clients throughout the greater Los Angeles-Long Beach metropolitan area and other adjoining communities including Glendale, Los Angeles, Pasadena, Santa Monica, Irvine, Riverside, and Visalia.

Dial (844) 291-1911 or submit an online contact form for a free consultation.



This article was last updated on June 20th, 2018.

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