If you were injured on the property of another, you may be considering filing a lawsuit seeking compensation for your injuries. In California, it is your right to recover damages from a negligent property owner, provided you could satisfy the requirements of California law.
If you are invited onto the property (invitee), a property owner has a duty of care to you. However a court may consider if you contributed to your own injury by being under the influence of drugs or alcohol, for instance. If you were intoxicated and fell, a court may rule that your condition was the main contributing factor to your injuries, not the negligence of the property owner. In some cases in California, but not all, someone who trespasses on the property and is injured will be unable to sue for damages.
California is one of a few states that do not adhere to the doctrine of attractive nuisances, since the law changed in 1970. Property owners can still be held legally accountable for harm suffered by trespassers, including children, now that the status of the victim is not a requirement for liability in California. There may be exceptions for liability for certain instances of trespassing.
Proving Premises Liability in California
For a California premises liability claim to be successful you, as the plaintiff, must prove the following:
· The property owner owed a you duty of care
· The owner failed to provide that body of care
· Your injury was the result of that failure
California premise liability claims no longer require a specific legal status of the victim when they are injured on the property of another. Today the centrality is determining whether reasonable care was used by the premise owner in maintaining the safety of the property, while being aware of foreseeable risks. With injury cases involving children the following questions need to be addressed:
· Did the property owner know, or should have known. that children would be likely to trespass?
· Did the property owner know or should have known about the risks to individuals, including children, on the property such as a swimming pool or a pond?
· Did the owner know that the child might not understand the risks posed by a hazardous condition?
· Did the premise owner have the ability to fix the hazardous condition?
If a property owner displayed a willful or malicious disregard of the protection of guests against hazards, the owner may be liable for injuries to the victim. For instance, an owner of a hotel knows that a deck railing is loose and could be a fall hazard, but neglects to warn guests and fails to fix the problem. Guests who fall from the deck and are injured will have grounds for holding the hotel owner liable.
Receiving Compensation for Your Injuries
With the complexities of California premise liability law, as well as the absence of an attractive nuisance doctrine, victims of falls and other accidents, and their loved ones, need to seek the counsel of experienced California premise liability lawyers. The lawyers will determine the condition of the hazard and whether or not the property owner knew about the situation and neglected to warn about it or take the steps necessary for correcting it. The legal team at Vititoe Law Group has represented countless victims of premises liability, winning substantial awards for medical bills, lost wages, both past and future, pain and suffering, and punitive damages. If you or someone you care for was injured, contact an experienced California premises liability lawyer for a free consultation to explore your legal options. Contact Vititoe Law for more information regarding your claim. Do not hesitate as the two-year window to file closes fast.