Premises liability is a nuanced segment of personal injury law that places a duty on property owners to ensure their spaces are safe for those who enter. Slip-and-fall and trip-and-fall accidents are similar mishaps that can open the door to complex legal claims against property owners. However, a property owner is not always liable for fall injuries. Understanding when a property owner may be responsible under California law requires an in-depth examination.
A closer look at California’s laws
According to the California Civil Code section 1714(a), “everyone is responsible, not only for the result of his or her willful acts, but also for an injury occasioned to another by his or her want of ordinary care or skill in the management of his or her property or person, except so far as the latter has, willfully or by want of ordinary care, brought the injury upon himself or herself.”
Individuals are accountable for the harm caused by their actions or failure to exercise ordinary care in managing their property. While a property owner can be liable for fall injuries on their premises, the law also recognizes that visitors have a duty to exercise care for their own safety. Simply put, a fall does not guarantee a premises liability claim. For a claim to be valid, the injuries must result from the property owner’s negligence or recklessness.
Determining a property owner ‘s negligence
In California, a property owner is negligent when they do not address a dangerous condition or fail to warn about it adequately. Owners must be aware or should have been aware of such hazards. Suppose they claim they did not know about the condition. In that case, they can still be found negligent if any person under the same circumstances would have known about the condition by exercising reasonable care.
Considering California’s premises liability laws, the path to holding a property owner accountable for fall injuries hinges on proving negligence. If you have suffered injuries due to a fall on someone else’s property, consulting with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney is crucial. They can help you navigate the intricacies of the law and advocate for your rights.