How can I prove premises liability in a California lawsuit?

If you have been injured on someone else’s property, you may have thought about filing a lawsuit seeking compensation for your damages. In California, there are specific laws that govern these claims.

To be successful, you will have to prove each of the following: 

  •        That the property owner owed you duty of care
  •        That the owner failed to provide that duty of care
  •        That your injury stemmed from that failure

Generally, a property owner has a duty of care to you if he or she invites you to the property. A court may take into consideration if the victim played a role in his or her own injury. If you were inebriated and fell, a court may determine that you caused your condition, not the negligence of the property owner. The law also states that someone who trespasses on the property and is injured generally will not be able to sue for damages.

However, if the property owner exhibited either a willful or malicious failure to protect guests against hazards, he or she may be liable for the victim’s injuries. For example, a store owner knows that the steps leading into the store are hazardous but fails to warn patrons about them nor fixes the issue. A customer who falls and is injured will have grounds to hold the store owner liable.

As the California Courts points out, you have two years from the date of your injury to file a lawsuit. While this information may be useful, it should not be taken as legal advice.