Common California Premises Liability Questions

Santa Rosa Personal Injury Lawyer Explains California Premises Liability Laws

Picture of man in trip and fall accidentPremises liability is a practice area of personal injury law that deals with injuries on another person’s property. For instance, you may be able to file a premises liability lawsuit if you or your child suffered a slip and fall injury on another person’s property while trick-or-treating on Halloween.

In California and many other states, you may be able to recover compensation for damages caused by an injury. You would file a claim against the property owner or possibly the company or entity that maintains the property. However, your ability to sue depends upon the circumstances. Below, we answer some of the most common questions about California premises liability law.

What Are Common Reasons to File a Premises Liability Lawsuit?

If you cannot negotiate a fair settlement with the other party’s insurance company, then it may be necessary to file a lawsuit to recover adequate compensation. You may file a premises liability lawsuit for reasons that include:

  • Slip and fall accidents
  • Dog bites or dog attacks
  • Electrical accidents, such as loose wiring
  • Objects falling from high surfaces
  • Assaults resulting from negligent security
  • Structural defects

These are only a few examples of accidents that may necessitate a premises liability claim.

Can I File a Slip and Fall Lawsuit?

Only certain people can file a successful premises liability lawsuit. With a premises liability claim, you must be able to demonstrate that the defendant, who may be the property owner, owed you a duty of care, violated that duty of care, and caused you to suffer damages as a result. You must be able to show the defendant’s negligence caused you harm.

In addition to being able to show the property owner owed you a duty of care, you must also be within the statute of limitations to file a lawsuit. In California, you generally have two years to file a lawsuit if your accident resulted in an injury. The same is true for accidents that resulted in wrongful death. There are exceptions where you can toll the statute of limitations.

If your claim involves a government entity, there are additional requirements for filing a lawsuit. You also have less time to begin the process.

Can I Sue for a Dog Bite in California?

California dog owners may be strictly liable for dog bites. It does not matter whether the owner knew his or her dog was dangerous. In addition, owners may be liable for bites that do not occur on their property.

There are some limitations to California’s strict liability rule. If you antagonized the dog and it bit you as a result, then the strict liability rule may not apply. You may be unable to recover compensation if you were trespassing on private property. California’s dog bite rule applies if you were on public property or lawfully on private property.

If a law enforcement or military canine bit you while carrying out its duties, California’s dog bite rule may not apply. We encourage you to contact us if you have questions about bringing a claim under California’s strict liability rule for dog bites or other state laws relating to dangerous animals.

What Damages Can I Recover in a California Premises Liability Lawsuit?

Compensation from a premises liability lawsuit can cover economic and noneconomic damages. For instance, you may be able to recover compensation for medical expenses, such as hospital and rehabilitation bills.

If your injury kept you from being able to work, either temporarily or permanently, then you may be able to recover compensation for lost wages. In some cases, you can recover compensation for lost future earnings, which is income you would have made had the injury never occurred.

Some injuries leave emotional scars. For example, if a dog attacks and severely injures a small child, he or she may suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or pain and suffering brought on by disfigurement. You may be able to recover damages for pain and suffering. These are also called “noneconomic damages”.

How much you can recover from a settlement or verdict depends on the circumstances. Many personal injury lawyers work with medical experts to determine a client’s damages.

Contact Our Santa Rosa Slip and Fall Lawyer for a Free Consultation

You can schedule a free consultation with our Santa Rosa slip and fall lawyer if you have questions about filing a premises liability lawsuit in California. We can explain state law and how it applies to your situation. To schedule a free consultation with Flahavan Law Offices, dial (707) 833-8614 or use the contact form on our site.