Premises Liability 101
I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Premises Liability Attorney. With the recent housing market boom, many people are investing in real estate. If you are a homeowner, landlord, or tenant, the following information on premises liability may be of interest to you.
What is Premises Liability?
Sacramento property owners owe a duty to exercise reasonable care in the maintenance of their property. Owners are expected to inspect and discover unsafe conditions on their property, and to repair, replace and/or warn others of any unsafe conditions present. “Reasonable care” is based on the factors particular to any case; for example: how long the issue existed, the likelihood and seriousness of probable harm, and the difficulty of protecting against that risk.
Owners who fail to use reasonable care are exposing themselves to the potential for premises liability claims if someone is injured by a dangerous defect on their property.
Hazards in the Home
There are many features found in homes that can be hazardous if left in a defective condition. Here are some common issues with the potential for premises liability claims:
- Damaged or missing steps (defective stairs)
- Broken fences or gates
- Defective balconies and porches
- Uneven or cracked pavement
- Unsafe pools
Common Injuries and Damages
Injuries are likely to occur when owners neglect to care for maintenance of their property. Typical injuries include lacerations, broken bones, brain and spinal cord injuries, burns, or in catastrophic cases even death.
Injured parties may seek recoverable damages including past and future medical expenses, lost wages, loss of consortium, and pain and suffering. The financial costs in cases involving serious injuries can be substantial.
No prior injuries need to have occurred for a property owner to be responsible for a dangerous defect. An unsafe situation may have existed for many years without incident- the property owner is still liable when someone gets hurt.
The Property Owner’s Responsibility
Property Owners are responsible for the safe maintenance of their property. This duty cannot be delegated to independent contractors, property managers, or inspectors. It is the property owner’s duty to maintain their property in reasonably safe condition.
Landlords have a duty to maintain their rental properties. At the beginning of a new lease, landlords should inspect their properties and perform periodic inspections in common areas. Landlords are expected to take appropriate measures to remedy unsafe conditions. Landlords can also be responsible for dog bites: read more about landlord dog bite liability here.
Related Articles by Sacramento Premises Liability Lawyer, Ed Smith:
Sacramento Premises Liability Lawyer
My name is Ed Smith, and I’m a Sacramento Premises Liability Attorney. If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident because of the negligence of a property owner, please call me today at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 for free and friendly advice with no obligation. You can also reach me at AutoAccident.com.
Some of my past Verdicts and Settlements are available online.
I am honored to be a member of the Million Dollar Forum, an association of trial lawyers who have achieved case verdicts and settlements in excess of $1 Million.
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons, Single Family Home by SanjibLemar. Public Domain
:rey [cs 580] cv