Premises Liability
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All property owners have a legal obligation to keep their premises safe from any hazardous conditions. The term “premises liability” refers to injures caused by the negligence of a property owner. Usually, in these types of cases, the property owner neglects to protect the safety of an “invitee” or someone else invited onto the property.

Under the California Civil Code “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…” (1714 (a)).


At times the government or a private land owner may be responsible for your injuries due to failing to maintain the property in a safe and reasonable condition. Property owners owe a duty of care to maintain the premises, conduct reasonable inspections, and repair any harmful conditions in a timely manner.

Accordingly, if you have been injured you may recover for your:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost earnings
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of consortium
  • Emotional distress

If you are unsure of what to do please contact Yamin Law and we will guide you towards the right path in treating your injuries and getting you the compensation you deserve.

Types of Premises Liability

Slip and Falls

Slip and Fall cases are amongst the most common premise liability cases. Accidents of this nature are frequently prevalent at grocery stores, drug stores, gyms, swimming pools, and elevators.

Chemical and Toxic Fumes

A landlord may be held liable if they knowingly allowed mold, asbestos, or lead exposure on their property. This could be considered highly dangerous and could lead to death or long-term sickness.

Inadequate Maintenance of the Premises

As time goes on, certain structural and mechanical systems may degrade or begin to fail. For example, conditions like broken or chipped stairs, cracked sidewalks, uneven pavement, and other unkept structures are the property owner’s legal responsibility to maintain the property.

Inadequate Security

  • If the property owner failed to provide adequate security for business patrons, shoppers, or students at a college campus the property owner may be liable for a negligence claim under premises liability.
  • For example, if the property owner has knowledge or reasonably knew that the area was a high crime zone or there has recently been break-ins on the property and has not taken preventative measures the owner may be held liable for an incident that took place on the property. Some measures the property owner should have taken is to install cameras, higher security, and hang appropriate warning signs on the property.

Dog Bites

If a property owner’s dog bites someone on their property, they may be held liable to the victim’s injuries and damages.

Swimming pool accidents

Pool owners may be held liable when a swimmer or a visitor to the pool is injured. The pool owner has the duty to make the pool reasonably safe for its anticipated use.

Elevator accidents

Elevator accidents may be correlated with misleveling. The most common injury is a person tripping in or out of the elevator. Also, the injuries may happen if the elevator car exceeds recommended speeds or the elevator doors are dysfunctional (i.e dress getting caught). Property owners are responsible in maintaining their elevators and may be legally liable for any injuries that occurred in an elevator on their premises.


A property owner may be liable for a fire as a result of his or her negligence. The most common causes of fires are gas leaks, faulty outlets, improper electrical wiring, fire extinguishers not working properly, and improper materials used for building the property. A property owner in California must practice reasonable care for fire prevention and take necessary steps to assure their property is safe from any fire hazards.

Elements of Premises Liability

Anyone who has control over the property where you were injured can be held responsible for your injuries under California law (Alcarez v. Vece [1997] 14 Cal. 4th 1149).

To establish a claim the plaintiff must prove:

1) The Defendant owned/leased/occupied/controlled the property

2) The Defendant was negligent and failed to provide ordinary care in the use or maintenance of the property

3) The plaintiff was harmed due to the negligent care of the property

4) The Defendant’s negligence was a substantial factor in the cause of the injury

A Property Owner’s Duty of Care Depends Upon How the Plaintiff is Classified


  • The highest duty of care is afforded to an invitee. Invitees are on the property if the property owner has given them expressed or implied permission to be on their property. This is where the owner invites any person onto the property for the owner’s own commercial benefit or business dealings. Accordingly, courts generally find that a property owner’s duty to an invitee is to periodically inspect the property and premises for hazardous conditions.
  • Grocery and drug stores for example should periodically check their floors for any spills from liquids or merchandise as well as inspect the shelves to make sure they are secured from falling over.


  • A social guest in California is generally considered a licensee. Licensees are individuals who are invited by the owner to enter or remain on the premises and they generally do not engage in business or commercial activity. If the person is categorized as a licensee and injured, the property owner is liable if they should have known of the risk of danger and realized that the risk of harm was unreasonable.
  • For example, a homeowner who had knowledge of a broken step leading to his garage may be liable to a guest if the guest was injured due to that broken step. The homeowner had a duty to notify the guest of any dangers that may be in the home and the broken step could be considered as an unreasonable risk of harm to the guest.


  • A trespasser is a person who enters a person’s property without the owner’s express or implied permission. Generally, property owners have no duty owed to the trespasser unless the property owner is aware that there are trespassers present, if that may be the case the property owner may have to exercise ordinary care.
  • Lastly, a landowner owes a duty of care to child trespassers when the owner knows or has reason to know that children are likely to trespass. Due to a child’s age and inexperience they are unable to appreciate the risks involved in trespassing.

Yamin Law Is Here to Help

Contact Yamin Law if you or someone you care about has been hurt as a result of a property owner’s failure to maintain his or her property or failure to post conspicuous warning signs. Our knowledgeable legal team will work closely with you to ensure that you receive fair compensation for your injuries.


JUST CALL AT (310) 270-5898