FULLERTON Premises Liability Lawyer


There are areas of law that hold property owners accountable whenever someone suffers injuries on their premises to do one danger or another. In these difficult situations, it can be challenging to recognize where your rights stand and what ability you have to file a lawsuit against the person liable for your injuries. This is considered premises liability law and it’s often complex to try and manage your case. Luckily, you have the right to have legal counsel on your side to guide you through the entire process. 

Our Fullerton premises liability lawyer at Pirnia Law Group is here, ready to help you every step of the way. We recognize the various issues concerning premises liability cases in the state of California, as well as the ways to show liability. It’s our mission to provide the injured with a voice in the most uncertain times, allowing them to feel confident in their pursuit of compensation. 

When it comes to strong representation, our team has significant experience in the area of premises liability law. After all, this is a case type that can encompass many different situations and multiple acts of negligence. By hiring legal counsel, you strengthen your case and give yourself an option to pursue compensation without worrying about your rights being taken advantage of by the defendant and a large insurance company.

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What are Common Premises Liability Cases?

Premises liability cases can vary greatly, but there’s usually one common situation involved: negligence. Under premises liability laws, it’s vital to recognize where property owners may be liable for causing someone on their property harm.

Before you recognize the way California handles these types of cases, you should understand the various ways these cases occur. Below, we’ll detail some of the most common cases that arise in premises liability law and what potential causes can be.

  • Slip and fall cases: Whether there is a slippery floor, uneven pavement, slick stairs, or hidden electrical lines, there are many hazards that can cause you to slip and fall. If you can show that the property owner was aware of any of these problems that caused you to slip and fall, then he or she is considered responsible for damages you may sustain such as brain or spine injuries.

  • Inadequate security: Retail businesses and other places where many people visit should ensure that there is proper and adequate security in place whether it be cameras, a security guard, or even adequate lighting. If the property owner fails to provide such resources, they’re considered liable should an injury occur because of negligence or because of a physical altercation.

  • Dangerous work conditions: There are many occupations that enter someone else’s property for workers to be able to do their job. As they are there legally, the property owner has a duty to ensure there are no hazards or there are warnings to prevent harm. Failure in this situation could result in some of the most catastrophic injuries.

Unfortunately, premises liability matters can occur in any given situation. On public property, there may be uneven pavement that causes a slip and fall. In this situation, it may be a government entity responsible for the damages because of their lack of maintenance. On private property, such as a restaurant or gym, the property owner is most often liable if they receive reports of a danger and do nothing to warn patrons or fix the issue. In any case, having a lawyer is essential to pursuing compensation and justice.

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How Does California Manage These Cases?

California law factors in liability and categorization when determining fault and compensation in these types of cases. Liability is something that you must show to prove that a property owner was responsible for your injuries.

When proving liability in a premises liability case, you must show the following: 

  • The property or premises had a hazard or dangerous condition that could result in you suffering significant injury should you encounter the danger.
  • The property owner was aware of the potential danger and had previously received reports of the danger.
  • The property owner did not take action to either fix the issue or provide adequate warning of the hazard’s presence to prevent harm.
  • The hazard was the cause of your injury and you can prove that there was negligence in the care and maintenance of the property.

The other factor that is considered in premises liability law is the categorization of the person who suffers the injury. Premises liability cases break down the plaintiff into one of three different categories when determining his or her rights. These three categories include invitees, licensees, and trespassers. The law determines what role each of these categories have and which ones have rights on someone else’s property. 

  • Licensees: This is the term used for social guests who are invited on someone else’s property. For instance, you’re the friend of someone who invited you over to their home for a barbecue. In this situation, if you suffer an injury, you’re able to show that you are there legally. You still must also show that the owner or occupier was aware of the danger and they did nothing to fix it. You must also show that you were unaware of the danger, indicating that you had not received proper warning prior to the injury occurring.

  • Invitees: An invitee is someone who is legally allowed on someone’s property for the commercial benefit of the property owner. Apartment tenants and shoppers would be considered invitees because the property owner gains monetary compensation by the invitee’s presence. Because of this, they are legally allowed on the property and the owner or occupier has the responsibility of warning of a potential hazard or ensuring the premises is free of danger.

  • Trespassers: Premises liability laws concerning trespassers seem like they’d be simple enough; you would think a property owner owes them no responsibility. There are some things that can complicate these matters, though. If a trespasser is on someone’s property illegally and intends on committing a criminal act, the property owner does not have to keep this individual free from harm. Even without criminal intent, someone on a property illegally cannot file a premises liability case against the property owner if they suffer harm. The only time the trespasser has any rights is if the property owner has knowledge of the trespasser being on the property on a regular basis (such as a teenager who often loses a ball in the property owner’s yard).

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Occupier Liability vs. Property Owner Responsibility

Recognizing the differences between occupier liability and property owner liability is important in filing a claim. When you hold a property owner accountable, it’s because you suffered harm on his or her property and he or she knew of the potential hazard.

However, if an occupier is involved, it can change the situation considerably, also impacting who you file a lawsuit against and the insurance coverage available to take care of your compensation. 

For occupier liability, consider the following scenario: You are invited to a social gathering at your friend’s house where he or she is renting. You enter the home, go to the backyard, and walk down the steps when the handrail breaks. You fall and suffer a severe injury. Who’s responsible. If the occupier (renter) knew of the danger and reported it to the landlord to be fixed, the property owner may hold liability. If the occupier knew of the danger, but never reported it to the landlord for repairs, the occupier may be liable. 

The Responsibility of the Property Owner

Any property owner who has someone on his or her premises in a legal capacity owes a duty of care. Like all personal injury matters, when a duty of care exists, it cannot be breached without potential consequences.

In these situations, the consequence comes in the form of a premises liability lawsuit.

The property owner has the following responsibilities to those legally on his or her grounds:

  • To fix any danger or hazard that may exist on the property of which they know about
  • To warn of any hazard that has not yet been fixed and remedied
  • To provide adequate care whenever someone is legally on his or her property
  • To ensure safety is a top priority to invitees or licensees


Is Premises Liability the Same as Negligence?

Premises liability is a type of law that dictates how property owners must care for invitees and licensees on their property.

For instance, premises liability is what grocery stores have to ensure all shoppers are safe. Negligence, on the other hand, is an act that would violate that duty of care and allow an injured party to bring forth a premises liability lawsuit.

It encompasses any negligent act on a property which the owner of the premises knows about yet either doesn’t fix or fails to provide the general public warning.

Who Should a Premises Liability Lawsuit Be Made Against?

A premises liability lawsuit is often made against either the property owner or the occupier, depending on who is negligent.

A property owner is negligent when he or she knows about a potential danger, yet does nothing to stop harm from occurring. An occupier is negligent if he or she knows of the danger and doesn’t report it to the property owner to be fixed.

For instance, a tenant in an apartment building has torn and lifted carpet, but never tells the landlord. A friend comes over, trips and falls. The occupier is liable because he or she never reported the issue for correction.

What is a Liability Attorney?

A liability attorney is a legal professional who looks into situations where individuals may be negligent to determine where a person may be held responsible.

Typically, liability attorneys focus on civil matters that rely on pursuing compensation from a negligent party to be paid to an injured party for damages sustained. In a premises liability case, the liability attorney works to help the injured person pursue compensation against a property owner.

What is Involved in a Premises Liability Case?

A premises liability case involves showing a few different factors to hold someone accountable. First, you must show that you were an invitee or licensee, meaning the property owner had a duty of care to keep you safe.

You must show that a danger did exist that would breach that duty of care. You must also show that the property owner was aware of the danger, but did not take action to remedy the problem.

Finally, you must show you suffered injuries on that danger and that the property owner should be held responsible for compensation.

What Happens if Someone Gets Hurt on My Property?

If someone is legally on your property and they suffer harm, you need to work to defend yourself from the impending legal action. You need to show that either you were unaware of the danger, or that the person was trespassing on your property and you did not owe him or her a duty of care.

If there is a valid claim, you can expect this lawsuit to go through your homeowner’s, renter’s, or business insurance provider depending on where the incident occurred. Having a defense attorney on your side to prove that you were not negligent is your best chance at preventing significant losses. 

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At Pirnia Law Group, we know that these matters can be complicated. Pursuing compensation shouldn’t be another burden you have to shoulder, especially when you’re dealing with physical pain, emotional suffering, and financial hardships.

Our team works with you on contingency fees so you can get strong legal counsel, but you don’t have to pay unless we win. This is a testament to our care for your needs, but also to our confidence in helping you during a time when you need it most. 

For a free consultation with our skilled legal team, we encourage you to contact our firm today. We’re ready to help you!