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Premises Liability Attorney in Lakeport and Woodland Hills, California

If you’ve been injured on someone’s property, the prospect of fighting the owner for damages can add extra stress to your situation. It’s in your best interest to work with a premises liability attorney who can help you gather evidence, present your case to the court, and provide guidance and advice throughout the process.

You can rely on us at G. Aldrich Law. Our attorneys—George Aldrich and Matt Zavala—are passionate about assisting people who have suffered due to someone else’s negligence. We’re ready to fight for the compensation you need to begin the path to recovery. Give us a call to set up a free consultation. We have locations in Lakeport and Woodland Hills, California 

Understanding Premises Liability

Before you pursue a premises liability claim, it’s important to understand the laws surrounding premises liability in California. 

What is it? 

“Premises liability” describes the area of law covering the determination of fault if someone is injured due to a dangerous condition on someone else’s property. 

Who can be held liable? 

Generally, premises liability claims are decided based on whether the owner of a property with a dangerous condition was negligent (i.e., they had a duty of care that they did not perform), and whether you were injured due to that dangerous condition and negligence.  

What are some examples of common Premises Liability claims?

Some of the most common premises liability claims include: 

  • Falls caused by improperly maintained buildings, dangerous layers of snow or ice on the premises, liquids on the floor, hidden extension cords, etc. 

  • Injuries due to unsecured or badly-secured buildings (stores, apartment buildings, etc.) in an area in which criminal activity has taken place  

  • Bites/scratches from dangerous animals 

Honest Advice After an Injury


Property Owner Duty of Care

California follows the “reasonable care approach” to premises liability. Unlike some other states, in which the duty of care differs if the plaintiff who was injured on the property was a trespasser (requiring the least amount of care), licensee, or invitee (requiring the most care), California maintains that a property owner owes a reasonable duty of care to anyone who enters their property. This means that they must keep the property safe and use reasonable care to discover and fix any dangerous conditions or warn others of those conditions on the property.

California switched from a “status-based approach” to a “reasonable care” approach to premises liability after the California Supreme Court case Rowland vs. Christian in 1968.  

California’s “reasonable care approach” allows that even trespassers on your property can file a premises liability claim against property owners. In California, you must not purposely set out to injure trespassers on your property, and you must make sure that hazards on your property are properly signposted or made safer so that a reasonable person would see the hazard and know to avoid it (for example, with a “Beware of Dog” sign or a fence surrounding the dog, or a fence around a construction area). However, an exception exists if you harm a trespasser who intends to harm you or others.  

Private Property vs. Public Property Claims

You can file a claim against any property owner who you think was negligent and who contributed to your injury. You can bring a claim against a neighbor (say, if you trip and fall at your neighbor’s house due to an improperly maintained stairway), a store or restaurant (for example, if you slip on liquid on the floor), or a government entity. 

To file a claim against a government entity, the entity must have had advance notice or knowledge of a dangerous condition on their property and done nothing, resulting in your injury. You can also file a claim if you can prove that an employee of that entity created the dangerous condition through their own negligence. 

The “Attractive Nuisance” Doctrine

At the time of writing this article, California no longer has an “attractive nuisance” doctrine, which is a law that would make a property owner liable if children trespassed on their property due to an alluring object—such as a pool or trampoline—and were then injured on the property. California no longer has specific laws regarding homeowners’ protection of trespassing children; at present, a property owner’s “reasonable duty of care” is more general. 

Comparative Fault in California

California is a “comparative fault” state. In “comparative fault” states, each party is assigned a percentage of fault. California is also a “pure comparative fault” state, meaning that—unlike in other states in which you are not able to pursue a personal injury claim if you are found to be 50 percent or more at fault for an accident—you can claim damages even if you were 99 percent at fault for the accident. (In this case, however, you would only be able to collect 1 percent of whatever your total damages amount to.)

The other party in your premises liability case may try to insist that you were negligent in some way. For example, if you slipped on a large puddle of spilled liquid in a grocery store, the property owner may try to argue that (providing you aren’t vision-impaired) you should have reasonably been able to see and avoid the hazard.  

However, thanks to the comparative fault law, you can claim damages even if you are found partially at fault for an accident.

Premises Liability Attorney in Lakeport and Woodland Hills, California

At G. Aldrich Law, we understand that negligent property owners and insurance companies are likely to try to avoid paying out the full amount of compensation that you deserve. We are here to help you. Call us at G. Aldrich Law in Lakeport and Woodland Hills, California, also serving other areas in Lake County and Los Angeles County as well as Colusa, Riverside, and surrounding Northern and Southern California counties.