When you visit a business or another person’s home, you should have a reasonable expectation of safety. Business owners are obligated to provide safety, security, and cleanliness to any visitors who are legally present on their property. If that obligation is not met, property owners may be open to legal action through California premises liability laws. An experienced premises liability lawyer can help you understand your options in such a case.

California Premises Liability Laws

What Are California’s Premises Liability Laws?

The most significant part of California’s premises liability laws is the expectation of reasonable safety that property owners must abide by, regardless of location. California Civil Code 1714 dictates that property owners can be held liable for any injury that was sustained on their property and caused by their negligent behavior.

It is their job to replace or repair any hazards that could cause someone to injure themselves. At the very least, they must provide an adequate warning through a posted sign or verbal confirmation. If an injury happens on the property owner’s watch, and they either knew about the danger or should have known about it, that can be considered negligent behavior.

In this case, a property owner could be held liable for your medical bills, lost income, lost earning capacity, and pain and suffering, among other potential damages.

What Should I Do After a Premises Accident?

It may not be immediately obvious how to handle the aftermath of a premises accident in California. You could be feeling confused about what steps to take to protect yourself and ensure you navigate the legal process correctly. However, you may be due a certain amount in compensatory damages if your accident was the result of a property owner’s negligence. Here are some steps you can take to ensure your claim is as strong as it can be:

  • Seek Medical Attention: In the immediate aftermath of an accident, your first priority should be seeking medical attention. Premises accidents can be slips, trips, falls, animal bites, and other types of accidents that happen in public spaces or private homes.If you are not properly treated for your accident, you could find yourself dealing with long-term damage. Having a documented medical visit will also help provide documented medical records for your case.
  • Document the Scene: It is important that you take photographs of the accident scene, particularly of the dangerous conditions that led to your accident. This should be done as quickly as possible after it occurs.Any delay in documenting the scene can provide ample opportunity for the property owners to clean up the scene and risk erasing evidence. While documenting the scene, you should also speak to witnesses who may have seen the accident take place. Their statements may prove invaluable down the line.
  • Report the Accident: It is important to report the accident to the management and/or owners of the property. While reporting the accident, do not accept fault of any kind, either verbally or in writing. Even partially accepting blame can backfire on you during settlement negotiations or in court if the case goes to trial.
  • Contact a Lawyer: Retaining an experienced premises liability lawyer is a crucial step in a premises liability case. You will want someone with negotiation experience who is dedicated to recovering a sufficient settlement. You should contact a lawyer and discuss your case before speaking to any insurance companies about your accident. This includes providing a written statement as well.


Q: What Is the Premises Liability Law in California?

A: The premises liability law in California states that property owners, both homeowners and business owners, must provide any visitors who are legally on their property with a safe and secure environment free of hazards that could cause undue injuries. If they are unable to clear the area of hazards immediately, they must at least provide adequate warning of any hazards through clearly posted signage or a verbal warning. Failure to do so could result in legal action.

Q: What Is the Statute of Limitations for Premises Liability in California?

A: Since a premises liability claim falls under the category of personal injury, the statute of limitations for a premises liability claim is the same as personal injury, which is two years. You will have two years from the date of your initial injury to begin filing for a premises liability claim and pursuing compensatory damages. Failure to file within that time frame may result in your claim being thrown out.

Q: What Is “Cause of Action” for Premises Liability in California?

A: A “cause of action” form for premises liability in California notifies the court and the other party that the condition of the other party’s premises caused you harm and you intend to take legal action. The form provides the court with notice regarding the details of the case at hand and how your injury has taken place, as well as who specifically was involved.

Q: Who Is Responsible If Someone Gets Hurt on Your Property in California?

A: In California, the property owner is responsible for the well-being and safety of everyone who is on their property legally, including homes and businesses alike. This law only applies to people who are lawfully on the property, not any trespassers or intruders who may become injured while trespassing. Depending on the situation, if someone is hurt on your property, you could be found liable.

Contact an Experienced Premises Liability Lawyer Today

Nobody should be worried about getting hurt when running errands or paying a visit. Property owners have a legal obligation to maintain a safe environment for their customers and visitors. Failure to do so can result in legal action that could hurt business or impact a property owner’s reputation. Maintaining safety is a good practice that will minimize the frequency of premises accidents.

The legal team at Easton & Easton can help you build your premises liability case and seek the compensation that you rightfully deserve. We can help you deal with the insurance companies and find evidence that proves the defendant’s negligent behavior. Contact us to make an appointment with someone who can help you determine your next steps.