How Does Premises Liability Work in California?

California laws state that an individual who accrues injuries due to a negligent property owner is eligible for compensation. These laws are called premises liability, and they dictate that the premises owner should maintain safety and warn occupants of imminent hazards on the property to reduce injuries and accidents.

Most California property owners are not diligent about these regulations and may cause harm as a result. A personal injury lawyer will help in drafting your demand letter and navigating the complicated California laws. This post will guide you on what California premises liability entails.

Property Proprietor’s Duty of Care

California protects its visitors as well as citizens by practicing reasonable premises maintenance and care. It’s the landlord’s fundamental duty to ensure injury prevention when a visitor or resident is in the building. California classifies the three categories of apartment visitors, and each visitor is liable to different state laws.

In California, courts consider the motive of being in the building to make a reasonable and sound verdict in premises liability claims. The following are considerations are how the law judges property visitors and their reasons for being on the premises.


Guests are people who have the landowner’s approval to use the commercial or residential structure. They are familiar folks, such as extended family members, neighbors, loved ones, and friends. The building proprietor has to offer reasonable safety measures to ensure the home is safe for any guests.


These are individuals with implied or real consent to access a commercial or residential property. Licensees include solicitors, postal carriers, contractors, and other individuals of the same caliber. A property proprietor owes a licensee less consideration, but they should maintain the house’s exterior, driveways, porches, and sidewalks.


People that are not authorized to enter commercial and residential buildings are trespassers. Owners are not responsible for trespassers unless one is a child. For instance, if there is an unprotected swimming pool and a kid falls and sustains injuries, the landowner will carry the responsibility for failing to erect barrier walls.

Determining Negligence

To obtain a settlement for your injuries in the premises liability claim, you must first prove that the landowner owed a care duty. This is according to what a reasonable premises owner would do in similar situations. You will then verify that they infringed on that duty of care. The jury will consider various factors regarding the property and elements of your injury to ascertain if the proprietor violated the duty of care. You have to prove that your injuries occurred due to the defendant’s negligence.

Determining Responsibility

When injured within someone’s property, you can sue the individual or party that leases, owns, controls, or occupies the structure. Mostly, responsible entities don’t have to possess and manage the property. They only have to be in charge of it. When multiple companies or individuals are involved, the party that shoulders the burden will depend on the property type.

Statute of Limitations

In California premises liability petitions, the injured individual has two years from the day of injury to bring their case in court. Failure to file a lawsuit before the deadline lapses will lead to case dismissal.

However, there are some exceptions to the two-year limitations statute. For instance, if you sustained injuries on a government property, you have to file an administrative petition within half a year. Another exception is when the injured individual is below 18 years of age; in which case, the limitations statute will not start running until the injured individual is 18. A prudent way to make sure you file for compensation in time is by seeking a slip-and-fall lawyer immediately after your injury. 

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