If you or someone you love was injured while on another person’s property, you may be eligible for compensation through a premises liability personal injury claim or lawsuit. The attorneys at OnderLaw have decades of experience helping injury victims of all kinds to obtain compensation after an accident caused by another’s negligence, and they can use that experience to help you. Call the Irvine personal injury lawyers of OnderLaw for a free consultation, and let us review your case to determine whether you’re eligible. Get the fair compensation you deserve after a premises liability accident. Call today.

What Is a Premises Liability Accident?

A premises liability accident occurs when you are injured on someone else’s property by a defect or hazard that the owner or manager either knew about or should have known about. The term “premises liability” covers a large number of possible accidents and injuries.

It’s important to note that just because you were injured on someone else’s property does not necessarily mean you are due compensation. You must be able to show that the property owner or manager either knew about the defect or hazard that caused the accident or should have known about the defect or hazard.

Property Owner/Manager Responsibilities in California

California Civil Code 1714(a) states that everyone has a duty to not harm others by providing “ordinary care or skill in the management of his or her property and person.” This means that property owners and managers must provide this care to everyone on their property. If they do not, the injured party is due compensation for any injuries sustained while on the property.

Premises liability laws apply to injuries on both public and private property, and in most cases, the responsibility cannot be delegated away. For example, if a contractor is hired to repair a broken tread on a stairway in Irvine and they don’t perform the work correctly, the property owner or manager may still be held responsible if someone is injured on the broken step.

Liability for injuries can fall on one or more owners or managers of a property, including the following:

  • Landlords
  • Business owners
  • Maintenance contractors
  • Business managers
  • Tenants
  • Property owners
  • Property management companies
  • Parent companies
  • Property managers
  • Homeowners


Determining exactly who is liable can’t be done without a detailed review of your accident and the circumstances surrounding it. There is also considerable leeway given in what constitutes “reasonable care.” In determining whether the responsible party used reasonable care, California Civil Courts ask juries to consider the following:

  • The property location
  • The likelihood of injury or harm
  • The likelihood someone will come onto the property the same way you did
  • The probable likelihood of serious injury
  • Whether the owner/manager knew or should have known about the hazard
  • The difficulty of protecting against the hazard
  • The extent of the owner/manager’s control over the hazard


Common Locations for Premises Liability Claims to Arise

Premises liability claims could happen anywhere outside your home, from the sidewalk outside your house to a secured construction site. Some of the more common locations where we see premises liability claims occur include the following:

  • Public sidewalks
  • Shopping malls
  • Hotels
  • Amusement Parks
  • Retail stores
  • Construction sites
  • Apartment complexes
  • Rental properties
  • Parking lots
  • Private homes


Types of Premises Liability Accidents

Premises liability law can apply to a large array of possible injuries, such as:

  • Dog bites. If a dog bites you while you’re legally on another property, you may have a premises liability claim against the owner.
  • Elevator/escalator accidents. Elevators and escalators require regular maintenance. If they are not maintained, accidents and injuries can result.
  • Stairwell accidents. Stairwells must be kept safe for anyone using them, whether in public or private locations.
  • Slip and fall accidents. These are some of the most common premises liability claims. If you slip and fall on any property that is not your own, you may have a premises liability claim against the property owner or manager.
  • Falling object accidents. Objects falling from above can cause severe injury.
  • Overhead hazard accidents. These types of accidents are common on construction sites.
  • Inadequate security accidents. If you’re injured or assaulted on a property with little or no security protection, you may be able to hold the owner or manager responsible.
  • Swimming pool accidents. Uncovered swimming pools on vacant properties are magnets for premises liability claims.
  • Unsecured hazard accidents. A loose cable, rope, or hose on the floor would count as an unsecured hazard.
  • Snow and ice accidents. You may be able to hold a property owner or manager responsible for injuries caused by slipping and falling on icy surfaces if the hazard is evident.


Compensation for Injuries on Private, Public, or Commercial Properties

Obtaining compensation requires proving negligence on the part of the property owner or manager. You must show, with evidence, that the property owner/manager had a responsibility to keep the property free of hazards, that they failed in that responsibility, that their failure caused an accident, and that the accident caused you injuries.

Again, this responsibility holds regardless of whether your accident occurred on private or public property. If you can show that the property owner/manager knew about or should have known about the hazard that caused your injury, you should be able to obtain compensation.

The amount you can obtain varies widely from case to case and depends on the circumstances surrounding the accident and injury. It’s impossible to determine how much you might receive without a detailed review of your case, but in general, the more severe your injury, the more compensation you should demand from the responsible party.

You can be compensated for a variety of material or immaterial losses, referred to as damages. Speak to your attorney to determine which damages you are eligible to claim.

Damages without a specific monetary value relating to the experience of the injury are called noneconomic damages. Some examples include:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of consortium
  • Mental anguish
  • Emotional distress


Damages with a dollar amount attached relating to treating or living with the injury are called economic damages. There are many types, such as:

  • Lost wages
  • Lost opportunity
  • Medical bills
  • Household expenses
  • Transportation


California also allows injury victims to receive exemplary damages in cases of extreme malice, fraud, or oppression. These are not compensatory, but rather “for the sake of example and by way of punishing the defendant.” They’re intended to punish the responsible party for their gross negligence as opposed to making you whole after a loss. Exemplary damages carry a much higher burden of proof than compensatory damages, are only awarded by a judge or jury, and are usually only awarded in extreme cases.

Why Do I Need an Attorney for My Premises Liability Injury?

Hiring an attorney can mean the difference between getting a fair settlement for your injuries and getting nothing at all. We can do more than write carefully worded letters. We will work to make sure your claim is complete and supported by evidence before it’s ever submitted.

Building a comprehensive claim for compensation takes knowledge of what to include and what to demand. A good attorney will not only provide you with the necessary information. We will do all the work for you. We will investigate the accident, speak to witnesses, and gather evidence to support your claim. We will also take the lead on negotiating a fair settlement and ensure that insurance adjusters don’t take advantage of your inexperience.

Although the majority of claims are handled outside the courtroom, occasionally, the circumstances may require filing a lawsuit against the responsible party to obtain compensation. Without a lawyer to assist in this process, you would be at a massive disadvantage.

Why Choose OnderLaw to Represent Me?

Here are three reasons why our clients choose us for quality legal help:

  1. We know what you’re going through. We’ve seen it before, and we know how to help you handle it. We’ve helped thousands of clients through difficult circumstances, and we can do the same for you. You’re more than a statistic to us, and it’s our aim to be more than an attorney for you. We will provide the support you need.
  2. We only take payment if we’re successful. There’s no getting around it: good legal representation is an expensive proposition. We understand this, which is why we work on contingency. There are no upfront costs for our services. We take our payment out of any settlement or award we obtain for you. If we’re not successful, we don’t get a dime.
  3. We have a proven record of success. We’ve had remarkable success, to the tune of over $3.5 billion in awards and settlements since 2002. We know what it takes to get the results our clients demand. We can’t guarantee a positive result in every case, but we can guarantee that the same team of dedicated legal professionals that obtained these results will work on your case.

The numbers only tell part of the story. Head to our Testimonials page if you’d like to hear directly from some of our past clients.

Call Today for a Free Consultation

If you or someone you love has been injured on another person’s property, you have a limited time to file a lawsuit for compensation. California’s statute of limitations on personal injury suits is two years, so time is a factor. Call the attorneys at OnderLaw today and let us review your case. The consultation is absolutely free, and there are no upfront costs, so you have nothing to lose. Call today.