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Santa Maria Premises Liability Attorney

Owning property in California requires maintaining safe premises for people who enter the property—including visitors and guests. Legally defined as a “duty of care,” this requirement forms the basis for premises liability law and it applies to all property owners, including owners of private, public, and municipal properties. If you are injured on property belonging to someone else, you may have grounds for a premises liability claim.

At the Law Offices of John B. Richards, our Santa Maria premises liability attorney is ready to help you hold the negligent property owner in your case responsible for your damages. We can help if you are an employee, customer, guest, client, tenant, or another injured party.

What Constitutes Negligence by a Property Owner?

While it is true that all property owners owe the standard duty of care to people who enter their properties, the scope of care owed varies and is dependent upon specific circumstances. For instance, the owner of a grocery store usually owes a greater duty of care to shoppers than a residential homeowner owes to a friend who attends a backyard barbecue. The owner of a store should make sure that routine maintenance is undertaken to prevent shoppers from being harmed due to unsafe conditions. Alternately, the property owner should make sure that such duties are carried out by a designated employee acting in their stead. Any deviation from this standard duty of care can leave the property owner open to liability and premises liability claims that result.

Four Elements in Successful Premises Liability Claims

In order to successfully win a premises liability claim, the plaintiff and their attorney must prove that four elements existed at the time of the accident:

  • The property owner must owe the plaintiff a duty of care. You must be on the premises legally, as an employee, tenant, invited guest, or customer) when the injury occurred. You cannot be a trespasser, although there are some exceptions to this rule.
  • The property owner must breach the duty of care owed to the plaintiff. This element requires proving the negligence of the property owner. In most cases, the property owner is negligent in allowing a dangerous condition to exist and knew (or should have reasonably known) about it, but failed to do anything to address, fix, or repair it. The property owner did not warn the injured person about the potential peril or hazard.
  • The plaintiff suffered damages and/or injuries as a result of the property owner’s negligence.
  • The plaintiff’s injuries were a direct result of the negligence of the property owner. For instance, a customer in a store slips and falls due to a puddle of spilled milk, breaking their wrist.

Reach Out to Our Santa Maria Premises Liability Attorney

At the Law Offices of John B. Richards, our Santa Maria premises liability attorney has the experience and knowledge to help you successfully file your claim. Reach out to us for a free consultation of your case by clicking here or calling 805-683-2736.

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