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When are people responsible for other people's injuries?

If someone is looking for news stories about injuries or deaths in California, he or she would notice that nearly all of them include the word "accident." Most injuries happen by accident, and it's easy to feel down on ourselves if we caused our own problems. But there are few problems harder to deal with than the ones visited on us by other people's mistakes.

What actions are people responsible for under California law?

People are always responsible for the results of their willful acts, but the issue can be fuzzier in the case of accidents. California's civil code states that individuals and businesses may be held responsible for injuries or damages caused by a lack of "ordinary care." This term refers to any obligation or responsibility, like cleaning up after a spill or resurfacing a sidewalk, that was done incorrectly or not at all.

How are these responsibilities decided?

A person may have a responsibility as the owner of a property, even if it is private property, to keep visitors from harm. A person acting as a legal employee or manager may have the responsibility for a public space or a part of it, and the institution in charge of a property may likewise have liability for injuries that occur there.

How can I hold people responsible for injuries?

Premises liability claims may result in a mediated settlement, a negotiated agreement or a jury verdict in civil court. An attorney can help review the facts surrounding an injury and recommend the best way to forward a claim for financial damages.

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