If someone feels the need to sue for premises liability, it is usually not because a person or organization did something. It is more often because someone failed to do something that was expected of them by managers, owners, the government or the general public. The legal basis for suing in these cases is negligence.
What is the legal definition of negligence?
Negligence is a breach of a duty to another person. This could be an act, but it is also a failure to act when the legal or professional responsibility exists. A common case of negligence in premises liability is a failure to keep pathways clear of debris, slippery surfaces or something else that initiates an injurious event.
How can someone demonstrate negligence in court?
A plaintiff must show the defendant had a duty to act and then breached it. Any injury must be proven to come from this breached duty. In addition, the defendant must be shown to have had the ability to prevent injuries if the duty was properly fulfilled. This all applies only if injuries or illness resulted in quantifiable damage, like the cost of health care.
What if less than all of the damage was done by a single defendant?
California law allows for the legal principle of “comparative negligence.” This means that, if a plaintiff or the court can quantify the proportion of damages that the defendant caused, the plaintiff can sue for that percentage of the total damages. An attorney can help clarify this concept as well as the other details of premises liability.