If you look at premises liability laws in California, it may seem as if there is no way to hold the city accountable for your injuries and damages. But it’s not entirely true.
If you slip and fall in a restaurant, it’s pretty straight-forward that you can bring a premises liability lawsuit and receive monetary compensation for your injuries. But what if you fall on a public sidewalk due to a defect? In this case, you may be able to sue the city – Los Angeles.
When Los Angeles can be held liable for injuries
According to premises liability laws in California, if you get injured on someone else’s property, you can sue the person or business that owns the property. The city, meanwhile, has the legal status of the owner of public places.
Los Angeles is legally required to exercise a high standard of care and inspect and maintain all public venues and properties. Our Los Angeles premises liability attorney Howard Craig Kornberg has outlined a few examples when the city – or the government, for that matter – can be held responsible for your injuries.
- There is a raised bump on a sidewalk, which causes an individual to trip over and get injured;
- There is the uneven surface on a bicycle lane because the nearby tree lifted the pavement, which sends a bicyclist off his bike;
- A traffic light malfunctioned at an intersection, which led to a car accident;
- A concert-goer gets assaulted at a city-controlled concert venue, and there is no security personnel to stop the assaulter.
As you can see, cases, where the city can be held liable in a premises liability claim, vary from one case to another.
Prove the city’s negligence in premises liability
It’s true that the legal process of suing a person or entity for failure to ensure safety on their property differs from the process of suing Los Angeles responsible for inspections, maintenance, and repairs of government-controlled properties.
As in the case of filing a lawsuit against a private property owner, you would have to prove four elements of a premises liability claim when suing Los Angeles city for its negligence.
The elements of duty, breach, causation, and damages are the foundation of a premises liability claim, which is why collecting sufficient evidence to prove each and every element is vital to obtain compensation.
- Duty: Prove that the city owed a duty to people (visitors) on that property. The duties vary depending on your legal status while being on that property.
- Breach: When the owner of the property has a certain duty and breaches that duty, you can prove the second element of your premises liability claim. A breach occurs when the owner (or the city) fails to exercise reasonable care.
- Causation: Prove that the city’s negligence or recklessness – action or inaction – caused your injuries due to the breach of its duty.
- Damages: If you suffered injuries, there is a certain amount of damages you can recover from the accident, including but not limited to medical bills, pain, and suffering lost wages, loss of earning capacity, etc.
It’s no secret that no business or person – or the city, for that matter – would be eager to admit fault. More often than not, persons, entities, or the government will hire a team of legal experts to help them avoid responsibility.
That’s why it’s highly advised to seek the legal advice of a premises liability lawyer to maximize the value of your claim and receive financial compensation.
Contact our attorneys here at Law Offices of Howard Craig Kornberg to get a free consultation and start working on your case. Call our Los Angeles offices at 310-997-0904 or fill out this contact form today.