As discussed in previous blog posts (see Non-Delegable Duty of Landlord/Property Owner and How Do You Succeed in a Slip and Fall Claim and Trip and Fall: Key Evidence for the Personal Injury Victim) the landowner has a duty to act reasonably in the inspection and maintenance of his land so as to identify and remedy dangerous conditions which could lead to personal injuries should someone on the property encounter such conditions. The question of fact for the jury to decide should a trip and fall or slip and fall or other premises liability claim find its way to court is whether the landlord used reasonable care in maintaining the premises in a reasonably safe condition. To help determine whether the landlord used reasonable care, the jury is provided with a list of factors found in California Civil Jury Instructions 1001. These factors include (a) The location of the property; (b) The likelihood that someone would come on to the property in the same manner as [name of plaintiff] did; (c) The likelihood of harm; (d) The probable seriousness of such harm; (e) Whether [name of defendant] knew or should have known of the condition that created the risk of harm; (f) The difficulty of protecting against the risk of such harm; [and] (g) The extent of [name of defendant]’s control over the condition that created the risk of harm; [and] (h) [Other relevant factor(s).] For example, under (b), if the property is a commercial property where there is heavy traffic (both foot and vehicular) and is located in a highly populated area of a city, the likelihood of a personal injury victim coming onto the land is great, and as such, knowing that the more people to enter the land increases the likelihood of injury should an individual come across a dangerous condition, the law expects the landowner to routinely inspect his property for premises liability issues more frequently than if his property were not subject to high amounts of traffic. Another example as it related to (f) is that if a dangerous condition (e.g., pot-hole, cracks, uneven pavement, depressions, etc.) can be fixed in a cost-efficient and expeditious manner (i.e., $10 worth of cement to fill a hole), the law expects the landlord to conduct such repair because it is not an inconvenience or hardship to do so. Where a dangerous condition causing a slip and fall, trip and fall or other premises liability claim is extremely costly and requires an extensive amount of work, then at a minimum, the property owner is expected to warn of the danger or prevent access to it. If you have suffered personal injuries on the premises of another person by no fault of your own, contact a trip and fall attorney at The Steven Dhillon Law Firm for a consultation today.
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