How Are Premises Liability Cases Involving Trespassing Handled in California? 1 Surprise Factor That Could Change a Case

January 2, 2024

How Are Premises Liability Cases Involving Trespassing Handled in California? 1 Surprise Factor That Could Change a Case

No trespassing sign in front of a house

Trespassing can lead to serious charges, such as a felony or misdemeanor.

Under California Penal Code Section 602 PC, trespassing occurs when an unauthorized person enters another person’s property without proper permission or right to do so

Imagine someone is trespassing your property. In the process of trespassing, they trip over an uneven walkway and break their ankle. Could you be held liable for their injuries? The answer may surprise you.

Yes, you can be held liable for trespassers injuries. It would be difficult, as the injured party must prove your negligence. In this case, your negligence would be if you knew of the uneven walkway and chose not to get it fixed. 

Why are you liable for this person? Aren’t they breaking the law by trespassing?

For starters, this situation falls under premises liability laws, as do most personal injury cases.

Premises liability cases occur on someone else’s property. Under premises liability,  property owners can be found negligent if they do not keep their property in a reasonably safe condition, or if they failed to fix or warn about the unsafe matter. This is why there are often cautionary signs warning of potential dangers.

As owner, you have a “duty of care” to anyone entering the property. Duty of care holds property owners to a standard of caution, and they must do what they can in order to prevent harm to others.

There are three types of property guests: invitees, licensees, and trespassers.

Traditionally, invitees required the utmost protection by the property owner, followed by licenses. Someone trespassing was not given the same level of protection, if any at all.

However, laws have changed, and the belief is that trespassers, despite committing a crime, have the right to safety.  No one person isn’t entitled to more or less protection.

While the previous situation presented a trespasser injuring themself, trespassers can also get injured through acts of self-defense by the property owner.

Think of a situation where someone trespassing is shot by the property owner. Were they acting in self-defense, or do they owe a duty of care to the person trespassing to not injure them?

The laws can be blurry, and proving fault can be a complicated process for either party. 

Trespassing sign on fence.

Regardless of whether you were on someone else’s property as an invitee, licensee, or trespasser, you have rights. If you were injured on someone else’s property due to their negligence, you may be entitled to compensation.

Our team of Los Angeles personal injury attorneys at C&B Law Group are prepared to help those who were injured on another property.

We may seek various damages for your case, which can include both economic and non-economic damages such as:

  • Medical expenses 
  • Loss of wages 
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment of life 

Some of the more common injuries affiliated with personal injuries on another person’s property include:

  • Neck injuries such as a pinched nerve, whiplash, or broken neck
  • Head injuries like a concussion or other traumatic brain injury
  • Back injuries like a herniated disc, fractured vertebra, or chronic back pain
  • Severe cuts and wounds leading to nerve or muscle damage
  • Fractures, strains or sprains to various bones
  • Injuries to your kidneys, lungs, or other essential organs
  • Internal hemorrhaging
  • Losing mobility in one or more areas of your body
  • Wrongful death

In some cases, we may even seek punitive damages.

The LA attorneys at C&B Law Group have decades of combined experience assisting those with personal injuries recover compensation. Our job is to get you the highest amount of compensation possible. 

Don’t let an injury on a private property hamper your daily life. Your initial consultation with C&B Law Group is free, and you won’t owe us a thing until we successfully settle your case.

Reach out today!

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