According to Civil Code Section 1714(a), the essential elements of a negligence claim against a property owner in the context of premises liability are:
- The defendant, owned, leased, occupied or controlled the property;
- The defendant was negligent in the use of maintenance of the property;
- The plaintiff was harmed;
- The defendant's negligence was a substantial factor in causing plaintiff's injury.
Hazardous conditions created by a business or that exist on the property as a direct result of the property's business or daily activities would be in the purview of a premises liability cause of action. If a duty is owed to a patron, visitor or invited guest, then that person would qualify for a successful and meritorious cause of action for premises liability if the rest of the elements are present: namely causation (an act or inaction by the defendant) caused direct harm to the plaintiff. All elements of the law must be shown or proven to have a successful legal claim based on premises liability.
Often times, these elements are easily met in the case of a slip and fall accident and/or injury in for example a supermarket, restaurant, or shopping center. If a woman slips on grapes that were left on the floor in a supermarket like Ralphs or Trader Joes, which were not picked up by store employees in a timely or reasonable manner creating a dangerous condition to linger, then she could potentially have a successful claim for premises liability. Facts like how long the grapes were left on the floor, how routinely the store staff does inspections and sweeps the aisles or areas of produce, and whether the store employees had actual or constructive notice of the dangerous condition all come into question and discussion in the legal arena.
Contact our team of professional premises liability attorneys and slip and fall accident lawyers who are readily available to assist you with your legal case.