Homeowner’s Liability to People on Their Property
A homeowner can be sued for injuries a person suffers on their property. A homeowner’s liability to individuals on their property generally derives from a claim of negligence and/or premises liability. A homeowner owes a “duty of care” to everyone who steps on their property to keep the property reasonably safe. California jury instruction (CACI) 1001 states: “A person who owns property is negligent if he or she fails to use reasonable care to keep the property in a reasonably safe condition. A person who owns property must use reasonable care to discover any unsafe conditions and to repair, replace, or give adequate warning of anything that could be reasonably expected to harm others.”
This means that a homeowner could be liable to a person who is injured on their property if they failed to keep their property in a reasonably safe condition. The homeowner must make some attempt to discover any unsafe conditions on their property and repair them, or give adequate warning about anything that could cause harm to others.
This applies to an individual who is doing work on a homeowner’s property. This applies to friends, family members, and guests who come to visit your home. And in some instances it can even apply to a trespasser who didn’t have permission to enter on the property at all.
So if you have been injured while on someone’s property, you should contact an attorney right away to discuss what happened, and whether the homeowner is liable for the injuries you suffered.
And if you are a homeowner, you should make sure to keep your property in a reasonably safe condition, and should use reasonable carer to discover any unsafe conditions on your property and then repair them or warn of them.
Individuals who perform work may be more prone to suffering an injury than others due to the nature of their work. So, if you are a homeowner, you should be very conscious of workers who come on your property to perform work such as painting, gardening, pool care, remolding, housecleaning or other types of work. With such workers, it would behoove a homeowner to obtain a written agreement between the homeowner and the worker, indicating whether the worker is licensed and insured, and whether the worker or the homeowner will be liable for injuries the worker suffers.
An agreement and waiver of liability might look something like this:
“I ____________________ am a fully licensed, insured, and bonded contractor. I have inspected the premises and evaluated the work to be completed, and I have deemed the work-space suitable and safe. I take full liability and responsibility for any and all accidents, injuries, or other losses that may occur to myself on the premises. I am an independent contractor, and I am in charge of the worksite and the work to be completed. I have the right to control, and the discretion as to the manner of performance, of the work. I assume all liability for any and all subcontractors, employees, independent contractors, or any other persons whatsoever, that I personally request or cause to enter upon the premises.”
If you are a homeowner who has individuals work on your property, you should contact an attorney to obtain an appropriate agreement/waiver of liability to have the workers sign.
* This is not legal advice*
** Contact an attorney right away if you have suffered an injury **