Can a Building Code Violation Be a Basis For a Premises Liability Case?

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In the United States, landowners and persons who occupy, control, and/or lease property have a duty to ensure that their premises are safe for visitors.

In many cases, if a visitor is injured on someone else's property, the property owner/occupier can be held liable for damages. But what happens if there is a building code violation on the property? Can that lead to a premises liability case? Read on to learn more.

How Building Code Violations Can Lead to Injuries

Some building code violations are minor and do not pose a significant risk to people's safety; some can be more serious. If a building code violation leads to you sustaining an injury, it is possible for it to form the basis of a premises liability case to be filed against the property owner or occupier.

In California, a building code violation can be used in one of two ways. First, property owners/occupiers have a duty to use reasonable care to keep the property they own and/or control in a reasonably safe condition. That means that they must use reasonable care to discover unsafe conditions and that they must repair, replace, or give adequate warning of anything that could reasonably be expected to harm others. If there is a building code violation that creates a safety issue and is related to the injury you suffered, that can be used to demonstrate that the property owner/occupier did not use reasonable care to keep the property in a reasonably safe condition.

Second, a building code violation can be used to form the basis of what is called a negligence per se claim. If the property owner/occupier violated a building code section, that violation caused your injury, your injury was one the code section was designed to prevent, and you are in the “class of persons for whose protection” the code section was adopted, then that establishes a presumption that the owner/occupier was negligent.

For example, if the building code section states that the vertical bars on a railing must be no more than four inches apart, and a landowner has railings with vertical bars that are six inches apart, and a child falls through the bars, the landowner could be liable under negligence and/or negligence per se theory.

We’re Here to Help Injured Victims

If you have been injured on someone else's property, it is important to speak with an experienced premises liability attorney to see if you have a case. An attorney can help you gather evidence and build a strong case against the property owner or landlord. Contact us today for a free consultation. We would be happy to review your case and answer any questions you may have.

Call our Los Angeles attorneys at (866) 634-4525 or contact us online to get in touch with someone from our team about the details of your case right away. We will fight to recover your full and fair compensation.

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