What Damages Can Plaintiffs Recover in Premises Liability Cases?
Generally, Successful Plaintiffs in Premises Liability Cases Can Recover All Actual Damages Caused By the Defendant’s Negligent Conduct.
“Actual” or “Compensatory” damages are the standard measure of damages in premises liability cases.
Actual damages means all damages proximately caused by the defendant’s negligent or wrongful conduct. This may include repair or replacement costs for damaged property, reimbursement for medical expenses, lost wages, and other personal damages resulting from an injury (or death), and any other provable damages suffered by the successful plaintiff.
Provable damages may or may not include amounts for “pain and suffering.” Although these damages are generally disfavored in California, courts award them in certain types of cases.
The type of damages available to an injured plaintiff depends on many factors, and can only be determined after an individual evaluation of the plaintiff’s case. Do not rely on this or any other general article to evaluate your actual or potential rights. Consult an experienced, licensed attorney without delay if you, your family, or your property has been injured due to someone else’s negligence or wrongful acts.
Attorney Fees Are Recoverable in Certain Premises Liability Cases, But Not in All Cases.
Many plaintiffs want to recover their attorney fees from the defendant at the end of a successful case. However, awards of attorney fees are not available in every case or situation. Recovery of attorney fees–and their availability–are governed by laws (statutes) and, in certain cases, by the terms of contracts from which a lawsuit arises. For example, CC&Rs and other covenants governing the use of land may, but do not always, allow for awards of attorney fees against prevailing parties. Never assume your attorney fees are recoverable. Consult an attorney to learn whether, and in what circumstances, attorney fees may be awarded to (or against) you in your particular case.
Punitive Damages Awards Are Limited to Cases Involving Malice, Fraud, or “Oppression.”
Punitive damages are designed to punish a defendant’s wrongful conduct and deter similar conduct in the future–both by the defendant and by others in the community. While many plaintiffs believe the defendant should be “punished” for his or her wrongful conduct, punitive damages are only available in limited situations. Generally, courts will not award punitive damages unless the defendant’s conduct was clearly egregious and involved deliberate malice, fraud, or intentional oppression that goes beyond standard negligence. While punitive damages can be awarded in certain types of negligence cases, plaintiffs should always consult an experienced attorney to determine whether or not their claims might give rise to a punitive damages claim.
Disclaimer: THIS ARTICLE IS FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY, AND DOES NOT CONSTITUTE LEGAL ADVICE OR CREATE AN ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE AUTHOR AND ANY PERSON. Your rights and experiences may vary. Never use an online article (including this one) to evaluate your legal claims. Speak with an experienced lawyer promptly to obtain a personalized evaluation of your claims, possible damages, and options. You may lose or compromise your rights if you delay in consulting legal counsel. Negligence and premises liability claims are complicated and fact-dependent. If you believe you have a claim against a property owner who permitted or failed to repair a dangerous condition, or any other type of legal claim, consult an experienced lawyer immediately for an evaluation of your possible rights and claims.