Recoverable Damages in General

Landowners and possessors of land owe a nondelegable duty to put and maintain the premises (including its buildings and structures) in reasonably safe condition.

Civil Code § 1714(a)

“Everyone is responsible, not only for the result of his or her willful acts, but also for an injury occasioned to another by his or her want of ordinary care or skill in the management of his or her property or person, except so far as the latter has, willfully or by want of ordinary care, brought the injury upon himself or herself. The design, distribution, or marketing of firearms and ammunition is not exempt from the duty to use ordinary care and skill that is required by this section. The extent of liability in these cases is defined by the Title on Compensatory Relief.”

If it is proven that the said landowner or possessor is liable, the claimant may have recoverable damages, depending on the injuries sustained due to the act or omission of the owner or possessor of the building or structure. At the very least, a person who has suffered injury through the fault of another is entitled to “be made whole”—i.e., to be restored insofar as is possible to his or her preinjury condition through a “compensatory” damages award.

CC § 3281

“Every person who suffers detriment from the unlawful act or omission of another may recover from the person in fault a compensation therefor in money, which is called damages.”

If it is proven that the plaintiff has sustained an injury which was legally caused by the tortious wrong of another, then the plaintiff is entitled to recover an amount of money that will reasonably compensate for all physical, mental and emotional detriment attributable to the injury. Such “(d)amages must, in all cases, be reasonable…”

CC § 3359

“Damages must, in all cases, be reasonable, and where an obligation of any kind appears to create a right to unconscionable and grossly oppressive damages, contrary to substantial justice, no more than reasonable damages can be recovered.”

There is no fixed rule for measuring compensatory damages. If one sustains injuries that may be caused by another’s fault or negligence, it is best to work with a lawyer who is an expert in personal injury to be properly guided on the proper steps to take.

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