Slip and Fall Accidents

Diligent, Effective Representation For Accident Victims

“Slip and fall” is a term for cases that arise when injury is caused when a person slips and falls as a result of a dangerous or hazardous condition on someone else’s property.

Inside a building, dangerous conditions such as torn carpeting, abrupt changes in flooring, poor lighting, narrow stairs, or a wet floor can cause you to slip and hurt yourself.

Outside a building, you may slip and fall because of rain, ice, snow or a hidden hazard, such as a gap or hard to see pothole in the ground.

Slip and fall accidents can occur on commercial, residential or public property. Regardless of where they happen, in the state of California, all property or building owners have a certain level of responsibility ( duty of care ) to make sure an environment is safe.

California Premise Liability Cases

Slip and fall accidents are the most common type of “premises liability” cases, which center on the question of a property owner’s duty to care for the property. Injury by fire or other accidents resulting from defects in the conditions of buildings also fall under this category.

Slip and fall cases in Southern California are governed by California negligence law. To win a premises liability claim, an injured victim has to prove either that the defendant created the hazard that led to the accident, or that the defendant knew or should have known about the danger and should have had it removed or repaired. This can often be difficult to prove, since proving when a given hazard first appeared can be challenging.

Structural Defects

Structural damages to a building, often due to age, or wear and tear, can be a significant cause of. Uneven steps, parking lot potholes, cracked sidewalks, broken tiles, or torn carpeting can create dangerous situations for visitors to a building. As noted earlier, to prove negligence, we will have to prove that the property owner knew or should have known about the problem and failed to repair it.
Occasionally, negligence can be proven by violation of a statute. Building owners must ensure that the building’s structure is in compliance with applicable building codes. For example, handrails and other similar structures typically must be installed at a certain general height. If you fall on a stairway that lacked appropriate handrails, and the lack thereof caused your injuries, you may have a valid claim against the building owner for violating building codes.

Weather-related Accidents

Weather-related slip and fall accidents are difficult cases for injured plaintiffs. Landowners are generally expected to take reasonable steps to reduce hazards created by adverse weather. This can include, but is not limited to, shoveling snow, salting or sanding icy and slippery spots, and installing anti-slip devices on outdoor steps.

As with other california cases, if the landowner has no reasonable opportunity to correct the problem, as where a flash flood has created a hazard, the landowner will not be held liable for injuries caused by the hazard.

Comparative Negligence

Slip and Fall Example: You fall while walking down the stairs at a hotel, sustaining serious injuries. A jury finds that the property owner had been warned about the trouble spot weeks ago and failed to correct it, however, the jury also finds that you were reading the newspaper while you walked down the stairs and your inattention contributed to causing the accident. If the jury finds you 50 percent at fault and the defendant 50 percent at fault, the defendant would have to pay you only one half of the total damages found to be incurred by you.

If you or a loved one have been the victim of in Southern California, please CLICK HERE. Hablamos Espanol.

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