Slip and fall accidents are a leading cause of serious injuries in the State of California and can result in thousands of dollars in medical bills and related damages. In many cases, these accidents are caused by the negligence of property owners and entitle victims to significant compensation.
Typically, slip and fall injuries occur when an individual falls and is injured due to a dangerous condition on another person's property.
These type of cases fall under the personal injury category as they deal with the harm that individuals sustain due to carelessness of other's.
In fact, slip and fall injuries are generally a direct result of the victim's interaction with some type of hazardous condition.
A common example of a slip and fall accident in California is when liquid is spilled on a floor that causes a person to lose their balance, fall and suffer an injury.
Most slip and fall cases rely on whether someone acted in a negligent manner. They are sometimes difficult to prove because insurance companies may dispute liability – or fault – for the accident.
They may claim that the owner of the property was not aware of the dangerous condition or did not have timely notice of it in time to repair or correct it. In other cases, the insurance company may allege that the injured plaintiff caused or contributed to the slip and fall accident by wearing shoes without a tread or by disregarding warning placards or signs.
In order to prove negligence on a property owner, a Los Angeles slip and fall accident lawyer has to be able to prove the accident was caused by a dangerous condition that the property owner knew, or should have reasonable known, about the condition.
A general definition of a dangerous condition could be described as an unreasonable risk to visitors they could have not foreseen.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a slip and fall accident, you need an experienced injury attorney on your side representing you throughout your case.
Our personal injury attorneys at Injury Justice Law Firm, LLP can discuss the facts and circumstances of your case with you, fight a potential insurance company liability dispute, negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf, and, if necessary, file suit on your behalf and advocate for you in court.
Common Places for Slip and Fall Accidents
Slip and fall accidents can happen just about anywhere at any time. Any factor that may cause a person to lose their footing and fall can be a dangerous condition. Slip and fall accidents can happen in homes and businesses, inside or outside, sidewalk, walkway, escalators, or even on carpet or concrete. They can occur during bad weather where rain causes a slippery surface. There are many different locations where a slip and fall accident can happen. However, the most common places include:
- Commercial Property: The owner of the property, business owner, or employee could be held liable for a slip and fall accident under certain conditions. This includes a situation where they created the dangerous condition that lead to the slip and fall accident, or they had knowledge of the condition and failed to fix the problem. Additionally, they should have reasonably known about the dangerous condition and had it fixed.
- Residential Property: In some slip and fall cases, a property owner or landlord may have to compensate victims who have been hurt in an accident. Likewise, in these cases, it has to be shown that the property owner or landlord knew or should have known about the dangerous condition and could have repaired it. Also, it has to be proven that it was foreseeable that an accident could happen if the condition was not repaired.
When dangerous conditions are present and someone gets injured in a slip and fall accident they may sustain a variety of different injuries. These include sprained ligaments, broken bones, brain injury, back injury, soft tissue injury, pinched nerves, or bulging disc.
Proving Negligence in a Slip and Fall Case
In order to assert a valid slip and fall claim in California, the injured plaintiff must show that the owner or occupier of the property owed a duty to the injured plaintiff.
Furthermore, the injured plaintiff must be able to show that the property owner breached that duty, thereby causing the certain injuries and damages.
Generally speaking, a property owner owes a legal duty to all visitors on the premises, including the injured plaintiff. The extent of this legal duty depends upon the person's reason for being on the property at the time the slip and fall accident occurred.
For example, a business invitee, such as a customer at a store, who is on the premises to benefit the property owner, is generally owed a much higher duty of care than a guest on the premises (i.e. a licensee) or a trespasser.
In the case of a business invitee, a property owner must usually do the following:
- Notify or warn the invitee of any known, dangerous conditions on the property
- Inspect the property for unknown dangerous conditions.
- Make repairs
When a property owner fails to do any of these in a timely manner, and a slip and fall accident occurs, they have arguably violated the duty of care and were negligent, meaning they may be held liable for the resulting injuries and damages. Some of the more common causes of slip and fall accidents in public places that are usually attributable to negligence include the following:
- Exposed electrical wiring
- Liquid spills
- Torn carpet
- Inadequate lighting
- Cracked pavement
- Debris left in walkways
- Holes in flooring
- Slippery floors
- Uneven steps
- Broken railings or handrails
Whether these or any other conditions that may cause a slip and fall constitute of breach of the duty owed by a property owner or leaseholder depends on a variety of factors, and you should not assume that an accident was or was not the result of negligence without having an attorney thoroughly review the facts of your slip and fall case.
Proving Damages in a Slip and Fall Case
The injured plaintiff must also show that the landowner or occupier's breach of the applicable standard of care resulted in injuries and damages, such as fractures, broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and/or soft tissue injuries.
Upon successfully proving damages, the injured plaintiff may be able to recover compensation for related medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, mental anguish, emotional distress, psychological harm, inconvenience, rehabilitation expenses, and loss of enjoyment or quality of life. Typically, slip and fall cases will not go to trial because the responsible party will want to settle the case.
If you or a family member has sustained injuries as a result of a slip and fall accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation under California law.
We are committed to protecting the rights of slip and fall accident victims and do everything we can to ensure that our clients obtain the largest settlement or award possible.
Our injury attorneys will act quickly to collect vital evidence before its lost and formulate an effective strategy to maximize the compensation you are owed.
To schedule a free case evaluation, call us at 310-734-7974.