Slip and Fall Cases in California
Slip and fall accidents happen. People get hurt outside of their own homes all of the time. Some accidents occur when they should not because there is a dangerous situation or defect in another house or business. If you were hurt in another person’s house or a business, it is known as a slip and fall case, and you may be able to recover damages from the owner.
What is Premise Liability?
Property owners, or those who control the property, are responsible for maintaining safe premises and are liable for injuries caused by a dangerous condition on their properties.
For example, those who run a grocery store are responsible for cleaning up spills and broken glass within a reasonable time. If those in charge knew about a slippery surface or sharp pieces of glass and left the dangerous condition for an unreasonable period of time, it could be found they did not uphold their responsibilities.
Another example is if a homeowner is aware or reasonably should be aware of a broken stair in their home, but has visitors without repairing the stair or warning them about it. That homeowner could be responsible for a guest getting hurt due to the broken stair.
Slip and Fall and Elements of a Premise Liability Case
Slip and fall or trip and fall cases that occur in another person’s home or a business hinge on premise liability, which centers on the owner’s negligence. To recover, the injured party must show:
- The owner had a duty of care to maintain a safe premise,
- The owner breached this duty of care, and
- The breach was the cause of the injury.
Proving in court that the defendant had a duty to other people to maintain a safe property and that he or she breached that duty is difficult and is best done by an experienced attorney. First you must show you have sued the right parties and they had a duty of care, meaning the defendant is the one that controlled the premise and had the responsibility to keep it safe. This can be more complicated than you think for a business or in a rental situation.
Next you must show the defendant breached that duty by either not knowing about the dangerous condition when they should have or by knowing about the dangerous conditioning and not remedying the situation. The mere existence of a dangerous condition is not enough.
Last, you must prove your injury was caused by this breach of duty. You can not argue that the grocery store breached its duty by leaving a dangerous puddle of water on the floor for an unreasonably long time but then state you were injured by a shard of glass.
Why You Need a Personal Injury Attorney After a Slip and Fall
As you can see, there are multiple elements to a slip and fall case. To prove the other party should be held responsible for your injuries, considerable evidence is needed. Because of the complexities of a premise liability lawsuit, it is best to have an experienced slip and fall attorney to represent you.