Establishing Responsibility To A Slip And Fall Accident in Los Angeles
In California, slip and fall incidents can be grounds for a premises liability charge. Find out if you have a situation and what damage you will recover from it. One out of every five slip and falls results in a severe injury, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ( CDC).
You would be entitled to obtain compensation (i.e., damages) by filing a personal injury claim if you or a loved become the victim of a slip and fall injury in California. Someone else's negligence has played a part.
Let's analyze what causes a slip and fall accident, how you can prove negligence, and what you ought to be aware of while filing a slip and fall accident-based personal injury case in California.
Examples of incidents and injuries from slip and fall
The official term used in courts to describe an injury that happens when a person falls on another's premises is the term "slip and fall accident." For example, when you enter a coffee shop, you may slip and fall on a spilled drink, or you may slip into a pool of water in the breakroom of your place of employment.
There are two big slip "types":
A heel slip is the most prevalent cause of a fall associated with a slip. When the leading heel hits the walkway at the end of a stride, the heel slips forward. The person's momentum lifts the slip, and the leading leg cannot support the person's body weight.
A toe slip happens when the trailing foot of a person slips at push-off. A toe slip rarely results in a drop, as most of the person's body weight has already moved to their lead leg.
Which circumstances make you more likely to fall?
Several conditions also lead to declines, according to the CDC. They include:
Weakness in the lower body
Deficiency in Vitamin D
Walking problems and balance
Usage of medications, such as tranquilizers, antidepressants, or sedatives.
Problems with vision
Pressure in the foot or improper footwear
Hazards such as fractured steps, tossing rugs, fluids
It doesn't matter how a slip and fall accident happens; it can result in serious injury and even death in rare situations. Many of the most common injuries from slip and fall include:
Traumatic damage to the brain
Lesions of the spinal cord
Fractures of the hip
Pelvic bones that are broken
Injuries to the back and neck
Lesions of the wrist, shoulder, and ankle
Confrontation with reality
According to the CDC, about 800,000 people a year are treated because of a fall injury, most commonly due to a head injury or hip fracture.
Establishment fault in slip and fall accidents
Many slip and fall cases that arise outside of work enable you to show that the landowner was negligent to recover damages. In California, this implies that you must demonstrate that the landowner has neglected to take fair caution in keeping the property reasonably secure or has failed to warn of known or knowable hazards.
What does this mean exactly?
It is not always clear whether a landowner has taken "fair precautions" to keep the premises "reasonably secure." Generally speaking, a landowner is kept to the standard of a reasonable individual. As a consequence, the judge or jury must determine if the landowner used the care that would have been used by "a fairly responsible individual under the same conditions."
To explain this significant norm, let's look at a typical example.
The defendant operates a self-service grocery store where items on the shelf are allowed to be tested, discarded, and replaced by customers. On a can of spilled soup, a client walking down one of the aisles slips. For damages, the customer sues the defendant.
In the above case, the judge or jury would have to decide if "reasonable precaution" was taken by the owner of the grocery store (or their staff) to keep the premises "reasonably safe."
There is one question the judge or jury may want to answer to draw this conclusion to make this determination:
How much did the defendant examine the floors?
The chances of a product or substance falling on the floor were great because the premises were a self-service grocery store. As a result, the floors will be inspected periodically by a responsible individual.
The court likely would find that the defendant did not exercise the caution that a fairly responsible individual would have exercised if the evidence indicates that the defendant inspected the floors every 6 hours. On the other hand, if the defendant supervised the floors every 30 minutes for spills, the court would presumably conclude that the defendant's fair care was to keep the premises reasonably secure.
Now, let's slightly adjust the facts of the example. Say that the client will show that the defendant was conscious of the spilled soup.
How does this make things change?
The court would also have to make a decision if the defendant took appropriate action to make the premises safer whether the defendant knew of the spilled soup.
The judge or jury may want to ask the following questions to make this decision:
When taking action to clean up the spill, did the defendant put up a warning sign?
The court would possibly find that the defendant failed to take appropriate action to keep the premises reasonably secure if the defendant knew about the spill and did not put up a warning sign (or enable an employee to stand next to the spill while the defendant retrieved a warning sign or a mop).
What about slip and fall accidents in the workplace?
If you are hurt in California at work due to a slip and fall, you will normally claim workers ' compensation. Workers ' compensation is a system of no-fault insurance. This means that no matter who's at fault for the crash, you will recover damages.
You'll need to make a petition to obtain workers ' compensation insurance and show that:
The injury occurred when carrying out a mission at work,
The accident is one that is protected by the compensation laws of California workers,
You did not cause the accident deliberately, and
The accident was not the result of your use of drugs or alcohol.
What if you're partly liable for your crash with a slip and fall?
California observes the pure comparative fault law. Under this provision, according to your fault percentage, your loss award will be decreased.
An example is here:
The defendant, who runs an auto repair store, spills oil unintentionally on the waiting room floor. A "risk" floor sign is immediately retrieved by the defendant and positioned a few feet from the spill. And the defendant goes to work in a truck.
On her cell, the complainant walks into the lobby, texting. The complainant does not see the sign or the spill because she's texting, and she slips. The court awards $100,000 in damages to the plaintiff but concludes that the plaintiff was 80% responsible for the crash.
The plaintiff can only recover $20,000 from the defendant under the pure comparative fault rule.
Defenses of slip and fall accidents
Popular protections in instances of slip and fall include:
A trespasser was the complainant.
The hazardous situation was clear.
The complainant did not pay attention (e.g., texting and walking) or otherwise acted in a way that increased the risk of danger (e.g., running through a building where it is expressly forbidden to run).
What damages are available in slip and fall cases in California?
Both economic and non-economic damages are eligible in a California personal injury case. Health expenses, jobs, and loss of property include economic harm. Pain and misery, and emotional distress include non-economic damage.
Let's look a bit closer:
Medical attention and counseling: Almost always, a slip and fall accident award requires the cost of medical treatment, both to repay what you have already paid and to account for potential expected costs.
Loss Earnings: If you miss work because of the injury, the missed income can be recovered.
Loss of property: In a slip and fall accident, you can injure more than just your body. You may be holding a costly bottle of wine that shatters when you fall. In your slip and fall action, you will recover damages for lost goods.
Emotional suffering: Damages incurred by mental distress reimburse a plaintiff for the non-physical impact of an accident. This could involve fear, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, or other psychiatric disorders that occur after an accident or trauma.
The court may decide that the defendant needs to be disciplined if the defendant's conduct were especially serious or reckless. In that case, the tribunal awards you punitive damages. Punitive damages in California are often referred to as "exemplary" damages.
When deciding whether punitive damages can be paid, California law demands that the court consider three factors:
Reprehensibility of the actions of the defendant
The number of compensatory damages granted to the claimant or real harm sustained.
The financial state of the defendant
Statute of limitations on slip and fall accidents in California
A rule that limits the time you have to file a case is a "statute of limitations." Usually, a victim of a slip and fall accident has two years from the date of your accident to file a personal injury claim based on negligence under California Code of Civil Procedure section 3351.
There's a significant exception, however.
If you are suing the government, within six months of the date of the incident, you have to file an "administrative charge." The government must respond within 45 days after you have lodged the administrative charge. You will file a complaint within six months from the date of the rejection of your application is rejected. If a response is not sent, you will file a complaint within two years of the accident.
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