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A Guide To Slip & Fall Accidents In California

Updated: Dec 15, 2022

Learn everything you need to know about California Slip & Fall accidents - from common examples to filing a personal injury claim.

A major fall caused by slipping on the stairwell or a crack in the sidewalk can feel like your own clumsy mistake. However, there are situations when these mishaps are not your fault at all. Poor property management or lack of safety procedures are common causes of serious injuries in Slip & Fall accidents in California.

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If you fell on someone else's property, you may wish to consult with a California Lawyer for Slip & Fall Accident. If you believe the property owner is to blame for your injuries, you may be able to file a Premises Liability Lawsuit.

Are Slip And Fall Personal Injuries?

Slip-and-fall lawsuits hold property owners liable for the lack of maintenance or safety practices that led to your trip.

Sprains, broken bones, and fractures can all occur due to slipping and falling. These kinds of mishaps are so widespread that they've earned the moniker "slide and falls." Unfortunately, slips and falls are frequently caused by careless maintenance of circumstances by those in charge.

According to the law, property owners in California must:

  • Exert reasonable care to maintain conditions on their property

  • Prevent foreseeable injury to others who come within the premises

Failure to do so can result in a property owner being held accountable for any harm caused by those conditions.

The term for this is "premises liability." In most common cases, dangerous circumstances on premises include:

  1. Carpeting that is torn or loose

  2. A glass that has been shattered or that has not been replaced

  3. Flight of steps that are broken or missing

  4. Electrical wires and cords that are exposed or unprotected

  5. Failing to issue warnings about recognized dangers

Property owners are held liable for accidents that happen within their property. If they knew people would be there, they should've done everything to ensure no one gets harmed or hurt. Poor maintenance can lead to slip and fall accidents, resulting in lawsuits.

If you've suffered injuries due to poor property maintenance, contact California Lawyer for Slip & Fall Accident to help you sort out your legal options.

How To Prove Slip And Fall Injuries In California?

When it comes to proving that a property owner is at fault for your injuries, you need to show that they have been negligent in some way. As said, property owners are responsible for making their premises safe, so if you were injured within their premises because of poor maintenance, you could forward a Personal Injury Claim.

There are numerous more elements to evaluate when you or a loved one is harmed in a slip and fall accident, including:

  1. Past complaints about an existing safety hazard

  2. Evaluating the level of negligence of a business or property owner

  3. Determining the culpability, if applicable, of the injured individual.

There will almost always be claims of comparative fault or negligence. This is especially applicable in California, where if the injured party is partly to blame for the accident, the plaintiff should pay damages for their part of the responsibility.

Frequently, the property owner contends that the hazard was "open and evident," meaning that it might have been avoided if the claimant had been paying attention. However, in other circumstances, they will claim that there was no notice or that the defect in the premises was minor, making the case more challenging to prove.

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Questions will also be asked regarding any additional factors that could support a comparative fault defense, such as:

  1. What kind of footwear did you wear during the slip and fall?

  2. What were you doing before slipping and falling?

  3. Did you slip and fall on the job?

  4. Were you distracted?

  5. Did you see a "wet floor" sign?

The following are some of the most common causes of slips and falls:

  1. Floors and sidewalks that are loose and uneven

  2. Stores and houses that are cluttered

  3. Liquids and substances on the floor

  4. Accidents involving elevators and escalators

  5. Insufficient lighting

  6. Stairs that aren't stable and handrails that aren't secure

Of course, not all of the examples above are exhaustive. Every slip and fall case is different, so yours might be particularly unique to your circumstance. Contact a lawyer to help you with the legal processes you must go through.

What Should You Do After A Slip And Fall Accident?

In basic terms, a property owner or someone running a public business must maintain safe conditions for visitors, customers, and anyone permitted to be on your land by federal and California regulations, such as mail delivery people. If a property owner was careless about keeping their property safe and you slipped and fell because of it, you have the right to get money for your injuries.

If a property owner fails to apply common sense—nd should have known that conditions were hazardous and fails to address the hazard or provide a clear notice—they are accountable for harming anyone legally on their property.

To establish a personal injury slip and fall case, you'll need to gather evidence such as images of the dangerous situation, witness testimony from anyone who witnessed your fall, accident reports, medical records, and any other proof you can get concerning what caused your fall. You, as the claimant, bear the so-called "burden of proof."

Also, collect and save any materials that caused your trip and fall if you can. This evidence will help you if the property owner or their insurance company questions your liability for your injuries, which they will certainly do. It's crucial to keep track of the shoes you wore, for example, to demonstrate that they were acceptable. High heels or worn-out shoes with smooth bottoms make it more difficult to prove a case.

Slip and fall claims involving premises liability are complicated to win. When we look at reported verdicts and case outcomes in California, we observe that most cases that get to trial end in a total loss. Defendants, of course, see the same reports, and as a result, they vigorously oppose these cases. As a result, they are far less likely than other types of damage lawsuits to settle quickly.

  • Often, experts are involved. However, the more challenging nature of this practice area, with its higher burden of proof and recovery expenses, raises the stakes for the case. This is why persons who have suffered relatively minor injuries due to a fall sometimes have difficulty finding a lawyer to assist them.

  • Experienced, skilled, and California Lawyer for Slip & Fall Accident can assist you in gathering the facts you'll need to pursue your slip and fall injury case, such as accident and medical records. However, it's also critical not to delay.

The longer you wait after your injury, the more probable the accident scene may be cleaned up or repaired, making it more challenging to secure a successful personal injury claim. However, if the on-site proof has disappeared or been put away, medical documents proving your injuries, as well as witnesses and medical experts, can still help obtain monetary compensation from the property owner.

To successfully pursue a premises liability monetary compensation after being hurt due to a slip and fall on someone else's property, you'll nearly always need the help of an experienced slip and fall law team.

Slip & Falls In Swimming Pools

Pool sides are notoriously slippery and dangerous. Not to mention, people often play around in pools, so it should really warrant some caution when you are in one. However, even the most cautious walker will lose their balance and fall.

Slipping and falling on a hard surface can result in serious consequences, such as:

  1. Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI). A fall might result in a brain injury due to blunt force trauma. Traumatic brain injury from a physical impact could have the same detrimental results as hypoxic brain damage.

  2. Spinal cord injuries. Which can cause paralysis or other long-term problems.

  3. Bone fractures and soft tissue injuries include a broken ankle, a fractured hip, or a sprained wrist.

Of course, these injuries are only examples. There are other injuries you might sustain slipping and falling in poolsides. Your injuries might also hinder you from coming to work and losing income, which can qualify as damages to a Personal Injury Case in California.

If you slipped and fell in a swimming pool, the owner might be accountable for poor management, insufficient warning signs/placards, or pool safety measures. Contact a Swimming Pool Injuries Attorney if your case is more specific to pool accidents.

Slip & Falls In A Store Or Business Location

Consumers expect a secure and enjoyable experience when they visit local retailers and eateries. However, when a customer is wounded due to the business' negligence or willful contempt for its responsibilities, the experience can quickly turn sour.

Business owners must follow certain laws, ordinances, and standards to safeguard their employees' and customers' health and safety. When accidents occur on or near a company's property, the courts frequently hold the company liable.

Businesses in California owe a duty of care to patrons, shoppers, and tourists. They are in charge of keeping their stores and, by extension, their customers safe from unsafe situations. But, unfortunately, accidents can still happen.

People who have been harmed at an establishment by tripping or falling due to ripped carpeting, a change in the flooring, insufficient lighting, a narrow or steep staircase, or a wet floor are the most common types of slip and fall.

Businesses that allow such situations (even when fully aware of the hazard) may be held accountable for these accidents if the owner "reasonably" should have known about the danger and failed to take reasonable steps to remedy it.

Even if the victim is not aware of the injury at the time, the consequences of a slip and fall can be severe. You should immediately contact a California Lawyer for Slip & Fall Accident if you've been hurt in a business or restaurant.

Slip & Falls In Sidewalks

Sidewalk slips and falls are caused by tree roots pushing up a raised slab and uneven and broken pavements. It all comes down to how much of a height gap there is in these situations. It can be difficult for a case to survive California's "trivial defect" threshold if the difference is smaller than an inch.

Many towns and cities have regulations that make the nearby landowner liable for damage caused by faulty sidewalks. So, for example, if the tree root affecting the pavements is coming from someone else's property, then that property owner is responsible for your injuries.

That said, contact a lawyer for complicated legal issues like these. Your lawyers know their way around the law and will be able to advise you on what you can do and who you can hold liable for your injuries.

Slip & Falls Leading To Catastrophic Injuries

Gas explosions, slip-and-fall accidents, amusement park accidents, animal assaults, and other disasters can permanently impair or disfigure people. Unfortunately, severe and disfiguring injuries can affect the lives of the injured and their families for the rest of their lives.

Catastrophic injuries inflict serious physical, emotional, and psychological harm and frequently necessitate intensive long-term medical therapy. The following are examples of catastrophic injuries:

  1. Brain and head injuries. As a result of an impact, the skull and/or brain are injured.

  2. Injury to the spinal cord. The spinal cord is damaged, resulting in full or partial paralysis.

  3. Burns. Burns of the first, second, or third degree caused by heat, flame, corrosive chemicals, radiation, or electricity

That said, catastrophic injuries can lead to permanent and temporary disabilities, affecting the victims' ability to live their lives as before the accident happened. In addition, victims might lose the ability to do their current job, losing significant income.

Contact a California Lawyer for Slip & Fall Accident to help you with your claims. The medical bills, rehab expenses, lost income, and emotional distress in catastrophic injuries are incredibly crucial.

Slip & Falls Leading To Wrongful Death

Unfortunately, some catastrophic injuries from slips and falls can lead to a victim's untimely death. This is an added legal battle for the defendant.

Wrongful death is a tort action in which surviving family members seek financial compensation for the death of a loved one. In addition, if a tort or misconduct causes an accident that results in the death of a victim, the person who committed the tort will be held accountable for damages.

In California, wrongful death is defined as a legal claim that arises when someone dies due to the negligence of another person (or group of people). If a wrongful death action is successful, the family may be able to recover damages such as burial and funeral fees and hold the responsible person accountable.

A wrongful death lawsuit differs from a trial for suicide or murder. It isn't even a legal proceeding. Instead, it's a civil complaint brought in the state of California. Its goal is to hold a defendant civilly rather than legally liable for someone's death.

The family may have grounds to pursue a wrongful death case regardless of whether the at-fault party committed a crime. For example, while the defendant is awaiting a criminal trial, the family of a victim of an intentional crime, such as murder, will be able to bring a civil wrongful death complaint. In addition, your relatives will be allowed to sue for wrongful death based on an unanticipated tort, such as carelessness.

If you want to seek compensation for a loved one who died due to someone else's negligence, you need to understand the principles of a wrongful death claim. However, just a few survivors are permitted to pursue a claim.

Those who can file for wrongful death claim are the following:

  • The deceased's spouse or registered domestic partner might launch a lawsuit if they were married at the time of death.

  • If the deceased's children still live, they may bring a lawsuit against the defendant. If all the decedent's children have passed away, the decedent's grandchildren will launch a case.

  • If the decedent was married but had no children, their parents could launch a case.

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  • Siblings or other dependents of the deceased may initiate a lawsuit if the deceased's spouse, children, or parents are no longer alive.

  • A lawsuit can be filed by the parents of a minor child who has died. The decedent's siblings will file a claim if the decedent's parents have died.

  • In circumstances where the decedent did not prepare a will, individuals who may be entitled to inherit property and those who were financial dependents of the decedent would have the right to submit a wrongful death claim.

Survivors are entitled to monetary recompense for their injuries, which may include the following:

  • Medications and health-care costs. Potential damages, as well as personal assistance, guidance, or training, are valued in the decedent's inheritance.

  • Companionship, comfort, community, compassion, solace, and moral guidance that were lost due to the decedent's death.

  • Punitive damages are only recoverable in "survival cases," which allow the deceased's estate to recover economic losses due to the event that ultimately caused their death, even if the deceased only lived for a short time after the occurrence that killed them.

It is critical to seek legal counsel from a Wrongful Death Attorney in California as soon as possible. Many circumstances can influence the result of your case, and all personal injury lawsuits are subject to strict statutes of limitations.

What Are Slip And Fall Cases Worth?

When you sustain injuries due to someone else's negligence, you are entitled to request compensation for the losses you incurred because of the injuries.

This compensation is also referred to as "damages" in California Personal Injury Law. Thus, the defendant is essentially paying you for the damages or losses you sustained.

Here's a list of possible damages that can be awarded in a California Slip & Fall Case:

  1. Medical Fees. Long-term hospitalization expenditures, physical or occupational therapy costs, and prescription/drug costs, among other things, may be covered by the award.

  2. Lost wages, earnings. A monetary award that compensates you for lost wages as a result of a slip and fall event.

  3. Reduction or Loss of Earning Capacity. A personal injury award compensates you for losing your capacity to work due to a slip and fall accident.

  4. Pain and Suffering. Damages intended to reimburse you for physical pain, mental suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, disfigurement, physical impairment, annoyance, grief, worry, embarrassment, and emotional distress suffered from a slip and fall accident.

  5. Wrongful Death. These are damages awarded to loved ones to compensate for the decedent's financial expenses, including funeral and burial expenditures, the real worth of household contributions of the decedent, loss of affection, loss of companionship, loss of comfort, the loss of enjoyment of life, and so on.

  6. Punitive damages. Damages are assessed to penalize egregious behavior or severe indifference (in addition to regular compensation awards). Think of punitive damages as a way to "teach someone a lesson" so that the negligence might never be repeated again.

That said, this list is non-exhaustive. There are other economic and non-economic damages that you can demand from the defendant, depending on the specific circumstances surrounding your case. Consult a California Lawyer for Slip & Fall Accident so they can let you know other damages you might be entitled to claim.

What Are The Deadline For Slip And Fall Accident Claim?

There is a two-year statute of limitations for pursuing a case in the event of a slip and fall accident. This state law covers the majority of negligence cases in California. This includes slip and fall injuries caused by the premises' responsibility.

In this type of lawsuit, you may be able to reach an out-of-court settlement. In other slip-and-fall cases, the victim, lawyer, property owner, and insurer reach an arrangement.

A civil statute of limitations is a law that establishes a time limit for pursuing a legal claim. The trial court may stop the case from moving forward if the wounded victim fails to file the primary documents required by law before the deadline. As a result, the statute of limitations serves as a deadline for the case. Criminal and civil proceedings, including personal injury cases such as slips and falls, have statutes of limitations.

Even though the standard limit for filing a personal injury lawsuit is two years from the date of the injury, there are exceptions to this rule. For example, if civil action in court becomes required, your lawyer can examine the facts of your case and assist you in determining the timeframe for doing so.

Factors that Affect The Deadlines

When it comes to a slip and fall claim in California, specific regulations govern when it starts, how long it will take, and what happens if the defendant isn't an individual or a corporation.

In some circumstances, the defendant's identity influences the statute of limitations. For example, if you fell on government property, you have only six months to make an administrative claim with the agency.

Before you may launch a claim, you must first complete this stage. Even if two years have not passed, failing to satisfy this deadline could result in you losing your ability to go to court. is a California Bar Association-Certified Lawyer Referral Service that can refer you to a prescreened Personal Injury Attorney best fit to handle your Slip & Fall case.

Contact us on our 24/7 lawyer referral hotline at 1-661-310-7999 or complete our inquiry submission form for a FREE INITIAL CONSULTATION.


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