Suffering an injury from any type of a slip or trip and fall accident within a store, restaurant or other business can result in serious and permanent injuries that could be with you for the rest of your life. Some injures may require substantial and expensive medical attention and require you to miss time from work. When the party controlling the property has caused the fall, they should be held accountable for the damages. After a slip/trip and fall accident, or any type of injury occurring on another's property, you need a knowledgeable lawyer who can help you receive the maximum recovery for your injuries and other damages.
Slip and Trip and Fall Law in California
A person who owns or occupies property is negligent if he or she fails to use reasonable care to maintain their property in a reasonably safe condition. Those in control of property must use reasonable care to discover any unsafe conditions and to repair, replace, or give adequate warning of anything that could logically be expected to harm others. If reasonable care is not used and an injury results from a slip and fall accident, the business or property owner may be held liable for the injuries and damages suffered by the victim.
Typically, the question is whether in the management of his or her property, the possessor of land has acted as a reasonable person would have under all the circumstances. The likelihood of injury to people coming on to the property, the probable seriousness of such injury, the burden of reducing or avoiding the risk, the location of the property, and the possessor’s degree of control over the dangerous condition are among the factors to be considered by the judge or jury in evaluating the reasonableness of a defendant’s conduct. While this is a long list of factors, whether a defendant is held liable for the injuries sustained in a fall boils down to common sense and experience. What could a reasonable business or property owner have done to avoid the accident? If the answer is something simple and not too expensive, responsibility would rest with the business or property owner.
Examples of Dangerous Property Conditions
Broadly speaking, premises liability alleges a defendant property owner created a dangerous condition, allowed a dangerous condition on its property to exist and/or failed to take reasonable steps to warn people of the danger. While most cases involve a hazard that leads to a fall, such dangerous conditions can even include criminal acts committed by third parties. Some examples of situations giving rise to a valid claim include:
- Constructing a ramp or other structure not in compliance with the Uniform Building Code, resulting in a fall.
- Permitting a slippery substance or tripping hazard to exist in a place of business for an unreasonable time that causes an injury.
- Allowing a violent patron to remain at a business, causing or contributing to an assault.
Not every accident or injury will be the fault of the property or business owner as some incidents simply cannot be avoided. What is important is being able to prove those in control of the property acted unreasonably under the existing circumstances, thereby causing or at least contributing to the harm suffered. Most slip and fall accidents can be avoided if the business or property owner takes reasonable care in the management of their property. This often requires the owner or their employees to regularly inspect the property for conditions that might cause a fall or injury. The absence of those routine inspections can be used as evidence of neglect. When adequate safety precautions, including inspections, are not performed and an injury occurs, the property owner should be held accountable.
If you believe your slip and fall or trip and fall accident was caused by someone else's neglect, take the first step to receiving compensation by contacting an experienced attorney.