SLIP AND FALL
Liability for Slip and Fall Accidents
If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident on someone else’s property because of a dangerous condition, you will need to be able to show one of the following in order to recover for your injuries:
- The property owner or his employee should have known of the dangerous condition because another “reasonable” person in his or her position would have known about the dangerous condition and fixed it.
- The property owner or his employee actually did know about the dangerous condition but did not repair or fix it.
- The property owner or his employee caused the dangerous condition (spill, broken flooring, etc.).
Because many property owners are, in general, are pretty good about the upkeep on their premises, the first scenario is most often the one that is litigated in slip and fall accidents. However, the first situation is also the most tricky to prove because of the words “should have known.” After presenting your evidence and arguments, it will be up to the judge or jury to decide whether the property owner should have known about the slippery step that caused you to fall.
When you attempt to show that a property owner is liable for the injuries you sustained in your slip and fall accident, you will have to be able to illustrate the reasonableness of the property owner’s actions. See Standards of Care and the “Reasonable” Person to learn more. In order to help you with this situation, here are some questions that the attorney at California Injury Agency will want to discuss before starting a case:
- How long had the defect that caused your injury been present before your accident? In other words, if there was work being done on some plumbing, and a pipe was sticking out of a wall at foot level with no signs up and you run into the pipe, a reasonable person would have put up a sign warning of the dangerous protruding pipe.
- What kinds of cleaning activities does the property owner engage in? If the property owner claims that he or she inspects the property daily, what kind of proof can he or she show to support this claim?
- If your slip and fall accident involved tripping over something that was left on the floor or in another place where you tripped on it, was there a legitimate reason for that object to be there?
- If your slip and fall accident involved tripping over something that was left on the floor that once had a legitimate reason for being there, did the legitimate reason still exist at the time of your accident? For example, tripping over a can of paint in a living room is probably not reasonable if the last time the room had been painted was over 2 years ago and the owner had no immediate plans to repaint the room.