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Important factors in a slip and fall lawsuit

On Behalf of | Nov 2, 2022 | Personal Injury |

According to the National Flooring Safety Institute, 8 million people visit emergency rooms as a result of slips and falls. This type of accident also accounts for  12% of total falls annually.

In some cases, slip-and-fall accidents are no one’s fault. In others, they can be the result of a property owner’s negligence. In these cases, the injured may be able to hold a property owner liable for their damages.

Plaintiffs in slip-and-fall cases can recover damages both economic losses, such as medical bills, and non-economic losses, such as pain and suffering.

‘Who? What? Where?’

Though determined by negligence, the legal liability for a slip and fall involves consideration of multiple issues, especially the following:

  • Ownership: California law distinguishes between property owners and occupiers. The former have a duty to maintain their premises and provide warnings to those on the property for hazards present or that they should have known about. The latter, e.g. renters, must keep premises reasonably safe, and correct the problem or provide warnings to those who enter. Landlords may assume liability if the plaintiff proves negligence in certain areas, such as a common room, or did not repair a leaking room in an apartment. Injuries that occur at work typically fall under workers’ compensation.
  • California law: Negligence has several requirements. First, plaintiffs must prove the owners or occupiers either caused the hazards or should have known about them and failed to correct them. Second, plaintiffs must show that the failure to correct directly resulted in their injury. In California, pure comparative negligence permits plaintiffs to recover full compensation reduced by the percentage fault assigned to them.
  • Government property: Lawsuits involving slips and falls on government property involve a very specific and time-sensitive procedural process.

Experience matters

Hazards appear almost everywhere and can result in a slip and fall accident in which someone can be badly injured. The resolution to a slip and fall accident demands a detailed review of a wide range of facts and law in the proper context. Attorneys who understand how these factors blend can provide guidance.