Understanding "Slip and Fall" Accidents in California

A "slip and fall" claim is a colloquial name for a personal injury lawsuit aiming to hold a property or business owner responsible for failing to keep the premises safe for visitors. At Garcia Preciado Law, our attorneys will investigate your case and help you obtain full and fair compensation. Property owners have a duty to maintain their premises and keep them safe. When they fail to do so, we make sure they are held accountable.  

What is a "Slip and Fall" Case in California?

A slip and fall case is a lawsuit that stems from an incident where a visitor gets hurt due to an unsafe condition on the premises. While it often involves slipping and falling, it is by no means restricted to that narrow scenario. Examples of slip and fall cases include: 

  • Tripping on a hidden obstacle 
  • Sliding on an icy parking lot or sidewalk 
  • Falling into a hidden sinkhole 
  • Falling through a weak floor or step 

To have a slip and fall case, you must be able to prove, at a minimum, that: 

      1. Duty of care. The property owner or manager owes a duty to inspect and maintain the premises in a safe condition and address any hazardous or unsafe conditions. 

      2. Hazardous or unsafe condition. A hazard or an otherwise unsafe condition existed on the property. 

      3. Knowledge. The property owner or manager had or should have had previous knowledge or notice of the hazardous or otherwise unsafe condition. 

      4. Damages. The victim was allowed on the property (even though the condition existed) and suffered an injury. Damages include economic (e.g., wage losses and medical bills) and non-economic (pain and suffering) damages. 

These elements of a slip and fall case may seem straightforward, but they can become complex. The standard of proof is a preponderance of the evidence, meaning you must show that more likely than not, the property or business owner was responsible and, thus, is financially liable. 

Common Causes of “Slip and Fall” Accidents

To have a slip and fall case where you can obtain compensation for your injuries, an unsafe or hazardous situation must have existed. Common situations include but are not limited to: 

  • Wet floors or bad flooring   
  • Poorly lit areas or unmarked step-offs 
  • Poorly maintained sidewalks 
  • Unsafe stairs, broken or missing handrails 
  • Poorly operating escalators or poorly maintained elevators 
  • Boxes or other items poorly placed or left in the path of foot traffic  
  • No warning or hazard signs 

These situations are merely examples. Conditions creating a slip and fall accident can materialize in many ways.

Common “Slip and Fall” Injuries

Slip and fall-related injuries vary greatly. The type and extent of the injury depends on the accident itself as well as the location, the environment, what the victim was doing, the victim's age, the victim's overall health or pre-existing conditions, and more. As such, injuries range from bruises to death. 

Many of the following types of injuries result from slip and fall accidents: 

  • Broken bones or multiple fractures 
  • Bruises, sprains, or strains  
  • Bone or joint dislocation 
  • Ruptured or herniated disks 
  • Cuts, lacerations 
  • Neck and back injuries 
  • Head injuries 

As mentioned, an injured person's existing health condition can impact the severity of the injury. Elderly and frail victims of slips and falls can suffer hip injuries that, statistically, lead to premature death. Younger victims also suffer when the injury creates significant setbacks and impairs their ability to work in their chosen profession or prevents participation in activities they enjoy for sport or recreation. 

As you can see, slip and fall accidents can lead to serious bodily, emotional, mental, social, and financial consequences for the victim. 

Liability in “Slip and Fall” Accidents

Parties legally responsible for the damages caused to a person due to a slip and fall accident are liable for those damages. Anyone can potentially be responsible, but when it is a slip and fall accident, the usual culprits are: 

  • The business owner 
  • The manager of the business 
  • The property owner 
  • A company that has been hired to maintain the premises 

Proving which one (or more) of these parties was responsible for keeping the property safe can be a central feature in a premises liability case. 

3 Reasons to Hire a Premises Liability Attorney from Garcia Preciado Law

Premises liability cases can be difficult cases. Proving fault will require documentation and strategy.  So, when you accuse someone else––whether that's a property owner, homeowner, or business owner––for failing to maintain safe premises, they and their insurance companies are not likely to sit by and let the accusation go without fighting it.   

But you don't want to hire just any premises liability lawyer. At Garcia Preciado Law, we have the resources and experience needed to file a well-documented and well-argued lawsuit.  Here are 3 reasons why you need Garcia Preciado Law to represent you in a slip and fall accident:  

      1. Investigation and Determining Liability. We will investigate the slip and fall accident to establish fault. Finding and proving fault is critical in any slip and fall case. Investigating the accident will involve an assessment of the accident location, reviewing any video, speaking to eyewitnesses, taking the right depositions, and retaining the services of experts, among other things. 

      2. Calculating Damages. We will prove damages caused by the slip and fall accident. After a thorough investigation, we will put the pieces of the puzzle together to prove all the damages you seek. We will do this by linking the cause of the accident to your injury and then provide supporting documentation linking the injury to all your losses. The damages you seek will depend on the nature and extent of your injuries caused by the slip and fall accident. 

      3. Level the playing field between you and big corporations. We will represent you fully and throughout the course of your case until a settlement is reached or trial has concluded, and a verdict awarded. You will not have to deal with the other parties, with the insurance claim, with deadlines, or figuring out the actual value of your case, among other things. We will do all of that for you. We want you to focus on your physical, emotional, and mental recovery.  

Contact Garcia Preciado Law Today

If you've been injured while on someone else's property, you might have a viable premises liability case. Our premises liability attorneys are here to explain your options and help you get the relief you deserve. Call us at 661-495-0084 or fill out our online contact form today to schedule a FREE consultation. The sooner you contact us, the sooner we can protect your rights.