What is a slip and fall personal injury case?
If you slipped and fell while on someone else’s property, whether that property was a friend’s house or apartment, store, gas station, office, restaurant, or any other property other than your own, you may be entitled to compensation for injuries you sustained as a result. However, in order to be entitled to compensation after a slip and fall accident, in addition to other things, you must prove that the property or business owner/renter did something wrong.
For example, it is not enough that you slipped and fell because there was liquid or debris on the ground, or because the floor was otherwise slippery. Rather, you must show that the property or business owner/renter did something wrong to cause the dangerous condition (e.g., liquid, debris, or other thing causing the floor to be slippery) to exist or remain.
Do I have a slip and fall case in California?
In California, to be eligible for compensation after a slip and fall accident, you must prove all four of these things:
- The person or entity you believe to be responsible either owned, leased, occupied, or controlled the property where you fell; AND
- That person or entity did something wrong (was negligent) in the use or maintenance of the property;
- You were harmed; AND
- That person’s or entity’s wrongdoing (negligence) was a substantial reason (factor) in causing your harm.
However, what you must prove in a slip and fall case does not stop there. Even if you are able to prove the above four things, you will also have to show that (a) you were paying reasonable attention for your own safety at the time of the accident, (b) the thing that caused you to fall was a “dangerous condition,” and (c) that the dangerous condition was not so obvious that you should have seen or noticed it.
Should I hire a personal injury attorney for my slip and fall accident?
As you can see, slip and fall cases are very complex. This is why slip and fall accidents almost always require the help of an attorney.
The hardest part in a slip and fall case is usually showing that the business or property owner/renter did something wrong which in turn caused your fall. There are a few ways to show this, however, this often requires the knowledge and expertise of a good personal injury lawyer. Courts have decided that there are different ways in which a business or property owner can be at fault (negligent) for a slip and fall accident. These different decisions by the courts have become law (known as case law) in California.
With slip and fall case law in mind, a skilled personal injury lawyer can gather appropriate evidence and argue that the property or business owner/renter in your slip and fall case did the same or similar things as the parties who courts in the past have found to be to blame. This often requires some creativity on your lawyer’s part, as well as understanding the relevant case law.