San Diego’s Experienced Attorneys for Premise Liability or Slip and Fall Injuries
A slip and fall injury refers to a situation in which a person gets injured by slipping, tripping, or falling due to a dangerous condition on someone else’s property. It’s a common type of personal injury case.
The injury can occur in various settings, such as commercial properties (like a grocery store, office building, or mall), private residences, or public spaces (like sidewalks or parks).
The conditions that can lead to such an injury include, but are not limited to:
- Wet or slippery floors (ie: wet mopping in a bathroom or restaurant)
- Uneven surfaces or flooring
- Poorly lit or unmarked stairs or stairwell
- Cluttered floors or walkways
- Broken or cracked sidewalks or walkways
- Ice or snow
- Building code violations
The specific legal definitions and requirements can vary by jurisdiction, but generally, in order to establish liability in a slip and fall injury, a plaintiff typically needs to show that:
- The owner or occupier of the property had a duty to keep the property safe and to warn visitors of any dangerous conditions on the property.
- The owner or occupier failed to meet that duty by allowing a dangerous condition to exist and failed to adequately warn of said dangerous condition.
- The plaintiff was injured as a direct result of the hazardous condition and a dangerous condition was in fact present. Furthermore, the defective condition was not “trivial” in nature.
- The injury resulted in damages (like medical bills, lost wages, and/or pain and suffering).
It’s important to note that not every slip or trip and fall will result in a successful legal claim; it depends on the circumstances and how significant the dangerous condition is and whether the owner or occupier of the property knew or should have known about the dangerous condition long enough and failed to take corrective action. An injured party should consult with a personal injury attorney to evaluate the specifics of each case.
A “slip and fall” injury refers to a situation where a person slips, trips and ultimately falls due to a dangerous or unsafe condition on someone else’s property. It’s a common term used in personal injury law, specifically under the premises liability legal theory.
The following factors typically define a slip and fall injury:
- The Incident: Anything that would cause a person to slip or trip and ultimately cause a person to fall and sustain injuries. These incidents can happen indoors or outdoors, and they often involve conditions like wet floors, poor lighting, uneven surfaces, or hidden hazards.
- Unsafe or Dangerous Condition: There must be a condition on the property that was unsafe or dangerous. This could be anything from a loose floorboard, a spill that hasn’t been cleaned up for some time, unsecured rugs, poorly maintained sidewalks or stairs, ice or snow, etc.
- Responsibility of the Property Owner: The property owner (or someone in possession of the property, like a tenant or manager) will be responsible for this type of loss if the owner knew or should have known about the dangerous condition, and failed to repair it, or take action to protect others, or failed to warn others about said dangerous condition.
- Injury: The person must have suffered some harm or injury as a result of the fall. This can include physical harm like fractures, sprains, bruises, or more serious injuries, but it can also include emotional harm or financial losses, like medical bills or lost wages that stem from the incident.
- Causation: There must be a clear link between the dangerous condition and the injury. The alleged dangerous condition must have been the cause of the fall and subsequent injuries.
Every slip and fall case is unique and the specific circumstances surrounding the incident will play a crucial role in the legal proceedings. These sort of cases are very fact specific, so it is crucial to document the scene properly and promptly. Witnesses must be identified immediately and statements from said witnesses must be secured before they disappear. Prompt notice must be given to the land owner or occupier to properly preserve any evidence from the incident. It is always advisable to consult with a lawyer who specializes in personal injury law to fully understand the implications and potential outcomes of a slip and fall case.
Slip and fall cases that involve a sidewalk, crosswalk or any public property owned or maintained by the government or any government agencies, typically have a claim filing requirement of only six (6) months. Therefore, time is of the essence and an attorney should be consulted almost immediately. Failure to timely file a governmental claim may preclude an injured person from being able to recover his or her damages.
Time to bring an action, limitations: If you have been injured in a trip and or slip and fall incident, you only have two years from the date of the incident to file a lawsuit in California and only six (6) months to file a governmental claim if the dangerous condition that caused your fall, was owned or controlled by the government or one if its agencies.
In addition, because these cases are so fact specific, it is important the accident scene is documented immediately and all witnesses are secured before they disappear.