Slip and Fall Injury Accidents

If you fall due to a “dangerous condition” (e.g., ice, trip hazard, standing water, etc.) on someone else’s property and are left with an injury that is long-lasting or interferes with your daily routine, the premise owner may be liable for the injuries you suffered.

But how do you know whether you have a personal injury case in the first place? How should it be handled? Do you need a personal injury lawyer to help you?

Here are some facts about slip and fall liability.

First, you are not alone. Thousands of people are injured in slip and fall accidents every year, some of which are very serious. The causes of these injury accidents range from dangerous flooring, tricky stairs, an unexpected change in elevation that leads you to trip, or an uneven area of ground. These are known as dangerous conditions.

Keep in mind that although you may be injured due to these dangerous conditions, property owners may not be held liable unless they had “notice” of the dangerous condition and (1) either had an opportunity to fix it, or (2) had an opportunity to warn you and others of the dangerous condition. To be legally responsible for the injuries you suffered from slipping and falling on someone else’s property, at least one of the following must be true:

  • The owner of the premises or an employee must have caused the spill, worn or torn spot, or other slippery or dangerous surface or item to be underfoot.
  • The owner of the premises or an employee must have known of the dangerous surface but done nothing about it.
  • The owner of the premises or an employee should have known of the dangerous surface because a “reasonable” person taking care of the property would have discovered and removed or repaired it.

Some tricky wording (you may have noticed “should have” quite often) often leaves room for debate between attorneys for property owners and injury victims. Liability relies heavily on whether the property owner followed its’ own rules and guidelines and whether the property owner or its’ employees used common sense to recognize and fix a dangerous condition. A debate also hinges on what was “reasonable” considering the circumstances. It is often important to determine whether the owner makes regular and thorough efforts to keep the property safe and clean and whether such “inspections” occurred just prior to your injury accident.

Some things to consider when you are considering whether you should pursue your slip and fall injury claim and whether you need the help of a trained personal injury attorney with experience litigating premises liability cases:

  • If you tripped over or slipped on an object that should not have been on the property (the “dangerous condition”), had the dangerous condition been there long enough that the owner should have known about it?
  • Does the property owner have a regular procedure for examining and cleaning or repairing the premises? If so, what proof does the owner have of this regular maintenance?
  • If you tripped over or slipped on an object on the ground, was there a legitimate reason for the object to be there?
  • If there once had been a good reason for the object to be there but that reason no longer exists, could the object have been removed or covered or otherwise made safe?
  • Was there a safer place the object could have been located, or could it have been placed in a safer manner, without much greater inconvenience or expense to the property owner or operator?
  • Could a simple barrier have been created or a warning been given to prevent people from slipping or tripping?
  • Did poor or broken lighting contribute to the accident?

Bear in mind that the notice requirement is a double-edged sword. The primary way the property owner will learn of a dangerous condition is through a visual inspection–in other words, they saw it on their property. Seeing the dangerous condition is enough to put the property owner on notice. However, if the dangerous condition was visible to the property owner, the property owner will argue that you should have seen it too and avoided it. In other words, the property owner will argue that you bear some or all of the responsibility for causing your injuries. This is called “contributory negligence”. It does not prevent you from recovering money for your injuries, but if a jury agrees with the property owner it will reduce the verdict in your favor.

For example, if you slip on water on a supermarket floor, a jury will be asked to determine whether the property owner was responsible for your injuries and whether you were contributorily negligent. Let’s say that a jury determines that your injury is worth $100,000 and that the property owner is 75% responsible and you are 25% contributorily negligent. The result of this verdict is that you will receive a verdict of $100,000 minus 25% ($25,000), for a net jury verdict of $75,000.

Because determining whether a property owner is legally responsible for a slip and fall injury is never absolutely determined until trial–both the property owner and injury victim will have arguments in their favor–many personal injury attorneys do not like representing slip and fall accident victims. These personal injury lawyers prefer cases where legal responsibility is determined, like rear-end car collisions, and the only issue they have to fight over is the value of the injured person’s injury. If they do take the rare slip and fall case, they are often lost or unmotivated to do the hard work needed to successfully prosecute these claims.

That is why you need an experienced slip and fall accident lawyer to help you. We have built a reputation in San Diego, Southern California, and the entire state of California as successful slip and fall accident lawyers who know how to build, document, and strengthen serious slip and fall accident cases. That reputation is known amongst other personal injury attorneys, many of whom regularly refer their slip and fall accident clients to our office due to our expertise. In addition, it is known by the insurance companies and lawyers for property owners who know that we will take these cases to trial and will be successful.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a slip and fall accident and you would like more information, contact us for a free consultation. We will make sure that none of your questions are unanswered and that you are informed about the legal process for slip and fall accident cases.

Client Testimonial: San Diego Slip and Fall Client, Rosemary M. of Spring Valley, California

Here is what our client, Rosemary M. of Spring Valley, California, has to say about how our office helped her.

We represented her in a San Diego slip and fall accident and recently obtained a very good settlement for her.

Legally We Can’t Say We Are The Best Personal Injury Law Firm in San Diego.

We’ve designed this site, our free reports and our free book with San Diego accident victims in mind. We want you to have the information you need to make an educated decision about your potential case. Too often, attorneys offer a free consultation and little else, leaving accident victims with many unanswered questions such as:

  • “Do I even need a lawyer?”
  • “How much time do I have to file a claim after I’ve had an accident?”
  • “How much is my San Diego accident case worth?”
  • “How do I find the right attorney for my case?”

We have the answers to these and many other questions available on this site and through our free information, saving you countless hours of research time and helping you understand more about personal injury law, the claims process and most importantly — your options.

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured because of another person’s recklessness or negligence, you can feel like events are out of your control. Dealing with medical bills, insurance companies, surgeries, pain, and uncertainty can be overwhelming. You may have to go to court to get the compensation you deserve. You may need to hire an attorney. In hard times you also need a friend.

If you’ve found yourself in these types of situations… 

I was crossing an intersection in Chula Vista, CA. I wore bright safety clothing and had reflectors on my bike, but the car plowed right in to me 

I knew my Carlsbad, CA landlord was cheap, but I didn’t know the stairs were in such bad shape. My little girl has been in the hospital since she fell …

My son was attacked by a dog in El Cajon. Now he is in an East County hospital and needs reconstructive surgery to correct the damage to his face…

I was rear-ended on I-5 near SR 94 in San Diego, CA. I’m injured, my car is totaled, and the insurance claims adjusters are acting like it’s my fault. I think I need a lawyer…

…then you owe it to yourself to consider our Law Firm.

With offices near the trolley line in Downtown San Diego and in Carlsbad for our North San Diego County clients, We handle a range of practice areas including:

  • Auto, Motorcycle, and Truck Accidents
  • Slip and Fall Accidents/Premises Liability Claims
  • Bicycle and Pedestrian Accidents
  • Dog Bites

Our team of San Diego injury lawyers will put you at ease. They will explain the legal process to you and help you find the medical attention you need. You will be fully involved in the decision-making process so you can make educated choices about your case. With our support, you will make the journey from fear and uncertainty to knowledge and closure.

We want the San Diego community to be informed. We want every San Diego injury accident victim to be armed with the information they need to prevail against insurance companies who only care about their profits. Even if you choose not to hire a lawyer, feel free to follow our three regular accident and injury blogs, San Diego Injury Lawyer blog, or the San Diego Car Accident Lawyer blog and download our free reports packed with helpful information for injury accident victims.

We use the latest technology, including paperless record keeping and trial software. Our office is one of the most technologically advanced in San Diego County. That means our attorneys can access every important document in a case immediately and communicate essential information to judges and juries quickly, easily, and to the fullest effect.

If you are unable to come to one of our offices, we can make arrangements to come to you.

If you or someone you love was severely injured in San Diego County, let us help.