“Slip and falls” are a type of premises liability action. As their name indicates, these are accidents that are a result of “slipping and falling.” For example, if you slip on an unmarked wet floor in a mall or a supermarket, fall over an unsafe staircase, slip over ice or oil, or are injured on property that does not comply with usual safety standards, you may be entitled to seek damages from the owner of the premises.
“Slip and fall” cases involve some of the most severe types of injuries such as spinal cord fractures, herniated discs, brain damage, and more. As with other personal injury actions, a plaintiff in a “slip and fall” case needs to prove that the defendant acted negligently by failing to ensure that the premises were safe for everyday use.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who Is Liable for the Slip and Fall?
Property owners owe guests or visitors a duty of care. This duty requires the owner, leaseholder, occupier, or controller of the property to maintain the property in a safe state to avoid slip and fall accidents.
If you or someone you care about was injured in a slip and fall accident, you must prove that the property owner or occupier acted negligently for you to recover damages. In California, this means that you will have to show that the owner of the property failed to exercise reasonable care in using or maintaining the premises in a safe condition. A property owner is negligent if they knew or should have known of an unsafe premises condition, and failed to repair, protect, or place visible signs warning of the unsafe condition.
In determining whether the property owner exercised reasonable care when keeping their premises safe, the law holds them to a “reasonable person” standard. As such, the court will analyze whether the owner or manager of the premises used the care that any reasonably prudent person acting under the same circumstances would have used.
If they did exercise such reasonable care, then they may not be liable. If they did not, they may be liable to compensate you for the slip and fall injury.
What Damages Am I Entitled To?
If the facts of your case show that the property owner or occupier was liable, then you are entitled to recover compensatory damages from the negligent party or their insurer. Compensatory damages for slip and fall accident injuries include medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, lost earning capacity, and more.
In some instances, victims can be entitled to punitive damages as well.
Examples of instances where you can be awarded punitive damages for slip and fall injuries include:
- Where the defendant purposely destroys evidence showing their liability,
- Where the defendant engaged in extreme recklessness or intentional harm, resulting in wrongful death or injuries, and
- Where the defendant acted with malice, oppression, or fraud.
The experienced slip and fall lawyers at Golden Gate Legal will be able to advise you about how much your claim is worth and whether your case qualifies for punitive damages.
California’s Statute of Limitations for Slip and Fall Claims
In a slip and fall case on private property, California requires that you file your case within two years from the date of the accident.
However, there are a few exceptions to this rule, which may either shorten or extend the applicable statute of limitations period. For example, if a slip and fall occurs on government property you must file your claim within 6 months from the date of the accident.
Injured in A Slip and Fall Accident? Let Us Help You Recover Damages
If you or a loved one has sustained serious injuries on someone’s property after a slip and fall accident, contact our team of seasoned California slip and fall attorneys for a free case evaluation. The attorneys at Golden Gate Legal are ready to fight on your behalf and have the experience necessary to get you the compensation you deserve.