A Store’s Liability for Slip and Fall Accidents

Proving Liability for Your Slip and Fall Accident

Falls contribute to 8 million hospital emergency room visits a year, more than any other kind of accident. Slips and falls make up 12% of these total fall-related accidents.

Slip and falls in California normally result in broken bones and bruising, but some cases can be more serious and tragic. The most at-risk population for slip and falls are the elderly, as 1.8 million people over the age of 65 are treated in emergency rooms annually as a result of a fall. Many older people do not survive their falls, and their families have to file wrongful death lawsuits.

What makes slip and fall accidents so egregious is that they are always preventable. Property owners and business owners are legally required to take a reasonable amount of care in creating a safe environment for their employees and patrons. If you are a construction worker on their property because it’s part of your assignment, the property owner also has a duty to keep you safe, or at least aware, of faulty flooring or unsafe areas.

An accident injury attorney will be well-versed in premises liability laws and slip and fall cases. Our Newport Beach injury law firm handles slip and fall cases all the time, and our clients receive five and six-figure supplements for their pain and suffering. The core of our Newport Beach personal injury attorneys’ cases is always the property owners’ or customers’ negligence in their duty to act reasonably.

Duty to Maintain Safe Premises

If someone has fallen in a store and hurt themselves, they will need to prove that the property owner is liable for their injuries.

Department stores, grocery stores, boutiques, and even local bodegas and gas stations have a legal duty to maintain a safe premises for members of the public. If a property is open to the public, the owner has to maintain a reasonably safe premises for the protection of any customers or visitors.

The key concept in a premises liability lawsuit in Newport Beach is the reasonable level of care that was taken to protect your visitors. The “reasonable level” is best defined as taking the same precautions that other store owners would also take if they were in the same situation. Another factor in a premises liability lawsuit is the visitor’s actions. If they were acting with negligence, then the property owner may be able to catch a break in the lawsuit.

An owner must regularly take the time to walk through and inspect their property so that they can identify and repair any dangerous conditions, or at least put up a warning if they don’t have time to repair the conditions. Most property lawyers in Newport Beach will recommend that the warning should be in the form of a sign that clearly states what exactly the danger is, whether it’s a slippery floor or potential scrumbling curbs.

If a property owner knows about this danger but willingly lets patrons enter the property unaware, then they are being negligent. Knowing about a threat to someone’s safety and not doing anything about it is clear negligence in the law’s eyes, and the property owner will be liable.

What if a Property Owner Didn’t Know About the Danger on Their Property?

A property owner is expected to take this time to check for possible dangers. A common excuse premises liability lawyers hear is that the property owner was unaware of the possible dangers on their land. Is a property owner liable for a slip and fall if they didn’t know about the danger? The landowner’s ignorance to the danger on their property is not going to be much of an excuse in the eyes of the courts.

As part of the reasonable duty of care that property owners have, they are also responsible for taking the time to look over their property in order to keep it safe. If they had checked their property, they would know about any dangers. By not checking their property, they are being negligent in this duty of care.

What if Someone Was Not a Customer and They Were on the Property Unlawfully?

Premises liability law doesn’t really apply to trespassers in most states. If someone was on another’s property after hours, or they had broken in, they are not subject to the level of care that owner’s are supposed to put forth to protect guests and invitees. If someone breaks into a store and they fall in the dark or hurt themselves on an unseen step, then they are responsible for paying their own medical bills.

However, California is a bit more lenient on liability surrounding trespassers’ injuries. The courts will examine:

  • The property’s location
  • How likely a trespasser is to enter the property
  • The likelihood of serious bodily injury  

If the courts determine that the property owner was aware of potential trespassers but left an unsafe premises, then they could be held liable, or at least partially liable, for the trespasser’s injuries.

About Accident Lawyers Firm

Even if a customer does not slip and fall but gets injured anyway, the same rules of property liability law apply. Other common injuries that occur on someone’s property include dog bites, head injuries from falling objects, and burns. If you have any questions, you can ask the lawyers of Accident Lawyers Firm.

Accident Lawyers Firm is a Newport Beach-based law firm that wins our clients maximum compensation for their personal injury lawsuits. Our attorneys work tirelessly to add up your bodily damages, emotional damages, property damages, and overall pain and suffering that the negligent party should pay for. We also tap into our network of accident and health experts to gather thorough research and evidence to make your case for compensation as strong as possible. Contact us if you were injured in a:

  • Car accident
  • Motorcycle accident
  • Bike accident
  • Rideshare accident

You don’t need additional stress while you recover from your injuries, so leave the legal battle up to us. With our extensive connections and hard-working lawyers, you can focus on recovering physically, mentally, and emotionally. To set up a free consultation, call us at 949-203-5780 or email us at intake@accidentlawyersfirm.com.