Slip and falls and trip and falls are among the leading causes of property-related injuries. The National Floor Safety Institute estimates that in excess of 1.1 million victims seek emergency care for slip and falls in the United States each year. In California, a business or property owner may be liable for a slip and fall—but only if an accident occurred because of their negligence.
A slip and fall accident claim is a type of premises liability claim. Injured victims need to know how to navigate the personal injury claims process so that they can get justice and financial compensation to pay their bills. In this blog post, our Stockton personal injury lawyer offers an in depth guide to slip and fall accident claims in California.
The Most Common Cause of Slip and Fall Accidents
Slip and fall accidents and trip and fall accidents can occur for a wide range of different reasons. In many circumstances, these accidents occur because a safety hazard is present on the property. Some of the most common examples of safety hazards that can cause of slip and fall accidents include:
- Uncleaned spills;
- Dangerously slick flooring;
- Unusually rough flooring;
- Cracks in floor boards;
- Tattered or otherwise irregular carpets;
- Loose cords running across walking surfaces;
- Random debris in hallways or other waking areas;
- Construction debris and construction defects;
- Lack of warning signs regarding a recently mopped floor;
- Broken or otherwise damaged stairs; and
- Lack of adequate lighting, especially in stairwells.
Slip and fall accidents are fault-based legal cases. For this reason, it is imperative that you know exactly how and why an accident occurred. All serious slip and falls and trip and falls require a comprehensive, detailed-driven investigation by an experienced Stockon personal injury lawyer.
Stockton, CA Businesses and Property Owners Owe a Duty of Care
When you step foot on another person’s property, you should not have to worry about unreasonable safety hazards. Businesses, organizations, and property owners in California have a clear duty to watch out for the health and safety of guests. They can be held liable for accidents and injuries caused by their failure to do so. To be clear, a business or property owner is not automatically liable for a slip and fall accident in California. They are only liable if negligence caused the accident.
Know the Elements of a Slip and Fall Accident Claim in California
As described within the Judicial Council of California Civil Jury Instructions (CACI No. 1001), the party who owns, leases, or controls property is “negligent if that person fails to use reasonable care to keep the property in a reasonably safe condition.” What constitutes reasonable care depends on many different factors. To bring a successful slip and fall accident injury claim in California, a plaintiff will generally need to prove the following five things:
- The defendant (business, organization, or property owner) was responsible for the property where the slip and fall accident occurred;
- There was a condition present on the property that created an unreasonable risk of harm in the form of a slipping hazard or a tripping hazard;
- The defendant knew about or should have been aware of of the slipping/tripping hazard, but failed to take the proper action to repair and/or warn guests;
- The plaintiff slipped or tripped because of the safety hazard; and
- The plaintiff suffered actual harm in the slip and fall accident.
Ultimately, slip and fall accident claims are fact-intensive personal injury cases. What the business or property owner did or did not do is important in determining whether or not they can be held liable for an accident. As defendants in premises liability cases often waste little time in building their case, injured victims should get help from a Stockton, CA premises liability attorney as soon as possible after a serious slip and fall accident.
The Statute of Limitations in Slip and Fall Accident Claims
You have a limited amount of time to file a slip and fall accident claim in California. Under California Code of Civil Procedure § 335.1, personal injury claims, including slip and fall claims, are generally subject to a two-year statute of limitations. If you were hurt in a slip and fall/trip and fall, you must file any lawsuit within two years of the date of the accident. Failure to file a slip and fall accident claim in time could prevent you from recovering the full financial compensation that you deserve.
What Compensation Can You Recover After a Slip and Fall in Stockton?
After a serious slip and fall accident, you need monetary support to pay your bills and provide for your family. In California, slip and fall accident victims have a right to pursue compensation for the complete extent of their damages—but economic and intangible. Businesses, property owners, and insurance companies do not make the slip and fall claims process easy for people. They may try to deny liability and/or settle your claim for far less than you deserve. At Redkey Gordon Law Corp, we fight to help our clients recover every penny that they are owed under California law. Among other things, our types of losses our Stockton slip and fall accident lawyers can help you recover financial compensation for:
- Emergency room care;
- Hospital bills;
- Other medical expenses;
- Rehabilitative support;
- Lost wages;
- Loss of earning power;
- Pain and suffering;
- Disfigurement; and
- Long-term Disability.
Call Our Stockton Personal Injury Attorneys for Immediate Assistance
At Redkey Gordon Law Corp, our Stockton personal injury lawyers have deep experience handling premises liability claims, including slip and fall accident cases. If you or someone you know was harmed in a slip and fall or trip and fall, we are here to help. Get in touch with us by phone at 209-267-4589 or contact us online for a free consultation. We handle slip and fall accident injury claims in Stockton and throughout the area, including in Tracy, Sacramento, Sutter Creek, Lodi, Manteca, Elk Grove, Farmington, Folsom, Roseville, and Rancho Cordova.