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Who can be held accountable for slip-and-fall injuries?

| Jul 21, 2021 | Premises Liability |

Anyone in Pasadena or elsewhere in California who has ever suffered injuries on someone else’s property will likely agree that recovering damages was not easy. In the case of a slip-and-fall incident, where it happened will play an essential role in a subsequent premises liability lawsuit. 

Residential Property 

If the slip-and-fall injuries were suffered at someone else’s home, apartment or other residential property, the property owner or resident might be held accountable, even if the injured party is a tenant. The injured person would have to show the court that: 

  • A condition controlled by the landlord caused the slip-and-fall accident. 
  • Repairing potential slip or trip conditions would have been reasonably easy and inexpensive. 
  • The failure of the landlord in taking reasonable preventive steps to avoid the incident caused the plaintiff’s injuries. 
  • The failure of the landlord to foresee that serious injuries could happen if the condition is not fixed. 
  • The accident and resulting injuries followed the failure of the landlord to take reasonable precautions. 

Commercial Property 

When slip-and-fall accidents cause injuries to someone on the property of a restaurant, store or any commercial enterprise, the liable person could be the property owner, tenant or employee of the business, or other individuals might be the responsible party. However, the plaintiff must establish the following: 

  • The defendant must have been responsible for the cause of the fall, such as a wet spot, torn carpet, etc. 
  • The defendant must have been aware of the danger but failed to do anything about it. 
  • Alternatively, the defendant should have noticed and eliminated the danger as any reasonable caretaker of property would. 

Government Property 

Falling and suffering injuries on government property is an altogether different situation. Special rules apply to when a person falls on federal government, state or local property. Notice requirements are stringent, and government entities are sometimes shielded from liability for such accidents and resulting injuries. 

Before a slip-and-fall victim in California proceeds with filing a personal injury lawsuit in a civil court, he or she would be advised to ensure an understanding of the intricacies of the legal proceedings that will follow.