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Proving Fault in a San Diego Slip and Fall Accident

| Oct 15, 2014 | Firm News

San Diego slip and fall accidents happen very often in our hectic, commerce-driven culture. Amongst performing activities commonplace in our life, people slip and fall or trip and fall on a wet or slippery floors, a defective staircase, an out of place object in your way, or on cracked pavement all the time. Often times, these accidents cause injury to the victim.  Even though someone might be injured from a trip and fall or slip and fall accident in a public place, it does not necessarily mean the injured person is automatically entitled to recover compensation for their injuries. In fact, there are a number of circumstances under which a property owner is not responsible for injuries suffered as a result of an accident on their property.

Undoubtedly, business owners who invite customers onto their property are required to take measures to reasonably maintain safe floors, walkways and stairs, but in reality it is common for things such as liquids to spill onto surfaces in the course of a day on a somewhat regular basis. In fact, California law does not require business owners to be aware of every single spilled drink or object fallen on the floor.  Similarly, California law requires patrons to take reasonable care to be observant and prevent unnecessary accidents if they can take steps to avoid them.  Accordingly, there is no clear cut rule to determine whether a property owner will be held liable for an object or spill that contributed to a trip and fall or slip and fall accident.

A plaintiff in a San Diego slip and fall accident must prove that the property owner either caused the dangerous condition or knew about the dangerous condition, or should have known about the dangerous condition that caused the slip and fall accident and was negligent in mitigating or eliminating that danger.  Proving that the business owner should have known about the condition and taken steps to remedy it is often proven by establishing how long a period of time the hazard had existed prior to the slip and fall or trip and fall accident.

Establishing how long a dangerous condition existed prior to an accident, however, can be difficult.   A jury will have to decide whether the property owner took “reasonable” steps to safeguard that their premises.  In most instances, a variety of circumstances will have to be assessed in order to make this ultimate decision.  For example, does the store require periodic inspections to make sure there are no objects or spills in the aisles?  Were those policies enforced on the day of the accident?  Is there a procedure established to avoid these injuries?

If it can be proven it was more likely than not that the property owner was negligent or did not act reasonably to ensure the safety of the property, you may be able to collect compensation for your injuries.

If you or a loved one was injured in a Riverside or San Diego slip and fall accident or trip and fall accident, contact the experienced personal injury attorneys of Martinez & Schill LLP. We are experienced at navigating through the numerous issues in these types of cases. Contact us today for a free consultation.  San Diego 619-512-5995. Riverside 951-200-4630. We can help.