Most everyone has had a moment in their lives when their toe has caught on an uneven surface or they have slipped in a puddle of water on the floor, causing them to stumble. While this is likely a relatively minor incident in most cases, a fall in such a scenario can often cause relatively serious injuries. For many people in California who were injured in a slip-and-fall accident, or other fall-related injuries, the question becomes, who is liable?
In some cases, the owner of the property might be financially responsible. There are often several issues that will be examined to determine liability. Questions regarding whether the owner, or an employee of the owner, knew about — or should have known about a potential hazard, such as pooling water — must be addressed. Whether the owner or employee knew about the hazard and failed to take action or caused the action are factors that are also examined.
In a personal injury case stemming from such an accident, whether the victim holds any responsibility will also be addressed. Potential factors that result in a determination of comparative negligence include whether the victim had a legitimate reason to be on the property, whether there was a warning about the potential hazard or whether the victim was engaging in behaviors that could increase the risk of injury, such as running around a pool. Although it likely is not necessary for the victim to prove that he or she was extremely careful, showing that he or she was acting responsibly can also support a successful personal injury lawsuit.
Unfortunately, thousands of people are injured each year due to some form of a slip-and-fall accident, often caused by dangerous property conditions. In many cases, the property owner could be considered liable for such injuries. An attorney with experience with such cases can help victims in California fully understand their legal options and take appropriate action.