Who Is Liable For a Slip and Fall Accident?

Slip and fall accidents are not uncommon, and they often lead to significant injuries for those involved. When these incidents occur on other people’s property, personal injury victims may be able to recover compensation. However, determining liability is challenging. Here, we want to discuss some of the possible liable parties after a slip and fall accident occurs in California.

Property Owner Liability

When examining property owner liability, the location where the slip and fall incident occurred matters. These incidents can occur on private property, business property, or even on government property.

Private residence owners

Slip and fall incidents can certainly occur at private residences, including homes, condos, and apartments. Liability for a slip and fall incident in these cases will fall to the private residence owner. This could be a homeowner, in which case their homeowners’ insurance would typically cover the incident. This could also include incidents that occur inside of a rented property, though renter’s insurance is not mandatory in California.

Additionally, depending on where the slip and fall incident occurs on private property, a landlord could hold liability, particularly if the incident occurred in a common area where the landlord is responsible for inspection and maintenance.

Store or business owners

Store and business owners could hold liability for a slip and fall incident. For example, if a slip and fall occurs inside of a grocery store, the grocery store owner or operator could be liable if they fail to uphold their duty of care to the patron. Property owners have a duty of care to ensure the safety of any person who has a right to be on their premises. This duty of care includes the requirement of ensuring that there are no unsafe conditions on the premises, remedying any unsafe conditions that are found, and warning guests about hazards that cannot be promptly remedied.

Government entities

There is plenty of government property throughout the state of California, including DMVs, courthouses, town halls, public parks, and other spaces. Just like anywhere else, a slip and fall incident can occur on government property, though holding government entities liable for the incident is more challenging than holding private residence owners or business owners accountable.

Claims against government entities must be filed through the California Tort Claims Act (CTCA), and individuals are limited in the amount of time they have to file a claim.

Working With a Slip and Fall Accident Lawyer in California

We strongly encourage any individual injured in a slip and fall accident to work with a skilled attorney as soon as possible. These cases can be challenging, particularly when it comes to determining liability. An attorney will work to investigate the incident and gather any evidence needed to prove liability. 

Additionally, a slip and fall accident lawyer will make sure the claim is filed properly and on time. In general, individuals have two years from the date an injury occurs to file a claim against an alleged negligent party, but this time frame is different for claims against government entities.

Ultimately, slip and fall accident victims should be able to recover compensation for their medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering damages. An attorney will handle all negotiations with other parties, and they will not hesitate to take the case to trial if necessary.