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What Is The Legal Standard Under The Premises Liability Law? How Does It Relate To Slip And Fall Or Trip And Fall Injury Cases In California?

When it comes to slip-and-fall cases in California, you have to prove a couple of elements that are required under the premises liability law. First, you have to prove that there was a dangerous condition that caused the slip and fall or trip and fall. Once you’re able to prove that a dangerous issue or condition existed, you have to prove that the property or premises owner had actual or constructive knowledge of the dangerous condition. For instance, if somebody has a giant pothole in their sidewalk leading up to their front door, and they fail to fix it, that’s a dangerous condition that they have knowledge of and could therefore potentially be held liable.Now, if somebody in a grocery store spills water and a patron walks through and slips on that water 30 seconds later, the store most likely wouldn’t be liable. The reason: they didn’t have an opportunity to know that the water was on the floor. That’s part of the notice element. Basically, the property or premises owner must have created the dangerous condition or had an opportunity to know of the dangerous condition and failed to correct it.

What Are Some Dangerous Conditions? In certain circumstances, large holes in your sidewalk leading up to the front door or uneven sidewalks could be dangerous conditions. Snow and ice related cases are tricky cases because those types of conditions are not created by the property owner. However, there are some cases that relate to whether the property owner made an effort to remove the ice. For example, if the property owner typically throws salt down, but doesn’t do that one time when there’s ice, and somebody slips and falls and gets injured, they can be liable. The issue about premises cases is that, in some sense, they are very specific to the premises. There are also various exceptions that premise owners can use, such as what’s known as a trivial defect.

The trivial defect defense requires an examination of the totality of the circumstances surrounding the injury; including the particular location, the time of day that the incident occurred, and the full content of all expert witnesses’ testimony. Basically, would a reasonable person determine the condition was insignificant. An example of trivial defect is when insurance companies say, “Yes, it’s a dangerous condition, but it’s not so dangerous that we should be responsible.” It’s becoming more and more difficult in California to prosecute cases where there’s a rise in a sidewalk because the defense will always argue that it is a trivial defect. However, it can be complicated. Therefore, it requires a thorough analysis of the premises, facts, and circumstances.

Another tactic is to use the open and obvious defense, which is that the defect or dangerous condition is so obvious that a person could reasonably be expected to see it. For example, the person who tripped and fell on the sidewalk should have had their eyes on where they were walking. If the person was watching where they were going, they would have seen it. The open and obvious defense is: “It was there. You should have seen it. Therefore, it’s kind of your fault.” The courts are starting to embrace these defenses because they want their dockets clear.

Is There Any Sort Of Contributory Negligence In Premises Cases? There Have Been Cases Where Someone Was Walking Through A Parking Lot While On Their Phone, Tripped And Fell, And Injured Themselves. It Was Obvious That Something Was There, But It Was Their Fault Since They Were On The Phone. Could That Be A Part Of The Defense?

A premises liability case can have contributory negligence. That’s one of the things they look at every time. They will investigate whether you were looking, what you were doing, where your hands were, and what was in your purse. They will always want to know if you were on your phone. According to the defense, apparently it’s negligent to wear flip-flops. There are numerous cases that we’ve had where the client was wearing flip-flops and it became a very big point for the defense. They argued that our client shouldn’t have been wearing flip-flops. It’s absurd but true.

What Common Injuries Result From Slip And Fall Or Trip And Fall Cases? What Are Some Of The Serious Injuries That You Actually See From These Cases?

In regard to slip and fall or trip and fall cases, our firm has seen everything from sprained knees to brain damage. It just depends on how you fall. If you fall forward, you could get a knee injury, broken wrists, broken arms, or an ankle injury. If someone falls backwards, they could hit their head. That’s when brain, back, and neck injuries occur. Therefore, it really depends on the mechanism of the fall. It also depends on the client. For instance, it will depend on whether the client is a heavy-set person or someone with a preexisting condition. A 90-year old woman with very fragile bones will break more bones than a 13-year old.

A slip and fall or trip and fall can result in almost any type of injury. It will depend on how you fall, how you break your fall, if you don’t break your fall, and where you fall. Did you fall on a cement or wooden surface? All of these are factors in the injuries that someone may sustain.

For more information on Slip-And-Fall Cases In California, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (855) 675-2901 today.

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