How To File Slip and Fall Lawsuit

You can file a slip and fall lawsuit in court yourself or get a free consultation with our trip and fall lawyer to help you. 

By Brad Nakase, Attorney

Email  |  Call (888) 600-8654

Have a quick question? I answered nearly 1500 FAQs.

What is a slip and fall lawsuit?

A slip and fall lawsuit happens when a person is injured on another party’s premises. For the other party to be liable, the accident must have been caused by their negligence. That is to say, not every fall results in the owner of a premises being liable. Not all falls lead to a slip and fall lawsuit and compensation. To see if you are entitled to compensation, speak with a lawyer.

How is negligence determined? The owner of the property is liable when they were aware of a dangerous condition at the property and did not repair the problem or warn others about it. Let’s consider an example. Max is the owner of a grocery store. One day, his custodian tells him that there is a leak in the roof that has caused a puddle on Aisle 12. Max says, “Okay, I’ll get to it.” But the next day, before he has called the repair man, a customer slips on the puddle and breaks their ankle. In this case, Max will likely be determined negligent in court. Max knew about the hazardous condition in his store but did not repair it or warn others. If he could not repair it right away, he should have at least put a sign warning customers to be careful. Max will therefore face a slip and fall lawsuit where he will be determined liable. He ought to contact a defense attorney!

Slip and fall lawsuits are commonly caused by the following issues:

  • Leaks or spills
  • Uneven flooring or damaged carpeting
  • Missing or broken railings
  • Uncovered cords or cables
  • Not posting warning signs in construction sites
  • Broken furniture

If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident, be sure to contact a lawyer. An attorney can get you the compensation you deserve.

How is liability determined in a slip and fall lawsuit?

When a person enters a property, the owner of the premises owes them a duty of care to keep them safe. The owner is anyone who leases, owns, controls, occupies, or insures the property. These individuals may be commercial business owners, parent companies, tenants, homeowners, or insurance companies.

But what happens if you fall on a sidewalk or steps? These locations are public property. In this case, you may be able to file a slip and fall lawsuit against the state, local, or federal government.

To get help with filing a lawsuit, contact a lawyer for guidance.

How do you get damages for a slip and fall lawsuit?

To get compensation from a slip and fall lawsuit, you need to provide specific proof:

  1. The property owner controlled, leased, owned, or occupied the premises.
  2. The property owner displayed negligence in not properly using or maintaining their property.
  3. You, the plaintiff, were hurt from falling on the premises.
  4. Your injury was caused mainly by the property owner’s negligence.

To file a slip and fall lawsuit against a negligent property owner, contact an experienced lawyer for guidance. An attorney will know how to draw the connection between the owner’s negligence and your injury.

What makes a property owner negligent?

To be determined negligent in a slip and fall lawsuit, a property owner must have improperly used or maintained their premises. This means that there was a hazardous condition that the defendant knew about, or reasonably should have been aware of. They must have failed to fix the problem and not warned others about it. Think back to our grocery store example. Max should have put a “Wet Floor” sign on Aisle 12 to warn customers to watch their step.

An attorney can help prove negligence in a court of law. A lawyer will be able to show, for example, that Max did not place a warning sign as he should have.

What compensation can a victim get from a slip and fall lawsuit?

With the help of a lawyer, a victim of a fall can get compensation in the form of lost wages, medical bills, property damage, pain and suffering, and lost earning capacity. Sometimes, with the help of an attorney, a person might have the right to punitive damages in a slip and fall lawsuit. This might happen in situations where the property owner’s carelessness caused severe injuries or death. It can also result from the property owner trying to destroy proof of their liability.

To learn about what compensation you may be owed, contact an attorney to discuss your case. A lawyer will fight for the damages you deserve.

How long do you have to file a slip and fall lawsuit?

To file a slip and fall lawsuit in California, a victim has two years from the date of the accident. Thus, two years is the statute of limitations. However, if the defendant is the government, then the statute of limitations is only six months after the accident.

Because of the time limit in such cases, be sure to contact a lawyer for guidance. An attorney will know how to file a claim within the time constraints.

How is fault determined in a slip and fall lawsuit?

To win a slip and fall lawsuit, a victim and their lawyer need to prove that the defendant’s negligence caused their accident. They can submit evidence such as video footage, witness statements, doctor’s notes, and testimony from experts.

A lawyer will help you gather the appropriate evidence to assign fault to the negligent property owner.

What if fault is shared?

If the victim in a slip and fall accident shares part of the blame, they may still be able to claim compensation. In this case, the court would simply reduce the compensation according to the proportion of blame.

It should be noted that if a person is trespassing when they slip and fall, the property owner will not be held responsible. If a hazardous condition is obvious to a reasonable person, then a slip and fall lawsuit will also be dismissed. For instance, if you trip on a step that has been blocked off with caution tape, the property owner is not at fault.

Contact a lawyer to review the circumstances of your case and see if you are eligible for a slip and fall lawsuit. An attorney will determine whether the property owner could potentially be liable.

Can you file a slip and fall lawsuit after an accident at work?

The situation is a little different if you fall while performing your job. In this case, you will be eligible for medical and disability payments through workers’ compensation. If you were to blame for the accident, you can still receive this compensation. To be eligible, you would simply have to prove the following:

  • You did not purposefully hurt yourself
  • Workers’ compensation law in California applies to your injury
  • You were not intoxicated or using drugs at the time

Have a quick question? We answered nearly 2000 FAQs.

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