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California Slip and Fall Injury

If you were injured in a California slip-and-fall accident on someone else's property, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Slip-and-fall accidents are among the most common kind of personal injury lawsuits.

Just as it sounds, a slip-and-fall accident occurs when you trip over or slip on something on the floor, then fall down and injure yourself. A slip-and-fall accident may also be known as a:

  • Trip-and-fall accident, when you trip over a foreign object
  • Step-and-fall accident, when you encounter an unexpected failure or hole while walking
  • Stump-and-fall accident, when you trip over an impediment while walking

Slip-, trip-, stump-, and step-and-fall accidents can occur from problems such as water, grease, ice, or food on a walking surface. They can also occur from a poorly maintained walking surface, including broken floorboards or crumbling steps, and in poorly lit areas.

Who Is Responsible for Your California Slip-and-Fall Accident?

When there is a potentially dangerous walking surface, the California property owner (or tenant) and the person who is walking on the surface each bear some responsibility for preventing the slip-and-fall and avoiding injuries. The California property owner must keep the property safe. Anyone who encounters a slippery or otherwise dangerous walking surface in California must also exercise reasonable care to avoid hurting themselves.

In a slip-and-fall lawsuit, each party has some degree of responsibility. The injured party has to show that he or she exercised reasonable care when walking on the dangerous surface, and the property owner has to show that he or she took reasonable care to keep the property safe.

California courts will look at the comparative liability of each party (in other words, how much responsibility the injured party bears and how much responsibility the property owner bears for the injury). This percentage of liability is then used to calculate how much the property owner must pay in damages or compensation to the injured party and how much of the cost the injured party will have to bear.

Whether you live in San Diego, Oakland, Santa Ana, Riverside, or elsewhere in California, your California slip-and-fall attorney can help you understand your legal options.

Slip-and-Fall Injuries at Work in California

If you are involved in a slip-and-fall injury at work, you normally cannot sue your employer under California personal injury laws. Work-related injuries instead would be covered under California workers' compensation laws.

Compensation for a California Slip-and-Fall Injury

If you are injured in a slip-and-fall accident in California, you may be entitled to compensation for:

  • All of your medical bills for treatment related to your slip-and-fall injuries
  • Any future earning ability lost due to your injury
  • The cost of hiring someone to do household chores that you're unable to do because of your injury
  • The repair or replacement of any property (such as eyeglasses) that was damaged or destroyed when you fell
  • Lost wages for time off from work (including time spent going to doctor's appointments and physical therapy)
  • Permanent disability and disfigurement stemming from the California slip-and-fall accident
  • Emotional distress stemming from the accident
  • Any other costs you've incurred because of the accident

How Long Do You Have to File a California Slip-and-Fall Claim?

California law gives you two years from the date of your California slip-and-fall injury to file a claim against the party at fault. (This is known as the statute of limitations.)

If you and your California personal injury lawyer are unable to negotiate a settlement with the property's owner or tenant (or with their insurance company), you should consider filing a lawsuit before the statute of limitations runs out. If you wait more than two years to file a lawsuit, you will give up your right to sue the property owner or tenant for damages.

Where Do You File a California Slip-and-Fall Lawsuit?

For California slip-and-fall injury claims worth more than $7,500, you would file your lawsuit in the appropriate California Superior Court.

If your California slip-and-fall accident claim is for less than $7,500, you would file your personal injury lawsuit in the California Small Claims Court that has jurisdiction.

Your California slip-and-fall lawyer can tell you which specific court is the appropriate court to resolve your dispute.

Additional California Slip-and-Fall Resources information about California personal injury laws slip-and-fall basics

California courts