Slip and Fall Claims in Commercial Settings: Business Liability
Slips, trips, and falls can cause serious injuries. The National Floor Safety Institute reports that more than one million people seek professional medical support for slip and fall accidents in the U.S. each year. Many of these types of accidents happen in commercial settings. In California, a business can be held legally responsible for an accident on its premises—but only if the victim can prove its liability. Below, our Pasadena slip and fall accident attorney provides a comprehensive overview of business liability for these types of accidents in California.
Why Slip and Fall Accidents Happen in Commercial Settings
Many slip and fall accidents happen in commercial settings, including restaurants, grocery stores, retail stores, and office buildings. While these accidents can occur for a wide range of different reasons, they often share a core commonality: Most slips and falls at California businesses are fundamentally preventable. They happen, at least in part, because of negligence. Some of the leading causes at businesses in Southern California include:
- Unmarked wet floors;
- Uncleaned spills;
- Uneven surfaces;
- Cluttered floors;
- Loose rugs or mats;
- Worn or torn carpeting;
- Poorly lit areas;
- Inadequate signage or warnings;
- Lack of maintenance and regular inspections; and
- Broken stairs or lack of proper handrails.
Understanding Business Liability for Slip and Fall Claims
Were you injured in a slip and fall accident at a business in California? You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries through a type of claim called a premises liability lawsuit. However, it is important to know that a business is not automatically liable for an accident on its premises in California. Instead, the injured victim must prove the liability of the property owner or property occupier (business)The Judicial Council of California Civil Jury Instructions (CACI No. 1000) lays out four required elements of a slip and fall accident claim against a commercial entity:
- Business Controlled the Property: A business can be held liable for even if it does not own the property. However, the victim proved that they were owed a duty of care by the business. Typically, this requires establishing that the injured victim (plaintiff) was lawfully on the property and that the defendant (business) was in control of the premises.
- Business Was Negligent: Proving negligence is pivotal in a slip and fall case. It must be demonstrated that the business failed to maintain a safe environment— either through actions or omissions. There must be evidence of unreasonably hazardous conditions that could reasonably result in an accident. All slips and falls in commercial settings in California should be thoroughly investigated. A top-tier premises liability lawyer will help you gather and prepare the evidence needed to prove fault.
- Negligence Contributed to the Accident: Direct causality between the business’s negligence and the accident is indispensable. The unsafe condition created or overlooked by the business must be a substantial factor contributing to the occurrence of the accident. Negligence is not sufficient to prove liability for a slip and fall without causation.
- Victim Sustained Actual Injuries: Finally, people who were hurt in a commercial settlement in California must establish that they sustained actual harm. Your recovery of compensation in a slip and fall accident claim—or other personal injury claim—will depend on the nature and severity of your injuries.
Compensation for Slip and Fall Accident Victims
Hurt in a slip and fall in California? You have the right to pursue compensatory relief for economic and non-economic losses. Defendants and insurers do not make the personal injury claims process easy for injured victims. Our California premises liability lawyer fights aggressively to help our clients secure the maximum settlement or verdict, including for:
- Emergency medical treatment;
- Medical bills and other health care costs;
- Lost wages and loss of earning power;
- Pain and suffering;
- Long-term disability; and
- Permanent physical impairment.
Consult With a Pasadena, CA Slip and Fall Accident Attorney Today
At the Law Offices of Andrew Ritholz, our California premises liability attorney has deep experience handling slip and fall accident claims. If you were injured at a business, we are more than ready to help you prove liability. Contact us now for your no-fee, no-obligation initial consultation. With a legal office in Monrovia and a legal office in Pasadena, we handle slip and fall injury claims all across the surrounding region in Southern California.