When you’re seeking compensation in California for a slip-and-fall accident, you must prove that the landowner either failed to warn of knowable dangers or failed to keep the premises reasonably safe. You should stay aware of your surroundings because despite the owner’s best intentions, sometimes they don’t catch hazards. If the owner frequently inspects the floors, for instance, the judge may rule they took reasonable care.
Damaged walking surfaces
The law acknowledges slip-and-fall accidents that occur either inside or outside of an establishment. Owners are responsible for maintaining their parking lots and sidewalks. If an outdoor walking surface has holes, a protruding surface that isn’t noticeable or an uneven surface, it puts people at risk of a slip-and-fall accident. Indoor floors should not be uneven, warped or otherwise damaged.
Owners must keep their pipes and drains clean and in good condition to prevent slip-and-fall hazards that result from poor drainage. The water pools onto the walking surface where someone can slip and fall.
Because poor lighting can contribute to someone falling, you could seek compensation for a slip-and-fall accident that involved inadequate lighting. The law has a required level of illumination for aisles, passageways, stairs, elevators, workbenches, offices, storage yards, engine rooms and machine shops.
Poor construction or maintenance
Faulty construction and poor maintenance aren’t easily detectable like spills. You need to investigate the area where you fell for construction or maintenance issues. Some property owners don’t hire qualified workers for their construction and maintenance work, so they are liable in these situations.
It’s not just liquids on the floor that count as a slip-and-fall. The law recognizes any debris or trip hazards on indoor and outdoor walking surfaces as causes. Examples of trip hazards are cords, hoses, tubing, wiring and clutter.
Protect yourself by knowing what the potential causes of a slip and fall are. If you are ever a victim, you will know to take pictures of the scene and look into whether poor construction or maintenance caused your fall.