Premises liability law is the law that governs slip and fall accidents.
These laws help to determine who is at fault for accidents that take place when you fall on someone else’s property.
Laws that fall under premises liability vary from state to state and local jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Here in California, thousands of injuries occur each year due to slip and fall accidents. Someone stumbling over a loose brick or falling down an uncovered manhole can easily wind up in the hospital with injuries requiring long-term recovery time. No one knows whether a fall due to a slippery floor in a supermarket will lead to a sprained ankle or a broken leg. Determining fault isn’t always easy, either, however. In order for a slip and fall victim to hold a property owner liable for an incident, the victim would have to prove the following in order to have a clear cut premises liability case:
- That the property owner was responsible for unsafe condition and the subsequent slip and fall accident (by spilling something, for example, and not cleaning it up)
- That the property owner was aware of the condition of the property but did not try to correct it (by not posting a warning sign, etc.)
- That the property owner knew or should have known about the danger, since a “reasonable” person would have found the problem and taken steps to prevent injuries caused by the slip and fall accident (This is the most common situation, as it is not clearly defined and is determined based on common sense).
There are, of course, some situations where exceptions to general slip and fall and premises liability cases come into play. This could include situations where trespassers come on to property without the permission of the owners and then incur injuries as a result of disregarding trespassing laws. This could also include burglars and uninvited guests. Children, however, are an exception this is rule, since the law recognizes that children often do not perceive danger as well as adults. Property owners must take steps to ensure the safety of children, whether they are suppose to be there or not. In the case of employees, there are workers’ compensation laws in place that hold employers liable for most on-the-job injuries, including those that result from a slip and fall accident. The amount of damages that the injured person can collect is limited, however.
When it comes to government property, such as public parks, the federal or state government may bear the legal responsibility for personal injuries incurred on the premises. Premises liability cases against the government are covered by either the Federal Tort Claims Act or similar state tort claims acts. Such cases must, however, be brought within a certain time limit.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a premises liability accident, or if you have questions regarding a slip and fall accident, contact the expert personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Lance V. Friel today. We understand California premises liability law and can help you recover damages for your injuries sustained due to someone else’s negligence.