California Slip and Fall Laws
If you are bringing forward a personal injury claim, then you should be aware of the various California slip and fall laws. For more information, contact our Ventura slip and fall lawyer for a free consultation.
California Slip and Fall Laws | Negligence
Like many other states, California’s slip and fall liability law is based on the theory of negligence. The theory of negligence imposes legal liability when:
- A duty exists,
- There is a breach of the duty,
- There are damages, and
- There is a causal connection between the damages and the breach of the duty.
Applying the above hypothetical to these elements of negligence:
- There was a duty for the premises to be kept safe for customers,
- This duty was breached when there was standing water left on the store floor,
- You were injured and have incurred medical bills, lost wages or other damages, and
- Your injuries were caused by the failure to clean up the standing water.
If you are the plaintiff, you will have the burden of proving all of these things in court. At any one of these steps, you could encounter arguments from the defendant, such as:
- They didn’t own, possess or control the premises where you were hurt, so therefore they had no duty to clean up the floor.
- Your injuries weren’t caused by the fall.
- You were partially responsible for the fall.
This last defense is highly likely because California is a comparative negligence state.
California Slip and Fall Laws | Comparative Negligence
The basic idea of comparative negligence is that everyone involved in an accident should only be responsible for their particular level of fault. There are different versions of comparative negligence, but California is a pure comparative negligence state. This means that a plaintiff’s monetary recovery in a lawsuit will be reduced by their level of fault.
For example, if you suffered $100,000 in damages as a result of your slip and fall on the pool of water while running your errands, but a court concludes you were 40% at fault because you were looking at your phone when you fell, then you would only recover $60,000. This is because your $100,000 award would be reduced by your level of fault which is 40%.
If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident, please contact our Ventura slip and fall lawyer today to arrange a free consultation.