Like many other states, slip and fall laws in California is based on negligence. If you need help proving liability for a personal injury case, contact our Ventura personal injury attorneys today to schedule a free consultation.
Slip and Fall Laws in California | Negligence
The theory of negligence imposes legal liability when 1) a duty of care exists, 2) there is a breach of that duty, 3) there are damages, and 4) there is a casual connection between the damages and the breach of 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.
Slip and Fall Laws in California | Proving Liability
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.
Slip and Fall Laws in California | Comparative Negligence
he 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 would like to learn more about slip and fall laws in California, give our office a call and schedule a free consultation with our knowledgeable Ventura slip and fall lawyers.