In California, as in other states, the owner or person in control of residential or commercial property has a duty to monitor and maintain the premises in such a way that the risk of injury to others is minimized. When you are injured is a slip, trip or fall, and you can establish that your injuries were a result of the negligence of the owner or person exercising control, you have a right to recover compensation for your losses.
As with most accidents, though, there can be more than one at-fault party in a slip and fall accident. The owner may have been negligent in monitoring a stairway, but the manufacturer of the carpet or tile on the stairs may also have been careless, in the design or construction of the flooring material. To establish liability, you must generally show one of the following:
- The defendant caused a spill, broken tile, torn carpet or linoleum, broken steps or stairs, cracked or damaged concrete or pavement, or otherwise caused the dangerous condition to be present
- The defendant had actual knowledge of the potentially dangerous condition, but did nothing about it
- The defendant should have known of the problem, because a “reasonable person” would have discovered the problem and fixed it.
It’s important, if you’re relying on the argument that the defendant “should have known,” that you understand that there’s no absolute duty to keep visitors from harm. The law only requires that the property owner or manager take “reasonable” measures. To determine whether the behavior was reasonable, the court will look at a variety of factors, including:
- How long the dangerous condition had been present
- Whether the dangerous condition had been present before
- If the injury was caused by tripping over an object, whether there was a better place to store that object, or whether it needed to be there in the first place.
Contact the Law Offices of J. Lewis & Associates
To discuss your legal needs with an experienced Riverside premises liability injury lawyer, contact our office online or call us toll-free at 1-800-228-0507. There is no charge for your initial consultation. Se Habla Espanol.