I found the following question and answer article on the website of a California personal injury law firm recently and thought it might be interesting for you to have their legal perspective.
Slip & Fall FAQs
Some of the most commonly occurring personal injuries are the result of slip and fall accidents. Even a wet floor could trigger such an accident. This is especially true if the owner or business does not provide adequate warning about these things, which could be considered potentially dangerous. Many people who have been involved in a slip and fall accident may not know what to do next. The law offices of Banafsheh, Danesh & Javid, P.C. has been helping injured victims for over a decade. For answers to all of your questions, contact our team of highly trained lawyers.
Many times, people who have been injured in California slip and fall accidents will have a number of questions. Some of those which are most commonly asked include:
Q. I fell at work; is it possible to sue my employer for these injuries?
A. Generally, no. When you slip and fall at work, these incidents fall under the workers compensation laws and you must inform your employer so that the process of being paid can start.
Q. What is a slip and fall type of accident?
A. Slip and fall accidents are when you have fallen and injured yourself. There are also several other types of so-called fall accidents:
• Trip and fall accidents: here you trip over some foreign object that is in a walking path
• Stump and fall accidents: there is some kind of impediment in the walking surface itself which causes a fall
• Step and fall accidents: there is an unexpected failure or hole in the walking surface
Q. Is there another name for slip and fall accidents?
A. Yes, these types of accidents are often referred to by lawyers as premises liability accidents. This is due to the fact that if the owner of the premises did not provide adequate warning or notice, nor did they take the proper care and steps to repair the dangerous conditions, they may be held liable for any injuries which result.
Q. What is a hazardous condition?
A. Simply put, this is a situation where there is a potential for injury. This can include anything from ice or snow on the steps of a business that was not removed to something being broken such as a step or part of a walkway. Situations in which something is broken are usually more likely to result in an owner being found negligent and liable, since it is assumed they should have known about it and did not fix the problem.
Q. Who is responsible for a slip and fall accident?
A. Both parties involved normally share some of the responsibility. Of course, the property owner has a duty to ensure that their property (house, place of business, etc) is kept safe. At the same time, each person has the duty to watch where they are going and take reasonable and proper care. This includes having the understanding that there might be things which can fall or spill out into a walkway or other surface.
Q. What is comparative negligence?
A. This is a legal principle which California follows in personal injury cases. Basically, it means that each party involved in an accident may have potentially contributed to its cause. This means that it is possible to determine a percentage of fault or liability for each party. This could be anywhere from 0 to 100. However, whatever percentage of liability you are assigned, this will directly reduce any compensation award. In other words, if you are found to have been 25% responsible for the accident (and the premises owner 75% responsible), then your award will be reduced by 25%
Q. What should I do after being injured in a slip and fall accident?
A. You need to report the accident as soon as possible. If this happened at a place of business, report it to the manager and insist they fill out an accident report. Also, take photos of the area of your accident (this is especially helpful if there is no one to report your accident to). Make sure the report documents the conditions which may have caused the fall along with any other needed information. Also note if any witnesses were present and who they were.
Q. What types of compensation may I be entitled to?
A. This depends on the extent of your injuries. Generally, they include medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering and other factors depending on the exact circumstances of your case.
When the owner of a business is aware of a hazard on his property, including floors which become slippery when wet he becomes negligent if he does nothing to eliminate the problem. NanoGrip is an easy fix for tile, marble, granite, or concrete floors which become slippery when wet. With one simple application these floors are brought into compliance with OSHA and ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) standards for slip resistance. For a referral to an independent contractor qualified to perform SCOF (slipperiness) testing and NanoGrip slip resistance treatment call 855-687-0976.