slip and fall lawyer

How to Prove a Slip and Fall in California: What Victims Need to Know

Know When a Slip and Fall Accident in California Could Result in Compensation for You and Your Family

When people think of serious personal injuries, they think of high-speed car accidents, trucking wrecks, medical malpractice, and other serious types of negligent accident.  Most people do not think that a slip, trip, and fall is that serious.  However, statistics tell a different story.  According to the CDC, the leading cause of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are slips, trips, and falls.  The National Spinal Cord Injury Statistics Center (NSCISC) also published statistics revealing that slips, trips, and falls are the second leading cause of spinal cord injuries such as paralysis. Our Los Angeles slip and fall accident lawyers know that brain injuries and spinal cord injuries are some of the most catastrophic types of personal injuries that a victim could sustain.  It is important for victims to know how to prove a slip and fall case in California and what rights they may be entitled to.

Here at the Broadway Law Firm in Los Angeles, CA, our experienced slip and fall lawyers represent victims and their families in slip, trip, and fall cases throughout Los Angeles and the rest of California.  We have a proven track record of success against some of the largest insurance carriers in the state who defend negligent landowners and tenants.  We have established connections with some of the leading medical and liability experts who can help prove your damages and establish liability against a defendant. Learn how we can protect your rights to compensation during a FREE consultation by dialing 213.344.0067.  

Not only does our bodily injury law firm offer free consultations, but we also accept slip and fall cases on a contingency fee basis meaning that we will only get paid a percentage of what we recover for you and only after we recover it.  We also pay all upfront costs and disbursements of litigation, including filing fees, expert expenses, and other costs associated with bringing a lawsuit.  This means there is both no upfront cost or out-of-pocket expenses in working with our law firm.

What is a Slip and Fall Case?

A slip and fall case occurs when a person comes into contact with a slippery or slick surface that causes him or her to shift, slide, or slip and loose balance.  A person who suffers personal injuries in a slip, trip, and fall on the property of another has a premises liability case.  This type of case is based on the use or occupancy of land.  That land could be a private residence, store, doctor’s office, government building, or any other piece of property owned by another.  Often times there are multiple defendants who could be liable in a slip and fall case.

How do I Prove a Slip and Fall Case in California?

In order to establish a slip and fall claim in California, a victim must establish the elements of negligence.  This is a common law, or judge-made law, principle based on the reasonableness of another’s actions in preventing foreseeable harm to another.  Like most states, California has an “elemental” approach to negligence.  This means that a victim must establish a series of elements in order to prove a case.

In order to establish a slip and fall case in California, a victim must establish the following elements:

  1. The defendant was the owner, leaser, occupier, maintainer, or otherwise had control over the subject premises where the accident occurred
  2. The defendant was negligent in using or maintaining the premises by failing to do so in a reasonable manner under the circumstances
  3. The victim suffered damages or harm due to the slip, trip, and fall on the premises
  4. The defendant’s negligence (number 2) was a substantial factor in causing the harm (number 3) to the victim.  

Each of these elements must be proven.  A defendant only has to disprove one of these causes of action to be successful in defending a slip and fall lawsuit in California.  This is why an experienced slip and fall lawyer like one of ours at the Broadway Law Firm is essential to protecting your rights.

How to Prove a Defendant Was Negligent

The second element above requires that the defendant be found negligence in the use or maintenance of his or her property.  Generally, landowners, tenants, possessors, or maintainers must use reasonable care under the circumstances in maintaining their property.  Therefore, a victim of a slip and fall will need to establish that the defendant was unreasonable in using or maintaining the defendant’s premises and was otherwise negligent.

In order to be considered unreasonable and to establish that a defendant was negligent, a victim must establish the following:

  1. There was a dangerous, defective, hazardous, or otherwise harmful condition on the premises that created a foreseeable and unreasonable risk of harm to the victim
  2. The defendant had notice of the dangerous, defective, hazardous, or otherwise harmful condition
  3. The defendant failed to repair or make safe the dangerous, defective, hazardous, or otherwise harmful condition on the premises, or the defendant was required to give warning and failed to do so.

Each of these elements must also be proven to establish the second element above.

Proving Notice in a Slip and Fall

As if it was not difficult enough, a victim needs to establish notice of the defect (number 2 above).  This is often the most hotly contested issue in almost all slip and falls.  There are several ways to establish notice, which include the following:

  1. Defendant created the defect – this gives automatic notice
  2. Defendant had actual notice of the defect – either defendant saw the defect or was told about the defect from another
  3. Defendant had constructive notice – where the defect exists for a period of time sufficient enough to discover and remedy or warn of the defect, a defendant will have constructive notice
  4. Recurring notice – where a defect is recurring such as when the roof leaks on the floor in the same spot every time it rains, a defendant will be charged with recurring notice

Only one of these elements needs to be proven, although defendants will try to beat you on all of them.

Proving a Slip and Fall Case in California is Difficult: Ask the Broadway Law Firm for Help

As you can see, there are a lot of elements that must be proven in order to establish a slip and fall case in California.  This means that an experienced and competent lawyer is needed because if one element is not proven, a victim may lose his or her case.  


This is why individuals hurt in California need to call the Broadway Law Firm in Los Angeles, CA to speak with our experienced slip and fall lawyers.  We know how to prove the elements of a slip, trip, and fall case while defending the aggressive attacks made by defense lawyers and insurance adjusters.  Premises liability cases can be difficult and one mistake can result in no or minimal compensation for a victim.  Learn how we can protect your rights to compensation during a FREE consultation by dialing 213.344.0067.

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