Dangerous premises: Fatal slips and falls

Dangerous premises: Fatal slips and falls

Slips and falls are one of the most common types of injury-causing accidents in California and the rest of the United States, and the most common form of premises liability. While it may seem like these accidents would be minor, they are one of the leading causes of traumatic brain injuries and can even be fatal. While it is certainly possible to file a wrongful death suit in some cases of fatal slips and falls, proving liability for these accidents can be more difficult.

For a property owner or other third party to be held liable for the accident, it generally must be proven that the property owner was aware of the danger and could have done something to reduce the risk of an accident. If it is found that the owner took all reasonable precautions, the courts may decide that the owner is not liable for the accident.

What constitutes reasonable precautions can depend on the individual case. In most situations, the courts will be looking at how long the hazard had been present and what measures the owner took to fix it, such as putting a railing or gate up to prevent someone from falling off of a porch. What role, if any, the victim played in the accident is also taken into consideration and can affect the amount of monies awarded if the courts rule in favor of the plaintiff.

Slip and fall accidents are rarely cut and dried, making it important for the victim's surviving family to have knowledgeable representation throughout the court process. An attorney can help you better navigate the California courts and understand your options.

Source: FindLaw, " Proving Fault in Slip and Fall Accidents" Dec. 27, 2014

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