Liability in California Slip and Fall Cases | "Should Have Known" standard

If you have been injured in a California slip and fall accident on someone else's property because of a dangerous condition (or hazardous defect), you will need to be able to show one of the following in order to have any chance of winning a case for your injuries:

  • Either the owner of the premises or an employee of the owner should have known of the dangerous condition because another, "reasonable" person in his or her position would have known about the dangerous condition and fixed it.
  • Either the owner of the premises or an employee of the owner actually did know about the dangerous condition but did not repair or fix it.
  • Either the owner of the premises or an employee of the owner caused the dangerous condition (spill, worn spot, broken flooring?etc).

The above can be very challenging in California for many reasons.  Because property owners are, in general, pretty good about the upkeep on their premises, the first situation is most often the one that is litigated in slip and fall accidents. The defense flocks to this in order to diminish the value of the slip and fall case.  However, the first situation is also the most tricky to prove because of the words "should have known." This can have different meanings to different people, even those hearing the same case. Juries can sometimes be confused as to the legal meaning, or the differences in what it could mean.  After presenting your evidence and arguments, it will be up to the judge or jury to decide whether the property owner should have known about the slippery step that caused you to fall.  Your California slip and fall lawyer will also be best in navigating your slip and fall injury through the California court system.

Mark C. Blane is a San Diego Slip and Fall Attorney, and the managing lawyer of the Law Offices of Mark C. Blane, a San Diego, California Premise Liability Law Firm devoted to representing families of injured persons of automobile accidents. If you or someone you love, has been injured or killed in San Diego County, or Southern California, due to the negligence of another, please order your FREE copy of Mr. Blane's book, The 10 Secrets You Need To Know About Your Injury Case, BEFORE You Call A Lawyer. It is full of helpful information, insights, and secrets that will help you protect your legal rights.  It normally sells for $16.95; however, it is free to all California residents, or those injured in a California accident.