California is a comparative fault state. This fancy word means that the citizens of California are held legally responsible in court only for their share, or their portion, of an injury to another. More specifically, a property owner may not be 100% at fault for a slip and fall; they can be apportioned a degree of fault, if facts exist to support it; for example instead of 100% fault, they can be say 75% at fault, and the injured party 25% at fault. Thus, if the value of an injury from a slip and fall were $100,000.00 then that value is deducted by 25% or $25,000.00, and the value award to the injured party would be $75,000.00.
In my San Diego slip and fall law practice, we often see injury cases in which even though a property owner created a dangerous condition (or allowed one to exist after knowing about it, or having facts that should have alerted the property owner) and that condition led to an injury to another, that landowner will still argue that the injured person should have paid more attention, and was reasonably able to avoid harm had they done so. In such situations, that we actually see quite often in these claims, the question of comparative fault comes into play and it must be addressed. Since the owner or possessor of land knew about the condition, or should have known about it-- or even created it—it could be argued that they should assume the majority share of liability for the injury.
In the following Quick Video I explain the process and legal liability review in slip and fall injuries in California:
I hope the above explains some of the challenges faced by a California slip and fall legal case. If you have been injured by a slip and fall in California and have questions, you can always call me directly at (619) 813-7955.