Slip and fall accident injuryWhenever you are dealing with a California slip and fall injury accident, you always have the same three ingredients: the victim's shoes, the floor, and the person (slip and fall victim). The injured person needs to be able to narrow down the causes or issues of the accident in concise terms. Usually, the injured person needs to retain expert testimony to eliminate one or more of these elements as a substantial contributing factor as to why they slipped and fell; to this end, let's examine each ingredient in more detail:

The Victim's Shoes

Whenever possible on a slip and fall injury case that moves to trial, you should allow a retained expert to examine the shoes worn by the injured slip and fall victim so they can be eliminated as a potential cause of the slip and fall accident; or, in the alternative, to create enough evidence that can serve as the basis for a potential product defect liability action. Perhaps the expert could generate enough evidence to take legal action against the manufacturer of the shoe or the shoe retailer. For example, I have heard of the new "shape up" shoes causing some walking and gait issues for elderly people. Keep in mind that some sole and heel materials are also inherently slippery and, to this end, defective, regardless of the condition of the floor surface. Remember that every slip and fall case should be evaluated as a potential product defect case; however, most everyday shoes are not defective, so the physical characteristics of the shoes should be carefully evaluated so they can be ruled out as a contributing factor to the cause of the slip and fall accident. I still have my eye out on these new "shape up" shoes that seem to be the fad at the moment.

The Floor Surface

Keep an eye out for lack of adequate traction as this appears to be the most common cause of slip and falls in most retail stores. A wet or contaminated surface can also substantially reduce the amount of available potential traction thereby creating a slippery condition. Just like an accident waiting to happen. Testing and measurements of the floor should be done on slip and fall cases that will have this as their main theme. The slip and victim has to show that the floor surface was dangerous under the conditions existing at the time of the slip and fall accident.


The Slip and Fall Victim/Person

In the majority of slip and fall injury cases, the injured person falls victim, if you will, to the slippery substance or hazardous condition while doing things or shopping inside a retail store; those things are usually reasonable and, more importantly, foreseeable. Sometimes, however, most or some of the blame lies with the slip and fall victim. Yes, that is correct; not all slip and fall cases are innocent victims. A reasonable and sometimes effective defense point is that the customer acted or reacted in an imprudent or not reasonable manner, such as climbing over displays, running inside the retail store, climbing over merchandise, or simply failing to heed or acknowledge warning devices or signs. Similar to the legal burden placed on the storeowner to prove that he or she acted or did things in a reasonable manner for the safety and maintenance of the retail store, so too the slip and fall victim should be able to show that his or her activity level was not only reasonable but reasonably foreseeable under the circumstances.

Mark Blane
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San Diego Personal Injury Lawyer | California Car Accident Attorney
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