Under California law, when the area where you slipped or tripped and fell is part of the property owner/possessor's premises, and they failed to take appropriate precautions or correct a problem that led to the accident, the owner/possessor will usually be legally responsible for your injuries. What follows are some examples of common indoor conditions that lead to slip and fall accidents and the rules regarding a property owner's duties concerning those conditions.
Property owners are expected to mop, wax, or polish their floors. Nonetheless, the property owner may be liable if a slip and fall accident occurs due to a wet floor. Sometimes, the property owner will subcontract or hire floor cleaners who were negligent in causing a slippery or dangerous flooring condition. Examples of conduct for which a property owner may be held responsible if a slip and fall accident results are:
- Failing to provide adequate warnings, such as signs, that the floor is being cleaned and is still wet or damp;
- Failing to provide adequate barriers to close off an area where there is a wet or damp floor;
- Using an excessive amount of wax or polish;
- Applying wax or polish unevenly;
- Treating a part of a floor and leaving a part untreated so that the change in conditions causes a slip and fall;
- Applying a floor treatment to a sloping or inclining part of the floor;
- Failing to use a floor treatment with "non-skid" ingredients when such treatment is required.
A property owner's neglect in properly maintaining carpeted floors, rugs, and mats can also create liability if a slip and fall accident occurs. Do not overlook if the property owner hired someone else to maintain the floors. In my San Diego, California, Slip and Fall injury law practice, I often go after the owner and the entity or person the owner hired to maintain the floors. Examples of such conditions that often lead to slip and fall accidents are:
- Torn, worn, or broken or bulging areas of carpet;
- Rugs or mats with curled edges, worn spots, or holes with edges sticking up;
- Items caught in the carpet material that stick up and catch on footwear.
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 contains 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.