California residents may be familiar with the term slip and fall case with regards to personal injury claims and litigation, but there is more to liability claims of this sort than simply slipping and falling somewhere. Injury claims that arise when a property owner is negligent are called premises liability claims, and there are a number of variations within the category.
Slip and fall cases involve allegations of negligence on the part of someone either owning or maintaining a property or business. The specific allegations of negligence vary and can include creation of a hazardous condition, failing to correct a hazardous condition created by someone else, failing learn of a condition through a failure to properly inspect premises, or failing to adequately warn of hazardous condition. The classic example of a slip and fall claim is a leak or spill inside a business creating a slippery floor that is invisible to a customer whose attention is directed to merchandise displays. Business owners have a responsibility to perform safety sweeps and to address hazardous situations with appropriate warnings and efforts to correct the situation. If a customer ignores a warning, it can be used as a defense by the business.
Other premises liability claims can come from a business having inadequate facilities. For example, a poorly lit hallway can make otherwise visible problems hard to detect for customers or patrons. Loose cords or cables should never be haphazardly across walkways, even temporarily. Equipment malfunctions can also be a cause of premises liability claims. If an elevator or escalator stops suddenly, it can cause injury. Automatic doors can malfunction, and irrigation systems can saturate walkways. There are many variations on these themes, but the key to a successful claim is proving negligence of some sort.
When a person is injured on another's property, there is the potential for a premises liability claim. A qualified injury attorney may be able to vet the facts, determine whether a viable claim exists and recommend a path forward.