SLIP/TRIP & FALL
California Civil Jury Instructions (“CACI”) Jury Instruction No. 1001 states as follows:
“A person who owns/leases/occupies/controls property is negligent if he or she fails to use reasonable care to keep the property in a reasonably safe condition.”
“A person who owns/leases/occupies/controls property must use reasonable care to discover any unsafe conditions and to repair, replace, or give adequate warning of anything that could be reasonably expected to harm others.”
This places a duty on landlords to inspect and warn of dangerous condition(s) on their property such as wet floors, uneven surfaces, etc.
“The obviousness of a condition does not necessarily excuse the potential duty of a landowner, not simply to warn of the condition but to rectify it. The modern and controlling law on this subject is that “although the obviousness of a danger may obviate the duty to warn of its existence, if it is foreseeable that the danger may cause injury despite that fact that it is obvious (e.g., when necessity requires persons to encounter it), there may be a duty to remedy the danger, and the breach of that duty may in turn form the basis for liability….” (Martinez v. Chippewa Enterprises, Inc. (2004) 121 Cal. App. 4th 1179.)
Even if you believe a landlord may not be liable, it is in your interest to speak to one of our attorneys as soon as possible.
WHAT TO DO FOLLOWING A SLIP OR FALL
Step 1: Evaluate your body for pain and injuries. If there are signs of injury, seek medical attention. Take photographs of any visible injuries.
Step 2: Take photographs of the area that caused you to slip and fall. Note the time and location of the fall for your records.
Step 3: If the fall occurred at a store, request that the manager complete an incident report.
Step 4: Look for witnesses. If anyone saw the slip or fall, request their name and phone number.
Step 5: Call our office for a free consultation.
WHAT TYPE OF COMPENSATION AM I ENTITLED TO?
In California, you are entitled to two categories of damages: “Economic” and “Non-Economic” damages. Both Economic and Non-Economic Damages provide compensation for past and future harm.
Economic Damages: Economic damages or “Special Damages” are those that can be quantified. Meaning, it is easy to place a monetary value on them. Economic damages include but are not limited to:
► Medical costs and expenses (past and future).
► Loss of earnings or income resulting from the accident.
► Other out-of-pocket costs and expenses
Non-Economic Damages: Non-Economic Damages or “General Damages” are damages where no exact monetary value can be calculated. Non-Economic damages are awarded both for past and future harm, and include but are not limited to:
► Pain and suffering.
► Mental anguish which includes anxiety, fear, shock, and humiliation.
► Loss of enjoyment of life.
► Emotional distress.
► Loss of love, affection, companionship, sexual relations, and emotional support from your spouse.
DOES MY WIFE OR HUSBAND HAVE A CLAIM?
Yes. In California, a spouse of an injured party may make a claim for what is referred to legally as “Loss of Consortium”. Loss of Consortium is a form of “Non-Economic” damages that can be awarded to the spouse of an injured party.
California Civil Jury Instruction (CACI) No. 3920 states that when a spouse is harmed, their wife or husband may make a claim for the loss of their “companionship and services”, which includes “loss of love, companionship, comfort, care, assistance, protection, affection, society, moral support, sexual relations, and/or the ability to have children.”