Sometimes a slip and fall accident is harmless, but when it results in serious injury, the financial repercussions are often burdensome.
In California, there is one legal concept and two important laws that apply to lawsuits filed against a negligent property owner.
The concept of premises liability refers to an owner’s responsibility to maintain safe conditions on their property for all visitors with express or implied permission to be there.
Statute of limitations
The statute of limitations for a slip and fall accident lawsuit is two years for injury and three years for property damage starting with the date of the accident. If you do not file within that timeframe, the court will likely dismiss your case.
The rule of comparative negligence
Most states follow the comparative negligence rule when dealing with shared fault in a slip and fall accident. If you bear some responsibility for the accident and your injuries, the court assigns a percentage to your fault and deducts it from the awarded compensation. The two types of comparative negligence are modified and pure. California follows the rule of pure comparative negligence, which states that you may still receive compensation even if you are more liable than the defendant.
For example, if the court finds you 60% at fault for your losses and awards you $30,000 in compensation, your final award is $12,000.
When you file a personal injury claim or lawsuit for a slip and fall injury accident, you are responsible for proving that the property owner is liable for your accident and the resulting injuries.