Slip and Fall Accidents

Substantial monetary recoveries have been obtained from property owners, retailers, restaurants and their insurance companies.

Thousands of slip and fall and trip and fall accidents occur each year with many resulting in serious injury, catastrophic injury and even death. More than 70% of these falls are the result of dangerous conditions and hazards on properties. These dangerous conditions are typically the result of poor design or improper maintenance. Dangerous and hazardous conditions are also the result of wet and slippery surfaces, oily and slick substances, or defectively designed stairs, ramps, entrances, ledges or even poor lighting.


Sometimes dangerous conditions cannot be avoided. In such cases, the property owner has a duty to warn of the dangerous condition. An example would be where a store owner, following the mopping of a floor, put out “warning” signs or cones. Also, the property owner is often afforded a reasonable time to discover the dangerous condition and remedy it, before the property owner will be held responsible or liable. A property owner may not always be responsible for someone slipping or tripping on something that an ordinary person would see and avoid.


It is important to remember that in determining negligence in a slip and fall or trip and fall accident, the court will consider, measure and determine what is reasonable. Generally, a person will be responsible for his or her own conduct and watch where they are going, though we do not spend our lives looking down when we are walking. Nevertheless, a property owner needs to maintain and upkeep their property and keep it safe and free of dangerous and hazardous conditions. Judges and juries will look at whether the property owner acted carefully and responsibly so as to have avoided the condition that created the slip or fall. The court will also look at the behavior and conduct of the injured party and determine whether they in any way created or contributed to the negligence. If so, their recovery will be reduced according to their contributory or comparative negligence and fault.


In California, you are allowed two years to file a lawsuit if you are injured in a slip and fall accident. This two-year time limitation also known as the “statute of limitations” starts to run on the date of the accident. If you do not file your lawsuit with the proper court within the two year time limitation, your claim/case will likely be barred and forfeited.  It is also important to note that if your claim is against the government (eg. You trip over a pot hole in the street, get injured in a government building, a government agency causes your injury), you must within six months from the date of the slip and fall or other government related injury, file a claim for personal injury against the California state, county, or city government.  Claims against the California state government should be filed with the state’s Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board (VCGCB). Claims against city or county governments should be filed directly with that unit of government.  Claims forms are available online from the VCGCB website.  You must also be required to pay a filing fee.  If the government denies your claim, there will be time limitations thereafter to file a lawsuit.


Be mindful that if you file an accident claim with an insurance company, the California’s two-year time limit to file a lawsuit is not tolled and does not stop running while the insurance company evaluates and decides your claim.  It is important to put the responsible party and its insurance company as soon as possible and put them on notice that they should take action to preserve all evidence, including any surveillance tapes that may have captured the incident or dangerous condition. If you are unable to settle and resolve your claim, you want to have sufficient time to draft and file your lawsuit.

What to do in case you are in an accident:

Experience has shown that people forget to obtain the needed information at the accident scene. Here is what you should do:

  • Obtain the necessary Information – Obtain the needed information from the property owner. This should include their name, address and telephone number. Try to ascertain the name of the property’s insurance carrier and the policy number. Get the name, address and telephone number of any witnesses.
  • Make a report – Document your accident and injury. Many establishments such as stores or restaurants will have “accident intake forms” for you to fill out. While it is important to report and document the incident, be careful not to admit to any fault on your part or understate your injuries. Insist on getting a copy of any form or document that you complete or sign.
  • Do not discuss fault. Do not talk about the accident with anyone except to provide facts requested by police or paramedics.
  • If you are injured, accept medical attention.
  • Take photos. If possible, return to the accident site and take photographs of the accident scene, skid marks, debris or any obstructions. Photograph your injuries such as cuts, abrasions, bruises, stitches, casts, crutches, etc.
  • Contact us immediately for a free case evaluation and consultation. You have the right to recover for your injuries and damages.

The Law Office of Frederick S. Schwartz has over two decades of experience in assisting his injured clients in obtaining needed medical care, getting medical bills paid, getting property damage quickly repaired or replaced, recovering lost wages, getting compensation for pain and suffering, holding the party or company at fault responsible and keeping the insurance company fair and accountable.  


As a former insurance company defense attorney, Frederick S. Schwartz has valuable insight into the mindset and frame of reference of the insurance company’s adjusters and lawyers. This gives his clients a big advantage in the negotiation, litigation, and settlement process. Substantial monetary recoveries have been obtained from property owners, retailers, restaurants and their insurance companies.


If you have been injured in a slip and fall, trip and fall, premises liability accident, or if you have lost a family member as the result of such an accident, contact Los Angeles consumer justice attorney and personal injury lawyer Frederick Schwartz at the Law Office of Frederick S. Schwartz for a free evaluation and consultation.


Most cases are handled on a contingency basis whereby if there is no recovery there is no fee.


Call today and get your questions answered: (818) 986-2407 or (800) 994-4442 .