Slip and Fall Injury Disputes in Orange County, CA
If you’ve been injured in a slip and fall accident in Orange County, then you may be wondering whether you’re entitled to sue and recover damages. In fact, you likely have a lot of questions about what you can or should do at this stage: it may not be clear whether you should be suing the owner of the business in which you slipped and fell, or the owner of the property itself (who may be different).
Litigation can be complex, so having an experienced legal partner is crucial to both successfully obtaining compensation, and having peace of mind as the process moves forward.
Curious? Call 1-800-THE-LAW2 for a free and confidential consultation with a skilled Orange County slip and fall lawyer in our network.
What Are Some Common Slip and Fall Scenarios?
When parties enter into litigation, most prefer to avoid the challenges of trial. Trial is expensive, uncertain, and to some degree, exhausting. Depending on the case, a trial could see the timeline of your case extended several months, or even up to a year.
Most important, however, is the uncertainty. From a strategic point-of-view, uncertainty is undesirable.
As such, the large majority of cases actually never make it to trial. Instead, they are resolved through a negotiated settlement compromise before trial ever occurs.
The Dynamics of Settlement
Common slip and fall accidents include, but are not limited to areas such as:
For example, if a retail store has micro-debris on the floor, it may not be “obvious” to shoppers, but could pose a serious tripping hazard. Most shoppers are not paying close attention to the ground and would not notice micro-debris. Suing under these circumstances would require a different litigation strategy (with respect to the evidence) than suing in a situation where there was a liquid spill or a fall on a defectively-maintained staircase.
Suing for Slip and Fall — How Does it Work?
Slip and fall cases involve some unique legal issues, though they are categorized within the broader umbrella of premises liability.
To prove that the defendant is liable for your injuries (in a slip and fall case), you’ll have to show that there was a dangerous condition of property (i.e., the slipping/tripping hazard), that the defendant knew or should have known about the dangerous condition, and that the defendant failed to correct the dangerous condition (either by repairing it or warning visitors about the danger through signage or other indications).
Besides that, however, you may find that the defendant argues against liability by claiming that the danger was “obvious.” In California, an obvious danger is an absolute defense to liability in slip and fall disputes.
Suppose that you slip and fall on a puddle of liquid in a retail store, injuring yourself. The puddle was colored bright green, and was visible to you. In fact, you knew that there was a hazard, but believed that you could avoid slipping by carefully stepping through the puddle. As you voluntarily encountered the hazard, California law would not entitle you to compensation.