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What do I need to file a slip-and-fall lawsuit in California?


A slip-and-fall accident at a public or commercial location may enable you to file a lawsuit against the premises owner. To seek compensation for damages, you typically need the date, time and location of the accident along with proof of your injuries, such as medical bills. 

A successful claim generally proves how employees knew the premises had a dangerous condition but neglected to keep the affected area safe or warn patrons of the hazard. Your legal action could describe a mishap that occurred because of safety issues such as a wet floor, scattered debris or falling objects. 

What type of warning signs must employees use? 

Employees owe a duty to protect visitors and customers from slips, trips and falls. When an establishment has a known hazard, employees must post or position noticeable warnings that inform visitors to be careful. Some examples of noticeable warnings include signs, yellow “caution” tape or orange cones. 

If an accident occurs because employees failed to put out warning signs after they became aware of a dangerous condition, you may sue for their negligence. Your claim, however, must show that employees actually knew of the hazard but did not take reasonable steps to warn you. 

What is California’s comparative negligence standard? 

When responding to a lawsuit, a premises owner may claim that employees provided a warning, but you contributed to your own injuries by ignoring it. If proven, California’s comparative negligence standard may then lower the amount of financial liability assigned to the premises owner by the percentage of your contribution to the accident. 

As noted by The Collegian, the comparative negligence standard could apply to incidents involving state park visitors who ignore warning signs. Evidence, such as photographs of the accident scene or video footage, may help you verify the cause of your injuries.