When is a Landlord Liable for Slip and Fall Injuries in California?

More than one million people need emergency medical care each year in the United States for slip and fall accidents. The most common locations for slip and fall accidents are private homes, rental homes or apartments, hotels and resorts, stores, small businesses, and public places. Is the owner or landlord liable for slip and fall injuries?

Slip, trip, and fall injuries can be quite severe. Consider the following:

  • Over 300,000 disabling injuries from slip and falls accidents are reported per year in North America. (OSHA)
  • Slips and falls account for over 20,000 fatalities per year in North America.
  • One out of five slip and fall causes have a broken bone, and almost 20-30% involve serious injury.
  • Traumatic brain injuries commonly result from falls. (CDC)
  • Slips, trips, and falls cause back injuries, sprains, contusions, fractures, severe head injuries, paralysis, and fatalities.

Landlord Negligence

Renting property comes with many legal obligations. Tenants are entitled to live in a rental property that is reasonably safe from dangerous hazards. Suppose you are injured in a slip and fall accident at the rental property. In that case, you may be able to file a liability claim if the landlord’s negligence caused the accident. However, you cannot assume that the landlord is liable for any slip and fall injury or accident on their property. You will need proof that the landlord was negligent and liable.

Premises Liability in California

Under the California Civil Code, a landlord has a legal obligation to show due care for the safety of tenants and their guests to keep property under the landlord’s control in a reasonably safe condition and in good repair. Negligent maintenance or failure to correct a known defect in sites under the landlord’s responsibility may result in liability for injuries within the leased premises.

In each case, it is necessary to prove the following:
(1) the landlord was responsible for maintenance on the property where the injury or accident occurred.
(2) the landlord knew (or should have been aware) that a hazard existed.
(2) the landlord did not do enough to prevent the injury.
(4) that the hazard caused an injury or death.

Proving negligence

The majority of slip and fall accident case outcomes depend on whether the property owner knew there was a hazard before someone suffered an injury and did not remedy it. To win a slip and fall accident injury case, you and your attorney must submit proof that the injury was due to the landlord’s negligence.

For example, if poorly maintained steps were a factor in the injury or accident:

  • Did the landlord keep a log demonstrating that he routinely checked the property and steps for hazards?
  • Did the landlord take preventive measures for the hazardous condition by putting out warning signboards or preventing access to the location?
  • Did the injured person see a doctor and receive a written diagnosis of their injury?

If you are considering a legal claim after you have been injured in a slip and fall on a rental property, then you should discuss your case with an experienced Los Angeles slip and fall attorney. Contact us.