Who Is Liable in a Slip and Fall?

Who Is Liable in a Slip and Fall?

January 25, 2021

Ellis Law Corporation


Entities or persons who are commonly responsible for slip and fall accident injuries include:

  • Homeowners
  • Private Businesses
  • Parking Lots

Depending on where a slip and fall injury occurred, different people or entities may be deemed liable for negligence. In California, it is possible to sue multiple parties at once. These liable parties will be responsible for compensating any losses suffered in the accident. Serious injuries from slip and fall accidents can result in extensive losses, including:

  • Medical bills
  • Rehabilitation expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Reduced future earning capacity
  • Emotional trauma
  • Loss of enjoyment in life
  • And other losses


Homeowners are responsible for maintaining a reasonably safe property so any guests will be safe from harm. In some cases, there is a landlord who is separate from the tenant. Other times, the “guest” might be a construction worker, contractor, postal worker, door-to-door solicitor, or passerby on the sidewalk – anyone whose invitation is implied.

A homeowner might be deemed responsible for failing to:

  • Remove snow and ice from stairs and sidewalks, as required by local laws.
  • Repair cracking, crumbling, or uneven steps and pavement.
  • Secure construction areas with ropes and/or warning signs.
  • Store ladders, electrical cords, power tools, and other equipment properly.
  • Light the porch, walkways, and stairs adequately.
  • Maintain railings, flooring, ceilings, stairways, and interior construction in good repair.

While all homeowners are required to carry homeowner’s insurance, insurers aren’t always eager to pay the full value of an injury claim – which is why many people who are hurt on another person’s property reach out to a premises liability lawyer to help fully protect their right to fair compensation.

Private Business

Businesses also have a duty to keep their properties reasonably safe from hazards. To prove liability, the injured party must present a clear case for negligence, where the business owner either “knew” or “should have known” about an unsafe condition on the property. 

Some issues to consider include:

  • Was the floor exceedingly slippery due to washing, waxing, or a spill?
  • Did a part of the ceiling, flooring, stairwell, or railing give way?
  • Was the area well-lit so that patrons could see and protect themselves from harm?
  • How long had the dangerous condition existed?
  • Were warnings about the hazard presented?
  • Did the business owner take reasonable steps to ameliorate the situation?

Many store owners lease their spaces. In these cases, you may have grounds to sue the landlord or actual property owner as well.

Parking Lot

Parking lots can be public property owned by the city or county. Or they can be owned, managed, and maintained by private individuals or businesses. Generally, the liable party is the one responsible for maintaining the lot (and their property insurance provider). Parking lot owners owe a duty of care to keep their premises adequately maintained.

Parking lot injuries often trace back to:

  • Uncleared snow
  • Unsalted ice
  • Standing water
  • Potholes
  • Cracks
  • Poor lighting

Contact the Los Angeles slip and fall attorneys at Ellis Injury Law in Los Angeles, CA, for a free, no-obligation consultation if you have any questions about liability after an accident on someone else’s property. We provide contingency-based representation, so our personal injury clients never pay a penny out-of-pocket unless we’ve successfully recovered money on their behalf.