Slip & Fall Injury Attorneys in San Francisco
In California, property owners are liable for injuries on their premises, if there is a defect that causes a person to fall, or if they know of a dangerous condition and failed to take prompt action. At Callaway & Wolf, our San Francisco slip and fall lawyers have handled cases including trips & slips on slippery or defective stairs, food, water, or other things left on floors, and sidewalk falls. Other cases have involved places where the California building code requires a railing, such as stairs, or simply the failure to provide enough lighting, or to sweep regularly.
Slip & Fall Cases We’ve Won
$100,000 for a man who fell in the lobby of his low-income apartment building in San Franciso’s Tenderloin neighborhood, breaking his leg. The client fell due to some water on the floor, which had been tracked in by other people. We were able to get a sworn statement from the building’s lobby attendant, and had an expert come in to do “coefficient of friction” testing on the lobby floor.
California Sidewalk Laws
Most sidewalk falls in San Francisco are caused by a raised slab, where two slabs come together, being pushed up by tree roots. In these cases, it’s all about how much height difference there is. If the difference is less than an inch, it can be tough for the case to survive California’s “trivial defect” rule. Many towns and cities have laws holding the adjacent landowner responsible for bad sidewalks that cause injuries. Some even set a standard for the amount of the defect. Sausalito, for example, has a half-inch rule in its sidewalk ordinance.
Who is Liable in a Sidewalk Slip and Fall?
Many California slip and fall injury cases are caused by sidewalks, where some sections are raised up, causing a tripping hazard. California law recognizes that when there is a window display, or goods on shelves in stores, people will not be looking down. This means that you are not held responsible for a fall just because you were not looking down to see where every step was going. Store owners are required to inspect their floors regularly during open hours to be sure that there is nothing there that could cause a fall.
Many California property owners and stores have a type of no-fault insurance called “Medical Payments,” which can pay some of your medical bills – up to a set amount – even if the owner disputes that they are responsible for the fall. This can provide you a way to be paid for some of your bills even before you reach a settlement.
California’s Statute of Limitations on Slip and Fall Injuries
California has a two-year statute of limitations for slip and fall injuries. This is the time in which your case must be settled, or filed in court. This time limit shrinks to six months if the state or a city is responsible. Even though you may have plenty of time before your time limit is up, our attorneys can help guide you through the process from day one, helping to insure that the proper groundwork is done for your slip and fall claim.
Contact an Experienced Slip & Fall Lawyer Serving the
Our lawyers are experienced in handling sidewalk and slip and fall injury claims. If you or someone you know has been injured in a slip and fall accident in the San Francisco Bay Area, call 415-541-0300 to request a free consultation with an attorney.
Slip and Fall Case FAQs
Isn’t the property owner responsible if I fell on their property?
You have to be able to prove that the owner or one of their employees did something wrong to cause the problem, or at least knew about the problem and failed to fix it. If you can show that the problem was there for a significant amount of time, the owner is deemed on “constructive” notice of the danger, and can be held liable even without any evidence that he/she actually knew about it.
What will they do to try to avoid paying?
In most slip or trip and fall cases, the other party will claim that the victim was not looking where they were going, as whatever caused them to fall was “open and obvious.” They will also ask about what shoes you were wearing, what you were carrying, where you were going and why, and how familiar you were with the area–anything to try to shift blame for the fall. These cases are often fought – many of them cannot be settled without a lawsuit.