Falls are one of the leading causes of injuries in Ventura County. Slip-and-falls are included in that category. When a person is injured in a slip-and-fall accident that was caused by a dangerous condition on property that is owned or occupied by another person or entity, liability could attach. Some examples of dangerous slippery conditions might consist of any of the following in a grocery store in Ventura County:
- Water accumulation at a Vons store entrance in Oxnard.
- Oily or powdery substances in a WinCo store aisle in Ventura.
- Fruits or vegetable remnants on the floor of a produce section at Ralphs in Thousand Oaks.
- Spilled liquids on the floor of a dairy section at Trader Joe’s in Camarillo.
- Leaked water from the frozen foods section at Walmart in Simi Valley.
The Legal Duty
The owner or operator of a grocery store has a legal duty to maintain that premises in a reasonably safe condition and free of risks of harm that the owner or occupier knew or should have known might injure people who lawfully enter that property. If that owner or operator did nothing to timely remedy a dangerous condition, liability could attach for a slip-and-fall victim’s injuries and damages. If a shopper slipped and then fell on a spill before the grocery store owner or operator had a reasonable time to clean the spill up, there would be no liability.
Actual vs. Constructive Knowledge of a Dangerous Condition
A grocery store owner or operator’s actual knowledge of a dangerous condition that caused a slip-and-fall can be difficult to prove. A slip-and-fall victim would need to show that the owner or operator of the store knew of the condition and chose not to do anything about it. Constructive knowledge of a dangerous condition can be shown by a lack of reasonably scheduled periodic inspections of the premises. California law allows notice of a dangerous condition to be imputed to a grocery store owner or operator who fails to make reasonable periodic inspections.
What to do After a Ventura County Slip-and Fall
Unlike a car accident on a public roadway, police won’t respond to a call for assistance in a slip-and-fall accident on private property. You’re going to be on your own unless somebody is with you or another shopper is kind enough to help. You should try and do the following:
- Determine what caused you to slip and then fall.
- Document whatever you can and get photos.
- Report your accident to management.
- Complete a written report and take a copy with you.
- Demand that store security video be preserved.
- Request contact information of any witnesses.
- Get to an urgent care center or emergency room immediately.
- Upon being discharged, follow all instructions and contact our offices right away.
The Comparative Fault Defense
In a Ventura County slip-and-fall case, it’s perfectly legal for the owner or occupier of the property where you were injured at to argue that you were partially or completely at fault for your accident and injuries. That’s what’s known as the law of comparative negligence. If you’re determined to be partially at fault, a percentage of it will be attributed to you and deducted from any award in your favor. For example, if you’re determined to be 40% at fault with a $100,000 gross award, your net award would be $60,000.
Contact a Ventura County Slip and Fall Lawyer Today.
Every slip-and-fall grocery store accident is different, and the injuries and damages suffered in them are different too. If you were injured in a slip-and-fall accident anywhere in or around Ventura County, contact us at Quirk Accident & Injury Attorneys, APC to arrange for a free consultation and case review. We promise to listen to you carefully and advise you on how to approach the maximum compensation that you deserve for your injuries and damages.