David has been a slip and fall attorney for 19 years in California. This means he provides legal services to the victim hurt in the case. David cares deeply about his clients and fights to win the compensation they need. Call David anytime day or night, seven days a week to set up a free, no-obligation case review. There is never a fee unless you win.
What Is a Slip and Fall Defense?
In all slip and fall cases, the defendant (the person who was negligent) has the right to present an argument claiming his or her acts were not the reason another person was injured. Attorneys for the defendant are referred to as the defense. There are specific arguments that the lawyers use to defend their clients.
Affirmative Slip and Fall Defense
The affirmative defense is also called the assumption of risk defense. In this defense, the attorney will argue that the victim knew about the risk and accepted the risk by going to the location. The reasons behind this defense vary. For example, if a spilled substance causes a slip and fall accident in a grocery store, using the assumption of risk strategy may be difficult. The customer has no reason to assume that a dangerous condition would persist without store employees removing it. Rather, the customer would assume that the store made every effort to keep the business free of hazards.
Lack of Hazards
Another defense might be that the hazard was not the fault of the business. For instance, another customer is walking around the store with an open drink in their hand. The person spills the drink on the floor and makes no effort to notify anyone or clean it up.
Another store patron does not see the spill and slips and falls. In this case, the store had no reason to expect the spill and might have inspected the area seconds before. In this case, the person who spilled the drink may have homeowner’s insurance that covers the cost of the victim’s injuries.
This is a concept where the plaintiff is partially responsible for their injury. An example might be, the victim was walking down an aisle in a grocery store and tripped over a box. However, the plaintiff was texting on his or her phone when the accident happened. The defense could make the argument that the plaintiff would have seen the obstacle, which was too big and obvious to miss, if they were looking where they were going rather than texting.
A plaintiff attorney would argue that the obstacle should not have been there no matter what the plaintiff was doing. In this case, the plaintiff may have to assume some of the responsibility for the fall. Let’s say the plaintiff was 30 percent responsible. Even then, the defendant was 70 percent responsible for the accident. This means that the plaintiff will still collect 70 percent of the compensation.
The Hazardous Condition Was Unknown to the Owner/Person in Charge
One of the requirements for liability is that the defendant knew or should have known about the dangerous condition. If the defendant voices the argument that he or she did not know about the hazardous condition, the plaintiff can argue that it should have been known.
One way to do this is by citing the lack of inspection by the owner or person in charge. Businesses should inspect the premises on a regular basis to make sure safety standards are followed. Some businesses, such as grocery stores, usually have scheduled inspections every 30 minutes. This eliminates the possibility that a hazardous condition will be present for longer than that period. By using video camera footage, a plaintiff’s attorney can prove that no employee inspected the area on a scheduled basis.
There Was No Dangerous Condition
Sometimes, the defense will say that the dangerous condition did not exist. It is up to the plaintiff to prove there was a hazard. This is one reason a picture of the accident site is a good idea. Let’s say you slipped on water and did not take a picture with your cell phone. While you went to the manager’s office to report the incident (it is always better to remain where you are and let the manager come to you) an employee wiped up the spill. The manager can ask for proof there was a spill to begin with. Without a witness or a photograph, you may be unable to provide that.
In the event a photo is not available, look for security video cameras. Today, they are found in many parts of the store. Ask for the footage from the cameras nearest your accident. The video cameras may have captured your fall and the reason the accident happened. They may also show that the spill was there for some time, and employees did not inspect the area or walked by the spill.
This is a common argument used by defense attorneys. It basically states that the defect, while present, was too minimal to matter and not something that should be considered in a legal action.
This is a common argument when it comes to an uneven sidewalk. Let’s say a pedestrian tripped over a difference in elevation between two concrete areas in his or her path. Using this argument, the property owner would claim that they should not be held liable for such a trivial defect.
In this case, the defect would be measured as to height, depth and width. Since there is no real minimal defect test, the use of photos to show that, although the dimensions may be slight, they were sufficient to cause the plaintiff to fall.
The Law Offices of David Azizi: Help in a Slip, Trip and Fall Accident
David Azizi is well-known for the care and empathetic treatment he provides to his clients such as offering his cell phone number for questions the client may have. While his ability as a lawyer and his master of the law is impeccable, it is often the intensity with which he works to make sure the client is compensated that astounds many.
Call David when you have been injured due to someone else’s negligence at (800) 991-5292 anytime day or night every day of the week. We know that accidents are not limited to those that occur during business hours. We will schedule a no-obligation, free case evaluation when you call.