As a personal injury lawyer in Los Angeles, we are often asked this question whether a person can sue a grocery store if they have fallen. The answer is, it depends. Slip and fall cases, or trip and fall cases, are referred to as premises liability cases. Like most accident or injury cases, to prevail in a premises liability case we must be able to show that the property owner was negligent, or not careful, and that your fall resulted from that negligence. There are several ways we can do this.
However, we must know why you fell first. Many times people just fall. It may have been the person walking that was not careful. Kids fall all the time as they are learning to walk. As we get older, it happens less frequently, unless you are not watching where you are going, or someone has made it dangerous. So the first question is: “Why did you fall?” Were you careless, or did someone else create or maintain a dangerous condition?
If you were careless, then you do not have a claim or anyone else to blame. That makes sense and that seems fair.
If you were acting reasonably, but someone made it dangerous, then there may be a case. The first question is whether the condition was unreasonably dangerous. What is the likelihood that someone would be injured by that condition, and how difficult is it to eliminate that harm.
Also, we must show that the property owner either knew or should have known about the dangerous condition or created the dangerous condition.
Finally, where a condition is obviously dangerous and visible, you have a responsibility to avoid the dander and an owner can defend itself by claiming that even if it was dangerous, you should have seen it.