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San Diego Slip and Fall Attorneys

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San Diego slip and fall accidents can happen at home, at a business, at the airport, at a shopping mall, at a theme park, next to a swimming pool, or almost any place else that you can imagine. Property owners in San Diego have a legal obligation to maintain safe premises for those who visit and to warn visitors about known hazards. Negligent San Diego property owners who don’t remove hazards from their property or warn visitors about potential dangers open themselves up to liability for damages when someone gets hurt in a slip and fall accident on their property.

A severe San Diego slip and fall accident often leads to serious, sometimes fatal injuries, creating economic stress for victims and their families. Catastrophic injuries can bankrupt a family. Fortunately, California law permits slip and fall accident victims to take legal action against a negligent property owner to recover losses related to the accident and resulting injuries.

If you, your child, or another loved one has suffered injuries on another person’s property or at a business, contact the experienced San Diego slip and fall attorneys at Gomez Trial Attorneys for a free consultation to share your slip and fall accident story, discuss the viability of your claim, and learn how we can assist you going forward.

Gomez Trial Attorneys’ Results in Slip and Fall Claims

The award-winning legal team at Gomez Trial Attorneys has been advocating for accident injury victims for decades, including those who suffered injuries in a slip and fall accident. The firm’s commitment to client service and professional excellence has led to tens of millions of dollars in compensation for accident victims and their families. Our most recent case outcomes involving slip and fall accidents range between almost $800,000 and more than $16 million. They include:

  • $780,000 jury award
  • $1,000,000 settlement
  • $1,250,000 settlement
  • $2,000,000 settlement
  • $2,000,000 jury award
  • $2,100,000 settlement
  • $7,500,000 jury award
  • $16,200,000 settlement
  • $16,200,000 jury award

These settlement and verdict amounts for clients who were injured in slip and fall accidents do not guarantee a particular financial outcome for your claim. Each slip and fall case has underlying facts that add to or detract from its value. The skilled slip and fall attorneys at Gomez Trial Attorneys have the knowledge and resources to build a strong case against the property owner responsible for your injuries, giving you the best chance of receiving the maximum compensation for your injuries.

Where in San Diego Are You Most Likely to Slip and Fall?

San Diego’s climate makes year-round outdoor activities not only possible, but one of the best things about living here. The outdoors are also where you are most likely to slip, fall, and injure yourself. More than 5,000 miles of sidewalks cover San Diego.

Responsibility for ensuring that sidewalks are free of cracks, holes, or other issues that could result in a person slipping or tripping and falling belongs to both the city itself as well as home and business owners.

  • The city is responsible for repairing sidewalk damage from motor vehicle accidents, water main breaks, grade subsidence, and trees growing within the right-of-way.
  • Property owners are responsible for sidewalk damage caused by privately owned tree roots, heavy vehicle traffic, or drainage from private property.
  • If the damage to the sidewalk is the result of age-related deterioration, the city may split the cost of repair or replacement with the property owner.

During the process of surveying the city’s sidewalks for damages several years ago, city engineers and college students identified more than 39,000 potential tripping hazards in the first 3,100 miles. The damage included broken pavement and curbs that did not conform to the requirements put forth by the American Disabilities Act.

If a San Diego slip and fall accident injured you or a loved one, contact Gomez Trial Attorneys to discuss your legal options moving forward.

Reasons Why Slip and Fall Accidents Occur in San Diego

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The weather in San Diego is not only agreeable to its human inhabitants but to plant life, as well. The city has about 250,000 trees along its sidewalks, including a mix of shade trees and palms. However, it is impossible to know how many trees are on private property around the city. The downside to so many trees is root damage to municipal and privately owned structures. Root damage is the leading reason for sidewalk damage around the city—one of the most common causes of slip and fall accidents in San Diego.

Other common reasons for slip and fall accidents in San Diego include:

  • Construction sites: The construction of new office sites—particularly in downtown neighborhoods—and new homes throughout San Diego continues to be strong despite the economic downturn related to the pandemic. Construction sites are among the most common areas for slip and fall accidents to occur, and falls are among the most common causes of workplace fatalities in the construction industry. The hazards at such sites include electrical cords stretching across walkways, improperly constructed staircases, missing handrails, poorly lit areas, and clutter or debris.
  • Stair problems: San Diego has more than 150 high rises, mostly in the downtown area, as well as mid-rise and multi-level low-rise buildings. While many of these buildings have elevators for use by residents, employees, or guests, all the buildings have stairs. Stairs are another common location for slip and fall accidents, due to hazards such as clutter or debris on the stairs, improperly constructed stairs, missing handrails, poor lighting, slippery surfaces, and loose flooring material.

If a San Diego slip and fall accident injured you, contact Gomez Trial Attorneys today to discuss your next steps.

Landlord Liability in San Diego Slip and Fall Accidents

Slightly over 200,000 households in San Diego are occupied by renters, accounting for 39 percent of the residential occupation in the city. Residential rental properties in the city can range from high-rise apartments to a single-unit family home in Del Mar Mesa or Torrey Pines. In all of these rental units, the landlord can face liability if a resident or a visitor slips and falls due to a known and unmitigated hazard.

The types of slip and fall hazards that are within the landlord’s control include:

  • Floor surfaces that the landlord knows tend to get slippery when wet, or that were freshly waxed, but the landlord made no effort to mitigate or place warning signs to alert guests to the hazard.
  • Weak or rotted floorboards that can cause an individual to trip and fall, or unsafe surfaces on balconies or porches.
  • Broken asphalt or potholes in apartment complex parking lots or on paved pathways on complex property.
  • Broken or improperly constructed stairs or poorly lit stairwells in apartment complexes.
  • Hidden sinkholes on the property that the landlord knew about or had reason to know about and failed to address or warn guests about.
  • Obstacles that the landlord knew about but failed to remedy.

State law requires landlords in San Diego to repair known hazards and provide adequate warnings to residents and guests about the hazard. Additionally, landlords are required to perform regular inspections of properties they own and rent to others, to detect hazards that could cause harm. These inspections should take place before the tenant moves in, before renewing a lease, when the tenant moves out, and at reasonable intervals throughout the lease. Landlords also must disclose any known hazards on the property that could harm the tenant before the tenant enters into the lease.

If a known hazard caused a slip and fall injury, contact Gomez Trial Attorneys today to discuss your case.

Does Landlord Liability Apply to Airbnb?

With an estimated 11,000 short-term rentals in San Diego, Airbnb has become a popular regional alternative to staying in a traditional hotel. An Airbnb offers visitors the opportunity to rent an entire home or a room in someone’s home for a night up to a few weeks at a time. If your rental is through Airbnb, the company covers the host’s liability during the guest’s stay. The policy has a limit of up to $1 million per occurrence and covers property damage as well as personal injury.

If you plan to enter a short-term lease through another company or a private agreement with the homeowner, ask if the property has liability insurance first.

For any questions regarding your legal options, contact Gomez Trial Attorneys today.

Common Causes of San Diego Slip and Fall Accidents

Slip and fall accidents are preventable events that can lead to severe injury or death, especially in older adults. In fact, the California Department of Health estimates that more than 90,000 adults over age 50 are hospitalized across California each year due to unintentional falls. More than 350 people die each year due to unintentional falls in San Diego County alone, approximately 300 of whom are over age 65. Yet, the elderly are not the only group vulnerable to slip and fall accidents. Children and adults can also sustain injuries in slip and fall accidents.

Snow and ice aren’t a problem in Southern California, but other environmental factors can lead to slip and fall accidents. Additionally, we include all kinds of unintentional falls under the slip and fall umbrella, including trip and fall accidents.

Examples of dangerous conditions that can result in slip and fall accidents and injuries may include:

  • Old structures with loose or ripped carpet, broken tiles, cracked hardwood, and other dangerous floor coverings.
  • Loose stairways, steps, and handrails.
  • Uncleared debris in storefronts, parking lots, and driveways.
  • Use of wet floor products or spills including, water, floor wax, floor cleaners, oil, and food.
  • Use of dry products or spills including powder, sawdust, granules dirt, and sand.
  • Malfunctioning escalators, especially those that haven’t been regularly maintained.
  • Uneven, cracked, or broken sidewalks, walking paths, and walkways.

Determining Liability in San Diego Slip and Fall Accidents

Slip and fall accident claims are based on a property owner’s negligence, which an attorney must prove in civil court or demonstrate to an insurance company to reach a settlement or win a jury award. If you suffered injuries on another person’s property, that does not automatically mean the owner was negligent.

California law states: “Everyone is responsible, not only for the result of his or her willful acts, but also for an injury occasioned to another by his or her want of ordinary care or skill in the management of his or her property or person.”

Determining liability in a slip and fall accident is sometimes an easy task for lawyers, investigators, and the courts. Often, however, cases are complex, making it especially important for slip and fall accident victims to seek out a skilled attorney.

Prevailing in a slip and fall case in San Diego requires the plaintiff to prove:

  • The defendant owned, leased, occupied or controlled the property where the injury occurred.
  • The defendant was negligent in the use or maintenance of the property.
  • The plaintiff suffered harm.
  • The defendant’s negligence was a substantial factor in causing the plaintiff’s injuries.

Ultimately, determining liability is akin to proving negligence. All property owners have a duty to maintain their premises. Negligent property owners breach that duty and expose visitors to dangerous conditions and potential injuries in a slip and fall accident or another type of accident.

Some considerations lawyers, insurance companies, and courts use to evaluate whether a property owner has breached their duty in a specific case include:

  • The likelihood of a slip and fall injury given the circumstances.
  • The potential severity of an injury given the circumstances.
  • A property owner’s knowledge, or lack thereof, of the hazard that led to the slip and fall accident.
  • The property’s location.
  • The extent of the burden for a property owner to remove or fix the hazardous condition.
  • The amount of control the property owner had over the hazard that led to the slip and fall accident.

Recouping Losses After a San Diego Slip and Fall Injury

If you suffer injuries in a slip and fall accident that would not have happened if not for the property owner’s negligence, you deserve compensation for losses related to the accident and your injuries. California law permits slip and fall accident victims to seek compensation for losses by bringing a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent property owner. If an accident victim reaches a settlement with the owner’s insurance company or a court rules in the victim’s favor, the victim can recover some or all of the following losses related to their slip and fall accident injuries:

  • Medical treatment costs, including ambulance and emergency room service, hospitalization, X-rays, surgery, follow-up visits, medication, and travel to and from the hospital or doctor’s office.
  • Estimated future medical expenses when a slip and fall accident leads to a catastrophic injury requiring ongoing treatment and care.
  • Rehabilitation costs for visits with specialists such as physical therapists, speech therapists, occupational therapists, mental health professionals, or any other specialist who helps the victim regain lost functions, cope with disabilities, or work through the emotional trauma of a permanent injury.
  • Expenses for assistive devices such as walkers, canes, and wheelchairs.
  • Lost wages for time away from work due to the slip and fall accident and injuries.
  • Estimated future lost wages when a catastrophic slip and fall injury prevents a victim from returning to their job or seeking employment in the future.
  • Home modification expenses to make an accident victim’s home more accessible by installing handrails, wheelchair ramps, or making any other needed accommodations.
  • Physical pain and suffering.
  • Mental anguish.
  • Loss of consortium with a spouse.
  • Decreased quality of life.
  • Punitive damages when gross negligence or intentional harm caused the slip and fall accident and injuries.

California law also allows surviving family members to take legal action if a loved one dies as a result of a slip and fall accident. Eligible survivors sometimes receive compensation from one or both of two types of claims after the death of a loved one: a wrongful death claim and/or a survivor claim. Wrongful death claims are complex in California, so it’s best to consult with an experienced slip and fall injury attorney who can advise you on the best course of action for you and your family. Eligible survivors sometimes receive compensation for some of the above losses as well as funeral expenses and burial costs.

Additionally, compensation is based on the claimant’s specific relationship with the deceased. For example, minor children who lose a parent sometimes receive compensation for loss of guidance and parental support. Similarly, widows and widowers sometimes receive compensation for loss of companionship. Your San Diego slip and fall lawyer can answer any questions you have related to the death of a loved one after a slip and fall accident.

Common Defense Strategies for San Diego Slip and Fall Claims

A property owner who is named in a personal injury lawsuit and their business or homeowners’ insurance carrier will usually go to great lengths to undervalue an injured person’s claim. In fact, in many cases, insurers do their best not to pay on a claim at all. After all, insurance companies do not stay in business by paying every claim or settling every lawsuit that comes their way.

Depending on the situation and circumstances of your slip and fall injury, the insurer or the insurer’s lawyers will typically use one or more of the following strategies in an attempt to reduce or eliminate their financial liability:

  • Argue that your slip and fall accident injuries aren’t as severe as you claim.
  • Argue that your fall did not cause injury; instead, you have pre-existing injuries.
  • Argue that you slipped or tripped and fell because you were distracted by your cell phone, by a friend, by eating or drinking, or by engaging in some other distracting activity that caused you to miss the obvious hazard in your path.
  • Argue that you were in an area restricted to visitors.
  • Argue that you ignored posted signs, markings, or verbal warnings about the hazard that led to your slip and fall accident.
  • Argue that you did not have permission to be on the property and you were trespassing. Property owners have no obligation towards trespassers or liability if a trespasser suffers injuries on their property, with two caveats. Property owners cannot set traps for trespassers, nor can they intentionally harm trespassers without opening themselves up to liability.
  • Argue that you tripped over your own feet because no hazard existed.
  • Argue that a reasonable person would have seen the hazard, avoid it, and avoided the fall.

Experienced and skilled slip and fall injury attorneys can anticipate the strategies the defense’s legal teams and insurance companies will use to try to avoid liability. In many cases, a lawyer can anticipate these tactics based on the circumstances of a slip and fall accident. Typically, personal injury attorneys investigate a slip and fall accident claim, gather relevant evidence from the scene of the accident, talk to witnesses, search for previous complaints, and build the strongest case possible to prove a property owner’s negligence led to the injury. This gives accident victims the best chance of receiving the maximum compensation for their claim.

San Diego Slip and Fall FAQs

San Diego slip and fall attorneyWhether in a residential setting like an apartment rental, or a commercial setting like a local business, San Diego is home to a wealth of opportunities for a slip and fall injury. A slip and fall accident at one of these places can leave you with substantial physical injuries, from a broken hip or broken bones in your hands and arms to traumatic brain injury.

If you are the victim of a slip and fall accident in San Diego, consult an experienced slip and fall lawyer at Gomez Trial Attorneys to learn more about your right to compensation or to ask questions about the specific details of your claim. Below, we cover some of the most commonly asked questions regarding slip and falls in San Diego.

1. What should I do to protect myself after a slip and fall accident in San Diego?

If you suffer a slip and fall accident, whether in a San Diego business or a private home, the steps you take immediately after the accident can have a substantial bearing on your right to compensation and your overall physical wellbeing. Make sure that you:

Seek medical attention. Any time you take a hard fall, even if you do not believe that you suffered substantial injuries in your accident, make sure to visit a doctor. A doctor can evaluate the potential extent of your injuries and make sure you didn’t miss any injuries, including broken bones. If you fail to seek treatment, it could lead to additional suffering: a longer healing time or even a poorer prognosis for your recovery.

A doctor’s report can also provide vital evidence that will establish when your slip and fall injuries took place. If you suffer back and neck injuries in your slip and fall accident, but do not seek medical attention until well after the accident, you may end up struggling to prove that your injuries occurred in that particular fall.

Report the accident. Many businesses have protocols in place that establish how they will handle accidents, including slip and fall accidents, on the premises. Report your fall to management at the business and fill out an incident report if needed. This report can serve as vital evidence regarding your slip and fall.

Collect evidence, if you can. Sometimes, after a slip and fall accident, you might suffer such severe injuries that you cannot move safely around the scene of the accident. Other times, you may find that you can take photos or take other steps to record the accident. You may want to take pictures of the features that caused your accident or collect contact information for a witness who saw what happened. That evidence may later prove vital in establishing what led to your accident.

You should not, however, do anything (including trying to collect evidence) that may make your injuries worse or put you in an unsafe position.

Contact an attorney. As soon after your slip and fall accident as possible, get in touch with an experienced San Diego slip and fall injury attorney to learn more about your rights, including your right to compensation after a serious accident.

2. I slipped and fell due to a spill, but did not think I suffered serious injuries. Later, I found out that I had suffered a serious injury to my back. Can I still file a San Diego slip and fall injury claim?

You still have the right to file a slip and fall injury claim even if you did not go to the hospital or visit a doctor immediately after the accident. While that report from your doctor could help establish exactly when your injuries took place, the facility or entity that caused your accident may still bear liability for your injuries. Talk to an attorney as soon as you discover your injuries to learn more about the steps you need to take to file a slip and fall injury claim and seek the compensation you deserve.

3. My slip and fall occurred on a friend’s property in San Diego. Can I still file a slip and fall injury claim?

Private homeowners and public business owners bear a similar duty of care to visitors to that property. If you suffer a serious injury due to negligence on the part of a homeowner, you may still have grounds for a slip and fall injury claim.

Suppose, for example, that the stairs on your friend’s back porch have rotted through. Your friend knows about the hazard, but has taken no steps to repair those stairs: he simply chooses not to use them. Unfortunately, he did not warn you about the danger, which resulted in a serious fall. Because your friend allowed the danger to exist, you had the right to visit the property, and your friend took no steps to protect you, including warning you about the possible hazard, you may have grounds to file a slip and fall injury claim.

Many people worry that filing a slip and fall injury claim against a friend or family member will cause a breach in that relationship. Most homeowners, however, carry insurance policies designed to protect against damage to the home or injuries to visitors to the property. Most of the time, the homeowner will not face significant financial losses from that claim. You, however, may suffer immense financial losses if you try to manage your slip and fall injury and the associated bills without filing a slip and fall injury claim.

4. How should I deal with my medical bills after a San Diego slip and fall accident?

As the party injured in a San Diego slip and fall accident, you will need to make arrangements to manage your medical bills. While a slip and fall injury claim can help provide you with much needed compensation that will allow you to pay those bills, the liable party will not pay those bills for you. Instead, the liable party will issue payment to you based on the terms of the settlement or court award. You can then use those funds to manage your bills, including your medical expenses.

Your medical insurance can provide a great deal of assistance in the aftermath of your accident, especially if you have long-term injuries that will require ongoing care. Talk to your insurance provider to learn more about what coverage you have, including coverage for items like durable medical equipment and long-term hospitalization or a stay in a long-term care facility, if needed. You may also want to ask your insurance provider how the circumstances of your injury can affect your coverage.

If this intimidates you or if your health insurance company stonewalls or denies a claim you feel it should cover, let us know. Maybe we can help.

5. What should I do if the liable party’s insurance company offers me a settlement for my San Diego slip and fall injuries?

You suffered serious injuries in a slip and fall accident in a San Diego business. A few days or even a couple of weeks after the accident, you may receive a call from the insurance company, indicating that they wish to offer you a settlement for your injuries. Unfortunately, while this sounds like a good faith gesture on the part of the insurance company, it may not reflect the compensation you really deserve for your injuries.

Call us without delay.

Often, insurance companies will offer what looks like a decent settlement offer on the surface, but will not provide you with the compensation you really deserve, such as compensation for your medical expenses and compensation for the losses you faced, including items like your lost wages and your pain and suffering.

Talk to Gomez Trial Attorneys before accepting any settlement offer, especially one that does not seem to reflect the compensation you really deserve for your injuries. An attorney can provide you with a better idea of what the negligent party owes you and negotiate with the insurance company to help increase your odds of securing it.

6. Does the premises owner always bear liability in a San Diego slip and fall accident?

While the premises owner often bears liability in a slip and fall accident, the premises owner does not automatically bear liability for any injuries that occur on the property.

A construction company that recently worked on the property, for example, may leave behind hazards, including debris, that can cause injury. A business operating on a property leased from another company may bear liability for any injuries sustained on that property or a premises owner who fails to take care of needed maintenance may bear liability.

You may also find that a specific company operating temporarily on the premises may share liability for an accident. For example, a convention guest who runs wires down the aisle, posing a trip hazard.

Talk to a San Diego slip and fall attorney to learn more about who may bear liability for your injuries. Often, you may find that more than one party shares liability for a slip and fall, which may increase the compensation you ultimately receive for your injuries. An attorney can also help determine what portion of liability each party bears.

7. What happens if the San Diego premises owner does not carry insurance? Can I still file a slip and fall claim?

You may still have grounds for a slip and fall claim, even if the premises owner does not carry insurance. Sometimes, as in the case of a private homeowner, it can prove much more difficult to collect on your claim if there is no insurance coverage. On the other hand, in the case of a slip and fall at a business where the business owner does not carry adequate insurance, you may still recover the funds you need in a slip and fall injury claim. Contact your attorney to learn more about your right to compensation and how the property owner’s insurance may affect it.

8. How much can I recover for San Diego slip and fall accident injuries?

After a slip and fall accident, the amount you can recover may depend on several factors. First, your attorney will take a look at the insurance policy that covers the liable party. That policy may have strict limits that may determine how much compensation you can recover after your accident. Second, your attorney may need to assess the extent of your injuries. Severe injuries often lead to higher medical bills and much more severe limitations, which can make it easier for you to recover the compensation you deserve. Relatively minor injuries, on the other hand, may lead to a lower value claim.

Talk to your attorney about the extent of your injuries and the limitations those injuries have caused in your life, including lost time at work or lost enjoyment of activities that once filled your life. Your attorney can give you a better idea of how much compensation you can expect for your specific claim.

9. Do I really need an attorney to handle my San Diego slip and fall accident claim?

Yes. Whether you suffered a broken hip, traumatic brain injury, or back and neck injuries from your fall, an attorney can help you better understand your right to compensation and help you effectively fight for the compensation you deserve.

An attorney can:

  • Help collect evidence related to your claim. An attorney can go over all the details of your claim, including how your accident occurred, whether the liable party knew about the hazard, and how those hazards impacted your accident. Often, an attorney can help collect vital evidence that will help establish exactly how your accident occurred: video footage, photos of the scene of the accident, or witness testimony, for example. An attorney can also go over your medical records and use them to help establish the extent of your injuries and your limitations.
  • Put together an effective, compelling claim to help you maximize your odds of receiving compensation. A simple recitation of events may not clearly show how your injuries occurred. An attorney can take the situations that led to your accident, put them together, and offer a compelling claim that will increase your odds of receiving the compensation you deserve.
  • Offer support and advice during every stage of your claim. A slip and fall injury claim can leave you with a lot of questions, from how much compensation you should expect to how to handle conversations with the insurance company. An attorney can help offer advice and support, from helping you decide how long to negotiate to taking over those negotiations for you. If you have to go to court, having an attorney on your side may prove vital to presenting your case.

Gomez Trial Attorneys believes that every San Diego resident deserves a hazard-free home, workplace, and business community. If you are the victim of a slip and fall accident in San Diego, consult an experienced slip and fall lawyer at Gomez Trial Attorneys to learn more about what to do next.

Get the Help You Need from Gomez Trial Attorneys After a San Diego Slip and Fall Injury

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John Gomez, San Diego Slip and Fall Lawyer

At Gomez Trial Attorneys, our attorneys understand the physical, mental, and economic challenges that slip and fall accident victims face in the wake of a severe injury. We cannot take away your physical pain, but we can help you fight for the compensation you deserve for your injuries if you have a viable claim. Financial compensation does not turn back time, but you should not have to suffer economically because of a property owner’s careless decisions or laziness. You also deserve compensation for the mental anguish and emotional stress you have experienced as a result of your accident and injury.

An experienced San Diego slip and fall attorney can help you through this difficult time and guide you through the claims process and a lawsuit, if necessary, giving you time to focus on healing and recovery. Contact Gomez Trial Attorneys online or at (619) 237-3490 to discuss the events that led to your slip and fall accident, determine your eligibility for compensation, and get advice about the best course of action after your slip and fall accident injury. Injured in an accident? Get a real trial lawyer. Get Gomez.

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Injured in an accident? Get a real trial lawyer. Get Gomez.


655 West Broadway, Suite 1700
San Diego, CA 92101

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