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What to do when a California slip and fall leads to death

Many Californians enjoy watching shows like "America's Funniest Videos" that portray falls as hilarious. However, the truth is that a slip and fall is no laughing matter. A fall onto a hard surface can lead to broken bones, injuries to the neck, shoulder and back, head trauma and even death. When this happens, sometimes, this is due to the person's own clumsiness, but in some cases, a third party is at fault. Read on to find out when a slip and fall could be considered wrongful death.

The most common occurrence of slips and falls happens in stores and restaurants. It is not uncommon for a waiter to spill some water or for a customer to drop a glass jar filled with food or juice and have it splatter everywhere. When this happens, employees need to take quick action. The longer a spill is left unattended, the more likely someone is going to slip on it and end up with serious bodily harm. If an employee's negligence led to the fall, then the victim's family could take legal action.

It is also possible for a guest to sue a homeowner if he or she slips or trips while in the person's home. However, the homeowner must have been aware of the dangerous condition. If the homeowner neglects to clean up a spill, for example, and sees that several guests have nearly fallen after slipping on it, then he or she could be held liable for any injuries caused by a resulting fall.

A fall could also happen while a person is walking on a sidewalk. A crack or broken sidewalk could cause a person to trip. If this happens, the victim's family could sue the city, since cities have a duty to keep sidewalks free of defects. In this case, certain requirements and deadlines must be followed, so it is best to seek legal advice from a lawyer.

Source:, "Slip and Fall FAQ," accessed on June 13, 2015

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