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Sprinklers, Standing Water, and Slip and Fall

Generally speaking, homeowners are liable for injuries (and deaths) which result from foreseeably dangerous conditions on the property.

Unfortunately, many Homeowners overlook subtle conditions which can create dangerous hazards to visitors, family members, and others.

SLIP AND FALL INJURIES ARE COMMON AND FREQUENTLY LITIGATED

Slip and fall accidents represent one of the most common types of premises liability lawsuits. People who suffer injuries as a result of dangerous or slippery conditions often sue to recover damages from the owner of the property where the accident occurred.

Homeowners should look for, and recognize, the danger of slip and fall injuries from “common hazards” like oil slicks, abrupt changes in flooring surfaces, slippery stairs, and other dangerous conditions.

BROKEN SPRINKLERS AND STANDING WATER MAY CREATE SLIP AND FALL HAZARDS

Broken sprinklers, puddles, and other forms of standing water create a serious danger of slip and fall injuries.

Wet pavement and standing water creates a slippery surface and a greater risk of injury to passersby.

In addition, Algae, mosses, and other slippery growths can flourish near broken sprinklers or standing water, particularly in L.A. County and other areas of Southern California, where warm weather and long growing seasons create an environment for growths to flourish.¬†Algae and mosses may seem to “dry up” or die when standing water dries, but even semi-dried algaes or mosses create a hazard of slip and fall injuries. Worse, these growths become slick when water is re-introduced to the area.

FIX BROKEN SPRINKLERS AND DRY PUDDLES PROMPTLY TO HELP AVOID LIABILITY

Homeowners are liable for injuries caused by dangerous conditions when:

— The property owner (or an employee or other person under the owner’s legal or actual “control”) created or caused the dangerous condition, or permitted it to continue.

— The property owner knew or should have known about the dangerous condition, but did not take steps to cure or fix the problem.

Homeowners can help avoid liability for for injuries resulting from standing water, puddles, and other water-related conditions by keeping an eye on irrigation systems, watching for standing water, and taking steps to resolve any issues promptly. Fix sprinklers and irrigation leaks as soon as the problem is discovered. Use signs and barricades to prevent easy access to standing water. Finally, take appropriate steps to resolve algae issues and clean up slippery growths from sidewalks, stairs, and other areas where people may walk, to prevent a slipping hazard.

Although these dangers are particularly pronounced in dangerous areas like stairs and pathways, homeowners should inspect all parts of the property regularly and keep an eye out for hazards and dangerous conditions. Lack of knowledge is not a defense where a reasonable person should have seen or mitigated the danger, and failure to inspect your property won’t protect you from liability if a reasonable person would have done so.

If you or a relative suffers a slip and fall injury, or other damage, on public or private property, do not attempt to evaluate your rights on your own. Consult an experienced attorney promptly if you believe you may have suffered injuries for which someone else–or a dangerous condition–is liable. You may lose your rights if you delay.

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