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Slip And Fall Accident Attorney in Santa Barbara, CA

Slip and fall accidents can happen when you least expect them – while walking on a sidewalk, entering a store, visiting a friend’s home, or working at a construction site. These accidents can often lead to serious injuries and cause prolonged pain and suffering and emotional distress to the fall accident victims.  

At Maho Prentice, LLP, we understand the devastating impact that a slip or trip and fall accident can have on you and your family. Our premises liability attorneys are determined to protect your rights, hold the negligent parties liable for your injuries and losses, and help you recover the largest possible compensation you deserve. 

The personal injury attorneys at Maho Prentice, LLP have earned numerous accolades as Super Lawyers, ABOTA members, and A/V rated by Martindale-Hubbell. With almost seven decades of combined experience, our attorneys have recovered over $100 million in compensation for our clients via out-of-court settlements as well as highly publicized jury trials.

You don’t have to suffer in silence or settle for less than you deserve. Let us help you get back on your feet. Contact us today to request a free consultation.

Photo of Man Fell on Wet Floor

Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents in Santa Barbara, CA

When a person suffers a fall accident (slip or trip) on someone else’s property and gets injured, they may be able to file a personal injury claim against the at-fault party. These fall accidents slip or trip can happen due to any number of hazardous conditions including:

  • Wet or slippery surfaces: Spills, leaks, waxing, or cleaning can make floors or stairs slippery, and cause people to lose their balance and fall. These falls can result in sprains, fractures, bruises, or head injuries.
  • Clutter or debris: Objects left on the floor (or stairs) can create tripping hazards and cause people to stumble and fall. These falls can result in cuts, lacerations, punctures, or infections.
  • Poor lighting: Dim or inadequate lighting can make it hard to see potential hazards on the floor, causing you to fall. As a result, you may suffer from eye injuries, facial injuries, dental injuries, or traumatic brain injuries.
  • Defective surfaces: Cracks, holes, gaps, loose tiles, or worn carpets can create uneven surfaces that can result in severe injuries involving ankles, knees, hips, or shoulders.

Clearly, a lot can go wrong on a property if there is negligence in maintaining it. This is why property owners, managers and occupiers have a legal duty (i.e., duty of care) to maintain their premises in a reasonably safe condition. This duty applies to both public and private property owners: homeowners, landlords, business owners, government agencies, or contractors.

Understanding Legal Duty of Care

When you visit someone else’s property, whether it’s residential or commercial, you have a certain legal status that affects your rights and responsibilities. You could be an invitee, a licensee, or a trespasser, depending on why you are there and whether you have permission or not.


An invitee is someone who is invited to the property for a business or public purpose, such as a customer at a mall, a guest at a hotel, or a visitor at a museum. The property owner, manager or occupier wants you to be there because you benefit them in some way. They owe you the highest duty of care, which means they have to keep the property reasonably safe and warn you of any known or knowable hazards that could harm you. For example, if there is a wet floor in the restroom, they should put up a sign or clean it up as soon as possible.


If you are on a property for a social or personal purpose, such as a friend at a party, a relative at a family gathering, or a neighbor at a barbecue, you will be considered a “licensee”. The property owner or occupier allows you to be there because they are essentially being hospitable, so they owe you a lower duty of care.

They have to refrain from causing willful or wanton harm and warn you of any hidden dangers that they know about. If, say, there is a loose step on the porch, they have a duty to tell you about it or fix it before you use it.


This is self-explanatory; a trespasser is someone who is on the property without permission or legal right. It could be a burglar, a vandal, or a squatter. The property owner or occupier obviously does not want you to be there because you are intruding or causing trouble. They owe you the lowest duty of care in this case, which means they have to refrain from causing willful or wanton harm – but they don’t have to warn you of any hazards or make the property safe for you.

Statute of Limitations for Slip and Fall Accident Claims 

In California, the statute of limitations in slip and fall injury cases is two years from the date of the accident and injury. If you are suing a government entity, you will only get six months to file a Notice of Claim from the date of your accident.

Types of Compensation You Can Recover

California law protects slip and fall injury victims’ right to compensation. You can seek financial damages, including:

Economic damages: These are the quantifiable losses that you incur due to your injury, such as:

  • Medical expenses and hospital bills
  • Lost income
  • Property damage
  • Other out-of-pocket expenses (e.g., transportation, childcare, household services)

General damages: These are the subjective losses that you suffer due to your injury:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Permanent or temporary scarring or disfigurement
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of consortium

Punitive damages: These are not meant to compensate you for your losses, but to punish the defendant for their malicious conduct and to deter others from doing the same.

Photo of An Injured Woman

How Do Insurance Companies Handle Slip and Fall Injury Claims?

They will investigate the incident, evaluate your injuries and damages, offer you a settlement amount, or deny or dispute your claim. Insurance companies are not on your side no matter how friendly the adjuster may seem; they are interested in minimizing their payouts and protecting their profits. You should ideally never accept any offer or sign any document from them without consulting with a personal injury attorney first.

Get Experienced Santa Barbara Slip and Fall Lawyers on Your Side

If you need a skilled and experienced slip and fall attorney to handle your claim, look no further than Maho Prentice, LLP. We have a proven track record of winning cases for our clients and the resources to take on any challenge. Whether you were injured on a slippery floor at a supermarket or on private property due to hazardous conditions, we can help.

Our office is conveniently located in downtown Santa Barbara, near the intersection of State Street and Ortega Street. Give us a call at (805) 962-1930 or send us a message online to schedule your free, no-strings-attached consultation.