Every day, we have the potential to encounter situations that cause danger.

There are cracked sidewalks, wet flooring, torn carpeting and rickety staircases. Or poor lighting around a pothole in the pavement or broken front steps.

One day, one of those hazards could cause an injury when you slip and fall. No matter how careful we are navigating our environments, accidents happen.

One day, it happens to you.

Your medical bills are piling up from your slip-and-fall injury. You’ve had to miss work during your recovery. How can you get the property owner to pay your expenses?

If your injury occurred at a commercial site, the owner or possessor of the business – or an employee — must have done one of the following to be held liable caused the spill, slippery or dangerous surface; known about the dangerous situation and did nothing to remedy it; or should have known about the dangerous situation because a “reasonable” person in charge of the area would have found and fixed it.

When a slip and fall happens on commercial property, there usually are many people who could be held liable.

In a residential situation, property owners are responsible if the landlord or owner controlled the area where the slip and fall occurred; repairing the faulty condition wouldn’t have been too expensive or difficult to do; a serious injury could have been expected to occur on an unrepaired surface; and the owner/landlord’s lack of repair caused the slip and fall.

Your first order of business if you’re injured in a slip and fall is to seek medical attention and treatment. Your second order should be to consult with an attorney well-versed in California personal injury law to learn your options to recoup your losses.