Slip and Fall Injuries: Florida Law
Slip and fall accidents happen to many of us, no matter how coordinated we are (or think we are!). Fortunately, we usually don’t hurt anything other than our pride. There are times, however, when a slip and fall causes significant injury and with it, medical expenses, loss of income and other damages. If this happens to you, there are things you should know about premises liability and slip and fall claims in Florida, your legal rights and how to fully protect them.
Florida Premises Liability Law
Whether called slip and fall or trip and fall, when you’re injured on the property of someone else, “premises liability” law applies. You’ll need to gather certain information so that a personal injury attorney can assess whether you could prevail in a lawsuit for recovery of any damages you’ve suffered.
Personal Injury Lawyers for Slip and Fall
“But wait”, you say, “do I even need a lawyer”? If the accident wasn’t my fault, won’t the property owner’s insurance company automatically take care of me?” Sadly, the answer to the first question is “yes” because the answer to the second is “no”. The insurance carrier of the grocery store, residential homeowner or shopping mall management company works for them, not for you. Their job is to pay you as little money as possible for any injury you suffered.
Premises liability and slip and fall claims in Florida
If you are injured as a result of a slip and fall accident on the property of another, here is the type of information you’ll need when dealing with premises liability and slip and fall claims in Florida:
- Who owns/manages the property?
- What exactly caused you to slip/trip and fall? Did the accident occur, for example, due to a spilled liquid, inadequate lighting, debris on the floor, misplaced merchandise, faulty or missing handrails or guardrails, etc.? In other words, what caused you to be hurt and why didn’t you recognize the potential risk?
- Was the condition that caused the accident so obvious that the property owner/occupier/management company knew or should have known of its existence? Did the employees know of the produce on the floor but do nothing about it? Did other customers bring the condition to the attention of management?
- Was the condition that caused the accident so “‘glaringly open and obvious” that the defendant won’t be held liable because you could, indeed should, have avoided it?
- If not, were you still somewhat at fault? Florida has a Comparative Fault Statute whereby your damages may be reduced by the percentage that you are found to be at fault for your injuries.
- Were you on the property legally? If you were a trespasser, the property owner may only have owed you a limited duty to prevent reckless or intentional injury (for example, no “spring gun” or other trap).
Premises liability and slip and fall claims in Florida are complicated matters. Talk to our experienced personal injury lawyers if you have any questions.