Did you slip and fall at an amusement park or while staying as a guest at a resort? Perhaps you slipped entering a Walmart or Target after a rainstorm? No matter how your injury accident occurred, you have legal rights.
Slip and fall accidents are a common type of personal injury in Florida. A slip and fall accident occurs when someone falls or slips on someone else’s property due to hazardous conditions, such as a wet floor or uneven pavement. Under Florida premises liability laws, property owners and occupiers have a legal obligation to ensure that their premises are safe for visitors. When they fail to do so, they can be held liable for injuries and damages.
However, proving liability in a slip and fall accident is difficult. The laws are constantly changing and property owners and their insurers go to extreme lengths to reduce their liability and put some of the blame back on you.
An experienced slip and fall accident lawyer can help you hold irresponsible property owners accountable for their negligence. We can fight to protect your rights and secure maximum compensation after a devastating slip and fall injury.
Understanding Slip and Fall Accidents
A slip and fall accident is a type of personal injury that can occur when a person slips, trips, or falls on someone else’s property. Common causes of slip and fall accidents include wet or slippery floors, uneven or cracked sidewalks, poorly lit staircases, and inadequate safety measures.
While slip and fall accidents are often portrayed comically in movies and TV shows, in reality, they’re no laughing matter. Slip and fall accidents can result in serious and lifelong injuries including head and spinal cord injuries.
Even worse, when property owners deny liability, injured accident victims often don’t know where to turn for help paying their medical bills and expenses. When their injuries result in long-term disability and impairement, they may need to file a premises liability lawsuit to collect the compensation they need and deserve.
Liability in Slip and Fall Accidents in Florida
In Florida, a property owner or occupier may be liable for injuries sustained in a slip and fall accident if they were negligent in their duty to keep their premises safe. Negligence refers to a failure to take reasonable care to prevent harm to others. The injured party must prove that the property owner or occupier knew or should have known about the hazardous condition and failed to take reasonable steps to fix it.
Several factors can affect liability in slip and fall accidents in Florida. According to Florida slip and fall statutes, injured accident victims and their legal teams must prove the elements of negligence to collect compensation after a slip and fall accident. This includes:
- Duty of Care. The injured party must show that the property owner or occupier owed them a duty of care, which is determined by the relationship between the parties. For example, a property owner owes a higher duty of care to a customer in a store than to a trespasser.
- Property Owners Breached This Duty of Care. The injured party must also show that the hazardous condition was a foreseeable danger, and the property owner or occupier failed to take reasonable steps to address it.
- Injuries Suffered. The accident victim must have suffered quantifiable injuries and damages.
- Injuries and Damages Were Direct Result of Breach of Care. The injuries suffered were caused by the property owners’ negligence.
Florida’s comparative negligence law may reduce the injured party’s compensation if they were partially at fault for the accident. Insurance companies and property owner’s know this. That’s why they’ll try to pin some or all of the blame on you. They may say that you were wearing inappropriate footwear, that you were not watching where you were going, or that you failed to notice warning signs.
An experienced slip and fall lawyer can combat these statements and build a solid case showing how the property owner’s negligence led to your accident and injuries.
Who May Be Liable in a Slip and Fall Accident?
In a slip and fall accident, liability may fall on the property owner or the person in control of the property. If the property owner or person in control of the property was aware of a hazardous condition, such as a slippery floor or a broken step, and failed to take appropriate action to fix the issue or warn visitors of the danger, they may be held liable for any injuries resulting from the slip and fall.
However, if the hazardous condition was not known or could not have been reasonably discovered, the property owner or person in control of the property may not be liable.
Additionally, the injured person’s own actions may also be taken into consideration when determining liability. If the injured person was not using reasonable care and caution or was engaging in reckless behavior at the time of the accident, they may be found partially or entirely responsible for their injuries.
In Florida, several parties may be held liable for slip and fall accidents. These parties may include property owners, property managers, business owners, and government entities. However, it is important to note that property owners have a non delegable duty to maintain their property in a reasonably safe condition. This means that even if a property owner hires a maintenance company to maintain the property and the company’s negligence leads to injury, the landlord may still be held liable.
Property owners and managers have a duty to maintain a safe environment for their tenants, guests, or customers. This includes restaurants, supermarkets, boutiques, bars, nightclubs, and big box stores like Walmart and Target. It also includes landlords for apartment complexes, VRBO, vacation rentals, Airbnb, and more.
Government entities are responsible for maintaining public areas, such as parks and sidewalks, in a safe condition. This might include local landmarks, public parks, and governmental buildings.
Places in Florida Where Slip and Fall Accidents Most Likely Occur
Slip and fall accidents can happen anywhere, but some places are more prone to these types of accidents than others. In Florida, slip and fall accidents are common anywhere there are visitors and tourists. Some locations in Florida are more likely to have slip and fall accidents than others due to various reasons such as high traffic, weather conditions, and maintenance issues.
For example, guests at a hotel can slip on algae that wasn’t cleaned by staff or they might slip by the swimming pool. Guests in a Walmart might slip and fall on entryways that don’t have floor mats or warning signs.
Here is a list of places where slip and fall accidents are most likely to occur in Florida:
- Supermarkets and grocery stores
- Restaurants and bars
- Hotels and resorts
- Amusement parks and recreational areas
- Swimming pools and water parks
- Parking lots and garages
- Sidewalks and walkways
- Stairs and escalators
- Construction sites
- Nursing homes and assisted living facilities
Proving Liability in a Slip and Fall Accident in Florida
To prove liability in a slip and fall accident in Florida, your slip and fall accident lawyer will need to gather evidence to support your claim. Evidence may include photos, witness statements, and incident reports. Your legal team must also show that the property owner or occupier knew or should have known about the hazardous condition and failed to take reasonable steps to fix it. To do this, they may look over internal emails, prior incidents on the property, and history of repairs.
How Long Do I Have to File a Slip and Fall Accident Lawsuit in Florida?
It is worth noting that Florida has a two-year statute of limitations for personal injury claims, including slip and fall accidents. This means that you must file a claim within two years of the accident, or you lose your right to compensation.
You must act quickly after a slip and fall accident. Not only do you want to file your claim within the timeline, but valuable evidence is often lost or destroyed if you wait too long. Incident reports can go missing, managers may not remember the details of your accident, and eyewitnesses can forget crucial details.
Slipped and Fell in Florida? We Can Help!
Slip and fall accidents can happen to anyone, and they can result in severe injuries. Under Florida premises liability laws, property owners and occupiers have a legal obligation to ensure that their premises are safe for visitors. When they fail to take the necessary precautions or fix known hazards, you might pay the price.
If you or a loved one slipped and fell on another person’s property in Florida, you need someone on your side who can help you get the compensation and justice you deserve.
Let us help you through this difficult time. For a free and confidential consultation, call (305) 694-2676 or schedule a consultation using our online contact form. At Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys PA, we will do our best to use every resource available to help you get back on your feet and obtain the compensation you deserve.