Slip and Fall Accidents
Find Out if You are Entitled to Financial Compensation from a Pensacola Slip and Fall Attorney
Slip and fall accidents happen. They happen to people of all ages, and they happen to people from all walks of life. They also happen due to a variety of different causes and special circumstances. If you slipped and fell, you might not be to blame for your own injuries. You may have a claim against the property owner, and you may be able to recover financial compensation with the help of a Pensacola slip and fall attorney.
What Constitutes “Fault” in a Trip and Fall Accident in Florida ?
In order to prove that you are entitled to financial compensation for a slip and fall accident, you must first prove that someone else (i.e. the owner of the property or business where you tripped and fell) was legally at fault. This fault can take many different forms, including:
1. Failure to Maintain a Clear Walkway
Many trips and falls occur because property and business owners fail to maintain clear walkways for their guests and customers.
2. Failure to Perform Routine Maintenance
Inadequate property maintenance is a common factor in trip and fall accidents as well. This includes failure to maintain walking surfaces in a reasonably safe condition and failure to clear potential trip hazards.
3. Failure to Make Necessary Repairs
Failure to repair sidewalks, parking lots, stairs, and interior walking surfaces can expose guests and customers to trip hazards that can lead to serious injuries.
4. Failure to Provide Adequate Lighting
Inadequate lighting can obscure trip hazards and lead to sudden and unexpected falls. This is a common factor in hallways, alleyways, parking lots, parking garages and other dimly-lit areas.
5. Faulty Construction and Building Code Violations
Faulty construction is to blame for a significant number of trip and fall accidents. This includes, but is not limited to, faulty construction resulting in building code violations (i.e. stairs that are too steep or curbs that are too tall).
6. Unmarked Trip Hazards
Unmarked curbs, parking blocks, changes in floor height (i.e. step-ups and step-downs) and other hazards are also common factors in trip and fall accidents. Property owners in Georgia have a legal duty to ensure that these types of hazards are properly marked.
7. A Pensacola Slip and Fall Attorney Can Also Handle Your Workplace Accident Claim
Construction sites and other workplaces present many trip and fall risks. If you were injured at work, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation, and you may have a premises liability claim against the property owner as well.
Outdoor Locations Where Slip and Fall Accidents are Common
Many trips, slips, and falls occur in outdoor settings. Often several factors together create hazardous conditions on:
- Parking lots
- Recreational facilities
For instance, a light coating of water or ice combined with cracked, uneven surfaces can cause someone to trip and not regain their balance. A Pensacola slip and fall attorney could seek evidence to show that a property owner knew or should have known about the danger but failed to take action to prevent falls.
A Pensacola Slip and Fall Attorney Sees Many Falls in Stores and Other Buildings Open to the Public
When property owners invite shoppers or other potential patrons into their premises for reasons that could provide financial benefit to the owner, that property owner owes a special duty to warn about potential dangers on the premises. If they fail to fulfill that duty, they can be held liable for falls that result.
Many slip and fall incidents occur in stores, gyms, malls, and restaurants because of heavy pedestrian traffic. The hazards that can cause falls include spilled drinks, fallen merchandise, and cleaning equipment or wet floors.
Companies who own or operate these establishments are generally expected to inspect dangerous conditions and address problems promptly. A Pensacola slip and fall attorney could look for witnesses to testify about the length of time a spilled drink or potentially hazardous condition existed to show that the property owner failed to act appropriately to protect the public.
When a Slip and Fall Happens in Someone’s Home
If a dangerous condition causes you to trip and fall in a friend’s home, you might be reluctant to think about taking action to obtain compensation to cover your medical bills and other losses. However, most property owners have insurance to provide for just this type of situation.
Homeowners, landlords, and renters can be held responsible for injuries to their guests and others they allow on the property. This includes drivers making deliveries.
Proof of Negligence is Required to Recover Financial Compensation for a Slip and Fall Accident in Florida
In order to recover financial compensation for a slip and fall accident, you need to be able to prove that someone else’s negligence caused – or at least contributed to causing – your injuries. Typically, this will be the owner of either the property or the business where you slipped and fell. Similar to other types of accidents, this negligence can take many forms; and, in order to prove it, you will need to hire a personal injury attorney to conduct an investigation at the location where you were injured.
The Open and Obvious Doctrine for Florida Claims
One of the most common defenses to a slip and fall claim is what is referred to as the “open and obvious” doctrine. To successfully pursue your case, it is helpful to understand this doctrine and be able to overcome it.
The open and obvious doctrine holds that property owners do not need to warn guests and visitors of hazards that are open and obvious to a reasonable person. If the harm is evident to the senses, the doctrine will absolve the property owner of any liability for injuries suffered due to the hazard.
What constitutes an open and obvious hazard will depend on the facts of your case. For example, your Pensacola slip and fall attorney may use the following points to determine whether the open and obvious doctrine would be a valid defense against your claim:
- Whether you had previously visited the property
- Whether you were already aware of the hazard
- Whether the hazard could be easily avoided
- How long the danger existed
- Whether the property owner was aware of the hazard
- Whether it was reasonably foreseeable that the hazard would cause injury
An experienced Pensacola slip and fall attorney will be able to evaluate your case and determine whether you have a claim.
Overcome Property Owner Defenses with Your Pensacola Slip and Fall Attorney
That said, the open and obvious doctrine does not relieve property owners of their responsibility to maintain their property in a safe condition for guests and visitors. As a result, a court may determine that the property owner breached their legal obligation to make the property safe, even though the hazard that caused your injury was open and obvious.
A skilled and experienced Pensacola slip and fall attorney will carefully review the facts of your case, such as the ones listed above. Just because the property owner believes that the hazard was open and obvious doesn’t mean that was actually the case. For example, the property owner may claim that a broken stairway was obvious to guests and visitors. However, it may not be obvious to someone who has never been to the property before, and perhaps the stairs were poorly lit. Furthermore, suppose the stairs were the only access into the building, and the owner had ample opportunity to discover the issue and make the necessary repairs. In that case, a court may find that the property owner breached their duty to maintain their property in a safe condition.
Our Pensacola Slip and Fall Attorney Will Advise on the Value of Your Claim
Slip and fall accidents can result in serious injuries that leave you unable to work or take care of your family. If you’ve been injured, you may be entitled to compensation for the following:
- Your medical expenses, especially copays and deductibles
- Your lost wages or other income
- Your pain and suffering
The insurance company will try to settle your claim quickly and for as little as possible. However, it can be quite challenging to know your total losses until you have fully recovered. If you’ve been injured in a slip and fall accident on someone else’s property, you should speak with a Pensacola slip and fall lawyer to understand your options and what your claim may be worth.
Discuss Your Case with Searcy Denney
Are you entitled to financial compensation for your slip and fall accident in Florida? To discuss your case with a Pensacola slip and fall attorney, please call 888-549-7011 or request a free initial consultation online. Your consultation is completely risk-free, and you pay nothing unless we win.