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Navigating Florida’s Slip and Fall Cases

Premises Liability

“Slip and fall” is a term that personal injury lawyers, insurance companies, and insurance claim adjusters use to describe accidents that occur when people fall, slip or trip and hurt themselves at a commercial location, business, public place or private property. Often, these injuries are due to a poorly maintained property condition.

Under Florida law, if you slipped and fell anywhere other than in your own residence, you might have a premises liability claim. To file a claim, you need to have injuries from your slip and fall, and you need to be able to prove how and when you got injured. Due to these requirements, it is important that you talk to a slip-and-fall lawyer as soon as possible.

If you can prove that the property owner knew of the dangerous condition or conditions and did nothing to abate or fix them, you may be able to recover your damages, such as medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering damages, and more. 

While slip and fall accidents in Florida can result in all types of injuries, some of the most common injuries are soft tissue injuries and bone injuries. These include injuries such as:

  • Muscle and tendon strains
  • Ligament strains
  • Muscle, ligament and tendon tears
  • Closed Head Injuries
  • Skull Fractures
  • Nerve damage
  • Bone fractures
  • Bone dislocations

Concussions are fairly common slip and fall injuries as well. These traumatic brain injuries can either result from hitting your head on the ground or hitting your head on another object, such as a piece of furniture, during your fall.

Florida’s Statutory Scheme

Understanding how slip-and-fall cases are navigated by attorneys, insurance companies, and courts alike will be essential if you wish to successfully file a lawsuit. Slip-and-fall cases could be postured as personal injury cases involving negligence or as a premises liability case. However, most of these types of cases are pursued as premises liability cases. 

Slip and fall cases in Florida are covered by Florida’s statutory section on negligence in torts. The law states: “If a person slips and falls on a transitory foreign substance in a business establishment, the injured person must prove that the business establishment had actual or constructive knowledge of the dangerous condition and should have taken action to remedy it.”

The law further recites that in order to prove that the owner had constructive knowledge of the condition, it must be shown that:

  • The condition existed for a long enough time that an ordinary person should have fixed it
  • The condition occurred with regularity and therefore an accident was foreseeable.

To prove that these conditions existed, the plaintiff’s and defendant’s attorneys will likely call on a series of witnesses or rely on surveillance footage that demonstrates that a dangerous condition was present and continuous at a given location. 

Who Can You Sue For a Slip and Fall Case?

After a slip and fall injury, you should promptly engage a Florida premises liability lawyer to conduct a comprehensive investigation. One of the reasons is that, in addition to the premises owners, there may be any number of responsible parties, and your lawyer will need to investigate all possible causes and claims. These include maintenance companies, construction companies, contractors, subcontractors, and others. This is the type of evidence that will need to be pursued and evaluated:

  • Forensic Evidence – including slippery flooring materials and stains on the floor
  • Security Camera Footage – If this exists – and it often does at big box stores, for example – it could be important evidence in your case.
  • Eyewitness TestimonyEyewitness testimony can also serve as strong evidence of liability in slip and fall accident cases.
  • Maintenance Records – Records from the premises’ maintenance or janitorial companies could provide evidence about the slip and fall
  • Emails and Other Documentation – Internal emails and other forms of documentation may also be available to prove that a defendant knew (or should have known) that the location where you fell was dangerous.
  • Any photos, videos or information that you took and can provide will be helpful as well. If you took photos or videos with your phone, you should be sure to keep these to share with your law firm. It’s important to write down everything that you can remember about the circumstances and facts surrounding your slip and fall case. The more details you can provide, the stronger your case will be, which helps you enable your law firm to seek the financial compensation you deserve. 

Statute of Limitations and Damage Awards

In Florida, victims of slip-and-fall accidents only have two years to file a lawsuit against the property owner. Florida has other unique requirements for slip-and-fall cases. Since time is of the essence, it is important to work with a slip-and-fall attorney who understands the legal process for making claims for compensation in Florida.

There is no average settlement amount for Florida slip-and-fall cases. This is because no two cases are exactly alike. However, many people who suffer injuries from slip-and-fall accidents receive settlements ranging from about $45,000 to $850,000. Note that Florida has a “modified” comparative fault law that will take into account your negligence in the case if your matter goes to trial. 

Contact Searcy Denney Today to Discuss Your Options

If you’re a Florida resident who has been involved in a slip and fall case, don’t hesitate to contact a Florida premises liability attorney today. Your attorney will advise on the best course of action to ensure that you recover damages for your losses. We have mediated, arbitrated, and litigated hundreds of premises liability cases, including slip and fall cases, and know how to build the strongest strategy for your case given the facts. Contact Searcy Denney Today at 800-780-8607.

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