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Slip and Fall Accidents

Highly Regarded Slip and Fall Attorneys in Florida

Have you been injured in a slip and fall accident in Florida?  You might be entitled to sue and recover damages under Florida premises liability law. However, bear in mind that slip and fall litigation can be somewhat more complicated than it initially seems. Slip and fall cases involve unique issues. Below, we will discuss the types of challenges you are likely to encounter as you move forward with litigation. To get the most relevant information related to your specific situation, contact our Florida slip and fall attorneys today.

Slip and Fall Attorneys in Florida to Help With Your Accident Claim

Property owners/possessors in Florida have a duty to maintain the premises in a reasonably safe condition for premises entrants.  This, naturally, covers slip and fall hazards such as uneven surfaces and spills.

In the context of slips and falls, the duty to inspect and correct a dangerous condition of property is often the primary point of contention between the plaintiff and defendant.  Even if the defendant concedes that there was a hazard, and that the hazard caused the trip and fall accident, they are likely to argue that they did not know about the hazard and that they could not have reasonably “discovered” the hazard before you slipped.

Overcoming this defense requires careful, persuasive argumentation from skilled Florida slip and fall attorneys.

Suppose that you slip and fall in the defendant’s restaurant.  Liquid spilled from one of the tables, causing a puddle to form on the floor and thereby creating the slipping hazard that you encountered.  Based on video footage, the spill occurred about an hour prior to the slip and fall accident. The defendant restaurant owner might argue that it was not enough time for their employees to inspect the floor and clean up the hazard.  You could argue, however, that in the restaurant business, hourly inspections are quite normal, so the spill should have been discovered had the restaurant owner implemented and properly executed an hourly inspection system. Through this failure to inspect and correct the slipping hazard, you could ostensibly impose liability.

Top 5 Causes of Florida Trip and Fall Accidents

Several factors can contribute to a slip and fall accident in Florida. Below are the five most common reasons behind slips and trips:

    1. Wet surfaces caused by spilled liquids, freshly mopped or waxed floors, or oil leaks
    2. Uneven surfaces, including cracks, potholes, improperly secured rugs, and loose floorboards
    3. Unmarked hazards
    4. Debris or other objects on the ground that a property owner failed to clear
    5. Weather conditions

While it may seem like these are all obvious hazards that any responsible property owner should address, trip and fall cases are often more complex. In order to prove negligence, a slip and fall attorney in Florida has to prove the following: 

  • Property Owner Responsibility and Liability: Property owners/possessors in Florida have a duty to maintain the premises in a reasonably safe condition for premises entrants. The owner knowingly breached his duty of care and allowed a potentially hazardous condition to exist on the premises.
  • Establishing Causation and Damages: That hazard or condition was the cause of your slip and fall and therefore was the cause of your injuries.

There are personal injury laws and statutes unique to Florida. A seasoned Florida personal injury attorney can help you build the strongest possible case.

Pure Comparative Fault In Florida Slip And Fall Claims

Florida enforces the doctrine of “pure comparative fault” (otherwise known as pure comparative negligence), which describes the relationship between fault and liability as distributed between the involved parties.  

Pure comparative fault allows slip and fall victims to sue and recover damages even if they are partly responsible for their own injuries — in fact, you can be 99 percent at fault and still bring an action to recover the one percent attributable to another party.

Under the pure comparative fault system, each party is assigned a percentage fault for the injuries caused.  This percentage is then used to allocate damages liability. How does this work in practice?  Consider the following example.

Suppose that you are injured in a slip and fall accident scenario where you did not fall in a way that could “break” the fall properly.  The damages total $100,000.  The court assesses fault and determines that, under the circumstances, you are 50 percent at fault, and the defendant property owner is 50 percent at fault.  Given the facts, you would be entitled to a maximum recovery of $50,000, or 50 percent of the total damages.  This maximum damage recovery would not change if there were multiple defendants — only if fault was allocated differently with respect to your own contribution.

Calculating Liability in Florida Slip and Fall Claims

Florida enforces the doctrine of “pure comparative fault” (otherwise known as pure comparative negligence), which describes the relationship between fault and liability as distributed between the involved parties.  Pure comparative fault allows slip and fall victims to sue and recover damages even if they are partly responsible for their own injuries — in fact, you can be 99 percent at fault and still bring an action to recover the one percent attributable to another party.

Under the pure comparative fault system, each party is assigned a percentage fault for the injuries caused.  This percentage is then used to allocate damages liability.

How does this work in practice?  Consider the following example.

Suppose that you are injured in a slip and fall accident scenario where you did not fall in a way that could “break” the fall properly.  The damages total $100,000.  The court assesses fault and determines that, under the circumstances, you are 50 percent at fault, and the defendant property owner is 50 percent at fault.  Given the facts, you would be entitled to a maximum recovery of $50,000, or 50 percent of the total damages.  This maximum damage recovery would not change if there were multiple defendants — only if fault was allocated differently with respect to your own contribution.

Causation and Damages for Trip and Fall Cases

You slipped, fell and broke your wrist. While it may seem like the property owner who is responsible for the cause of your fall should pay for your medical bills and any other damages, it isn’t that simple. When you are seeking compensation for injuries sustained in an accident you must prove that the property owner’s negligence specifically caused your injuries. 

For example, consider that a person breaks their arm when they slip on an unmarked spill in the aisle of a grocery store. An insurance company may try to explore whether the injured person already had some or all of those injuries before they fell. Alternatively, they may argue that the slip and fall was caused by another source, such as the victim tripping over their shoelace. 

A slip and fall attorneys in Florida can provide important assistance proving causation and damages. Causation is just one of the complicated issues that can arise in personal injury cases, be sure to use our checklists to keep your possible evidence organized. 

Injured While Visiting Florida? You Have 4 Years to File A Claim

In Florida, victims of slip and fall accidents only have four years to file a lawsuit against the property owner. In addition to “pure comparative fault”, 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.

Contact the Searcy Denney Slip and Fall Attorneys in Florida for a Free Consultation

Here at Searcy Denney, our team of Florida slip and fall attorneys boast decades of experience working on behalf of injured plaintiffs in a variety of disputes, including slip-and-fall accident scenarios.

We are a results-oriented firm.  Over the years, our personal injury lawyers have litigated thousands of lawsuits and have achieved significant results, having secured billions in compensation through negotiated settlements and trial litigation.

If you’d like to learn more about our services and whether your slip-and-fall claim is actionable under the law, we encourage you to call us at 1-800-780-8607 or complete an online intake form to speak with the seasoned Florida slip and fall attorneys at our firm.  Consultation is free and confidential, and there is no obligation to continue if you decide against litigation.

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