Slip and Fall Accidents
Florida Slip and Fall Attorneys for Your Accident Claim
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 Liability: The Duty to Inspect and Correct
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 Slip 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:
- Wet surfaces caused by spilled liquids, freshly mopped or waxed floors, or oil leaks
- Uneven surfaces, including cracks, potholes, improperly secured rugs, and loose floorboards
- Unmarked hazards
- Debris or other objects on the ground that a property owner failed to clear
- Weather conditions
Calculating Fault in Florida Slip and Fall Claims
Traditionally, Florida enforced the doctrine of contributory negligence, which barred recovery for plaintiffs — including those suffering slip and fall injuries — who were found at least partially at-fault for their own damages. Regulatory reforms have since created a more plaintiff-favorable system.
Nowadays, 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 plaintiffs 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.
Contact Our Florida Slip and Fall Attorneys 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.