James S. Curtis
What You Need to Prove to Win Your Florida Slip and Fall Case
Slip and falls are very common accidents that can result in very serious injuries. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than one million Americans suffer slip, trip and fall injuries and over 17,000 people die in the United States each year due to injuries suffered in these falls. In addition, 20-30% of people who experience a slip and fall will suffer moderate to severe injuries, with one of the more common injuries being traumatic brain injuries. However, just because you may have fallen and been injured at a store (or on any other premises) does not mean that the store is automatically responsible for your injuries.
To succeed in a Florida slip and fall case you have to prove that the store had “notice” of the dangerous condition before your fall occurred. In other words, you will have to prove that your fall was caused by a dangerous condition, that the store knew or should have known about the dangerous condition before you fell and, that despite knowing about the condition, it failed to either remedy the condition or warn you about it. To prove this, one or more of the following must be shown:
The owner created the dangerous condition;
The owner actually knew of the dangerous condition yet failed to warn you or correct it; or
The dangerous condition existed for a long enough period of time that a reasonable owner would have discovered it and corrected it before your fall.
Because of this notice requirement, slip and fall cases are one of the most difficult cases to prove. In addition, even if you are able to prove your injuries and satisfy the notice requirement, you still may not be able to recover full value for your claim. This is because Florida is a comparative fault state. This means that more than one party can be determined to have been at fault for an accident.
For example, let’s say that you slip and fall in a store on water that had been permitted to remain on the floor in an aisle walkway. During the course of your case, you learn that a store employee saw the spill before your fall and had left the spill unattended while he/she went to get something to clean it up with. You then fall and are injured. In this scenario, you will have no issue proving that the store had notice of the spill before your fall, and you will also likely have no real issue proving that you were injured. However, a jury could still hold you partially responsible for your accident if they think, for example, that you should have been watching where you were walking and that you should have seen the spill before your fall. In this example, you may still be able to recover for your injuries, but your recovery may be reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to you. As such, if a jury were to decide that your injuries were valued at $100,000, but the jury concluded that you were 50% at fault, then you would only be able to recover a maximum of $50,000 for your injuries ($100,000 x 50%).
Get the Help and Guidance You Need After
Your Florida Personal Injury Accident
When you’ve been injured in an accident, it is also important that you consult with a qualified Florida personal injury attorney. The attorneys at SouthShore Injury Attorneys have extensive litigation experience and handle only personal injury claims. If you’ve suffered injuries in a Florida slip and fall accident, contact SouthShore Injury Attorneys at (813) 419-3866 for a free consultation.
If you have questions about your Florida accident case, you can download our Free Reports:
5 Medical Mistakes That Will Destroy Your Personal Injury Case
which are available at our website, or you can click the link provided. You can also contact us at (813) 419-3866 to talk directly to an Apollo Beach Personal Injury attorney now.