Florida Slip and Fall Accidents
If you’ve been seriously injured in Florida in a slip and fall accident, you may have a claim for compensation against a negligent property owner. Property owners have a duty to keep their property reasonably safe for people that are legally on their property, and if they create or allow a dangerous condition, they are liable for the injuries that occur as a result. Deadlines to file claims can be short, and it’s difficult to assess on your own whether it’s worthwhile to make a claim. That’s why it’s important to call an experienced and reputable Florida slip and falls attorney as soon as possible after your accident.
What Causes Slip and Fall Accidents?
There are so many types of dangerous conditions that can occur on a person’s property that it’s not possible to list them all. Generally, Floridians do not have to deal with snow and ice, but there are many other hazards that are common. Here are just a few examples of dangerous conditions that often cause slip and fall accidents:
- Potholes or raised and cracked sidewalks
- Uneven flooring such as poorly installed tile or carpet
- Slippery or wet floors
- A change in elevation that is not clearly marked
- Lack of railings or broken railings
- Stairs that are too narrow or too steep
- Insufficient lighting
- Construction or renovation where it is not expected or closed off
In Florida, Who Is Responsible for Your Slip and Fall Accident?
The first step in investigating a Florida slip and fall accident is determining who is responsible for creating or allowing the dangerous condition. The responsible party will be the person or entity that was in charge of maintaining the property. This is not always the property owner because many leasing agreements delegate this responsibility to a commercial or residential renter.
The first question to ask is what duty, if any, is owed to the person that was injured. Florida holds public accommodations to a very high standard of safety, imposing a strong obligation on retail stores, restaurants and other places open to the public to maintain a safe environment.
Homeowners and renters have a duty to inspect their premises and to either fix dangerous conditions or warn guests of their existence. Property owners or renters are usually only responsible for people that are legally on their property and do not owe a duty to trespassers, but there is one notable exception. When anything on a property might entice children to trespass, such as a swimming pool or playground equipment, the owner can be found liable for creating or allowing an “attractive nuisance.”
What To Do After A Slip and Fall Accident
Your first priority is always your health. That’s why it’s important to make sure that you seek medical attention promptly if you are injured in a Florida slip and fall accident. It’s also important to report the accident and gather evidence immediately so that the responsible party cannot simply deny that the accident happened.
For example, if you are injured on a broken step at a mall, be sure to take pictures of the step and file a written report to the manager of the mall as soon as possible.
If your injury requires that you be taken from the scene of the accident to the emergency room, try to get a friend or family member to report the accident, in writing, as soon as possible after the accident. A simple e-mail stating that the accident happened will suffice. The next thing to do is to call an experienced and reputable Florida slip and fall lawyer to investigate and prosecute your case.
How Much is My Florida Slip and Fall Accident Case Worth?
It’s not possible to know how much can be collected for your Florida slip and fall case until there is a thorough investigation and an understanding about the permanency of your injuries. Unfortunately, some property owners or renters do not have insurance or have let their policies lapse, making it virtually impossible to collect appropriate compensation.
In other cases the amount of insurance is not high enough to compensate for very serious injuries.
Lastly, it’s not possible to assess the amount of compensation you’re entitled to until your injuries have reached their maximum potential for healing. An experienced and reputable Florida slip and falls attorney will honestly assess your case without making promises he can’t keep.