Can you prove liability after a slip and fall accident?
Florida law defines specific incidents where an owner is responsible for a fall that occurs on their property. To hold a property owner liable for your injuries, you must present evidence showing that either an employee or the owner of the property:
Knew a potential hazard but took no action
Should have known a potential hazard because an area posed an obvious risk
Was directly responsible for your injury by creating a dangerous walking surface through spilling liquids, failing to maintain worn or damaged flooring, or other means
Because falls commonly occur, for a numerous reason, proving a property-owner liability is tricky.
What if my injury was partly my fault?
In Florida, a defendant must pay for a plaintiff’s damages “only in proportion to the percentage of fault by which that defendant contributed to the accident. You do not need to prove yourself blameless to proceed with a claim, If you can prove the owner is partly liable. The law considers all legal adults to be accountable for personal safety in most situations. The “wet floor” sign stories exemplify this, because adults should be able to read and follow such warnings.
Besides heeding posted warnings, verify a few more points before proceeding with a personal injury claim.
Confirm that you were moving conscientiously and not skipping, jumping or being otherwise careless.
Make sure you exercised due care in observing where you were walking.
Be certain you were not trespassing or in a restricted area.
Did the property owner take reasonable steps to ensure your safety?
If you are certain you could not have avoided the fall, you next need to prove that the property owner could have prevented it. Proving this may work a little differently depending on whether your injury was a slip and fall or trip and fall.
In cases of tripping, ask:
Was the item I tripped over intended to be there, and should I have been aware of it?
Did I trip over a surface that was poorly installed or maintained?
Could the item I tripped over have reasonably been kept in a safer location?
For both trips and slips, ask:
Should a warning have been posted regarding the potential danger?
Did the area have sufficient lighting to prevent such accidents?
If you feel certain that the property owner was at fault for your fall, file a personal injury claim with the property owner’s insurance company.
If you have questions on a claim involving your slip or trip, call Don at Kendrick Law Group 407-641-4847.