When people think of a slip, trip, and fall injuries, they may conjure up comedic images of Tom and Jerry, Buggs Bunny and Daffy Duck, or the iconic Mario Kart banana. However, in the real world, these events can have major repercussions that result in serious injury or even death. Slip, trip, and fall injuries are a leading cause of death for the elderly, whose fragile bodies and mobility issues make them especially vulnerable.
Although most people have heard of slip and fall court cases, they might not understand there is a definite legal difference between injuries resulting from a slip and fall or trip and fall. The State of Florida differentiates between the two in regard to how the injury occurred, where liability lies, and who is responsible for potential damages paid to the victim. Slip/trip and fall injuries can be pursued in civil court and can result in large settlements for the injured by responsible parties.
The Law Place can provide legal aid for your slip and fall injury lawsuits. Our team of attorneys have the combined experience of over 75 years and can make a big difference in any premises liability case. If you have been injured due to a slip, trip, and fall, you have legal recourse.
Schedule your free consultation with The Law Place and speak with a qualified personal injury lawyer today. Each case is unique, and you could be entitled to more damages than you know.
Contact us today at (888) 224-6114.
What Is a Slip and Fall?
Slip and falls occur when someone slips on a foreign substance. This is a type of personal injury claim that is pursued in civil court. Typically, slip and fall accidents fall under premises liability claims and are pursued against property owners or employers whose actions or inaction made the area hazardous in the first place.
A slip and fall can happen anywhere. Oil or grease are common causes of slip and fall accidents, as well as water, ice, or cleaning product on the ground. It is important to make sure you are aware of your surroundings, but responsibility for maintenance and prevention of environmental hazards rests with property owners and managers.
For example, if you are walking down the aisle in a grocery store and slip due to tomato sauce being spilled on the floor, you may be entitled to seek slip and fall damages. This depends on if the responsible parties, in this case, the grocery store management and employees, provided adequate signage for the spill or attempted to clean up the spill in a timely and reasonable manner. If not, you have a legitimate personal injury claim to pursue.
What Is a Trip and Fall?
The difference between a slip fall and a trip fall is the environment that causes the fall to happen. While a slip fall is the result of a substance, a trip fall is the consequence of the building or structure itself. A pothole, exposed pipe, or crack in the pavement can catch on someone’s foot or belongings, causing them to fall and injure themselves.
An example of this is when an apartment is going through maintenance and a resident catches their foot on a loose brick in the hallway. While the resident may have known there was construction going on in their building, it is up to the building manager and owner to ensure the hallways are still safe to walk through and that adequate signage is apparent to warn anybody who may be unaware of the maintenance. The ground must be kept clear of hazards, regardless of the work that is being done.
What Are the Most Common Causes of Slips, Trips, and Falls?
According to The Center for Disease Control, unintentional falls are the leading cause of non-fatal injury in the United States. Slip and fall-related injuries are the cause of 15% of accidental deaths, second only to auto accidents.
In short, slip and falls are risky business. The causes of these types of accidents can vary, but some of the most common causes of these accidents are:
- Unsalted ice on walkways
- Loose floorboards
- Potholes in parking lots
- Exposed piping
- Uneven surface
- Uncleaned grease or oil
- Improperly placed wiring or extension cables
- Recently mopped or waxed floor
- Absence of a mat or other surface after a rainy day
- Improper footwear
What Are the Best Ways to Prevent Slips, Trips, and Falls?
If you are a property owner or responsible managers, The Occupational Safety and Health Administration gives you tips on how to prevent slip/trip and falls and the lawsuits that result from them:
- Keep floors clean and dry
- Display adequate signage warning of potential hazards
- Install adequate drainage systems for wet and hazardous work
- Use false-floor tools such as rubber mats when floors are wet
- Properly maintain hallways, aisles, and passageways
- Remove any obstruction from exits and fire doors
- Have a reporting system in place for hazardous environments and materials
- Act on reports of hazards immediately or as soon as possible
How Do I Claim Damages for a Slip, Trip, and Fall Injury?
To claim damages for a slip/trip and fall case, you must first prove that a responsible party was negligent in their duties, which directly resulted in your injury. Negligence is when an individual or party disregards the safety of others through their behavior. Determining that negligence occurred allows you to determine liability. Proving responsibility, negligence, and liability are the key components of your slip, trip, and fall claim.
According to Florida Statute 768.0755, a plaintiff must prove that a business or property owner had “constructive knowledge” of the injurious hazard. This means that the responsible party for the property must have been aware of the hazard and taken constructive steps to remedy the issue within an appropriate time frame. For example, if a restaurant has vegetable oil on the floor, the owner or manager must take steps to clean up the spill promptly and provide adequate signage to warn patrons of it.
Documenting evidence resulting from your slip/trip and fall is essential proof for your claim to calculate damages. There are many kinds of evidence you can provide your attorney, the court, and the at-fault party’s insurer. If you choose to hire a lawyer, they will collect as much evidence as possible to bolster the strength of your case.
What Is the Average Settlement for a Slip, Trip, and Fall Case?
There is no average settlement for a slip, trip, and fall case. Each case has unique circumstances that inform the amount that is owed to the victim. It is best to consult with a qualified personal injury attorney to find out how much your case is worth and how to pursue your damages or settlement.
Contact our law team today to find out more information on what you might be owed in your slip and fall case.
Do I Need a Lawyer for a Slip, Trip, and Fall?
You might think that you can settle out of court for the injuries you have sustained from your slip/trip and fall accident. Although it is entirely possible, The Law Place recommends consulting with and hiring a personal injury attorney to pursue your slip/trip and fall case correctly.
Insurance companies and private parties will do everything in their power to ensure you get the minimum settlement possible, keeping their pockets full while you recover from your injuries. Having an experienced lawyer on your side will help you find the maximum settlement available to you and ensure negligent parties are held responsible for your unfortunate circumstance.
Contact The Law Place Slip, Trip, and Fall Lawyers Today
Have you been injured due to a slippery surface or faulty flooring? Do you believe it’s the result of bad management or negligent property maintenance?
Contact The Law Place today to discuss your options. Our qualified personal injury and slip, trip, and fall attorneys are here to provide all the information necessary to pursue your case. You may be entitled to compensation beyond your medical expenses, and we are here to help you find out. Schedule your free consultation with a lawyer now.
Don’t wait for your injuries to worsen.
Call us today at (888) 224-6114.