The National Safety Council estimates that every year in the United States, around 9 million individuals receive treatment for injuries sustained in slip and fall accidents. And while some slip and fall accidents happen because of simple clumsiness, many others happen as a result of dangerous hazards such as slippery floors and trip hazards on someone else’s property.
If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident because a property owner was negligent, you deserve to be fairly compensated for your losses. However, it is unlikely that you will be able to make a successful claim without the help of an experienced personal injury lawyer. Only a person with the right legal knowledge will be able to establish that another person’s negligence caused your injuries.
For more information about how we can help you, call The Law Place today at (941) 444-4444 for a free consultation. One of our slip and fall accident lawyers is available to speak with 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Common Types of Slip and Fall Accidents
Premises liability claims can involve a wide number of accidents, including things like exposure to toxic chemicals, but the most common type of premises liability claims involve slip and fall accidents.
Unfortunately, more often than not, slip and falls occur because of dangerous conditions like:
- Liquid spills that have not been cleaned up or have no hazard sign in place.
- Inadequate lighting making trip hazards difficult to spot.
- Exposed wires on the floor.
- Slippery surfaces.
- Holes or cracks in the floor.
- Objects or debris in walkways.
- Uneven flooring.
- Pulls or tears in the carpet.
If you are unsure if the circumstances of your slip and fall accident mean that you are eligible to file a premises liability lawsuit, call us for a free case review, and we can tell you if you are entitled to compensation.
Common Injuries in a Slip and Fall Case
Following a slip and fall accident, many victims suffer fairly minor injuries that do not usually require medical care, such as scraped knees and bruises. However, some victims of slip and fall accidents suffer very serious injuries that can have a long-term impact on their life. Some examples of common injuries sustained in slip and fall accidents are:
- Broken bones.
- Head injuries.
- Sprained wrists or ankles.
- Spine and nerve damage.
- Knee damage.
- Cuts and bruises.
These injuries usually result in expensive medical bills as well as long-term pain and suffering. If you have been seriously injured in a slip and fall accident, you deserve to be compensated for your losses.
When Is a Property Owner Considered Negligent?
Anyone who owns or is responsible for maintaining a property has a legal duty of care to keep that property safe and free from hazards in order to prevent visitors from being injured in a slip and fall accident. If they fail to do so, they can be sued for negligence as per Florida Statute 768.81, and a premises liability lawsuit can be filed against them.
Not only do property owners have a responsibility to repair any hazardous conditions, but they also have a duty to warn their customers or visitors of any potential hazards. For example, if a restaurant employee cleans up a spill with water, a hazard sign should be put in place to warn customers of the wet and slippery floor until it has dried. If they fail to do so and someone slips and suffers an injury, the restaurant can be held liable for their injury-related damages.
Examples of people and organizations that are bound by this legal duty include store owners, other types of business owners, government entities, schools, other childcare settings such as daycare’s, and residential property owners.
Proving Negligence in a Slip and Fall Case
Thousands of individuals in the U.S. are injured in slip and fall accidents every year. Unfortunately, even when these incidents result in serious injuries, it can be difficult to prove who is liable for a slip and fall accident. This is why it is so important to seek legal support and speak to a lawyer that can help you understand how these cases work.
A lawyer will use evidence to establish that a property owner acted negligently, and this negligence led to your slip and fall. They will aim to prove that they did not act as a reasonable, sensible person would have under similar circumstances. They will look at things like:
- How much time they had to become aware of the hazard and resolve it.
- If something out of their control caused the hazard, such as heavy snow or ice on a parking lot.
- What procedures they have in place to identify and fix hazards.
- Whether or not the property owner could have reasonably prevented the accident, for example, by putting up a sign or installing better lighting.
Your Rights in a Slip and Fall Case
Just because you have been injured due to another person’s negligence does not automatically mean that you have the right to compensation. This is because a property owner has a different duty of care for different people, depending on whether you are an invitee, a licensee, or a trespasser.
A person that has been invited onto a property might be :
- A public invitee – This is a person who is invited onto public land or private property designed for public use. This could be a public space such as a park or even a hospital as it has been designed for public use.
- A business invitee – This is a person who has been invited to enter a property or remain there for an act of business. This could be a department store, a theme park, or a restaurant.
Public and business invitees have the greatest degree of protection under Florida law. This is because a property owner who has invited someone onto their property owes them a duty of care.
A licensee is a person who has not been directly invited to a property and has no business with the property owner. There are two types of licensees:
- An invited licensee – For example a plus-one at a party. In this case, the property owner has the same duty of care as if the person was invited.
- An uninvited licensee – For example a group of teenagers socializing on a piece of private property in the wood. The duty of care is different here. The property owner only has a responsibility to not willfully or wantonly injure uninvited people, for example, by setting dangerous traps.
A trespasser is someone who enters premises with no invitation or license and intrudes for their own benefit only. For example, they could be a loiterer or a robber. These individuals don’t have many rights. Again, the property owner only has a responsibility to not willfully or wantonly injure them.
If you are unsure about your rights following a slip and fall, and if you can sue for negligence, call us now for a free case review. Even trespassers have certain rights in some circumstances, so it is always worth seeking legal advice from a professional.
Call The Law Place Today
If you have questions about how you can prove negligence in a slip and fall case, call The Law Place today at (941) 444-4444 for a free consultation. Our team of experienced personal injury lawyers has helped countless injury victims secure the compensation that they deserve and are ready to do the same for you.