Owning property comes with responsibilities. One responsibility is keeping the premises safe for visitors and guests. Since property owners have this responsibility, if you are injured on another person’s property, you may be able to seek compensation from the property occupier or owner.
However, slip and fall accidents can be complex. Because of this, it is recommended that you contact a slip and fall lawyer at Fetterman Law Our legal team can review the facts of your claim and help you recover the compensation you are entitled to.
Even though pursuing a slip and fall accident claim may seem like a simple process, the reality is that these cases can be challenging. You must understand what facts are important. Sometimes, the smallest details are crucial to these personal injury cases.
You must also understand how the law applies to your case. If you want to recover the compensation, you are entitled to that will cover your lost wages, medical costs, and pain and suffering; our legal team is ready to help.
As a premier slip and fall law firm in Florida, you can count on our services to help you achieve the best possible outcome for your case. Learn more about slip and fall accidents and your rights here.
Proving Negligence in Slip and Fall Cases
In personal injury law, it is required that the plaintiff (accident victim) prove the other party was negligent in some way. In some situations, like car accidents, negligence is often obvious. For example, the other driver may have caused the accident by running a stop sign or red light. Unfortunately, negligence is not always as obvious when it comes to slip-and-fall cases.
Usually, the rule is that a property owner or occupier can be held liable for a slip and fall accident if they were aware of the hazard or should have known about it and taken steps to fix it before an accident and injury occurred.
There are a few ways that negligence may occur when it comes to slip-and-fall situations. These include the following:
- Milk is dropped on the floor of a grocery store, and someone reports the spill to the manager. If the manager fails to act and clean it up, then they are considered negligent.
- An amusement park manager does not inspect the property for possible hazards like broken asphalt and a slip and fall accident occurs.
- An apartment building owner is aware of torn carpeting but does not repair it, stating that it would be too expensive, and a slip and fall occurs.
The facts of the situation will determine negligence in most situations. Our experienced personal injury lawyer from Fetterman Law can review your situation and help determine what facts are relevant to your case.
In most cases, property owners won’t admit they were negligent when dealing with a slip and fall claim. Instead, they will try to argue that there was no way to know about the hazard or that they did not have the chance to repair it.
Essentially, the property owner or operator will try to argue the facts of the case.
The Location of Your Accident Plays a Role in Your Slip and Fall Case
The location of your accident (where it occurs) plays a huge role in your slip and fall case.
Different properties and property owners must abide by different laws. Also, there are different obligations to visitors.
The duties that a property owner has to people on their property are categorized in the following ways:
An invitee is someone on the property that benefits the property owner somehow. Business-related visitors, like clients or customers, will fall into this category.
A property owner has a high legal duty to invitees. In fact, the law states that property owners have a legal duty to take reasonable care to ensure that visitors are protected from hazards that may lead to accidents and injuries.
A licensee (unlike an invitee) is someone on someone else’s property who is there for their own benefit. This category of people includes social guests. In most cases, the same duty that applies to invitees applies to licensees.
This person goes onto a property for their own needs or purpose and does not have express consent from the property owner to be there. An example of this individual would be a door-to-door salesperson. In this situation, the property owner does not owe the same duty of care they do to invitees or licensees, but they do have a duty to ensure they don’t wantonly or willfully cause injuries.
A trespasser is someone who enters another person’s property with no consent or permission to be there. The only exception to this is with children. Besides children, property owners have no legal duties to someone trespassing on their property.
Statute of Limitations for Florida Slip and Fall Cases
If you want to file a lawsuit against a property owner or occupier in Florida after a slip and fall accident, you have just four years to do this, according to Florida Statutes. In fact, this law applies to all personal injury claim cases in the state.
How to File a Florida Slip and Fall Lawsuit
Filing a lawsuit after a slip and fall incident in Florida starts with a summons and complaint. The complaint must state what happened and the facts of the case. It needs to address the negligence laws in the state.
The accident victim (plaintiff) must initiate this lawsuit. This is done by filing the claim in the proper court by the set deadline. Filing a slip and fall lawsuit in Florida requires the plaintiff to submit their complaint and summons to the proper court and then pay the assessed filing fee.
Potential Damages in a Slip and Fall Case
If you are injured in a Florida slip-and-fall incident, proving that the property owner is liable is the first step to recovering compensation. You must evaluate your injuries and have them documented by a doctor to calculate your damages.
Settlements for a slip-and-fall accident in Florida usually include the following:
- Repayment of all medical costs, including physical therapy, ambulance costs, rehabilitation programs, and hospital bills.
- Economic damages like lost employment opportunities and lost wages.
- Non-economic damages, including inconvenience, mental anguish, and pain and suffering.
The damages that are available to you depend on the facts of your case. However, hiring a personal injury attorney who can maximize your compensation is smart.
Pure Comparative Negligence in Florida Slip and Fall Accident Cases
According to Florida law, the compensation you receive in a slip and fall case can be reduced if you are found to be partially at fault for your accident.
An example will be if you are found to be 20% responsible for your fall while the property owner or occupier is 80% responsible. If this were the case, then the total damages you would receive would be reduced by 20%.
Understanding how this law may impact your personal injury case is important. The fact is that comparative negligence applies to all personal injury cases in the state of Florida, including slips and falls. This is a complex topic and one you can discuss with an experienced attorney to learn more.
How Our Slip and Fall Attorneys Can Help with Your Case
If you are injured in a slip-and-fall accident in Florida, our legal team will handle the details of your claim from start to finish. Some of the legal services we offer include the following:
- Offer free consultations to review all the facts of your case
- Investigate the accident and how it occurred
- Identify all sources of compensation for your slip and fall case
- Document all the damages and costs you incurred due to the accident
- Work with experts to help support your accident claim (when needed)
- Work to negotiate a fair settlement on your behalf
- Go to trial to argue your case if necessary
These are just a few examples of how our law firm can help with your slip-and-fall case.
Contact Fetterman Law to Learn More About Your Rights After a Slip and Fall Accident
If you are injured in a slip and fall accident on someone else’s property, our legal team is ready to help. Call our offices to schedule a free consultation to discuss the facts of your situation.
At Fetterman Law we will aggressively fight for your rights to ensure you get the full compensation you are entitled to.