A slip-and-fall accident may not seem serious, but they often cause severe and permanent physical injuries. These can include traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, back injuries, neck injuries, broken bones, and lacerations. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, slip-and-fall accidents account for over 1 million emergency room visits every year, many of them in Miami and South Florida. In fact, slip-and-fall accidents are the leading cause of lost days from work, occupational injuries, and worker’s compensation claims.
If you were seriously injured after slipping, tripping, or falling in Florida, you may have the legal right to compensation from the premises’ owner, even in cases where you think the accident was partially “your fault.” Contact our slip-and-fall attorneys today to see if you are able to file a slip-and-fall lawsuit.
Premises owners in Florida have a duty to maintain their businesses in a “reasonably safe” manner. “Reasonably safe” means cleaning up spills, debris, and other items that guests and customers may slip or trip on. Common causes of slip-and-fall accidents include liquid, food particles, differences in floor level, holes or gaps in the flooring, and poor lighting. These accidents generally occur on another person’s property, meaning the premises’ owner may be responsible for your injuries.
In Florida, if you slipped or tripped on a “transitory foreign substance,” such as water or a banana peel, you are required to prove the premises owner was “on notice,” or aware of the substance before your fall and then failed to take the necessary steps to remedy the problem. If you cannot prove that the premises owner knew of the substance, you have to prove that the premises owner was on “constructive notice.”
In Florida, constructive notice can be proven by showing:
Assume you are shopping at a grocery store in the frozen food section. You slip and fall in a puddle of melted ice cream that you didn’t see. It was vanilla, which blended in with the flooring. You think your leg is broken, and something is wrong with your back. You don’t know how long the ice cream was on the floor or how it got there.
Unless you can prove that a store employee actually knew about the melted ice cream and didn’t clean it up—called “actual notice”—you will need to prove that the store was on constructive notice of the ice cream, meaning a reasonable business should have discovered the ice cream in time to clean it up before you fell.
How can you prove it? By finding a slip-and-fall attorney who knows where to look.
Surveillance video from the grocery store may show that the ice cream was on the floor for several minutes or that an employee walked near it but missed it. This would prove that the store was negligent by not cleaning it up. The ice cream may have dirt, shopping cart tracks, or footprints in it or the ice cream may already be warm. Any of these could prove the ice cream was on the floor for a long time and may prove that the grocery store was responsible for your fall.
Our slip-and-fall attorneys in Miami, Florida, have years of experience proving that a business establishment was on notice and is responsible for their customers’ injuries. We know how to prove that a business owner was on notice prior to a slip-and-fall injury to get you the compensation you deserve for your injuries.