Slip and Fall Accident FAQs

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Slip and Fall Accident FAQs

What is a “slip and fall” accident?

What money am I entitled to recover in my slip and fall premises liability case?

When is the owner of the business or premises legally responsible for injuries sustained in “slip and fall” or “trip and fall” accidents?

What are the defenses that I can expect will be raised against me in my claim based upon a fall on someone else’s premises?

My wife was injured when she fell in a business. Do I have a case, too?

What is the Florida Statute of Limitations for slip and fall, trip and fall, and other premises liability cases?

What is a “slip and fall” accident?

A “slip and fall” accident occurs when a person falls due to a slipperiness of the surface of the floor. However, the phrase has sometimes been used more generically to include just about any fall that occurs on someone else’s premises. In a broader context, it would include a “trip and fall” or a misstep and fall caused by a change in surface elevation, and many other dangerous conditions.

What money am I entitled to recover in my slip and fall premises liability case?

If the negligent acts of another caused you to be injured, you have the right to recover the following damages:

  • Past and future medical expenses
  • Past and future lost wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish
  • Disability or physical impairment
  • Disfigurement
  • Loss of capacity for the enjoyment of life

When is the owner of the business or premises legally responsible for injuries sustained in “slip and fall” or “trip and fall” accidents?

In Florida, the obligation or duty of the landowner to the injured person changes to some degree. This depends on the particular status of that person at the time of the fall.  As a general rule of Florida law, the owner or possessor of property, whether that property is a business, a house, a store, an office, an apartment building, hotel or otherwise, can be held accountable for your injuries. This is if they negligently failed to maintain their premises in a reasonably safe condition, or if they negligently failed to correct a dangerous condition of which they either knew or should have known. Also, by the use of reasonable care, or if they negligently failed to warn you of a dangerous condition concerning which they had, or should have had, knowledge greater than that of you.

What are the defenses that I can expect will be raised against me in my claim based upon a fall on someone else’s premises?

One of the most common defenses is to deny the existence of any dangerous condition on the premises or the denial by the property owner of having actual or constructive knowledge of the existence of the dangerous condition.  Another common defense is to argue that you were careless or negligent, and thus comparatively negligent, in failing to observe the dangerous condition or that the dangerous condition was “open and obvious,”  and as a result, you should either have all your compensation denied or reduced according to your own percentage of comparative fault.

My wife was injured when she fell in a business. Do I have a case, too?

Yes.  A spouse has a derivative claim called “loss of consortium”.  Florida allows the spouse of someone injured by negligence to recover for their own losses (claim for loss of consortium).  A spouse’s claim for loss of consortium generally refers to the services, comfort, society and attentions of a spouse.  This includes more than just the marital sexual relationship, but also the companionship of a husband and wife. You’re required to be legally married in accordance with Florida law at the time of the premises liability accident. Common law marriages, although valid in some other States, are not sufficient.

What is the Florida Statute of Limitations for slip and fall, trip and fall, and other premises liability cases?

For premises liability cases in Florida, you have four years from the slip & fall to file suit.  However, it is imperative to have a lawyer begin representing you quickly following a slip and fall caused by negligence.  Beginning an investigation quickly after an accident enables your lawyers to preserve evidence. This includes store video surveillance and statements from witnesses before memories fade.

Watch a video answer of this question here!

For even more slip and fall FAQs visit our blog and for other FAQs, visit our practice area pages! Injured in car or personal injury accident? Call Attorney Mike Hancock at 813-915-1110.

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