How Do I Prove Fault in a Slip and Fall Case?
It can happen in a split second. But the ramifications can last years, sometimes a lifetime.
Slip and fall incidents can happen basically anywhere: At a residence, your local mall, the convenience store, the parking lot outside of your grocery store, your office building, or even a parking garage located underground.
Sometimes you’re fine and you move about your day. But sometimes, the injuries caused as a result of the slip and fall can create a huge disturbance in your life and your family’s life.
You could slip in a grocery store, where spilled milk hasn’t been cleaned up in hours. You could fall in the parking garage because the lighting has been broken for weeks — or perhaps the lighting is inadequate all together. You may trip on broken pavement just outside the convenience store. Slippery pool tiles can sometimes lead to serious head injuries.
Some of the most common types of slip and fall incidents include:
- Slippery floors;
- Loose handrails;
- Over-polished floors;
- Hazards created by spilled liquids or unattended debris;
- Broken, cracked or split ground or tiles;
- Loose carpeting; and
- Broken or missing stairs.
In all of these scenarios, you may be eligible for compensation via a personal injury lawsuit if you’ve sustained an injury.
Sometimes, you may not realize you’ve been injured right away. Adrenaline can keep you from fully recognizing the extent of any pain or injury.
However slip and fall injuries can be gravely serious. In fact, falls are the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries in the United States. Slipping and falling can also cause spine and back injuries, whiplash, broken bones and even long term carpal tunnel syndrome.
How to prove the property owner was liable
To prove someone was liable for your injuries following your slip and fall incident, you have to demonstrate a few things, including:
- The owner of the premises or an employee of said owner caused the spill, torn carpet, broke the stairs, etc., which created a dangerous situation;
- The location’s owner or one of their employees knew about the dangerous surface but did not take steps to remedy it; or
- It was “reasonable” for the location’s owner or one of their employees to have known about the dangerous surface.
How do I prove what is “reasonable”?
Proving what is “reasonable” can be a tricky thing to accomplish, but it’s certainly not impossible. A slip and fall claim is very much dependent on proving reasonability.
Some questions to consider include:
- Does the property owner regularly examine/clean/repair the grounds?
- Could a warning or barrier have been put in place to alert people to possible dangerous areas of the premises?
- Was the dangerous surface (ripped carpet, wet tile, etc.) there for a long enough time that the owner should have reasonably known about it?
Answers to these questions can be good evidence in a negligence claim.
Slip and Fall in Florida
If you’ve been injured in a slip and fall incident in Florida, you should first consider the statute of limitations in the state. You have four years to file a lawsuit against the property owner, according to Florida law (95.11(3)(a)). This statute applies to almost all personal injury cases in the state, as well.
If you have been hurt in Fort Lauderdale, contact the experienced lawyers at Boone & Davis today. We can help you recover the compensation you deserve.