Proving Constructive Knowledge in a Slip and Fall Case
Property owners are required to use a certain degree of care in ensuring that their premises are safe for visitors. When property owners fail to fulfill this responsibility, visitors who are injured as a result of that negligence could be entitled to compensation for their injuries by filing a premises liability claim. While many of these types of accidents, often referred to as slip and fall accidents, occur when a visitor is injured by a permanent hazard, such as cracked or uneven pavement, some involve slipping on a transitory foreign substance, or something of an impermanent nature. Succeeding in these types of claims can be difficult, as plaintiffs are required to prove that the property owner had actual or constructive knowledge of the substance, usually a spill or other slipping hazard. To ensure that you have the best possible chance of success in your own premises liability claim, please contact an experienced Florida slip and fall attorney who can investigate your case and help you collect convincing evidence.
Knowledge of a Transitory Foreign Substance
In order to prevail in a slip and fall claim based on an accident in which a plaintiff slipped on a non-permanent, or transitory foreign substance, the injured party must prove that the property owner or manager had actual or constructive knowledge of the hazard. Actual knowledge means that a certain property owner was fully aware of the particular danger at a specific time and place, whether because he or she actually saw the hazard or was notified of it by someone else. This can be difficult to establish, as many property owners claim to have had no knowledge of a spill in order to avoid liability. Fortunately, injured parties can still recover compensation if they can prove that the owner had constructive knowledge of the hazard, which can be established by proving that:
The hazardous condition in question existed for so long that the property owner would have known it was there if he or she had been exercising ordinary care; or
The dangerous condition occurred so often that it could be considered foreseeable.
When attempting to prove that a property owner had constructive knowledge of a hazard, injured parties will need to provide the court with solid evidence, such as:
Video surveillance showing that an employee walked past the spill multiple times;
Photos from the scene of the accident showing multiple footprints and wheel marks through the spill;
Reports of similar accidents occurring in the same way or in the same place on a regular basis; and
Eyewitness reports from those who saw the accident occur or who actually reported the spill prior to the accident.
For help collecting this type of evidence following your own slip and fall accident, please contact our office today.
Were You Injured in a Slip and Fall Accident?