Slip & Fall Lawyer
Palm Bay premises liability attorneys on your side
If you slip and fall on someone else’s property, you may be legally entitled to receive compensation. It's imperative to retain legal counsel to file suit on your behalf. A Palm Bay slip and fall lawyer from at Couture Law P.A. can help you hold accountable those who are responsible for your injuries.
Florida’s laws allow injured accident victims to file a claim if another party’s negligence caused the injury. Grocery stores are common settings for slip and fall accidents. Accidents also occur on sidewalks and in parking lots when conditions are wet or icy due to cold weather. Most slip and fall accidents take place in business locations.
Causes of slip and fall accidents
There are a few common causes of slip and fall accidents. A variety of flooring conditions can create hazards that increase the likelihood of a slip and fall accident. Uneven or loose flooring creates a tripping hazard. Recently waxed or polished floors, spills, and icy outdoor walkways create slippery conditions.
The surrounding environment may increase the likelihood of a slip and fall accident. Dim lighting can make it difficult for people to see stairs and objects on the floor. Lighting that is too bright may create a glare. If a cord traverses a walkway, someone may trip and fall. Improperly-placed furniture and file cabinets may obstruct walking paths in an office setting.
In some settings, stairs may be hazardous. Someone may trip or slide down loose or warped stairs. Absent handrails make it more difficult for people to stabilize themselves when navigating stairs.
Trip and fall accidents sometimes occur when workers do not follow proper procedures to keep walkways clear. Grocery stores and restaurants typically inspect floors on a regular schedule. If there is a spill, an employee must usually quickly set up caution signs and clean the spill. Construction sites are required to follow certain safety procedures to minimize the risk of accidents.
Breach of duty
Slip and fall accident victims are legally entitled to compensation if the property owner owed the injured party a duty of care. Shoppers at stores and other guests who visit for business purposes are owed a duty of care. The business or property owner has a duty to undertake reasonable efforts to keep the premises clear of dangers or defective conditions that may cause a guest to become injured. The business or property owner breaches the duty if the property is not maintained in a condition that is free of hazards.
Establishing causation in premesis liability cases
The injured party in a slip and fall accident case must establish that the breach of duty caused his or her injury. In the case of a customer who slips on a spill in a grocery store, proving the grocery store did not set up caution signs to designate the slippery area on the floor may establish causation.
The third element a slip and fall accident victim must prove is resulting damages. Medical bills and lost wages are the most common damages people incur as a result of a slip and fall accident. Accident victims may receive compensation for:
- past, present, and future medical expenses arising from the slip and fall injury
- physical therapy expenses
- lost wages and future lost wages
- medication costs
- transportation costs
- expenses incurred due to hiring home health aids
- other related out-of-pocket costs
In some slip and fall cases, the injured party may also have emotional injuries. Serious injuries that require multiple surgeries and long-term medical treatment are more likely to cause emotional injury. Possible damages may include:
- emotional suffering
- physical pain and anguish
- change in quality of life
Proving fault in a slip & fall lawsuit
Florida recognizes comparative fault. Therefore, if the court finds that a plaintiff in an accident case was partially responsible for causing his or her injury, the court will reduce the plaintiff’s damages according to the percentage of fault he or she contributed. For example, if a customer at a store knowingly walks into an Employees Only area and slips on a spill on the floor, the customer may not be permitted to recover 100% of the economic and non-economic damages to which he or she would otherwise be entitled under the law. Florida is a pure comparative negligence state. Therefore, even if a plaintiff is more than 50% at fault, he or she may still file a claim to recover the remaining percentage of compensation for his or her injuries.
The injured party’s personal injury lawyer must present evidence of his or her injuries. Evidence typically includes any combination of the following:
- photos of the hazardous area
- witness statements
- medical reports and x-rays
- medical bills
- surveillance footage
- accident reports
Florida's statute of limitations for premises liability cases
State law allows injured parties up to four years to file a claim for accidents that take place in Florida. In the event of a slip and fall accident, the victim should immediately contact a Florida accident attorney. The attorney will gather the necessary facts and evidence to establish the required elements of a slip and fall accident claim. In most cases, the business owner or property manager’s insurance company may offer to pay a settlement to the injured party. The accident lawyer will negotiate with the insurance company in the interest of obtaining fair compensation. If the two sides are unable to agree on a settlement amount, the injured party may decide to file a claim in civil court and request a larger amount of compensation for damages. The injured party’s attorney will provide legal representation in court.
Contact a Palm Bay slip and fall accident attorney
Our attorney is available to provide a free case evaluation and advise slip and fall accident victims of their legal options. If possible, the injured party should speak to an attorney prior to contacting the other party’s insurance company.
If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident, reach out to us today. We will keep the details of your case confidential.