Tallahassee Slip and Fall Attorney
Slip and Fall Accidents
"Slip and fall" is a term for personal injury cases that arise when an injury is caused when a person slips and falls as a result of a dangerous or hazardous condition on someone else's property. Inside a building, dangerous conditions such as torn carpeting, abrupt changes in flooring, poor lighting, narrow stairs, or a wet floor can cause you to slip and hurt yourself.
Outside a building, you may slip and fall because of rain, ice, snow or a hidden hazard, such as a gap or a hard to see pothole in the ground. Slip and fall accidents can occur on commercial, residential, or public property. Regardless of where they happen, all property or building owners have a certain level of responsibility (duty of care) to make sure an environment is safe, and our Tallahassee slip and fall attorney is dedicated to ensuring that you are given the compensation you are due.
Common Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents
There are several causes of slip and fall accidents, including:
Serious injuries can by caused by structural defects like:
- Uneven steps
- Parking lot potholes or cracks
- Cracked or uneven sidewalks
- Broken tiles
- Torn carpet
- and more.
If you were injured under these circumstances, your lawyer will need to prove that the property manager or owner knew about the hazard, or should have known about it, but neglected to fix the problem. In other cases, structural defects may violate building codes, which would also help your case. Structural problems that are against code might include the lack of handrails or handrails being at an improper height.
Weather-related slip and fall accidents are difficult cases for injured plaintiffs. If a landowner failed to take reasonable care to make his or her property safe for visitors in response to inclement weather, he or she may be held liable for a slip and fall accident.
For example, if the landowner fails to shovel snow, salt or sand icy grounds, or install anti-slip devices on outdoor steps, he or she may be considered liable. However, if the landowner had no opportunity to make these adjustments to the property due to something like a flash flood or other extreme weather situation, he or she would not be held responsible.
If you've suffered an injury after slipping and falling on someone else's property, call us at (850) 629-7226.
Proving Liability in Slip and Fall Cases
To win a premises liability claim, an injured victim has to prove either that the defendant created the hazard that led to the accident or that the defendant knew or should have known about the danger and should have had it removed or repaired. This can often be difficult to prove, since proving when a given hazard first appeared can be challenging. Understanding the nuances of premises liability in a slip and fall case is helpful.
Example: If you slip and fall on a banana in a grocery store, absent some evidence of when the banana first fell onto the floor, it may be difficult to prove that the store "knew or should have known" about the dangerous condition. If the banana fell onto the floor ten seconds before you arrived, then the store most likely could not have known about it. Since Plaintiffs have the burden of proof, demonstrating when the hazard first appeared and that the store should have known about the hazard presents problems in certain cases.
In Florida, personal injury cases operate under the "comparative negligence" rule. This means that if the injured party was at least partially responsible for the accident, the percentage to which he or she was negligent will be deducted from the total amount of compensation.
In a slip and fall case, take this scenario as an example: an individual at a hotel trips on a trouble spot going down the stairs and decides to sue the hotel. The jury finds the hotel 50% at-fault because the hotel had received other complaints about the hazard and did not address it. However, the jury also finds the injured party 50% at-fault because he or she was texting while going down the stairs.
Slip and fall accidents are the most common type of "premises liability" cases, which center on the question of a property owner's duty to care for the property. Injury by fire or other accidents resulting from defects in the conditions of buildings also falls under this category.
Call Shapiro Law Firm, P.A.
Our Tallahassee slip and fall injury attorney can help you hold the responsible parties accountable if you or a loved one has experienced a premises liability accident.