Slip and fall accidents can happen anywhere, at any time. Many times, falls happen through the negligence of the injured person, but other times, they occur because of the negligence of the property owner or business. Here are some of the most common causes of slip and falls and the most common defenses in slip and fall accident claims.
Common Causes of Slip and Falls.
The most obvious reason why someone slips and falls is due to something being on the floor causing the individual to lose his or her balance. Property owners have a duty to maintain their common areas, specifically the floors. All floors are expected to be clean of liquids and debris, and if the property owner fails to maintain the floors in a safe manner, he or she can be held responsible.
Another risky area for property owners involves slip trips and falls on stairways. Stairs can be tricky in that it can be extremely easy for someone to lose his or her step while walking up or down a set of stairs. Stairs must meet important codes and standards to make them safe, which include the length of tread, height of banisters, adequate lighting, etc.
Elevators and Escalators
Another area where individuals can easily fall and hurt themselves are on elevators and escalators. These devices are meant to help people go from one floor to another in a building, but they can prove to be troublesome for safety reasons. Because they are meant to carry passengers specifically, the property owner has a greater legal duty to make sure that they are routinely maintained and up to code.
The Most Common Defenses in Slip and Fall Cases / Accident Claims.
The defendant claims they took ‘reasonable steps’ to prevent the accident. One of the number one defenses in slip and fall cases, not every fall at a supermarket, restaurant or shopping center is enough to file a personal injury lawsuit. The person must prove that their injuries were caused by the property owner’s negligence. Property owners must take ‘reasonable steps’ to protect individuals from harm.
The danger was obvious to a reasonable person. Another common defense in slip and fall cases, the open and obvious doctrine can deflect liability when accidents and injuries are caused by a known hazard. Individuals visiting a property have a duty of care to avoid obvious dangers. The open and obvious defense would fail if building code violations are discovered that led to the accident.
A slip and fall defendant is liable if:
- they knew or should have known about the dangerous condition;
- they are responsible either by causing the hazard or not fixing it in time;
- they had reasonable time to fix the condition or set up barriers preventing access to it.
Consult with an experienced slip and fall accident attorney. If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident, it is extremely important that you sit down with an attorney to discuss your legal rights. The sooner you do this the better. Important evidence (such as photos and video surveillance footage) must be obtained quickly to ensure the best possible outcome in your case.
As experienced Miami slip and fall accident lawyers, we understand Florida’s slip-and-fall laws and how to hold businesses accountable for our client’s injuries, lost wages, medical expenses and pain and suffering. If you have suffered a slip and fall at a grocery store, restaurant or retail store in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Palm Beach, The Keys or anywhere in the State of Florida it is critically important for you to consult with an experienced Personal Injury Lawyer who will fight to protect your legal rights. When selecting a lawyer- ask them about their qualifications and experience in claims against grocery stores, retailers and restaurants. Spencer Aronfeld is a Board-Certified Trial Lawyer and our firm, Aronfeld Trial Lawyers has successfully represented people and their families in slip and fall claims across the country since 1991. Call us today for a free initial consultation 1-866-597-4529 or email [email protected] and speak with an experienced slip and fall lawyer about your potential claim.