What is considered a Slip and Fall Accident?
Slip and fall accidents are defined as any situations where an individual suffers an injury after a slip, trip, or fall due to a hazardous condition on someone else’s premises. Those hazardous conditions can range from water or liquid substances on the floor, to poor lighting, abrupt changes in flooring, or a hidden hazard, such as a hole in the ground or a gap in flooring.
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), slips, trips, and falls constitute the majority of general industry accidents and are responsible for 15% of accidental deaths, second only to motor-vehicle-accident-related deaths.
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Defining what is “Reasonable”?
A negligence claim is dependent on whether the defendant acted in a “reasonable” manner. When determining the property owner’s “reasonableness,” the law focuses on whether a schedule of regular maintenance and upkeep of the premises has been followed by the owner. If ever in doubt whether a property owner or business is liable for the pain and suffering of a slip, trip, and fall incident, you may want to ask yourself the following questions:
- Has the hazardous condition been there long enough that the property owner knew or should have known about it and corrected it?
- What evidence can the property owner show to prove the regular maintenance of the property?
- If you have tripped over an object, was there a legitimate reason for that object to be there in the first place? If there was once a legitimate reason for the object to be there but that reason no longer exists, could the object have been moved to make the area safer?
- Could a warning sign or a barrier have been created to alert persons to the dangerous area and thereby prevent the accident?
- Was the incident related to poor or broken lighting?
Proving Fault in a Slip and Fall Case
Proving that a property owner or business is at fault in a slip and fall accident isn’t always as black and white as one would hope. To prove fault against another party, you first must prove that you didn’t cause the accident yourself. An insurance adjuster will undoubtedly ask you the following questions when reviewing your claim:
- Did you have a legitimate reason–a reason the property owner or business should have anticipated–to be in the hazardous area?
- Would a careful individual have been able to avoid the situation?
- Was any warning or signage appropriately placed to prevent the incident?
- Were you doing anything that distracted you from seeing the hazardous area? Were you running, walking, or otherwise behaving in a way that made falling more likely?
When to Contact a Florida Slip and Fall Lawyer
If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident, it is very important to be mindful of what you say to an insurance adjuster, property owner, or witness to the incident. Simple phrases such as “I’m okay,” or “I did see that there and did not avoid it,” can be held against you and immediately shift the blame to you. Insurance adjusters will often record your conversation with them and will use your own statement to deny liability. For that reason alone, we urge you to contact an experienced personal injury attorney to help investigate your claim and assist you in receiving the compensation you deserve. Our Florida slip and fall lawyers have gained compensation for victims involved in cases against huge corporations, such as Walmart, Kmart, Target, Publix, and Disney.
If you have tripped or fallen at a business, store, restaurant, or amusement park, and have been hurt–even if you were on the clock at the time of your injury–we are prepared to help you. We urge you to obtain immediate medical care and consult with our office as soon as possible. Contact us toll-free at 1-866-597-4529 or by email at [email protected] to receive a free consultation with an experienced slip and fall lawyer.