Slip and Fall Laws in Florida
“Slip and Fall” is the common term for an injury which occurs when someone slips, trips or falls as a result of a dangerous or hazardous condition on someone else’s property.
A slip and fall accident can occur nearly anywhere, on public or private property, indoors or outdoors. A slip and fall injury can occur because of hazards such as:
- Adverse weather conditions (examples include ice, snow, or rain)
- Uneven sidewalks
- Poorly lit or unmarked pathways or stairs
- Slippery tile or other flooring
- Uneven flooring
- Ripped carpeting
- Objects blocking a floor or walkway
In 2010 the following law went into effect, making it much more difficult for the injured person to pursue a claim:
768.0755 Premises liability for transitory foreign substances in a business establishment.—
(1)If a person slips and falls on a transitory foreign substance in a business establishment, the injured person must prove that the business establishment had actual or constructive knowledge of the dangerous condition and should have taken action to remedy it. Constructive knowledge may be proven by circumstantial evidence showing that:
(a)The dangerous condition existed for such a length of time that, in the exercise of ordinary care, the business establishment should have known of the condition; or
(b)The condition occurred with regularity and was therefore foreseeable.
(2)This section does not affect any common-law duty of care owed by a person or entity in possession or control of a business premises.
What this law means is that the injured person has to prove that the business establishment that they slipped and fell in did something wrong and prove how they did it. Does that sound fair? I don’t think so, especially when there have been instances in the past with corporations not producing or tampering with the videos of the incident, not filling out or providing a copy of the incident report to the injured party, and cleaning up the substance that caused the slip right away to get rid of the substance that caused the fall.
A few things you can do if you or someone you know has fallen on someone else’s property or a business establishment:
- Get the name and contact information of any and all witnesses, whether they are employees or not
- Immediatetly take photographs of the scene, the substance of the fall, and any people around you
- Fill out an incident report and try and bring a copy home with you (many stores do not allow a copy to be taken off premises)
- Note any video cameras in the area and ask the manager or owner to make sure they save them
- Get checked out by your own doctor
- Do not speak with the insurance company of the premises
- Speak with an attorney as soon as you can
We have represented clients in slip and fall cases against:
- Convenience stores
- Gas stations
- Department stores
- Apartment complexes
- Rental homes
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