You might be surprised to learn that slip and fall accidents are second only to motor vehicle accidents in all accidental deaths in the United States. Indeed, slip and fall accidents account for approximately 15 percent of accidental deaths.
While we often make fun of slip and fall accidents as minor events, oftentimes where the alleged victim is taking advantage of a supermarket or other public place, slip and fall accidents can be very, very serious. Statistics show that, in 2016, 9.2 million people required emergency room treatment from fall-related injuries, and falls are the number one cause of death for adults 65 and older.
Accordingly, in this article, we will discuss the basics around a possible lawsuit involving a slip and fall accident and discuss Florida law requirements related to slip and fall cases. If, after reading this article, you have more questions about your own circumstances, then the slip and fall accident lawyers in Jacksonville at RITE Law are here to help.
At RITE Law, our slip and fall accident lawyers have your best interests at heart and have the training and resources to make sure that you receive the compensation you deserve. Our number is (904) 500-RITE or you can fill out our contact form online. We provide a free case evaluation, so call today.
Slip and Fall Litigation Basics
If you slipped and fell because of a dangerous situation on someone else’s property and you suffered injuries, then it is possible that you can assert a personal injury lawsuit against the owner of the property. Many times, the claim will be that the owner was aware of a spill or other dangerous condition on the property but did not take reasonable steps to make the condition safe.
Thus, the owner of the property could be responsible for all, or some portion, of your injuries and the pain and suffering associated with it. Here are some things to keep in mind when it comes to a slip and fall case:
1. Is the Property Owner Liable?
The first thing to consider with any slip and fall case is whether the property owner is responsible for your fall in the first place. The fact that someone falls is not always proof that someone other than the person who fell is responsible to compensate for injuries. If you slipped and fell, you would need to prove that owner of the property did something wrong or unreasonable.
This aspect of proof can be difficult. For example, in a recent case in a Publix supermarket, a bottle of detergent fell off of a shelf. Within nine seconds, a Publix employee at the other end of the aisle who heard the crash came to clean up the spilled detergent. As he was doing so, a shopper rounded the corner of the aisle a few seconds later, slipped, and injured herself. The court found that the Public employee (and thus the Publix store in general) was not liable for any of the plaintiff’s injuries because its response to the spill was reasonable under the circumstances.
By contrast, in another supermarket case, there was water on the floor after an employee watered flowers in the flower section. The water was allowed to remain on the floor for an unreasonable amount of time without being cleaned. Thus, when someone slipped and hurt themselves in that area, the plaintiff had an easier time proving the supermarket’s liability. The supermarket was aware of the water on the floor, and it allowed that dangerous condition to remain for a long period of time.
If you slip and fall, the best thing you can do is take a picture of the condition of the area where you fell. While it may not always be possible, photos of the area can be very helpful in proving liability.
2. Possible Damages for a Slip and Fall Injury
The two things to keep in mind when it comes to a slip and fall injury:
1. The degree of your injury, and
2. The responsibility of each party.
With regard to the degree of injury, as you would expect, the amount you could be awarded in damages is dictated by the number of medical bills, loss of work, and pain and suffering that you experienced.
With regard to responsibility, there is a concept called “contributory negligence.” That concept means that the amount someone is responsible for an accident is the amount they should pay. Thus, if you were partially responsible, say about 20 percent, for your fall; but the property owner was 80 percent responsible, then the property owner should be expected to pay 80 percent of your damages, not the full 100 percent.
3. Statute of Limitations
In Florida, you have four years within which to file a lawsuit in connection with a slip and fall accident. Of course, you want to be sure to file as early as possible when the accident is fresh in everyone’s minds.
Get the Help of an Experienced Slip and Fall Accident Lawyer in Jacksonville, FL at RITE Law.
At RITE Law, we started the firm for one reason – to help those in Florida and elsewhere have the resources of a firm that was “big enough to fight but small enough to care.” At Rudolph, Israel, Tucker & Ellis (RITE law), we have the resources and experience to go to trial when it is necessary, and we have the wisdom to advise you appropriately.
Expect lots of attention, passionate representation, and a healthy disdain for big insurance companies. We believe that leads to the best result possible. Unlike larger firms, your case isn’t handed to a paralegal or assistant to do the heavy lifting. The attorney you meet initially is the one who will be by your side every step of the way.
We also take pride in creating an atmosphere where every client is treated like family. Family members stick up for one another no matter what. You should expect nothing less from the RITE Law personal injury attorneys in Jacksonville.
Without help from the RITE team, making your own personal injury claims can be very difficult. When you turn to our firm, we spring into action, making sure that every detail of your claim is addressed. Call us for help. Our number is (904) 500-RITE or you can fill out our contact form online. We provide a free case evaluation, so feel free to call us today.