A slip-and-fall accident occurs when a dangerous condition causes you to lose your footing and suffer an injury. It can happen at a store, in a mall parking lot or while walking through the lobby of an office building. The accident may lead to extensive medical bills, the inability to work and pain and suffering.
Property owners or occupiers can be held liable. However, not every slip-and-fall accident can lead to a legal claim. This is why it is crucial to have your case thoroughly reviewed by a slip and fall lawyer if you or a loved one suffers an injury from an accident on the property of another.
Attorney Frank M. Eidson has decades of experience with helping slip-and-fall accident victims in Orlando, Winter Park and throughout Florida. He knows how to identify and overcome challenging legal issues. Contact him today and receive a free consultation about your case.
Types of Slip-and-Fall Accidents
Many different types of slip-and-fall accidents can occur. It is crucial to work with a lawyer who has experience with a wide range of slip and falls and understands the unique issues that each type involves.
Examples of slip-and-fall accidents include those caused by:
- Spilled liquid in a store aisle
- Objects cluttering a walking area
- Ice or slush on a sidewalk or parking lot
- Cracked or uneven pavement
- Holes or dips in the ground
- Broken escalators or elevators.
In some cases, a property owner may assert that the hazard leading to a slip and fall was “open and obvious.” In other words, you either knew or reasonably should have known about the hazard, and the owner should not be held liable. It will be important to work with a lawyer who will properly investigate your case and will know how to counter those arguments.
Holding Property Owners Liable for Slip-and-Fall Accidents
The duty a property owner owes to protect you from being injured in a slip and fall depends on your status as a visitor. Florida law places visitors in three categories:
- Invitees – Being invited to attend an event at a park (public invitee) or going to a store such as Wal-Mart to buy something (business invitee)
- Licensees – Being asked to attend a friend’s home for a pool party (invited licensee) or entering property with permission for your own purposes (walking into a gas station to ask for directions)
- Trespassers – Entering or remaining on another’s property any legal right to be there (cutting across a neighbor’s yard to get to your house).
If you are an invitee or invited licensee, a property owner generally has a duty to fix or warn about slip-and-fall hazards – but not if you are an uninvited licensee or trespasser. Thus, a case may turn on establishing one’s status as a visitor.
Additionally, since 2010, Florida law has imposed specific requirements for those seeking to hold a business liable for falls caused by “transitory foreign substances” such as spilled liquids.
To establish liability, a person must show that the business had actual or constructive knowledge of the substance. Constructive knowledge could be shown through evidence such as:
- The hazard existed for a long enough period of time that the business should have known about it (for example, a puddle that was in the middle of the aisle for several hours); or
- The hazard occurred with regularity, which made it foreseeable (a leaking air conditioner).
Physical evidence, maintenance records, customer complaints, witness statements and other evidence can all be obtained and reviewed to establish whether the business should be liable for the slip and fall.
Contact a Florida Slip-and-Fall Accident Attorney
A slip and fall can cause severe harm, including traumatic brain injury (TBI) and spinal cord injury (SCI). Hip fractures are a particular concern when the slip-and-fall accident victim is an elderly person.
Frank M. Eidson, will personally handle your personal injury case from start to finish and seek a full and fair recovery for you through a settlement or verdict. He may seek damages that include:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Past and future lost income
- Pain and suffering
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Emotional distress.
It is important to take prompt action after a slip and fall. To get started, contact Frank M. Eidson, P.A., today by calling us or connecting with us online.