How to Win a Slip and Fall Lawsuit: What Victims Need to Know
In many cases, it can be difficult to prove who was at fault in a slip and fall accident. If you’ve been injured in an accident on someone else’s property, the property owner in question may be liable for the damages you incurred.
But proving a slip and fall case can be a challenge, and it’s essential that you understand the requirements of such cases. Read on and we’ll walk you through everything you need to prove in order to receive compensation for your fall.
Slip, Trip, and Fall Accident Injuries
“Slip and falls” and “trip and falls” commonly cause injuries such as:
- Hip and bone fractures
- Ankle and leg fractures
- Back injuries
- Head injuries
- Broken arms, wrists or fingers
“Slip and fall” and “trip and fall” accidents are generally two different types of accidents, although in some cases they may be caused by the same property defect.
- A slip and fall accident is caused when an individual slips and falls on a slippery floor. The slippery floor may be caused by ice, water, excess moisture, or another slippery condition.
- A trip and fall accident is caused when there is a defect in the floor such as an unrepaired hole, a protruding board or wire, or uneven flooring or sidewalk.
Both accidents can cause serious injuries, permanent disability, and even death.
Determining Property Owner Fault
Whether you are injured at work, while vacationing during Spring Break at a hotel in Florida, or eating at your favorite restaurant, there’s no denying the severity of injuries that ensue from slip, trip, and fall injuries. In fact, these are some of the most common types of accidents that result in personal injury.
When a person slips and falls, it can be due to a variety of reasons. And it can be difficult to determine if another party is at fault for your fall.
However, many legal cases pertaining to slip and fall revolve around the idea of negligence. If a property owner has failed to provide a reasonably safe environment for their guests, they can be seen as negligent in the eyes of the law.
Though liability may apply to slips and falls, it may be proven in cases of negligence through security, malfunctioning elevators or even contaminated food. The issue of liability occurs when the individual is harmed from these circumstances.
Many cases are won by proving that a property owner was aware of dangerous conditions that may have contributed to a slip and fall scenario. Some examples of such conditions include torn carpeting and unmarked wet floors. Take a look at the Target vs Kaufer Slip and Fall Case.
Lazaro Kaufer was shopping at Target when he slipped on some liquid laundry detergent on the floor and faced costly medical bills as a result. The testimony at trial showed that an unidentified individual was walking in front of Mr. Kaufer and carrying a bottle of leaking laundry detergent that Mr. Kaufer slipped on.
Mr. Kaufer and his wife, Katia sued Target for negligence. The jury discovered that Target was partially liable for Mr. Kaufer’s fall and awarded him $250,000 in damages and his wife $30,000 for loss of consortium.
What Needs to be Proven in a Slip, Trip & Fall Case?
Contrary to popular belief, an individual cannot automatically sue just because they slipped and fell on someone else’s property. In order to bring about a valid slip and fall case, they must prove the following four elements:
- Liability (The Defendant’s Duty): The defendant owned or operated the premises.
- Negligence (Notice): The defendant was aware or should have been aware of the condition that may have harmed the public.
- Dangerous Condition: The harmful condition was not considered a “minor” issue.
- Damages: The plaintiff sustained injuries because of a dangerous condition.
The victim might have also shown a degree of negligence in their behavior. Guests to a property are expected to show a reasonable amount of caution when moving through space, and reckless and careless behavior on their part can ruin the grounds for a case.
Collecting Proper Evidence
To win a slip and fall case, lawyers provide evidence to the court that helps to clearly establish negligent behavior exhibited by the property owner.
This evidence can take many forms. A victim will need to show evidence from a doctor that they sustained injuries from their slip and fall incident.
Then, pictures or surveillance video from the crime scene can be used as evidence of a dangerous condition present at the location.
Witness statements can also be a valuable tool in establishing fault in a case. Witness testimonies can help eliminate the possibility of negligent or careless behavior on the part of the victim. Witnesses can also speak about the existence of the dangerous condition and the property owner’s awareness of the problem.
Common Slip, Fall, or Trip Questions
1. Can I sue the city if I fall due to a cracked sidewalk?
Yes. Improperly maintained sidewalks are a common cause of lawsuits against government entities in Florida. Cracked or heaving sidewalks can be a serious trip hazard and may result in significant injuries.
2. What happens if I slip, fall, or trip at a store?
If you were injured in a slip and fall accident at a store, you may have the right to recover compensation against the property owner if your accident was the result of negligence. To win a claim, you must generally show that the hazardous condition at the store was not so obvious and open that you should have taken steps to avoid it.
3. What is the statute of limitations for a slip, trip, or fall case?
Under Florida law, you have 4 years from the date of your accident to file a lawsuit for a slip and fall injury. If the accident resulted in a death, you have just two years to file a wrongful death claim.
For more information visit our Slip, Trip, or Fall page. Unsure if you should file a slip, trip, or fall lawsuit? Contact SteinLaw for a free case evaluation.
Winning a Slip and Fall Case
The injuries and costs associated with these cases can be incredibly damaging to one’s life. If you’ve been injured as a result of a dangerous condition on someone else’s property, you have a right to compensation for medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and more.
Need help making your case? Contact Florida Slip and Fall attorneys at SteinLaw for a free consultation.
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