If you suffer a slip and fall or trip accident, you may be inclined to brush it off and continue with your day. However, injuries - no matter how minor they appear to be - due to slip and fall or trip accidents should be taken seriously. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over one million Americans suffer a slip and fall or trip injury annually, and over 17,000 people die as a result of their injuries. 

Your time, health, and well-being are valuable. If you’ve been injured by a slip and fall or trip accident, you do have options available to you to receive the compensation you deserve.

What is a “slip and fall” or “trip and fall” accident?

The term “slip and fall” or “trip and fall” refers to an incident where an individual slips, trips and falls on private or public property, leading to an injury. A slip or fall or trip and fall can be a direct result of dangerous or unsafe conditions including wet floors,pot holes, torn carpeting, poor lighting, or losing balance on cracked and/or uneven surfaces.

Can I file a claim?

If you are injured in a slip and fall or trip and fall accident on private property, you may be entitled to receive compensation for your injuries, including medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering by filing through a personal injury lawsuit. According to the State of Florida Statutes, you have four years from the date of the slip/trip and fall incident to file a lawsuit against the property owner. This filing deadline applies to both personal injury and property damage claims. 

Property owners have a responsibility to maintain their property and ensure it meets city and state safety guidelines. Failing to do so means they can be found liable for your injuries. If your injury occurred on private property, such as a restaurant, a department store, or someone's residential property, the first thing you must do is determine liability.

How is liability determined? 

When a slip and fall takes place on private property, the victim has a right to obtain legal help to file for damages if they can show the accident was caused by the property owner’s negligence failure to take “reasonable care” to maintain a safe and clean establishment. 

To prove fault in a slip and fall accident, one of the following conditions must have occurred.:

  • The property owner or an employee caused the dangerous condition resulting in your injury. This includes, but is not limited to: slipping or tripping on overworn, torn, broken, or loose carpeting; slipping on a wet floor; or tripping over a crack or uneven surface on the floor or sidewalk of the property. 
  • The owner or employees were aware of the potentially dangerous condition but did nothing to fix it. For example, the owner was aware of a loose step on the staircase but failed to have it repaired or replaced within a reasonable amount of time. 
  • The owner or employees should have been aware of the potentially dangerous condition, as a “reasonable” owner would have noticed the potential danger and taken steps to have it cleaned, repaired, or removed. This can include but is not limited to: failure to clean, maintain, or repair the property; and failure to remove an object that was negligently left on the floor, causing a slip and fall injury. 

In most slip and fall or trip and fall cases, your attorney will argue the third condition, as all property owners and their employees have a responsibility to maintain the property and keep it in good condition. 

If an owner or employee was negligent in keeping the property safe, they are likely to be found liable for failure to maintain a safe environment.

Establishing liability for a slip and fall or trip and fall incident can be complex. With more than 35 years of experience in representing slip and fall and trip and fall victims, our attorneys will handle all the details of your case and protect your rights. If you’ve been injured on someone else’s property as a direct result of the owner’s negligence, call Hudgins Law Firm so we can discuss your rights. To set up a FREE consultation, call us toll-free at 800-950-5534, or complete the contact form on our website.

Sources:
https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/florida-slip-and-fall-laws.html 
https://www.findlaw.com/injury/torts-and-personal-injuries/slip-and-fall-accidents-overview.html