Slip and falls are the leading cause of hip fractures and the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries. Each year, thousands of people receive hospital treatment for slip and fall injuries, with most of them being preventable by shop managers and restaurant owners fulfilling their obligations to patrons.
To help Florida residents better understand how to protect themselves, this article will discuss common causes of slip and fall accidents, what to do if you suffer a fall injury, as well as state regulations and protocols surrounding this form of premises liability.
Where Do The Most Slip and Falls Happen In Florida?
There are several different settings where slip and fall accidents happen the most. Here are some typical locations where slip-and-fall mishaps might occur in Florida:
According to the National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI), the majority of slip and falls occur at home and result in the majority of accidental deaths, especially among the elderly. Clutter, stairs, and poor lighting are major factors in these accidents.
Retail environments are the second-most common setting. Stores that sell produce or other liquids may spill their contents or leave their floors wet, which can result in slip-and-fall incidents.
Spills, cleaning products, or rainy weather can all result in slippery flooring at dining establishments.
Unsafe conditions can develop in shopping centers, particularly close to entrances and exits, when there are plenty of people and it is raining.
Slip-and-fall accidents can occur on wet floors in hotel lobbies and near swimming pools.
Parking Lots and Sidewalks
Tripping hazards can be created by uneven pavement or cracks in these areas.
Spills, leaks, or condensation can all result in wet floors in office buildings.
Public Parks and Recreational Areas
Slip-and-fall incidents can occur in these locations due to uneven ground, debris, and rainy conditions.
Because of dangers like wet floors, dim lighting, and congested hallways, slip and fall accidents are common in nursing facilities.
The obligation that property owners have is to maintain their properties in a reasonably safe condition to prevent injuries from occurring. If this duty is breached and an injury occurs, compensatory damages may be sought through a premises liability lawsuit with a personal injury attorney.
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How Much Money Do Most Florida Slip and Fall Cases Win?
Slip and fall cases can range from the low thousands to close to more than six-figures depending on the following factors:
- The seriousness of your injury
- If fault is shared
- The insurance limitations of the at-fault party
- The skillset of your slip and fall trial lawyer
Given that the amount of compensation awarded can differ greatly, it is challenging to give a specific dollar figure for how much money most slip and fall cases win. In most slip and fall instances, the injured person will receive compensation for their losses, including medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering, either through a settlement or a jury verdict.
What Conditions Do Courts Consider As A Hazard In Slip and Fall Cases?
Property owners or site managers have a responsibility to keep their properties safe and guard against slip and fall incidents. It could be feasible to pursue financial compensation from the property owner or other accountable parties if you were hurt in a slip and fall event. It is advised that you speak with a premises liability attorney immediately following your accident.
Florida courts recognize the following common causes of slip and fall accidents as hazardous conditions:
- Wet or slick surfaces: These might be brought on by spills, cleaning, or bad weather.
- Poor road conditions: Pavement that is uneven or cracked can present a tripping hazard in parking lots, sidewalks, and other paved areas.
- Bad lighting: Insufficient illumination can make it harder to identify possible dangers on sidewalks, stairwells, and other locations.
- Inadequate stairways or handrails: Inadequate stairways or handrails can present tripping hazards and result in falls.
- Blockages: Merchandise displays and other obstructions in the way of walkways might cause individuals to slip and fall.
- Absence of warning signs: Slip and fall incidents can be caused by a failure to display warning signs for possible dangers, such as damp flooring or construction zones.
- Unsecured flooring: Rugs or mats that are too loose or that are positioned incorrectly might trip people up and cause accidents.
- Poor upkeep: Lack of maintenance can result in dangerous conditions and raise the possibility of slip and fall accidents on walkways, stairs, and other surfaces.
This list is not inclusive of every scenario. However, if you consult with a reputable attorney following your slip and fall accident, they can assess your claim immediately and inform you if your case qualifies for a settlement.
Who Can Be Held Liable for a Slip and Fall Accident in Florida?
Now that we have discussed the common locations and causes of Florida slip and fall accidents, identifying who can be held liable is of equal importance. Florida follows comparative negligence regulations that allow victims to share fault and still collect a portion of damages. Other responsible parties may include:
Property owners have a responsibility to keep their properties fairly safe and to alert guests to any known hazards. A property owner may be held responsible for any injuries that come from a slip and fall accident if they breach this obligation and the event happens.
It is the duty of business owners to make sure that both customers and employees are safe on their premises. A business owner may be held accountable for any injuries that result from a slip and fall accident if they neglect to uphold this obligation.
If they neglect to maintain the grounds for safety and someone slips and falls on it, the property management could be held responsible.
If a slip and fall accident results from the conduct or negligence of a contractor who is working on a property, they may be held accountable.
The government organization in charge of maintaining the land may be held liable in the event that a slip and fall accident takes place on property that is owned by the government, such as a public park or a government building.
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Does Florida Allow Victims an Extension to File a Slip and Fall Claim?
Slip and fall accidents commonly happen throughout Florida, causing serious injuries and sometimes fatalities. Complex cases can take some time to resolve based on treatment plans, insurance response times, and a plethora of other factors. Thankfully, the legal deadline to file a slip and fall claim in Florida is four years from the date of your accident.
This may seem like a lot of time, but there may be exceptions that shorten the standard deadline. If your loved one passed away from slip and fall injuries, the statute of limitations for a wrongful death case in Florida is two years instead of four. Meeting these deadlines can become a challenge, so it’s best to get a slip and fall attorney that can manage your claim.