Slip and Fall Accidents and Other Premises Liability :
There are several categories of falls that are eligible for compensation from the property owner, including but not limited to:
- Slip-and-fall – insufficient warning of a slippery or wet walking surface
- Trip-and-fall – an object blocked the way with no safety barrier or warning of its presence
- Step-and-fall – a hole or other uneven aspect to the area, causing you to lose your balance
- Stump-and-fall – a protrusion “catches” or “snags” your foot causing you to fall
NOW THE COLD HARD TRUTH… It’s important that you have a bit of historical background regarding the injured person’s obligations proving a 2012 slip and fall case. Furthermore, dismiss from your analysis the examples you have heard from others regarding their recoveries in slip and fall cases. It’s a totally new game.
Prior to July 1, 2010, Florida enjoyed a reputation as one of the best states for slip and fall cases. Not anymore. Now the opposite is true. And for your information, you may be interested to know that it was none other than Gov. Charlie Crist, who now is an employee and television spokesman “for the people” plaintiff’s law firm Morgan & Morgan, that made it all possible.
Consider this: when any “big” firm pitches you with their “big resources” to take on the insurance companies. Their resources are devoted to their spokes-people and big marketing campaigns all necessary for maintaining their enormous overhead – hardly a devotion to a client’s case. After Gov. Crist made Bill 689 Florida law, it was codified at Florida statute §768.0755. (See below.)
Basically, for your case you need to prove: A) that the defendant had prior knowledge about the condition that led to the accident and B) that the defendant could have done something about that condition. If that is impossible, then you must prove that the defendant should have foreseen the incident due to the repetitive dangerous conditions. Rightfully this is the job of your lawyer. But what I am trying to tell you is: that it is difficult to prove what someone “knew”, especially a business owner who knows what to do to protect their interests.
The SOUD Law Firm can and we will investigate a select number of these cases each year. And, notwithstanding the discouraging odds, there are some good investigative opportunities. For better or worse, our society has developed technology that has made possible things that were not at my disposal 10 years ago. For example, most businesses now have security cameras which your lawyer should move to collect into evidence or demand preservation of the video footage of your fall and the surrounding area. This can be extremely helpful. Keep this in mind however, a “spoliation” of evidence letter to a potential defendant is not necessarily going to save your case. The legislature and Gov. Crist passed on the opportunity to impose a legal requirement creating a duty on the part of the business owner to preserve such evidence upon notice. I’ve seen instances where business owners and their insurance companies are more than willing to share the video-evidence that exonerates them in slip and fall case, yet mysteriously damning evidence has disappeared or was “erased”. Yeah, right!
I realize there are a lot of other serious issues in your case and what’s discussed above is just a foretaste. Please consider giving me a call. Meet me (not an investigator or paralegal) at a free appointment and let’s discuss your specific case in much more detail.
Thank you very much,
PS – If you are someone who has stumbled across this site by accident and you had a supervisor or manager tell you to erase or “shred” evidence that demonstrated negligence on the part of your employer, PLEASE CALL ME.
Florida Statute 768.0755 Premises liability for transitory foreign substances in a business establishment.—
(1) If a person slips and falls on a transitory foreign substance in a business establishment, the injured person must prove that the business establishment had actual or constructive knowledge of the dangerous condition and should have taken action to remedy it. Constructive knowledge may be proven by circumstantial evidence showing that:
(a) The dangerous condition existed for such a length of time that, in the exercise of ordinary care, the business establishment should have known of the condition; or
(b) The condition occurred with regularity and was therefore foreseeable.
(2) This section does not affect any common-law duty of care owed by a person or entity in possession or control of a business premises.
History.—s. 1, ch. 2010-8.