You may be familiar with slip-and-falls occurring in the workplace, but these types of potentially serious accidents are fairly common, especially in busy places like South Florida. Most slip-and-fall accidents can occur just about anywhere: at a shopping mall, local dining hot spot, or even the beach. You might assume that, if you were injured during one of these accidents, the responsible party would be brought to justice.
In many circumstances, slip-and-fall accidents occur due to negligence on the part of the location’s owner or manager. However, when a personal injury case involving a slip-and-fall accident is brought to court in Florida, the defendant who owns or manages the property may argue for comparative negligence, which places the blame squarely on you, the victim.
Understanding Comparative Negligence in Florida
In the State of Florida, if your slip-and-fall case is brought before the court, the defendant may attempt to shift the focus onto your actions, which would be considered comparative negligence. This would mean that, through your inactions or personal negligence, the accident is legally considered to be your fault, preventing you from obtaining compensation for your damages from the defendant.
As an example, if you were visiting a bar near Fort Lauderdale beach and slipped in a puddle of water that did not have a “caution” sign located near it, you may feel that the manager or owner of the bar is responsible for failing to maintain proper standards of cleanliness in their establishment. However, the bar owner can claim comparative negligence as a defendant and say that you were too intoxicated at the time to notice the puddle, or that you were distracted while walking and did not pay attention to it. If the defendant chooses to go this route, they must provide evidence to back up their claim, just as you did.
Much like any other court proceeding, having strong proof of the events that occurred will strengthen your position. After you experience a slip-and-fall accident, regardless of where you are or how severe your injury, be sure to take photographs of the scene and, if possible, take down witness testimony of the event.
Dangers of a Slip-and-Fall Accident
Many personal injury incidents in Florida involve serious damage being done to the victim. In the case of a slip-and-fall accident, you can experience several different injuries that may prove to be traumatic, painful, or life-changing, which might include:
- Broken bones
- Fractured bones
- Skull fractures
- Brain damage
- Knee or wrist injury
- Shoulder or neck pain
- Internal hemorrhaging
- Torn tendons or ligaments
- Sprained wrists or ankles
- Hip fractures or dislocation
- Spinal cord injuries
- Concussion or coma
- Lacerations or bruises
Some victims may experience a slip-and-fall and avoid visiting a medical physician because they do not believe their injuries are severe enough to warrant a doctor’s examination. However, there are many ways that pain can appear long after a slip-and-fall takes place that may not be obvious or apparent to the victim, which is why it is vital to visit a medical professional evaluation after an accident. Documentation and records of a doctor’s visit will also be strong evidence to add to your case.
Defense Strategies Used against Slip-and-Fall Cases
For many owners and managers of locations like job sites, restaurants, bars, or retail stores, being taken to court for a legal matter like a slip-and-fall can be devastating for their business. In many instances, they will do whatever it takes to shift the blame onto the victim, which is a common defense method used to establish comparative negligence. They may try to establish fault by claiming that:
- The victim was not paying sufficient attention to their surroundings
- The victim was in an area where they should not have been
- The victim ignored posted warnings regarding the dangerous conditions
- The victim was wearing inappropriate footwear that caused the fall
Going up against someone in court can be intimidating, especially if you feel defenseless against their false accusations of the event. In times like these, your best solution is to work with a lawyer who has experience in successfully dealing with personal injury cases and slip-and-fall accidents.
Reliable Legal Representation for Your Florida Slip-and-Fall Case
When you’re going through the aftermath of a slip-and-fall accident, you have a lot on your plate. Trying to balance your physical recovery with contacting insurance companies and preparing for a case can take a lot out of you. With the help of an experienced lawyer from the team at Baker Legal, you can rest assured that our dedicated legal representatives will work with you to develop a strong case to obtain the compensation you deserve.
Don’t wait another day to get the legal help you need. Give us a call at 561-320-0000 or reach out to us online to find out more information or schedule a free consultation.