Over the holidays, our South Florida injury lawyers field many calls those hurt in a slip-and-fall accident. It is not always possible to avoid a slip during holidays because so many potential hazards abound. Our hope is that by highlighting them here, we can raise awareness and help people avoid a fall or at least some of the most serious outcomes.
Of course, slip-and-fall accidents can happen at almost any time. However, many suffer a slip during holidays because often their guard is down. Folks are understandably distracted, walking to and from stores, in parking lots, carrying packages, wrangling small children, attending parties and decorating. When a slip during holidays occurs at your own home, there may be little you can do to obtain compensate – unless the fall was owing to a defective ladder or other defective product. However, when you are a guest in someone else’s home or at a hotel or as a customer in a store, you are owed a duty of care by the property owner to make sure you are not put at unreasonable risk of injury due to unforeseen and non-obvious dangers.
From the perspective of a South Florida injury lawyer, it’s important to point out that the fact that you fell isn’t grounds in and of itself to collect damages. Florida slip-and-fall law is codified in F.S. 768.0755. It stipulates that if a person falls on a transitory foreign substance on the floor of a business establishment, that person must prove the business had either actual or constructive knowledge of the condition – and failed to take action to remedy it. Actual knowledge would mean employees knew about that specific hazard. Constructive knowledge means either that the slippery floor either existed for such a length of time that the business should have discovered in the course of using ordinary care OR that it occurred with some regulatory and thus was foreseeable. Continue reading →