When people suffer an injury after a slip and fall accident on another’s property, they may think that a claim for damages will be an automatic win. In reality, the situation is far more complicated. The law considers not only the fact that a person fell, but also why they were on the property to begin with and the exact details of the conditions that led to the fall. Insurance companies are aware of these nuances in the law and make profits by denying claims. A Holiday slip and fall lawyer is also familiar with how the law works in these cases. A skilled personal injury attorney can work to represent your interests and can work to obtain fair compensation for you.
Florida Slip and Fall Laws
Slip and fall accidents are the most common examples of cases that fall under the category of premises liability. Premises liability is a tort, meaning a civil cause of action that allows injured people to sue the responsible party in court. In short, premises liability is when an injury occurs on another’s property because of their negligence. This negligence can take the form of failing to repair a structural defect, not properly cordoning off a hazard, or even from not cleaning up a spill. However, to win in a premises liability claim, a potential plaintiff must have been on the property lawfully.
Types of Victims in Slip and Fall Cases
In most slip and fall cases, the plaintiff is either a customer in a store, or an invited guest in someone’s house. The legal terms for these people are business invitees and licensees. In these situations, the property owner has a responsibility to maintain the property in a safe manner and to repair any unsafe conditions. These protections do not apply to unwelcome visitors. Known as trespassers, these people are not protected by the law with the exception that they cannot be subjected to intentional or reckless dangers. Therefore, if a person breaks into a grocery store after hours and slips on a wet patch of floor, it is less likely to win a premises liability case.
However, in cases claiming that a business was negligent in a slip and fall case, the Florida legislature has increased the level of proof that a plaintiff must provide. FL Statute 768.0755 states that a person claiming a slip and fall accident in a business must be able to prove that the business had actual or constructive knowledge of the hazard and should have fixed it. Since many stores have surveillance videos, and still others have procedures for documenting all safety hazards, evidence for this requirement is usually available. For cases that occur on private property, the plaintiff needs only to show that the owner knew of the condition and that no warning was given.
Statute of Limitations in Slip and Fall Cases
One last consideration that potential plaintiffs should keep in mind is the statute of limitations. This is a law that limits the time after the accident that a case can be started. FL Statute 95.11(3)(a) says that all cases based on negligence, as slip and fall cases always are, must be started no more than four years from the date of the accident, so it is imperative that a person contacts a Holiday slip and fall attorney, as soon as possible.
How a Holiday Slip and Fall Attorney Can Help
Getting injured after a slip and fall is never a pleasant experience. On top of the time needed to recover, medical bills, and lost time at work, the insurance company insists on page after page of paperwork and intimidating interviews. The stress in these situations can be unbearable and as a result, unrepresented plaintiffs are pressured into settling their cases for less than they are worth. A Holiday slip and fall lawyer can work to protect your interests while you focus on their recovery. Take a positive step towards protecting your rights ans contact an attorney today.