Slips and Falls
If you are injured in a First Coast slip-and-fall accident, you may be able to obtain financial recovery for your damages if the injury was caused by someone else’s failure to use reasonable care in maintaining the property and preventing accidents.
There are many possible defendants in First Coast slip-and-fall cases, but the most common ones are property owners, property lessees, and people responsible for constructing or maintaining the property. Some locations are especially prone to slip-and-fall accidents due to wet floors, spills, uneven surfaces, or other hazards. Some of the more common places where slip-and-fall accidents occur include grocery stores, malls, and workplaces.
The first thing your First Coast slip-and-fall attorney must show is that there was a dangerous condition or hazard that was a contributing factor to your fall. The hazard can be temporary, like spilled liquid, or permanent, like an improperly constructed staircase.
Next, your attorney needs to show that the defendant owed you some duty, such as the duty to inspect, warn, or repair. Assuming you are a customer in a store or your accident occurred on public property, your attorney must also show that the defendant knew or should have known about the dangerous condition and the fact that an injury was likely to occur because of it. Proving this point is usually the crux of a slip-and-fall case.
“Actual” notice (meaning that the defendant knew of the hazard and failed to correct it) is rare. Most cases rely on a theory of “constructive” notice, meaning that the defendant may not have actually known about the hazard but should have known about it if he had used ordinary care and properly inspected and maintained the premises.
Finally, your First Coast slip-and-fall attorney needs to show that you sustained an injury and that there is a causal link between the hazard and your injury. Slips and falls are common and can cause serious injury or even death—17,000 people die from slip-and-fall accidents every year. Yet, proving a slip-and-fall case can be difficult because you may be the only witness to your fall.
An experienced First Coast slip-and-fall attorney will examine the totality of the available evidence and develop a case strategy based on what you can prove. If you are not already represented by an attorney, please contact John Fagan for a free evaluation of your case.
What is a Slip and Fall Accident?
“Slip and fall” is a type of personal injury case where a person slips, trips and/or falls, and is injured on someone else’s property. Slip and fall accidents usually occur on property owned or maintained by another, and the owner or possessor of the property can be held responsible. Dangerous conditions like uneven floors, torn carpet, poor lighting, wet floors, narrow stairs, can all contribute to someone getting hurt.
How do I win a Slip and Fall Case?
In order to prove that, a property owner knew of a dangerous condition, it must be shown that:
The owner/possessor created the dangerous condition
They knew that the condition existed and neglectfully failed to correct it
The condition existed for a long enough time that the owner reasonably should have known about the condition and have corrected it.
Who can I hold responsible for a slip, trip and fall accident?
Many people do not realize that some injuries are simply accidents caused by their own carelessness. For instance, if someone trips because he was not looking where he was going, he cannot sue the property owner. An injured person might still be able to recover if the owner is proven to be partly responsible, but the amount awarded would be less.
Can I sue my landlord for a slip, trip and fall injury?
Landlords may also be held accountable to tenants and/or third parties for slip, trip and fall injuries. To hold a landlord responsible, you must show that:
- The landlord could control the conditions that caused the injury.
- Repairing the issue would not have been too expensive and/or difficult.
- It was foreseeable that an injury would occur if the condition was not fixed.
- The landlord failed to take reasonable actions steps to avoid the condition.
What should I do after a slip and fall accident?
Take notes about the incident and your injuries. The two main things that are important are:
- What has happening to cause the accident?
- What kind of injury/harm was incurred?
We realize that taking notes will most likely be the last thing on your mind after a such an experience, but remember that it will help you with your case and help you prove your injuries.
As soon as you can, write down everything you can think of that relates to what exactly happened before, during, and after the incident that led to your injury, such as: time and place, weather conditions, who was there, what was said and by who, how it all played out, what you experienced, how you felt, and anything else that might be important.