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A Comprehensive Guide to Filling a Slip and Fall Lawsuit in Florida

Getting injured as a result of a slip and fall accident can easily lead to feelings of frustration, pain, and fear. If your injuries are so severe that you are unable to work, you may wonder how you will continue to pay for your basic living expenses.

If you’ve been injured in a slip and fall accident on someone else’s property or on public property, you may be able to recover damages to help pay for the expenses related to your injuries.

Here’s what you need to know about filing a slip and fall lawsuit in Florida:

The Law

Under Florida Statute 768.0755, “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:

  • 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
  • The condition occurred with regularity and was therefore foreseeable.”

Essentially, if you slip and fall on another’s property and the property owner or manager should’ve reasonably been aware of the condition, you may have a viable case. Additionally, if the hazardous condition occurs regularly, the property owner or manager should have been able to predict it and thus, correct it before anyone got hurt.

Florida Slip and Fall Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations (the amount of time you have to file suit) for a slip and fall case in Florida is four years from the date of the accident. If you allow the four-year time limit to pass before filing suit, it’s likely that your case will be thrown out.

It’s best not to wait on matters like these. The sooner you file, the better your chances will be of a favorable outcome.

Comparative Negligence

Since Florida is a comparative negligence state, that means if you share a portion of the blame for the accident, then the amount you’re offered will be reduced proportionally. Both economic and non-economic damages will be reduced if you are found partially at fault for your injuries. Your compensation amount will be reduced based on the percentage of which you are to blame for the accident.

The following are some arguments the property owner or operator could make so that you share a portion of the blame:

  • You were in an area of the property where visitors aren’t typically supposed or expected to be.
  • You weren’t paying attention to your surroundings.
  • Your footwear was inappropriate or unsafe for the conditions.
  • The hazardous area was blocked off by cones and/or signage.
  • You should’ve noticed the hazard.

Pure Comparative Negligence

Florida’s “pure comparative negligence” rule determines your portion of legal liability for the incident as well as how much compensation you’ll be able to recover from the property owner or operator for your damages.

For example, if you are deemed 15% at fault for your injuries in the slip and fall accident and you are awarded a total of $10,000, the property owner or operator will be responsible for paying you $8,500.

Many Factors Can Contribute to a Slip and Fall Accident

The following conditions can lead to both indoor and outdoor slip and fall accidents:

  • Inadequately lit areas that make variations in floor height or other dangers challenging to identify
  • Wet floors without a warning sign
  • Goods in stores stacked to unsafe heights
  • Obstacles in walkways that reasonably should not be there
  • Changes in floor height without warning signs
  • Narrow or inadequately lit staircases
  • Uneven sidewalk surfaces
  • Potholes
  • Slippery floors or sidewalks as a result of snow, ice, or rain

If you’ve been injured in a slip and fall accident on another’s property, you may be entitled to compensation. Let us see if we can help you recover it.

Call us today at (866) 675-4427 to have an experienced Stuart personal injury attorney from Lauri J. Goldstein & Associates, PLLC evaluate your case.