Most of the time, a slip and fall isn’t serious. You put your foot down on a wet patch on the convenience store floor or trip on a broken bit of sidewalk and you stumble, catch yourself, or perhaps take a spill. You get up, dust yourself off, maybe rub a sore spot or work out your ankle for a moment and go on with your life.
Unfortunately, some slip and fall accidents are much more significant. Slip and fall injuries range from sprains, bruises and broken bones to traumatic brain injuries and even death.
Liability for Slip and Fall Injuries in Florida
Slip and fall injuries fall under premises liability law. In short, Florida premises liability law makes property owners and occupants responsible for correcting or warning visitors of certain dangers on their property. With regard to invited guests, visitors to public places and people entering commercial property for business purposes, this duty to correct or warn applies if:
- The owner / occupant knew or reasonably should have known of the danger; and
- A visitor exercising reasonable care would not have noticed the danger
One common example would be a retail store where an employee had mopped the floor and then failed to put up a sign indicating that the tile was slippery. The employee—and, by extension, the business—had reason to know of the hazard. However, it would not be immediately obvious to the average person that the floor was wet or slick with soap, even if he was taking reasonable care. Thus, if a shopper who was unaware that the floor was slippery stepped onto the recently mopped patch, fell, and sustained an injury, the store would typically be responsible for his injuries.
Florida Slip and Fall Timelines
The general personal injury statute of limitations applies in slip and fall cases, meaning that the injured party has four years to bring suit. However, there is no reason to wait that long to pursue your claim, and there are many good reasons to act quickly. Some of these reasons include:
- The likelihood that important evidence will be misplaced or destroyed as time passes
- The need for funds from a settlement or verdict to pay medical bills and other expenses
- The fact that your memory and those of other witnesses will be clearer early on
- The flexibility for your personal injury lawyer to attempt to negotiate a settlement before filing your slip and fall case
Work with a Tampa Slip and Fall Lawyer
When you schedule a free consultation with one of the experienced personal injury lawyers in our office, you can breathe a sigh of relief knowing you’ve taken the first step toward securing the compensation you deserve. If we accept your personal injury case, we will help you pursue damages such as:
- Payment of medical expenses associated with your slip and fall injury
- Compensation for lost wages and lost earning potential
- Support for any accommodations your injury requires
- Compensation for pain and suffering
If a simple slip or trip in a public place, a local business or even a friend’s house has derailed your life, leaving you with large medical bills and a gap in your income, don’t try to sort it out alone. Call 1-800-253-5523 or complete the form on this page to schedule your free consultation right now.