Slip and Fall Accidents in Florida
Far too many people have been the victim of a fall. Sometimes, those falls result in serious injury and have become a common theme in personal injury cases. However, although many personal injury suits have been brought due to injuries that were the result of a fall, the law surrounding slipping and falling can be complicated like almost every other legal area.
The Florida Statute
Statute 768.0755 in Florida has made proving a slip and fall case more difficult for the victim than it has in the past. The statute provides that the victim of the fall, in cases against a business establishment, must prove that the establishment had knowledge or constructive knowledge of the condition that caused the fall and failed to do anything to remove the condition or warn its customers of the condition. Also, the statute does nothing to change the common law duty owed by a person or entity that either owns or controls the establishment where the accident happened. The statute then goes on to define constructive knowledge in the following way: (1) the condition had existed for a period of time that the business should have known of it; and (2) the condition that caused the fall had occurred regularly, making it foreseeable.
The Tampa Case
In 2009, a man was visiting a chicken restaurant in Tampa when he slipped and fell on a piece of chicken. The new statute was in effect by the time his case went to trial, so it put a heightened burden on him and all slip and fall plaintiffs moving forward to prove that the business knew of the causing condition and failed to remove it, clean it, or place warnings around it. Before this, the victims simply had to prove that a substance in the wrong place was the cause of the fall. The new statute makes it much harder to prove causation in slip and fall accidents, thus significantly lowering chances of recovery. Injuries and their extent are always the first things considered, and often times these cases get settled before they even reach court. Many believe that the new statute will not lower the number of cases filed relating to slip and fall, but many believe that the statute unfairly protects businesses and retailers by making it extremely difficult to prove the causation factor.
What Can be Recovered?
Ultimately, the court decides how to compensate the victim for their injuries. In the instance of settlements, the lawyers consider similar aspects in deciding compensation. These include, but are not limited to:
- Medical bills;
- Lost wages;
- Permanent disability; and
- Emotional distress.
However, as stated above, it is more difficult to prove these cases for the victims and all of those aspects of compensation are not guaranteed.
Especially with the new statute, slip and fall law in Florida can become extremely complex and your case may be difficult to prove. If you or a loved one has recently experienced a slip and fall and are looking for the best route to proceed forward with your case, contact an experienced slip and fall West Palm Beach Attorney at the Wexler Law Firm, P.A. We will guide you through the complex law and fight for your rights through your slip and fall case.