I slipped and fell at a store in Florida because their floors were wet. Do I have a case?
Author: Attorney Jason Macri
The common thought is that if a person goes into a store and slips and falls and gets hurt, the store is automatically responsible for the injury. Unfortunately, the laws in Florida regarding slip and falls do not follow that common thought. A person who slips and falls in a Florida business is going to need to prove much more than just the fact that the fall occurred. What exactly do you need to prove in order to have a valid claim against a business for a slip and fall in Florida?
First, the person who fell will need to prove that there was, in fact, a dangerous condition present in the store and that the condition is the reason for the fall. Next, the person will need to prove that the business either knew about the presence of the dangerous condition before the fall or that the business should have known about the dangerous condition of the floor prior to the fall. The injured person will need to prove that they were, in fact, injured and that the injury was caused by the fall, as opposed to being the result of some other event or condition.
Proving that there was a dangerous condition in a store is typically not the most difficult part of a slip and fall case. Most times a nearby witness can help confirm the presence of a dangerous condition like water, or some other slippery substance, on the floor. Other times the store employees themselves will admit that the substance was on the floor when they arrived.
One of the most difficult aspects of a slip and fall case is proving that the business either knew about the presence of the dangerous condition or that the store should’ve known about it. Typically, store employees are not going to admit that they knew there was a dangerous condition in a store and that they did nothing about it. If an employee is honest and admits prior knowledge, the admission will be helpful in proving negligence. Proving a business should’ve known about the presence of a dangerous condition can be shown by evidence regarding how long the substance remained on the floor prior to the fall. If it can be shown that a substance appeared to have been there for an extended period of time prior to the fall, it will make it easier for the Plaintiff to prove that the store should’ve known about it.
Length of time is very crucial in a slip and fall case. If it can be shown that a dangerous condition existed for a sufficient length of time prior to the fall, it will make it easier to prove negligence. If the evidence shows, however, that the store knew about the condition for only one minute prior to the fall, that alone will not be enough to have a successful slip and fall case.
There are many other potential important factors as well. A seasoned Florida Slip and Fall attorney will be able to apply the facts of your case to the existing law and will be able to inform you, within a reasonable degree of probability, whether the facts of your case will lead to a successful outcome. If you have been injured in a slip and fall, call the Law Office of Dell and Schaefer. Our slip and fall attorneys know the law and will let you know whether you have a potentially successful Florida Slip and Fall case.