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Slip & Fall (Premises Liability) | Guy S. DiMartino DC, JD, PA

Guy DiMartino June 6, 2013

People are catastrophically injured every day because a business, home or property owner fails to keep their property in a reasonably safe condition. I assist people who have been severely injured on someone elses property because of negligence.

I have successfully handled premises liability claims involving slip and falls on transitory foreign substance in supermarkets, falls on stairs, over parking bumpers, and through attics. Additionally, I have helped clients receive compensation for injuries related to criminal acts, such as battery on anothers property.

Injuries sustained in a fall can be quite devastating. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has published research on the prevalence of injuries and even death secondary to falls. According to the CDC, falls can be prevented if property owners keep their property safe from hazards and properly maintained.

Over the years, I have seen good people suffer broken bones, fractured spines, back, neck and head injuries and even death as a result of fall down accident. Falls result in upwards of 50,000 deaths each year and are a leading cause of brain injuries throughout the world.

People who have been injured because of a trip, slip and fall may have a claim for damages if the owner, renter, or person in control of the property was careless or negligent in upkeep and maintenance. This area of tort law is called premises liability.

What is a slip and fall accident?
Important issues in a Central Florida slip and fall accident
Collecting evidence for your slip and fall claim
What do you need to prove in your Central Florida slip and fall claim?

Experienced Central Florida Premises Liability Attorney

A slip or a fall in a business or the outside of a business property, on public property and in a private residence can be caused by the owners or tenants failure to properly maintain the premises or their failure to warn the guest of the potential dangerous condition.

Dangers can be caused by a whole host of issues, but here are a few.

  • Improper construction of stairs and handrails

  • Improper lighting

  • Allowing spills and other hazards to remain on the floor

  • Failing to warn customers, guests and patrons of a hazard (wet floor sign)

If a property owner or renter knew of the danger and didnt correct the problem and didnt warn people about the issue, he should be responsible for any injuries that are a result of a fall. Furthermore, a business owner may be responsible for injuries related to a fall if they didnt know of the problem but would have discovered the issue if its employees performed reasonable and periodic inspections of the property. If you or someone that you love has been injured in a Central Florida slip and fall matter, give me a call and I will be more than happy to discuss the facts and circumstances around your claim.

Slip and Fall Cases in Central Florida

A Central Florida slip and fall claim can come under different laws. For instance, if you are a sales person calling on a business and you walk into the business and fall injuring yourself, you claim would initially fall under workers compensation. You may also have a general negligence claim against the business, but you will initially have to deal with the workers compensation structure.

Many times when someone falls, the cause is usually because the property is not safe and the property owner allowed an unreasonably dangerous condition to exist. Occasionally, we see claims where the employees or owner was negligent during maintenance and repair. As an example, if there is a spill in a supermarket and the employee fails to properly clean up the spill and he leaves a slippery residue on the floor, the business will be responsible for the injuries.In the next paragraph, you will find a number of links to question and answers pages related to Florida slip, trip and fall claims.

  • Common Situations Where Slip, Trip and Fall Claims Happen

  • Proving liability in a Slip and Fall Claim

  • What Should You Expect in a Slip and Fall Claim?

  • My Approach to Bringing Slip and Fall Claim

  • What Damages are available in a Slip and Fall Claim

  • Commonly Litigated Slip and Fall Claims

  • Why is it Best to Hire an Attorney in a Slip and Fall Claim?

  • Frequent Injuries Seen in Slip and Fall Claims

By far the most commonly litigated slip and fall claim in Florida is from a wet or slippery substance in Store, Supermarket or Warehouse Club. In 2010, Florida law changed, which makes it much harder for an injured person to receive compensation for their injuries. If you are talking to a lawyer or reading some legal jargon, the term for these types of claim is “transitory foreign substance.” The law puts the onus on the injured person to show that the store knew or should have known that the dangerous condition existed. This is difficult because the customer doesnt have access to the information the store has, which makes it very important for the injured person to hire a lawyer immediately so he or she can request that the store preserve and not destroy this precious evidence.

Other types of fall down claims involve improperly constructed or maintained stairs and handrails. Businesses allowing walkways, sidewalks and ramps to get in disrepair. Objects falling off of shelves in warehouse and big box stores, and improperly secured rugs, carpet and tile. Under the tort of premises liability, there also exists a potential claim for the criminal acts of third parties. Legally, lawyers and law books call this claim a negligent security claim.

How to Protect Your Rights with a Central Florida Slip and Fall Attorney

Find a premises liability lawyer who has handled a good number of slip and fall claims. I have assisted people injured in slip and fall accidents for over 15 years, and in this timeframe, I have seen most fact scenarios. I understand that your accident has left you with painful injuries, expensive hospital and medical bills, and has disrupted your quality of life. If these problems are the result of a property owners carelessness, I can help you receive payment for your medical expenses and compensation for your pain, suffering and loss of the quality of your life.

Finding a Central Florida Slip and Fall Lawyer

There are many competent lawyers in Central Florida. The key to finding a lawyer for you is finding a lawyer that has experience with your type of case, and more importantly, finding a lawyer that you resonate with. The legal system does not work quickly. The quickest case may take six months to a year to wrap up. If your injuries are severe; if treatment is prolonged; or if a lawsuit needs to be filed, your claim may take one to three years to get to trial. Do you want to work with a lawyer who you cannot stand or who doesnt return phone calls for three years – just because he or she is good? Again, there are a lot of good attorneys in the area so in my estimation the best attorney for you is one who has the same values that you have.

Premises Liability

If you have experienced an injury on somebodys property because of a dangerous condition that you believe should not have existed, contact a contact a Leesburg, premises liability lawyer to find out how I may be able to help you protect your legal rights and receive the money that you deserve. Florida law holds owners, occupiers and managers of property responsible for dangerous conditions that are allowed to exist on someones property. No matter how you slice it, any serious injury, whether a broken bone or a back injury, has associated financial, emotional and physical costs. If your injury was due to recklessness, carelessness or negligence of the property owner or business, you have the legal right to make a claim for your injuries. Some claims an injured person is able to handle by themselves, however, when it comes to premises liability claims, it is best to retain a lawyer because generally insurance companies and business always initially deny responsibility for these claims.

Holding a Property Owner Accountable

The term premises liability means that a property owner is responsible for maintaining their place in a reasonably safe condition. This can include properly constructing and maintaining physical structures, inspecting frequently traveled areas for hazards, and most of all warning customers and guests of any potential hazard. We have all seen business owners that do it right. Do you remember walking into a store and seeing that “Caution” or “Wet Floor” sign? Such a simple act, can prevent so much havoc and strife for the injured person and the property owners. Many times when we find the root cause of a slip and fall, the fix to prevent the accident was very simple. I cant tell you how many claims I have handled where a $2.00 bag of sand placed in pain, would have prevented the surface of a walkway or stairway from acting like a sheet of ice when it rained. This is a pretty frequent occurrence in Central Florida where it can rain every day in the rainy season. This coupled with the fact that Floridas weather encourages people to wear sandals, flip-flops, and slides can lead to disaster.

If something like this should happen to you or a family member, an experienced Central Florida premises liability attorney will be able to help you sort out the facts of the accident and establish if the property owner caused or contributed to the incident. Remember, just because you were injured on someones property does not make that person or business responsible for your injury. Responsibility only attaches when the property is dangerous!