Slip and Fall / Trip and Fall Injuries
Property owners have a duty to provide a reasonably safe environment for visitors. It should be noted that a property owner is not liable or responsible for every single personal injury that takes place on the premises. Like other personal injury cases, a personal injury victim must prove the four essential elements of a case: 1. Duty; 2. Breach of Duty; 3. Causation; and 4. Damages. Proving the elements of a slip and fall / trip and fall case is no easy task. Again, keep in mind that liability is not automatic just because an injury takes place.
If there is a dangerous condition on the property that the owner or management company knew about or should have been known, the property owner / management company had a duty to either remedy the condition OR at least post warnings about the condition to alert visitors to the property about the dangerous condition.
Let's discuss a set of facts that may arise. A person visits a local grocery store. While in the dairy aisle, the visitor slipped and fell in a wet area near the egg section. A customer had previously dropped an egg after checking the egg package. Thereafter, an employee mopped up the area but did not put down a wet floor sign. When the visitor walked in the area following the clean up, the floor was still slick. If these facts can be established, there is a relatively strong case to pursue against the grocery store for failing to post signs and actually creating the dangerous condition. The grocery store, by and through the employee who mopped up the area, knew about the dangerous condition, created the dangerous condition, and failed to act in a reasonable and timely condition to remedy the dangerous condition or at least warn visitors, patrons, and customers about the dangerous condition.
Let's discuss another set of facts. With respect to the above hypothetical, let's just say that a customer dropped an eye by mistake on the floor. Just a few seconds later, another customer slipped and fell on the cracked egg on the floor. Under this fact scenario, the grocery store most likely would not be held liable because the store did not have sufficient time or notice to clear up the area. Furthermore, it is common practice for a grocery store to allow customers to inspect an egg package to make sure that there are no broken eggs in the package.
There are myriad of fact patterns that can arise in a slip and fall / trip and fall case or claim. Each case must be evaluated on its the particular facts and circumstances. It should be noted that slip and fall / trip and fall cases are among the most common and are among the most difficult cases to pursue. Because of the challenges of these cases, it is important to consult with a Florida Personal Injury Attorney as to your rights in the aftermath of a traumatic incident resulting in personal injuries.
David A. Wolf has over 30 years of experience handling personal injury cases and claims. He has handled cases all over the State of Florida. Get D Wolf On Your Side - At Your Side.