What are the four elements that must be proven in a slip and fall / trip and fall accident case?
- Duty. You must show that the property or business owner owed you a ‘duty of care’ to make sure the property was reasonably safe and appropriate;
- Notice. The property or business owner ‘knew or should have known’ of the condition that could harm the public;
- Dangerous condition. The condition that caused the plaintiff’s injury was in fact “dangerous;”
- Damages. The plaintiff suffered injury as a result of the dangerous condition.
How long do I have to file a slip and fall case in the State of Florida?
If you are injured in a slip-and-fall accident, you must file a legal claim within four years of the date that the fall occurred. However, I can tell you that as an attorney who frequently handles these type cases, it is important to seek immediate medical care and file a claim as quickly as possible. Important evidence can disappear over time. Conditions that lead to your fall can be cleaned up and repaired, security video that documented the fall can be erased. The longer you wait to file a claim, the worse your odds are of winning your slip and fall accident claim.
Who is responsible for a slip and fall accident?
Responsibility rests heavily on where the fall occurred. If the slip-and-fall happens on another person’s private property, the property owner is normally the one responsible for injuries sustained- if the accident was caused due to that owner’s failure to reasonably maintain the property and keep it free from hazards.
If the fall happens at a business establishment (i.e. – grocery store, shopping mall, restaurant, hair salon, office building, apartment complex, etc.) the business owner can be held liable if the property was not kept free from known hazards that could harm the public.
Florida also follows the law of comparative negligence, which takes into account the role the injured person had in the accident. If it is found that you could have avoided the injury or negligence played a part in the accident, the total damages awarded may be reduced by the percentage of blame for your part in the accident.
What Types of Injuries Occur in Slip-and-Fall Cases?
The types of injuries sustained in a slip-and-fall can depend on the person’s physical condition and how serious the fall was. However, injuries normally involve one or a combination of the following:
- fractured or broken bones;
- bruises and lacerations;
- head trauma;
- neck, back or spinal cord injuries;
Pedestrian Accident FAQ’s
What are common injuries resulting from a pedestrian accident?
The types of injuries a pedestrian can sustain after being struck by another vehicle can be long-term, permanent, or even fatal. Some of the more common injuries include:
- severe lacerations or “road rash;”
- fractured or broken bones;
- head injuries (concussions, Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI);
- internal bleeding;
These injuries can be temporary or can last for quite some time, depending on their severity. The seriousness of these injuries can result in tremendous medical expenses and ongoing physical therapy and treatment. The injuries resulting from a serious pedestrian accident can keep that person out of work (sometimes indefinitely), and unable to return to their normal lives.
What type of damages can be pursued for pedestrian accidents?
Damages are meant to compensate the victim for his or her injuries associated with the accident. The biggest of these damages are the physical injuries that come along with being struck by another vehicle. Damages can include reimbursement for medical bills, and payment for future expenses. Depending on how severe the injuries are, the person may need to go through extensive therapy for recovery. If the physical or emotional injuries cause the person to be out of work for an extended period, damages can also include loss of income and future loss of income. Possible pain and suffering damages can be awarded to clients, due to the seriousness of their injuries.
How long does an injured pedestrian have to file a legal claim in the State of Florida?
The Florida statute of limitations gives an injured person four years from the date the accident occurred to file a lawsuit for injuries and damages. Only in very rare circumstances when you may not have “discovered” that you were harmed could the statute of limitations be extended, but it is a very rare exception.
How common are pedestrian accidents in Florida?
According to a report issued by Smart Growth America: Dangerous by Design, Florida ranks as the deadliest state for pedestrians. The city of Orlando has consistently ranked as the deadliest city for pedestrians.
What makes Orlando the most dangerous city for pedestrians?
Factors that can lead to an increased likelihood of pedestrian injuries include increased population, a higher number of people who walk to work, as well as the walkability or accessibility of the metropolitan area. In the Orlando area, certain locations are more deadly than others for pedestrians, including State Road 436 at the east side of Orlando, the Orange Blossom Trail south of Interstate 4, Colonial Drive, Hiawassee Road, and Pine Hills Road in Pine Hills. Other dangerous areas in Orlando including U.S. highways 192 and 441 in the Kissimmee area, State Road 46 in Sanford and State Road 50 near Bithlo. All of these roads are fairly wide, have higher speed limits, are multi-lane, and lack adequate safe crossing places for pedestrians.