Slip/Trip and Fall Accidents

In Florida, business owners owe two significant duties of care to their invitees:

1. to maintain their premises in a reasonably safe condition, and 2 to warn invitees of latent (not readily apparent) dangers

The business owner is liable for the resulting injury if it breaches either duty.

What is a Premises Liability Claim in Florida?

In a premises liability case, commonly referred to as a slip and fall accident or trip and fall accident, it is important to begin an investigation immediately after the injury.

You need to preserve key evidence that can prove the owner violated the duty of care owed to you as a visitor on the property. A premises liability, or slip and fall case, can be difficult to prove if the evidence is not correctly collected early in the case. For that reason, the Palm Beach slip and fall attorneys of Trelles & Bichler act quickly and diligently to ensure that the best evidence of how the accident happened is preserved immediately for the client’s benefit.

Who is Responsible for Damages Caused by a Slip & Fall or Trip & Fall Accident?

In many cases, the property owner is ultimately responsible for any dangerous or hazardous conditions on the property that may result in a visitor’s injury. However, there could be other parties who might be liable for damages, depending on the circumstances in the case. For example, in some cases, the dangerous condition was caused by a third party performing services at the business location, such as a cleaning company.

At Trelles & Bichler, our legal team investigates all potential parties that could have caused the dangerous condition that resulted in your injury or could have any legal liability for the conditions that resulted in your injury.

For example, you may have fallen in the parking lot of a retail shopping center. Your claim for damages could be against the owner of the shopping center. However, if the parking lot is owned or maintained by a different party, your claim could be against the owner of the parking lot and/or the company who maintains the parking lot.

Likewise, you could slip and fall in a restaurant because there is water on the floor. The restaurant owner and the property owner may be two different companies. Sorting out who is responsible could be difficult if the water originated from a leaky pipe or roof. Is the restaurant responsible for allowing the water to remain on the floor? Is the property owner responsible because the restaurant owner had reported the situation repeatedly and requested repairs? The answer could be both parties are responsible.

As you can see, determining liability in a slip and fall accident can be challenging. The Florida Statute of Limitations restricts the time to file a premises liability claim. Hiring an experienced Palm Beach County slip and fall attorney is the best thing you can do to protect your legal rights after being injured in a fall.

Steps to Take After a Slip and Fall Accident

Each case is different. However, some of the basic steps you can take after a slip, trip, or fall accident include:

  • Report the accident immediately to the property owner or a manager.
  • Take photographs and make videos of the area where you fell.
  • Ask for a copy of the accident report taken by the owner. If no written report is generated, ask for the name, title, and contact information of the person who took the report.
  • Ask eyewitnesses for their names and contact information.
  • Preserve the clothing and shoes you were wearing at the time of the fall as evidence by placing them in a sealed bag.
  • Go to the doctor immediately to document your physical injuries.
  • Keep detailed notes of all conversations and document your expenses and losses.
  • Contact a Palm Beach County slip and fall attorney as soon as possible to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.
  • Do not discuss your claim with an insurance company, claims adjuster, or other representatives of the property owner until you meet with an attorney to discuss your legal rights.

What are the Elements of a Slip and Fall Case in Florida?

The elements of a premises liability case in Florida are similar to the elements of other injury claims involving negligence. In most cases, you must prove the following legal elements to prove fault and liability in a slip and fall accident case:

  • The property owner or other responsible party owed a duty of care. In most cases, the duty of care is to
    1. provide a safe premises for visitors, and
    2. adequately warn visitors of hazards and dangers.
  • Breach of duty involves proving that the property owner or other responsible party was negligent or committed wrongdoing that breached its duty of care to you. For example, the owner knew about or should have reasonably known about a broken step but failed to repair it.
  • Causation is the third element in a slip and fall case. You must prove that the breach of duty directly caused your accident and injury.
  • You must prove that you suffered damages as a result of the accident and injury – damages include physical injuries, financial losses, pain, and suffering.

The Palm Beach County slip and fall attorneys of Trelles & Bichler have a great deal of experience handling premises liability claims. We are familiar with the legal elements required to prove a claim and the evidence needed to support the claim.

Have You Been Injured in a Slip and Fall or Premises Liability Accident?

Contact Trelles & Bichler by calling 561-299-4878 (HURT) to schedule a free consultation with one of our Palm Beach premises liability lawyers.

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