Articles Posted in Slip and Fall

Whether we’re talking about a slip-and-fall, dog bite, or amusement park injury, getting hurt on someone else’s property isn’t something for which people plan. It is, however, something certain property owners in Florida have a legal responsibility to anticipate and prepare for to some extent.South Florida injury lawyer

When they fail to do so and you’re hurt, you can pursue something called a premises liability claim.

It’s important if you’re injured to get prompt medical attention, document the scene and the injury and consult with an experienced West Palm Beach injury attorney before making any major decisions or moves.

What is Premises Liability? 

A premises liability lawsuit is a means to hold a property owner responsible for damages that arise from injury on the defendant’s property. In Florida, owners (and sometimes certain occupants) of a property are required to make a reasonable effort to maintain it to ensure it’s reasonably safe for lawful visitors. Failure to do so opens defendants to premises liability claims.

Some situations that may give rise to a Florida premises liability claim may include:

  • Slip-and-fall injuries.
  • Animal or dog bites.
  • Inadequate security.
  • Drowning or swimming pool injury.
  • Dangerous conditions for children (attractive nuisance).

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If you suffer a Florida slip-and-fall injury, compensation requires more than proving you were hurt on someone else’s property. In fact, these cases are quite a bit more complicated than many people assume. A key element in a Florida slip-and-fall case is something called “constructive notice.” This is outlined in F.S. 768.0755, and was recently explained in a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit (the federal court with jurisdiction over Florida). Florida slip-and-fall injury

The law requires those in slip-and-fall cases to prove the defendant property owner/manager had actual or constructive knowledge of the danger. Actual knowledge would be proof that they knew about that particular spill or hazard and hadn’t taken reasonable steps to rectify it. This is often tough or impossible to prove. Constructive knowledge, however, can be established by showing that either:

  • The condition existed for such a period of time that the business should have learned about it if they were using ordinary care.
  • The condition occurred so regularly and it was foreseeable.

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Eight acrobats who suffered life-altering injuries in a 2014 circus accident in which they fell 20 feet while hanging from their hair reached a $52 million settlement last month with the owner of the arena where it occurred. Notably, the Florida-based circus that employed them was not named as a defendant in that case.West Palm Beach injury lawyer

As our South Florida injury lawyers can explain, much of that has to do with the fact that state workers’ compensation laws stipulate that workers’ comp insurance is the exclusive remedy against an employer for work-related injuries. That doesn’t necessarily mean people who are seriously injured on-the-job don’t have alternative claims against third parties. This type of claim is more common in hazardous professions like construction, truck driving, warehousing, nursing, etc., where workers are often contracted to work at that location by another company. Continue reading

In every negligence lawsuit in Florida, there are four basic elements plaintiffs need to prove: Defendant owed plaintiff a duty of care, defendant breached that duty, the breach caused plaintiff’s injuries and plaintiff suffered monetary damages (medical bills, lost wages, etc.) as a result. Slip-and-fall lawsuits in Florida, however, are a bit trickier, thanks to a 2010 legislative update that enacted F.S. 768.055. This provision refers specifically to premises liability cases wherein there is a “transitory foreign substance” (something slippery that isn’t normally there) on the floor of a business establishment. slip-and-fall

This statute modifies the business’s duties when invitees are hurt by transitory foreign substances. It shifts the burden of proof in constructive knowledge negligence actions fully on the plaintiff. More specifically, the proof of the “breach” element here is statutorily constrained to those cases wherein plaintiffs can prove either actual or constructive knowledge on the part of the business owner.

What does this mean? Essentially, it is not enough that you were invited onto the site for the benefit of the business and encountered a dangerous condition that resulted in an injury. What you are also responsible to prove is that the store either had “actual knowledge” (the business/ its agents created the dangerous condition or was specifically informed about it) or “constructive knowledge.” Constructive knowledge is a bit trickier. It means the business knew or should have known about the condition because either it existed for a certain period of time during which the business – in the course of using ordinary care – should have discovered it OR it was a condition that occurred with regularity so the business should have foreseen it.  Continue reading

Injuries that occur in hospitals are mostly matters of medical malpractice, meaning they stem from substandard care provided by medical professionals. However, some hospital injuries are the result of general negligence (often due to unsafe conditions on the premises). Although hospitals are providers of care, they are also owners of property, with a duty of reasonable care under premises liability law to the general public who enter. medical malpractice

This distinction is clear in some cases. For example, a visitor slips-and-falls in a just-mopped hospital lobby that isn’t marked with a sign. Clearly, that incident isn’t a matter of medical malpractice; the visitor wasn’t even being treated. However, when it comes to patients – current, prospective or leaving – the waters can get muddied.

It’s an important distinction to make because the proof burden for these two types of cases is very different. For general negligence cases, one must simply prove defendant owed a duty of care, that duty was breached and the breach resulted in an accident that caused injuries. However, Florida medical malpractice cases, per F.S. 766.102, require claimants to prove by the greater weight of evidence that alleged actions of health care provider(s) breached the prevailing professional standard of care for that health provider. This considers whether the level of care, skill and treatment in light of all surrounding circumstances is deemed acceptable and appropriate by reasonably prudent similar health care providers. In order to do this, one must present a qualified expert medical witness testimony – and that’s long before one ever gets to the trial phase. There is also the matter of the statute of limitations (the time in which one has to file a case). In Florida, general negligence claims can be filed within four years. Medical malpractice claims have to be filed within two years.  Continue reading

A woman who says she was injured in a Hollywood, Florida slip and fall accident at a local gas station is suing RaceTrac for Broward County personal injury. Isaura Velez is seeking damages for injuries she sustained last year. Velez says she was entering the RaceTrac store at S. Pine Island Road when she slipped and fell because no one told her that the floor was wet.

RaceTrac is a petroleum conglomerate. This is at least the second South Florida injury lawsuit filed against RaceTrac in the last few months.

Susan and Richard Gold filed their Pompano Beach slip and fall lawsuit over his injuries that they contend he sustained when he slipped on gas that overflowed from their motor vehicle’s gas tank. The Golds believe that the pump was defective, which is why it kept pouring gas even though the tank was already full.

Richard and Susan Gold are suing a RaceTrac filling station for Pompano Beach personal injury. They claim that a faulty pump at the station maimed Richard in March 2009.

In their Broward County slip and fall complaint, the couple contends that because the gas pump was defective, it didn’t stop the gas from flowing after their vehicle’s tank was full. Instead, the gas began “spewing” into the air, onto the ground, and around his vehicle. Richard, who was the one pumping gas, says that he tried to regain control of the nozzle right away because he was afraid of the fire hazard the gasoline posed to him and those around him. The Golds say that this is when his Pompano Beach slip and fall accident happened.

Richard believes that if the pump hadn’t malfunctioned, he wouldn’t have slipped and fallen. He also says that the Pompano Beach fall accident caused him to sustain injuries to his neck, head, back, arms, and legs, and he likely has other injuries that have yet to be diagnosed.

Every year, hundreds of thousands of people are injured in slip and fall injuries-a type of accident that might sound harmless enough but can result in painfully and debilitating injuries that can take months to recover from. Surgery, rehabilitation, and time off work can take a physical, emotional, and financial toll. Fortunately, Florida law allows victims and their families to seek personal injury recovery from the liable parties.

Recently, a jury awarded Todd Flemke $500,000 for his West Palm Beach slip and fall injuries that he sustained at a CVS Pharmacy. Flemke contends that he slipped and fell over a plug in a CVS store.

In his Lake Worth, Florida personal injury complaint, Flemke claims that the pharmacy failed to put up warning signs to let them know that cleaning was taking place in the aisle where the slip and fall accident occurred even though underwritten policy calls for caution signs. Flemke had to undergo back surgery after he developed herniated discs from the West Palm Beach fall accident.

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