Articles Posted in Slip and Fall

Several years ago, changes to Florida’s slip-and-fall law made it more difficult for plaintiffs to win such cases. But as a recent six-figure verdict revealed, they continue to be worth pursuing, particularly when injuries are serious and your lawyer is experienced. Palm Beach slip and fall lawyer

“Successful Florida slip-and-fall cases are those that involve injuries that were clearly preventable,” said West Palm Beach Injury Lawyer Ryan Fogg. “Often times, corporations will create safety rules to prevent accidents like these. But if the management and staff fails to follow through and abide by those rules, serious injuries can result, and the corporation can be held accountable.”

Florida’s slip-and-fall statute is F.S. 768.0755. It refers to “premises liability for transitory foreign substances in a business establishment.” This is just a fancy way of saying legal responsibility for a slippery substance on the floor of a business that’s open to the public. In order to prevail in these cases, one must prove the property owner/controller had either actual or constructive knowledge of the dangerous condition that caused the fall. Actual knowledge would be if the property owner created the condition or was clearly informed about its existence. Constructive knowledge can be established when the condition:

  • Existed for a substantial enough length of time that the business would/should have discovered it in the exercise of ordinary care.
  • Occurred with regularity, and thus was foreseeable.

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Most people assume that Florida slip-and-fall lawsuits are fairly straightforward. However, as our Palm Beach injury lawyers can explain, the truth of the matter is that South Florida slip-and-fall claims, which involve an area of law called premises liability, can quickly become quite complicated.

Some of the factors that are going to come into play as to how thorny a case can get:Palm Beach injury lawyer

  • How long did the hazard existed in the area where you fell (or how long you can prove it was there)?
  • Was the hazard something that occurred regularly at that location?
  • Who was responsible for maintaining safe walking surfaces at that location? (Were there multiple responsible parties?)
  • How open/obvious was the hazard that caused the fall?
  • What was your purpose on site? (Were you a business invitee? A social invitee? A trespasser? All of this will matter in a Florida premises liability claim.)
  • How badly were you hurt? Did you incur medical bills? Did the injury leave you unable to work for a time?

All of this is going to factor into the viability and value of your Florida slip-and-fall claim and how much it’s worth. This is why you’ll want to discuss your case with an injury lawyer.

That said, here are five questions that we’re frequently asked when approached about a Palm Beach slip-and-fall injury claim: Continue reading

Thanksgiving is all about gathering and good eats. Lots of folks are especially excited about this year’s festivities, as pandemic-related restrictions have increasingly eased. However, many holiday safety concerns persist year after year.Palm Beach injury lawyer

As longtime South Florida injury lawyers, the cases we handle almost all involve preventable injuries resulting from the failure of someone else to use reasonable care – not necessarily because they meant to cause harm, but simply because they weren’t careful. If at all possible, we want people to avoid associating joyful holidays like Thanksgiving with sadness or regret. That’s why we urge everyone to take a few minutes to ensure they’re being as safe as possible – behind the wheel, in front of the stove, through the stores, and at the table.

Driving Dangers on Thanksgiving

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.

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