Have You Been Injured In A Slip and Fall Accident?
In Florida, you have the right to seek just compensation if you were injured on someone else’s property. While there are certain circumstances under which compensation may not be available (e.g., if you injured yourself while trespassing), if you have suffered a serious injury in a slip, trip, or fall accident, you owe it to yourself to speak with an attorney.
How can our slip and fall accident attorneys help? Under Florida law, property owners have a legal responsibility to make sure their premises are reasonably safe for their visitors and guests. In different contexts, this can mean different things. For example, while a homeowner’s obligations may be limited to warning visitors of any known safety risks (such as a cracked cement step or loose handrail), business owners have greater responsibilities. They must fix any issues that could be discovered with a reasonable inspection. An experienced attorney will be able to assess the circumstances in your case, and take appropriate steps to seek maximum compensation for your injury-related losses.
Rue & Ziffra | In Your Community. On Your Side.
At Rue & Ziffra Law Offices, we have been representing slip-and-fall and trip-and-fall accident victims in Volusia and Flagler Counties since 1976. We know the law, and we are dedicated to fighting for members of our local community. If you have been injured on someone else’s property, we encourage you to contact us for a free consultation. Our attorneys will explain your rights in plain English; and if you have a case, we will fight aggressively to win the compensation you deserve.
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Common Causes of Slip-and-Fall and Trip-and-Fall Accidents
We represent individuals who have suffered traumatic injuries in all types of slip-and-fall and trip-and-fall accidents. While there is an endless list of factors that could lead to a sudden and unexpected fall, below is a summary of some of the most-common issues we encounter.
Building Code and Safety Violations
From homes and businesses that were not built to code – to job sites without adequate safety precautions in place – there are a variety of building code and safety violations that can lead to dangerous slip, trip, and fall accidents. If you were injured due to a building code or safety violation, we can use this to help prove your claim for compensation.
Clutter, Trash, and Debris
On sidewalks, and in walkways of hospitals, nursing homes, and businesses, clutter and debris can create risks for sudden and unexpected falls. Whether you tripped over an obstacle or were unable to access a handrail, you may be entitled to a financial recovery.
Dangerous Sidewalks and Parking Lots
Potholes, cracks, tree roots, unmarked curbs, inadequate signage, and numerous other issues can lead to falls on sidewalks or in parking lots. If you fell while walking to or from (or simply in front of) a store, office, residence, or other business, you may be entitled to recover your injury-related losses.
Dangerous Stairs and Handrails
Improper design (e.g., treads that are too short or risers that are too tall), crumbling concrete, cracked wood, inadequate skid protection, and various other factors can make stairs unreasonably dangerous. Loose handrails also play a role in many dangerous slip, trip, and fall accidents.
Elevators and Escalators
Elevator and escalator malfunctions can cause severe traumatic injuries. Maintenance issues (such as worn flooring material in an elevator) can cause slip-and-fall and trip-and-fall accidents as well.
Flooring Defects and Maintenance Issues
Loose floorboards, uneven flooring services, torn carpeting, and other flooring defects and maintenance issues can cause accidents when you least expect them. As a general rule, property owners have a duty to maintain their premises in reasonably safe condition, and these types of issues will frequently support claims for financial compensation.
From puddles on sidewalks and parking lots to slippery floors at building exits and entrances, rainwater can present a slip hazard under a wide variety of circumstances.
Recent cleanings can make tiles and other smooth flooring surfaces extremely slippery, and recently-cleaned floors are to blame for several slip-and-fall accidents every year.
From grocery stores to hospitals, spills can lead to severe injuries for unsuspecting customers and visitors. Businesses must clean up spills (or place adequate warning signs) promptly to prevent unnecessary falls. When they fail to do so, they can be held liable for the victims’ financial and non-financial losses.
Unsafe Ladders and Scaffolding
Unsafe ladders and scaffolding are among the greatest fall risks for many types of workers. Homeowners can suffer severe injuries on unsafe ladders as well. If a ladder’s treads are loose, slippery, or otherwise defective, they can cause dangerous accidents resulting in severe traumatic injuries.
Q: What are some examples of fall-related injuries that can support claims for financial compensation?
If you have been injured in a fall that was someone else’s fault, you can seek financial compensation regardless of the nature of your injury (or injuries). We routinely represent clients who have suffered all types of traumatic injuries in slip-and-fall and trip-and-fall accidents, including:
- Back injuries
- Neck injuries
- Broken or fractured bones
- Arm and leg injuries
- Paralysis (quadriplegia and paraplegia)
- Head trauma and brain damage
- Wrongful death
Q: What makes a property owner liable for a fall-related accident?
Under Florida law, a property owner’s legal duties are dependent upon the reasons why other people may visit their property. The general rules are as follows:
- Duties to Invitees – If you have been “invited” to someone else’s property, the property owner has an obligation to protect against foreseeable dangers. This means that the property owner must conduct a reasonable inspection, and must remedy (or warn of) any dangers that either: (i) were discovered during the inspection, or (ii) should have been discovered during the inspection. When you are patronizing a business or attending a party, you are considered an invitee.
- Duties to Licensees – If you are lawfully on someone else’s property for your own purposes, you are considered a “licensee.” In Florida, property owners have a duty to warn licensees of any known dangers on their property.
- Duties to Trespassers – Property owners owe the least duties to trespassers. If you were trespassing when you were injured, you can only seek compensation if you were injured due to the property owner’s “willful and wanton” conduct.
There are exceptions to these general rules. For example, if your child was injured while trespassing, you may still be able to seek compensation under the “attractive nuisance” doctrine. As a result, you should not make any assumptions about your rights until you speak with an experienced attorney.
Q: Isn’t it my own fault if I slipped (or tripped) and fell?
No, not necessarily. Florida law recognizes that there are situations in which people can fall due to factors beyond their control, and we have recovered millions of dollars in compensation for individuals who have suffered fall-related injuries.
But, let’s say that your fall was partially your fault (again, you should avoid making these types of assumptions). Then what? Under Florida’s “pure comparative negligence” law, you are still entitled to seek partial compensation for your injury-related losses.
Q: How can I prove that a business owner “should have known” about the dangerous condition that caused my fall?
If you were injured in a fall and the property owner claims that it had no idea that the dangerous condition existed, our attorneys will potentially have a number of ways to prove your claim for compensation. One option that is available in many cases is to use surveillance video. If we can show that the business owner had evidence of the hazard on tape, this will provide strong support for your claim for compensation.
Q: What is Florida’s statute of limitations for slip and fall claims?
For non-fatal slip, trip, and fall accidents, the general rule is that you have four years to file a claim for financial compensation. However, it is important to conduct an investigation as soon as possible; and to give yourself the best chance to secure maximum compensation, you should speak with an attorney right away.
Speak with a Premises Liability Attorney at Rue & Ziffra Law Offices
If you have been injured in a fall in Volusia or Flagler County, you can contact us 24/7 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. To find out if you are entitled to financial compensation for your slip-and-fall or trip-and-fall accident, please call (386) 788-7700 or tell us what happened online now.