Premises Liability: Summertime Slip and Falls

Hot summers in South Florida are usually packed with fun ways to cool off.  Pool gatherings, beach outings, and boating are great ways for South Floridians to enjoy the heat.  Hot summers also translate into informal wardrobes and laid-back attitudes.  It’s not uncommon to see adults and teenagers alike popping into stores to pick up food and beverage in little more than a bathing suit and flip flops.  They may not realize it, but the unsteady flip flops make it easy to take a spill on any smooth surface, and even more so on a floor with some spilled liquids or oils.

Slips, trips, and falls                               

A slip, trip, or fall can happen without warning and can cause injuries ranging from sprains and strains to broken bones and serious spinal cord injuries.  An accident caused by a hazardous condition on someone’s property may also be referred to as a “premises liability” in the legal world.  Premises liabilities can may include tripping on a poorly maintained sidewalk or slipping on a floor that has not been cleaned of hazardous debris.  What may seem like an inconsequential injury should be taken seriously because the full extent of the injury may only be seen days later.  In other words, after a slip or trip and fall injury, get evaluated by a medical professional.

Property owners must take reasonable care

Property owners are required to take reasonable care to ensure that their property is safe.  This is true not only for grocery stores, but also for office buildings, retail stores, as well as residential homes and land owners.  Although invitees may have different classifications under the law, generally speaking, it is the property owner’s responsibility to fix any hazards or warn any visitors or tenants of any unsafe conditions on the property if they are unable to fix the problem.  Hazardous conditions may include slip and falls due to a foreign substance or tripping on debris or uneven sidewalks/pavers due to a poorly maintained building or common area.

Since property owners have the obligation to keep visitors safe, if an injury is sustained on a premise due to owner negligence, the owner of the premises may be liable. If the injured person can prove that the owner was aware of, or should have been aware of a potential hazard on the property but did nothing to correct it, or failed to warn them of the hazardous condition, the injured person may be eligible to receive injury compensation including medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost wages related to the injury.

What to do after suffering an injury

If you or a loved one sustained an injury due to unsafe conditions at a commercial establishment or private location, you may have a claim for damages.  Here are the steps you should take to prepare yourself or your loved one in case you need to file a claim:

  1. Contact 9-1-1 or seek medical attention immediately if you are injured.
  2. Report the accident immediately to the “property owner” (store manager, homeowner, or landlord.)
  3. Gather evidence by snapping photos of the location, your injuries, and any contributing factors to the fall. Make detailed notes of any dangerous conditions that caused the incident and note date, time, and clothing/shoes worn.  Save clothing or shoes worn during the incident.
  4. Request contact information of witnesses or anyone with whom you discussed the incident (names, addresses, and telephone numbers.)
  5. Avoid discussing your injuries and feelings other than with your attorney, police, or emergency professionals.

Once you receive medical treatment, we recommend that you find an experienced personal injury attorney to represent you and recover any lost wages and injury compensation to which you are entitled.  Goldman & Daszkal, P.A., is a reputable Florida based law firm and has been representing those injured in personal injury claims for the past 27 years.

When you contact Goldman & Daszkal, P.A., the firm will provide a free consultation to help you understand your rights and obligations.  A firm representative can meet with you at the law office or at a convenient location for you.  Then, your attorney can then take over the handling of your claim and contacting any remaining parties, allowing you to have peace of mind while you recover.

Goldman & Daszkal, P.A.

Since 1990, Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. has provided reputable legal representation to people throughout Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade Counties.  For a free and confidential consultation, contact Goldman & Daszkal, P.A., at (954) 428-9333.