Melbourne Slip & Fall Lawyer
A quick trip to the store can quickly turn into a nightmare if you are injured in a slip and fall accident. Such falls often cause serious, even life-threatening, injuries such as concussions, broken bones, and hip displacement. And while some fall accidents are unavoidable, oftentimes they are the result of negligence on the part of a property owner who failed to keep their premises in reasonably safe condition for members of the public.
If you have been hurt in an accident that occurred on someone else’s property, an experienced Melbourne slip and fall lawyer can review your case and advise you of your legal options for seeking compensation. While property owners are not automatically responsible for every accident that occurs on their premises, they can be required to pay for your losses if their negligence was the cause of your slip and fall. At the Pendas Law Firm, our team can investigate the circumstances surrounding your accident and work to ensure that a negligent property owner is held accountable.
Did the Property Owner Know There Was a Slip and Fall Hazard?
The basic rule in Florida is that a business establishment has a duty to make their premises reasonably safe for “business invitees,” i.e., any member of the public who is invited to enter and remain on the property for business reasons. This includes people shopping at a store during normal business hours. During this time, the owner has a duty to ensure that all areas of their store open to the public are kept reasonably free of hazards that could lead to a slip and fall accident, such as a puddle of water on the floor.
At the same time, a slip and fall victim must prove the owner had “actual or constructive knowledge” of a hazard in order to prevail in a personal injury lawsuit. Constructive knowledge means that the owner should have known about a hazard even if they lacked actual knowledge of the problem. For instance, if a roof has been leaking for over an hour, causing water to puddle on the floor, that would likely be sufficient to demonstrate constructive knowledge.
Of course, the property owner can turn around and argue that a hazard was so “open and obvious” that the slip and fall accident victim should have seen the problem themselves and taken steps to avoid it. This is actually a valid defense in slip and fall cases. Florida follows a “comparative negligence” rule in all personal injury claims. This means that a judge or jury can consider the relative fault of a plaintiff and reduce their compensation accordingly.
Contact The Pendas Law Firm Today
Most slip and fall cases do not end up in court. Property owners and their insurance companies are far more likely to settle. And your position when entering into such settlement talks are greatly improved if you work with a skilled Melbourne slip and fall lawyer. Contact the Pendas Law Firm today if you have been injured in an accident on another person’s property and you would like to schedule a consultation with a member of our team.