Slip and Fall Lawsuits on the Rise in Florida
Some of the most commonplace items in restaurants, stores, and other businesses if not properly stored or taken care of can cause slip and fall accidents. Hand sanitizer, fried foods, liquid soap, water puddles, napkins, ice, and other things have all contributed to this type of accident in the last few years. A rising number of slip and fall accidents have been filed in Tampa and the surrounding area over the last few years, claiming negligence on the part of the business owners.
One Potential Cause for the Increase
Many people believe that the recent recession is a contributing factor in the number of slip and fall lawsuits. On one hand, businesses that have struggled in this economy are growing less vigilant cleaning up their stores or warning customers about hazards. On the other hand, business owners are claiming that some litigants are struggling financially and using slip and fall lawsuits for monetary gain.
Slip and Fall Statistics
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 8.9 million people suffered non-fatal injuries in the United States in 2012 from slip and fall accidents. Slip and falls were also the leading cause of non-fatal injuries that year. Those most at risk of being injured in this type of accident are younger children and older adults.
The CDC also reported that in 2012, the direct medical costs for adults ages 65 and older as a result of slip and fall accidents was around $30 billion and by 2020 that number is expected to reach $67.7 billion. One in three adults in this age group falls every year, and older adults are hospitalized for fall-related injuries five times more often than any other type of accident. The enormous cost and number of injuries caused by slip and fall accidents for elderly adults illustrates the importance of business owners keeping their premises safe.
Elements of a Slip and Fall Case
In order to prove liability on the part of the business owner in a slip and fall case, you must prove that the owner was negligent in keeping the premises safe. In order to do so, you must show that:
- The business owner owed the invitee a duty of care;
- The owner breached that duty by not keeping the premises clear of hazards;
- The breach resulted in the slip and fall accident; and
- The slip and fall injured the invitee.
In addition, if the substance that caused the slip and fall accident was caused by a “transitory foreign substance” such as food, the injured person must also show that the business owner knew or should have known that the hazard was there.
Call a Florida Personal Injury Lawyer
Slip and fall injuries can cause a lifetime of physical injury and come at a high financial cost for victims of these accidents. If you or someone that you know has been injured in a slip and fall accident in Tampa, Orlando, Jacksonville, Fort Myers, or West Palm Beach, let the experienced personal injury lawyers at The Pendas Law Firm help. Call or contact our office today for a free and confidential consultation of your case.