Slip and Falls in Florida

Fri, Jul 26, 2013

Personal Injury

Some rights reserved by Debs (ò‿ó)♪SmithLaw handles personal injury cases. We have also written many blog posts on the subject. That is because personal injury cases are quite complex. While they have sometimes gotten a bad reputation, they are often filed for many important and serious reasons. The victims in such cases can sustain grievous injuries, as well as suffer tremendously because their life is forever altered.

A recent personal injury cases that garnered a large settlement includes one filed by a Port St. Lucie man. He was awarded 1.3 million in a slip and fall case brought against Wal-Mart. This case was interesting because it also ended up mentioning Gatorade, as the sign he allegedly slipped on was a Gatorade sign. This article on tcpalm.com details the specifics. This case brings up the point that sometimes more than one party can be involved in a slip and fall.

This link to justia.com lists some of the numerous personal injury suits recently filed in Florida’s Southern District Court. You will notice some big names interspersed with lesser known stores, places, or people. It shows the wide gamut that these types of cases run.

Many cases are settled or abandoned before even coming to trial. In addition, not every case filed will win large settlements. The cases are presided over by a judge and sometimes a jury, so each case can end up differently.

The types of damages that can be awarded are compensatory and punitive. Florida has many laws about these types of awards. Some can be found in Florida State Statutes Chapter 768. Awards include money to compensate for loss of property or income, pain and suffering, or emotional distress (among other things). Punitive damages can be awarded in certain instances only.

Florida has a comparative negligence provision that allows the plaintiff to also share some blame in the incident, if appropriate. The damages would be reduced based on this found comparative negligence. Something that might be under the realm of comparative negligence is if the plaintiff should have shown more care in some way. However, the defendant is also required to prove comparative negligence exists. We have written a blog post about this previously and it discusses this in a more thorough manner.

Personal injury cases require that the plaintiff prove that the defendant did not show a good amount of care in preventing the slip and fall accident. Thus, it is important that the plaintiff show that the store did not show that care. Good evidence like photos/ videos and witness statements are often important in proving a case.  Paying particular attention to signage is key in many cases. Remember that the defendant will also be working to prove that there is no case or that comparative negligence exists.

Thus, responsible property owners should work to maintain their business or personal property well. Training employees to recognize and act timely on potentially dangerous situations is important.

We have previously written a blog post about protecting yourself from a personal injury suit filed by a guest at your home. This is an area where many do not think about slip and falls happening. Make sure that you do your due diligence to protect visitors to your home.

Slip and fall is not the only type of personal injury case. Personal injury cases can also include car accidents and malpractice. Unfortunately, some personal injury cases can result in wrongful death cases. We have discussed wrongful death cases in Florida previously on our blog.

Attorney Christopher D. Smith is a Lakewood Ranch, Florida attorney with SmithLaw Attorneys. He concentrates in bankruptcy, civil litigation, probate, and elder exploitation cases in the Sarasota and Bradenton area. Call 941 907-4774 to learn more and to ask about our free consultations.

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