Slip and fall accidents occur everyday in the South Florida area. These accidents can happen on the premises of any type of establishment including, restaurants, stores, stadiums, boats, businesses or any property that is owned or maintained by somebody else. The general idea behind slip and fall accidents is that the owner of the property where the individual slips and falls may be negligent if he or she allowed a dangerous condition to exist on the premises, which caused the person to slip and fall. Any type of dangerous condition that is negligently left on the property can result in the property owner or person maintaining the property to be legally responsible.
When an individual slips and falls on the premises of another, that property owner usually has two defenses against liability. The first is that the property owner was not negligent in maintaining the property. This usually revolves around a lack of notice defense, whereby the property owner will claim that he or she used due diligence in maintaining the property, and that a reasonable property owner exercising due diligence would not have had the opportunity to discover and take the necessary steps to remove or warn the individual who suffered a fall down event. The other and more common defense is that the person who slipped was him/herself at fault in that he (or she) should have noticed and avoided slipping or tripping on the object.
It is not uncommon in a slip and fall case that some percentage of comparative fault will be assessed against both the store owner and the person who slipped or tripped. This means that the final recovery for the individual who fell will be reduced by the percentage of fault attributed to him or her.
However, each slip and fall case is unique in its own right. It is important that if you are involved in a slip and fall accident, to document and photograph the scene where the incident occurred and to report the incident to the property owner and/or manager at the time.
If you or someone you know suffers a slip and fall incident, please feel free to contact Halpern Santos & Pinkert, P.A.. We have been handling such matters for over 30 years and have the knowhow and expertise to gather the necessary evidence and provide you with the necessary legal support to maximize your recovery in such a case.