Sarasota Slip & Fall Attorney
A slip and fall accident is an accident in which a person sustains an injury after tripping and falling over a dangerous condition on someone else’s property. In most cases, slip and fall accidents tend to occur because of contact with standing water, ice, holes, uneven flooring, or spills. However, this broad term actually encompasses a wide range of accidents, so if you were injured on someone else’s property through no fault of your own, it is important to contact an experienced Sarasota slip & fall attorney who can help you seek compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
What is a Dangerous Condition?
When property owners invite other people onto their premises, they must fulfill certain legal obligations towards those visitors, which includes keeping the area reasonably safe by inspecting their premises, fixing any hazardous conditions, and warning visitors of hazards that they already know about. When property owners fail to fulfill these duties and someone who visits their property is then injured by a dangerous condition, the property owner can be held liable for resulting damages. In these cases, knowing what qualifies as a dangerous condition is critical to the success of a case. The most common dangerous conditions include:
- Wet floors or spills;
- Broken or nonexistent railings;
- Uneven stairs;
- Inadequate lighting;
- Icy, wet, or cracked sidewalks;
- Warped or uneven flooring; and
- Torn or bulging carpet.
Generally, property owners can only be held liable for injuries that occur on their property if the visitor fell as a result of a hazardous condition that the owner knew or should have known about. When a hazard is obvious, such as a broken railing or a hole in the floor, this can be a relatively simple burden to meet, as courts generally assume that property owners know a defect existed when it is permanent. A property owner’s knowledge of a more temporary hazard, like a frozen patch of ice on a sidewalk or a spill in a grocery store aisle, on the other hand, can be more difficult, although not impossible, to establish. In these cases, courts will assess the length of time that the condition existed when deciding whether an owner was responsible. If, for instance, a spill was only present for a few seconds before a fall, the store owner would most likely not be held liable, unless there is proof that an employee saw the spill happen or it occurred in an area where spills are common.
Whether an injured party was visiting a business or a private residence, his or her claim will only succeed if there is evidence supporting the assertion of negligence. This usually requires:
- Taking photographs of the scene of the accident;
- Obtaining testimony from eyewitnesses;
- Making copies of all medical records documenting the extent of the victim’s injuries;
- Obtaining the incident report completed by the business where the accident occurred; and
- Determining whether there are any other reports of similar accidents that occurred on prior occasions.
In some situations, it is also necessary to consult with an expert who can testify not only as to the cause of the fall, but also to the severity of the injuries.
Call Our Office Today for Assistance
To schedule a free case evaluation with a dedicated Sarasota slip and fall attorney, please call HD Law Partners at 800-876-3392 today.