Like every other legal scenario, a slip and fall injury is an intricate matter to deal with. The answer to who is liable for a slip and fall injury is a complex one and heavily dependent upon the circumstances around the accident. There are a variety of factors that can come into play during such a case and can influence the verdict. It is essential that all the facts around the accident are known and well documented for future reference.
Slip and fall accidents, sometimes referred to as ‘slip, trip, and fall accidents’ are very commonly brought to court. They fall under the category of ‘premises liability.’ Premises liabilities are injuries suffered by an individual while on a property owned by another party due to the owner’s negligence or failure to inform about and fix a potentially dangerous object. Examples of this can be if a customer slips and hurts themselves in a hotel because the floor was cleaned, but there were no signs, and the person was not informed about it in due time.
According to Managing Partner Rich Godshall from Ostroff Injury Law, “Being able to prove my client was an “invitee” increases the chance of success in a premises liability claim." Godshall explained, "In order to be considered an ‘invitee,’ you have some form of implicit or explicit permission to be on the property for some benefit of the owner.”
This is usually a monetary benefit, such as a customer in a grocery store or a tenant.
Usually, the property owner or business manager has a duty of care towards the people on their property. The law varies in certain states, and in many states, comparative negligence can be used as a defense. The meaning of this is that if you were somehow responsible for your injuries or added to them, the damages you receive will be lowered.
In Florida, the law says that the landlord must maintain the home. This maintenance does not just mean that visually everything is fixed and working in the house, but rather it should also comply with the requirements of the current building, housing, and health codes.
The Supreme Court also says that it is essential to ensure that the structure is in good shape and a safe dwelling for the tenant. If the landlord fails to do so and a visitor or a tenant is injured due to the owner’s carelessness, the victim has the right to claim damages.
The benefits in such lawsuits are usually financial, and the amount varies from case to case. However, there is a statute of limitations for such cases. A statute of limitations is a period within which you can file charges and pursue compensations. This limitation varies from state to state, with particular having a two-year limit and some having a three-year limit from the day of the accident. The statute of limitations can, however, sometimes be extended, for example, if the allegedly guilty party leaves the state immediately after the accident. But the extension also is not applicable in all states, so it is best to contact an attorney regarding your state laws.
There are various damages that you can be compensated for in premises liability cases. You have the right to ask for and receive financial compensation for anything that was a direct consequence of the defendant’s negligence. These damages may be economic or non-economic. Examples of these are medical expenses such as any hospital bills or physiotherapy. Any pain and suffering or mental distress that you may have faced as a direct consequence of the accident can also be compensated for if you lose work wages because the doctor tells you to rest after the accident or you have a loss of future earning capacity that is also something that falls under the category of damages.
Cases that have such circumstantial intricacies are difficult to be dealt with alone. It is best to hire a professional who can guide you in the process. What you can do is that you hold onto any medical bills or evidence that you have that can help your case. You should visit the doctor right after the accident and get examined for any trauma. Some injuries show up later so it is important that you seek medical help when needed and then document any findings by the doctor. Although financial compensation may not be able to replace your damages, it can to a certain extent help alleviate the stress you may be in.