According to Florida’s Department of Health, falls are the leading cause of injuries among adults in the state over the age of 65. At that age, an injury sustained from a slip and fall incident will take much longer to heal and could result in more pain and suffering. Although slip and fall incidents can happen to anyone, it is especially important for this age group to understand their rights and what to do in the event they get injured.
If you slip and fall in a public place, such as a store, the owner could be held liable for your injuries. This is due to the fact that all business owners owe their visitors a certain type of safety guarantee. If an owner knew there were unsafe or unclean areas that could lead to a slip and fall or trip and fall injury, he/she will likely be held responsible for the damages that ensue.
The Most Common Types of Slip & Fall Injuries
Whether you were walking and tripped over an extension cord, slipped on wet tile, or your leg got caught on an obtrusive object, a fall can seriously injure you. The most common types of incidents are:
- Wet floors with no signs
- Elevator and escalator accidents
- Equipment malfunctions
- Improper or poor lighting
- Loose mats in entryways
What to Do After a Slip & Fall Injury
Slip and fall or trip and fall injuries can happen to anyone. While you might feel embarrassed after such an accident and wish to flee the scene immediately, it is advisable to remain there and take the following steps. After a slip and fall injury it is beneficial to:
- Seek out immediate medical attention if injured
- Ask for a manager, file a report, and ask for a copy of the report
- Document what happened and take pictures of any injures and the area where you fell
- Get the contact information of witnesses
Business Owners’ Legal Duty of Care
Public places such as hotels, malls, restaurants, grocery stores, and movie theaters all have a legal duty to make their locations safe from reasonably foreseeable harm. Business owners owe everyone who comes into their store or onto their premises a duty of care, meaning that their business must be safe. If an owner had any prior knowledge that there was something unsafe at their location, including a wet floor, cluttered area, loose mat, or greasy spot, they will most likely be held liable if someone slips and falls.
Actual & Constructive Knowledge
When it comes time to determine if an owner should be held liable for a slip and fall injury, it is important to consider two types of knowledge: actual and constructive. Actual knowledge is when an owner knows or was informed of a potential hazard. For example, a grocery store manager walked down an aisle and noticed a puddle of water on the floor. Constructive knowledge is information an owner should be required to know. An example would be a restaurant owner failing to clean the floor of the dining room for a month. While no one has informed the owner that the floor is probably greasy and dirty, he/she should have the understanding that it is, and therefore, is unsafe.
Contact an Experienced Slip & Fall Attorney from Our Firm
When it comes to slip and fall personal injury cases, it is one thing to state there was a violation of care, but it is an entirely different action to prove it. At Bauer Law Group, P.A., we have decades of experience and resources available to help us navigate your personal injury claim in a professional and thorough manner. If you have been injured because of a slip and fall or trip and fall incident, contact our office today.
Getting injured can have a significant impact on your life. Contact our office online or call us directly at (352) 310-8169 to get started on your personal injury case.