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What to Know About Florida’s Slip and Fall Statute

September 12, 2021

What to Know About Florida’s Slip and Fall Statute

If you were injured in a slip and fall accident that took place on someone else’s property, your rights to recover compensation from that property owner are governed by Florida’s slip and fall laws. When you had a slip and fall on another’s premises in Florida, you need to know what your rights and options are under Florida law

Recovering in a Slip and Fall Case Requires Proving Negligence

Just because you slipped and fell on someone else’s property does not automatically entitle you to compensation from the property owner. Instead, you must prove that the property owner’s negligence was the cause of your slip and fall accident to be entitled to recover compensation from the property owner. 

Duty and Breach

Most slip and fall accidents in Florida take place on business properties, such as stores, restaurants, or hotels, with the victims of falls being the customers or clients of the business. Under Florida slip and fall law, a business’s customers are considered to be “invitees”, entitled to the highest duty of care from the business or property owner. These duties include undertaking reasonable efforts to keep their premises clear of dangerous or defective conditions that might injure invitees. 

A property owner breaches their duties to invitees when the owner fails to remedy a dangerous or defective condition or warn invitees of its presence when the owner knows of the existence of the condition or should have discovered its existence through reasonable diligence. 

For example, a supermarket’s staff may not be aware of a spill in an aisle, but a customer who slips and falls on that spill may still be able to pursue a claim against the supermarket by showing that the spill had been there long enough that the staff would have discovered it if they undertook reasonable efforts (such as conducting regular maintenance checks).

Causation

A slip and fall plaintiff must also prove that their accident would not have occurred but for the property owner’s breach of their duty of care and that the accident was a foreseeable result of the property owner’s conduct.

Damages

A slip and fall plaintiff must also show that they have incurred some form of damage or loss that they can be financially compensated for. Even emotional or mental injuries incurred due to a slip and fall accident can be the basis for financial compensation. 

The Statute of Limitations

If you have a slip and fall claim, the statute of limitations under Florida law gives you a limited time in which to file a lawsuit against the liable party or parties to pursue your claim. Specifically, you have four years from the date of a slip and fall accident to file a lawsuit in your case. 

Comparative Fault

Finally, if you bear some share of fault for the slip and fall accident and your injuries, you may also be required under Florida law to be responsible for some portion of the losses you incur due to your injuries. In Florida’s comparative fault system, your total compensation in a slip and fall claim will be reduced in proportion to the percentage of fault you have for the accident and your injuries. Florida specifically uses a “pure” comparative fault system, meaning there is no restriction on your right to file a claim based on your percentage of fault. Even if you were 90 percent responsible for the slip and fall accident, you can still pursue a claim to recover 10 percent of your losses.

Read more: Slip and Fall Settlement Example in Florida

Contact a Fort Lauderdale Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Slip and Fall Accident Case in Florida

Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries due to a slip and fall accident in Florida? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at Lawlor, White & Murphey represent clients injured because of slip and fall accidents in Coconut Creek, Plantation, Pompano Beach, and Pembroke Pines, and throughout Florida. Call (954) 525-2345 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 2211 Davie Boulevard, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33312, as well as offices in Pembroke Pines, Weston, Coconut Creek, Plantation, and Pompano Beach.

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly