It comes down to a simple rule:
If a business invites you to their shop to sell you goods or services, it needs to make sure you have a safe and enjoyable experience.
Stores Have a Legal Responsibility to Protect You From Slip and Fall Injuries
Specifically, Florida law requires a business or property owner to:
Keep their premises in a reasonably safe condition,
Fix dangerous conditions on their property that the business knew about or should have known about, and
Warn customers of dangerous conditions.
If the business owner or property owner does not fulfill these requirements, then the owner acted negligently and you may have a personal injury case.
Remember, a slip and fall happens at a building the defendant controls. A wily corporation can remedy the problem or otherwise destroy evidence, making a personal injury case that much more difficult to prove.
A slip and fall attorney is a type of personal injury attorney who specifically knows how to take on big businesses like a restaurant or a grocery store.
Therefore, the name of the game in slip and fall injury cases is to move fast. In every case, we do the following:
Secure pictures or videos of the scene of the accident.
Seek witness statements, either from workers at the store or third-party witnesses at the scene.
Send spoliation letters to the store or business demanding that they not destroy any evidence.
Seek insurance policy premiums from the businesses.
Hire accident reconstructionists and safety experts as needed to protect your claim.
Ensure you get the best possible medical treatment.
Work with your treatment providers from the beginning to ensure a coordinated plan of legal attack that also gets your medical needs met.
Westshore Shopping Mall
Memorial Hospital of Tampa
Bars, restaurants, and clubs
Foreign substances on the floor
Boxes left on floor or open merchandise on the floor
Insufficiently lit walkways or stairways
Not enough lighting in other areas of the premises
Stairs that do not follow code
Poorly maintained sidewalks
Poorly maintained parking lots
Assault in a business
Insufficient or negligent security
A client of ours injured his shoulder at a Tampa Wal-Mart after he slipped and fell on a foreign substance on the floor in the produce section.
Despite the chaos, our client’s wife was smart enough to snap a picture of the foreign substance on the floor. It was clear that Wal-Mart employees should have known about the dangerous condition and fixed the problem.
Our client tried conservative treatment, but ultimately surgery was the only way to fix his injured shoulder.
Now, the local Wal-Mart employees were nice enough to my client at the scene. But Wal-Mart is a big business, so the injury claim was sent to the corporate headquarters in Arkansas. From there, a claim representative tried to settle the case with our client (even though he was represented by a personal injury attorney) for $400!
From there, Wal-Mart battled with us every step of the way. We filed a lawsuit, proved our client’s pain and suffering, and settled the case for $165,000.
What if the business owner claims that you contributed to your own injuries?
Florida is a comparative fault state. That means if you are partially responsible for your own injuries, then your economic claim is reduced proportionally according to your own fault.
However, you still have a case. The value of your case is simply reduced to account for your share of the blame.
For example, assume that your slip and fall injury case results in a $500,000 settlement claim award for you. But the evidence proves you were 20% at fault in the accident.
In this case, the award for the settlement is simply reduced by the amount that you were at fault. Or 20% of $500,000, which reduces the net settlement claim in your slip and fall case to $400,000.
The first step is to get a free case evaluation with a slip and fall lawyer in Tampa Bay, Florida. Simply give us a call at 813-530-1087, or fill out the contact form below. We will have one of our lawyers contact you to discuss your slip and fall accident case and claim value. Call us if you would like to schedule a meeting with one of our expert personal injury attorneys. We have offices throughout the Tampa Bay area including St. Petersburg, New Port Richey, and Bradenton.