Dolman Law Group is an award winning Clearwater car accident and personal injury law firm. Matthew Dolman has been selected as a Florida Super Lawyers in 2013, 2014 and 2015 by his colleagues. Mr. Dolman has been nominated as a top 100 trial attorney and top 40 under 40 by National Trial Lawyers. He is a lifetime member of both the Million Dollar and Multi-Million Dollar Advocacy Forum.
Thursday, August 4, 2016
Slip And Falls In Florida: The Law In General
Imagine you are at your local supermarket shopping for
groceries. You are looking up and down the shelves for that perfect dinner item
when all of a sudden your feet slip out from underneath you. Next thing you
know you are on the ground. You feel pain, whether it’s in your knee, your
wrist, your foot, or anywhere really. As you lay there on the ground, panic
begins to set in. Did I break a bone? Will I have to go to the hospital? Is
this my fault? Believe it or not, thousands of people in Florida have been in
the same exact position. Their injury may not have occurred in a supermarket,
but the injuries are the same. It is important to understand that you are not
alone, and Florida has laws that protect those who have been the victim of a slip and fall accident.
common are slip and falls in Florida?
More common than you might think. Most slip and falls go
unreported, mainly because people do not know their rights and what remedies
they may have. That is why it is important to understand your rights, and to
know when you should go speak to an attorney. As far as those slip and falls
that are reported, the number is into the tens of thousands. Each case is
different and presents its own set of circumstances. The true value of a case,
or its chances of success vary greatly depending on the facts. There are many
dangerous conditions like torn carpeting, changes in flooring, poor lighting,
narrow stairs, or a wet floor that can cause someone to slip and be injured. Same goes if someone trips
on a broken or cracked public sidewalks, or falls down a flight of stairs. In addition, a slip and
fall case might arise when someone slips or falls outdoors because of rain,
ice, snow or a hidden hazard, such as a pothole in the ground. According to the National
Safety Council and the Bureau of Labor Statistics:
·In the United States alone, over one
million people suffer a significant injury due to a slip & fall
·An average of 17,000 American die each
year from slip and fall injuries.
·Falling accounts for over 8 million
hospital emergency room visits yearly
As you can see, the statistics speak for themselves. Slip
and falls can most certainly cause serious injuries.
there really laws to protect me?
Yes. In Florida, a statute exists to assist those who have
been injured as the result of a slip and fall. This statute, 768.0755,
explicitly states that a business can be liable if someone slips and falls
while visiting. It is important to understand however that the business is not
automatically liable just because you fell. The statute tells us that someone
who falls has to prove that that the business had actual or constructive
knowledge of the dangerous condition and should have taken action to remedy it.
Basically, this says that a person who falls has to prove that either the
business knew about the condition, or should have known about it due to the
length of time it existed. Let’s say there is a puddle of water on the floor.
The puddle of water is next to a freezer. The company knew that the unit was
broken and that it had been leaking, but they put no sign out to warn customers
of the potential danger. That would be an example of actual notice. They knew
about it, and did nothing to fix it. Constructive notice on the other hand is a
little different. Let’s say for example that an ice machine is sitting at the
front of the store. You realize after you have fallen that half of the ice has
already melted and turned to water. One could make the argument that the ice,
because it was partially melted, had been on the floor long enough to have been
noticed by an employee and cleaned up. That would be an example of constructive
notice. They may not have actually knew about it, but the condition existed
long enough that they should have.
should I do after I have fallen?
It is important to understand that after a fall, you may be
severely injured. Some of those injuries are going to be obvious. You will most
likely feel pain if you broke a bone or tore a tendon as a result of the fall.
But other injuries are less noticeable. If, for instance, you hit your head on
the ground during the fall, you may have a concussion, or worse, damage to the
brain itself. Always be cautious, and even if you think your injuries are not
severe, you should be examined by a licensed physician immediately. If you do
not have someone who can take you to the emergency room, take an ambulance. The
last thing you want to do is refuse medical treatment and find out down the
road that you have a serious injury that could have been addressed right after
I contact an attorney?
It’s always best to meet with an experienced attorney after
a slip and fall that way you understand your rights. Based on the circumstances
surrounding your fall, you may be entitled to compensation. Speaking with a
licensed attorney is the only way to know for sure. If you have been the victim
of a slip and fall, or know someone who has, please call the experienced
attorneys at the Dolman Law Group. They understand what you are going through,
and are here to give you professional advice about how to move forward. Don’t
suffer another day, call us at 727-451-6900.
Dolman Law Group 800 North Belcher Road Clearwater, FL 33765 727-451-6900