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Basic Slip and Fall Law in Florida

slip and fallIf you or a loved one has been injured in a slip and fall accident, you may have a premises liability claim. It is best to seek counsel immediately to find out about your rights and options. A typical slip and fall case is one in which an individual falls and injures himself due to an unsafe condition on the premises. A slip and fall claim can be filed against the property owner if the owner had a duty to remedy the unsafe condition.

Throughout the years, Florida slip and fall law has changed. The burden of proof on the victim is now greater than it was previously.

Previous slip and fall law

In Owens v. Publix Supermarket, a 2001 Florida Supreme Court case, the court held an unsafe condition created the presumption that the property owner failed to keep the premises in a reasonably safe condition. Prior to the ruling in Owens, the plaintiff had to show that the property owner knew about the unsafe condition and had failed to remedy it. Therefore, Owens eased the standard of proof for the victim.

After the Owens decision, the Florida legislature passed a statute in 2002 that was consistent with the Owens ruling. Under the statute “actual or constructive” notice of the dangerous condition was not a requirement for property owners.

Current slip and fall law

In 2010, the Florida legislature acted again, but this time in raising the standard of proof for the victim. The 2010 statute expressly repealed the earlier one and stated that the victim must prove that the business establishment or property owner had “actual or constructive knowledge of the dangerous condition and should have taken action to remedy it.”

Under the statute, a plaintiff can show constructive knowledge by using circumstantial evidence that indicates:

  1. The dangerous condition existed for such a length of time that, in the exercise of ordinary care, the business establishment should have known of the condition; or
  2. The condition occurred with regularity and was therefore foreseeable.

What is reasonably safe?

What constitutes as a “reasonably safe” condition will typically vary from case to case. The nature of the business and the circumstances surrounding the fall help determine whether the property owner kept the premises in a reasonably safe condition.  Proving that a premise was or was not in a reasonably safe condition can often be a lengthy process requiring experts and witnesses.

What can you get?

If you’ve been injured due to a slip and fall accident you may be entitled to compensation. Depending on the nature and extent of your injuries, you may be able to recover the following:

  • Medical fees
  • Lost wages (current and future)
  • Permanent disability
  • Other costs related to your slip and fall

Florida slip and fall laws can be complex and tricky to navigate which is why if you’ve been injured in a slip and fall accident, having a reputable, Florida personal injury attorney such as Robert Dixon can make all the difference.  Contact us online or call us today at 1-877-499-HURT (4878) to discuss your case so we can create a strategy to get you the compensation you deserve.