What is a slip and fall?

What should you do if a slip and fall accident occurs to you

“Slip and Fall” is a common legal term used to describe an injury incurred when a person trips, slips or falls down due to the dangerous and risky state of another person’s property. Slip and fall accidents can take place almost anywhere whether it is public or private property, indoors and outdoors. Slip and fall injuries occur due to safety hazards like:

  • Extreme weather conditions such as rain, snow or ice;
  • Irregular sidewalks;
  • Potholes;
  • Improperly lit or unmarked stairs and pathways;
  • Slippery tiles and flooring;
  • Irregular floors;
  • Torn or frayed carpeting;
  • Objects obstructing the walkway.

In the year 2010, the state of Florida introduced the following law making it even more difficult for the injured individuals to claim a payout.

The 768.0755 premises liability on temporary foreign substances in a business institution states:

(1)    If someone slips and falls on a foreign substance that is transitory within the premises of a business, then the injured individual must provide proof that the business institution had former constructive knowledge of the possible dangers of said substance and could have done something to rectify it. Constructive knowledge can be proven with circumstantial evidence that shows:

a.       The hazardous condition existed on the premise for enough time that the business should have come across it during the conventional care exercise; or

b.       The condition occurs regularly and could have been foreseen.

(2)    This section does not pertain to any type of common-law care duty subject to persons or entities in control or possession of the premises.

For the injured person, this law means that he has to legally prove that the business institution could have done something to prevent their slip and fall. We know that doesn’t sound fair especially when many corporations in the past have destroyed or tampered with video evidence, failed to fill out incident reports and removed the hazardous substance after someone slipped and fell due to it.

There are a few things that can be done in the event you, your friend or family slips and falls on another person’s property or business premises:

  • Visit your doctor to get medically examined;
  • Take photographs of the scene of the incident for hard evidence of the substance, your fall and any present witnesses;
  • Locate all video cameras present at the site and request the owner or manager to save a copy of the footage;
  • Fill out the incident report immediately and try to bring a copy with you (though many businesses do not allow that);
  • Do not talk to business’ insurance company;
  • Contact a lawyer as soon as possible;
  • Note down the name and contact numbers of all witnesses present at that time, whether they are employees or occupants.

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