Stuart Slip and Fall Attorney
Premises liability lawyers representing the Treasure Coast
Floor safety is a legitimate issue in the United States; those big yellow "Caution: Slippery When Wet" signs actually serve extremely important public safety functions. According to recent statistics from the National Floor Safety Institute, more than one million people annually visit the hospital seeking treatment for injuries sustained after slipping or falling on wet floors, uneven ground, and more. If you've been injured on someone else's property due to negligence, call the Stuart slip and fall attorney at Leanne L. Ohle, P.A. to discuss your best options moving forward.
Slip and fall injuries should not be taken lightly. Injuries may range from minor lacerations and bruises to broken bones and concussions. Some accidents may even result in the death of the victim. Young children and the elderly are especially prone to the dangers of slipping or falling when public safety conditions are either subpar or downright abysmal.
If you've been injured after slipping on an unmarked wet floor or if you've fallen for any other reason related to the negligence the responsible parties, you may be entitled to significant compensation. The attorneys at Leanne L. Ohle, P.A. are ready and willing to assist you with your slip and fall personal injury lawsuit today. Our skilled slip and fall lawyers have years of experience defending the rights of injured slip and fall victims in Stuart and elsewhere in Martin County and the Treasure Coast of Florida.
Florida's public properties are required to adhere to strict safety codes
In Stuart, public institutions and businesses are required to adhere to strict building codes safety standards. Buildings in Florida must adhere to these strict public safety codes so that visitors will be kept reasonably safe from harm.
The type of building or property and its intended purposes will usually determine which restrictions and codes will apply. Areas where pedestrian foot traffic is encouraged must be safe and easily accessible to the general public. Such places include:
- grocery stores
When proper safety procedures aren't followed, accidents often follow. Slip and fall personal injury attorneys tend to be familiar with these codes and will immediately notice when standard safety procedures have been blatantly ignored.
Most common causes of premises liability injuries
While anyone can trip, fall, or slip, some slip and fall injuries may warrant legal action on the part of the victim. Slip and fall personal injury lawsuits usually tend to revolve around unsafe conditions that visiting pedestrians are not reasonably made aware of.
Slip and fall injuries are common in Florida. Here are a few leading causes of slip and fall injuries in Martin County, Florida.
- slippery or wet floors: Unmarked slippery and wet floors are the most common slip and fall culprits. For example, if a store in the mall mops or waxes a large section of their floor and then fails to set out a "Caution: Slippery When Wet" sign, numerous pedestrian injuries may follow as a direct result.
- unsecured rugs, flooring, or carpets: Any rugs or carpeting should be installed correctly and secured properly. All flooring must also be installed to code. The codes that apply will be determined by the type of building the flooring has been installed in. For example, according to Florida's public safety codes, a department store may not lay out a large plush rug in a high traffic area. Loose carpeting is not only a tripping hazard but is also a fire hazard and a public safety violation.
- uneven tile or flooring surfaces: Uneven floor surfaces must be clearly marked in Florida. For example, if a bookstore has a steep ramp with a large bump in the middle of it, a clear and visible caution sign must be on display nearby. Warped or water damaged flooring must also be repaired within designated time limits or sectioned off from the public until repairs can be made.
- raised or cracked sidewalks and changes in elevation: A small step down or a large crack in a walking path would require a caution sign of some kind. An example of this would be if a zoo had a concrete walking path with a 4-inch drop in elevation. If this drop isn't clearly visible to pedestrians, a caution sign may be needed.
Other slip and fall injuries may be a direct result of:
- broken, lose, or uneven railings
- narrow or uneven stairs
- edges in parking lots or on sidewalks
- poor lighting conditions
- cords or appliances in the way
- unsafe store product displays
- uneven floor surfaces or floor surface material changes
Common slip and fall injuries
Slip and fall injuries can be life-changing. Victims may be unable to work leading to either temporary or prolonged financial and emotional instability. Some injuries may be permanent while others might result in extremely high medical bills. Other severe slip and fall injuries can even lead to death.
- broken bones
- neck injuries
- back injuries
- concussions or head injuries
- traumatic brain injuries
- spinal damage or spinal cord injuries
Slip and fall lawsuits
Identifying the party responsible for your slip and fall injuries may seem difficult. Is it the store manager who is to blame or is the building owner legally responsible? When slips and falls occur, usually the owner or renter in charge of the building or responsible for maintaining the property will be held liable. Your attorney will be able to assist you in identifying the party who will be held legally responsible for your injuries if you choose to file a slip and fall personal injury lawsuit.
Legal ramifications of negligence
Once the responsible party has been identified, injured individuals may be able to file a slip and fall personal injury lawsuit. Lawsuits must be filed within a certain time frame. This is known as the statute of limitations and it will usually be between one to four years after the accident initially occurred. An experienced personal injury attorney like the ones at Leanne L. Ohle, P.A. will be able to tell you what you may be entitled to and when you should file your case. Slip and fall victims or their family members may be able to claim damages such as compensation for medical bills, lost income, unemployment, disability, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and wrongful death damages.
If you've been injured in a slip and fall accident, you are not alone. At Leanne L. Ohle, P.A., we have been successfully helping victims file slip and fall personal injury lawsuits for years. We can help you get the best possible outcome for your case. Remember, time is of the essence. If you have been injured after slipping and falling, contact our premises liability attorneys in Stuart today. We can help you find out if you are entitled to compensation and/or damages and help you determine how to legally proceed.
PREMISES LIABILITY FAQs
Can my landlord be liable for my slip and fall accident?
Typically, a tenant fits into Florida premises liability law under the legal category of business invitee. Being on a property in Fort Pierce for a legitimate purpose activates the property owner's responsibility to exercise reasonable care in maintaining the property and warning others about safety issues. Landlords in Stuart sometimes try to skirt potential liability with clauses in their lease contracts with tenants, but Florida law specifically prohibits such clauses. Therefore, a landlord who fails to comply with housing and health codes or does not keep common areas in a reasonably safe condition could have to pay damages to a slip and fall victim.
What evidence is needed in a slip and fall case?
The victim of a slip and fall accident in Stuart will be the plaintiff in a legal case against the party responsible for maintaining the property where the fall occurred. The burden of proof requires a plaintiff to show that the property owner or manager was at fault for the conditions that caused your fall and that the conditions directly caused your injuries. Finally, the injury must have resulted in damages. Although evidence varies from case to case, a plaintiff generally needs pictures of the accident scene, surveillance video, pictures of injuries, witness testimony if available, property maintenance records and medical records.
What is the statute of limitations for a slip and fall lawsuit?
Florida law grants an injury victim up to four years to file a lawsuit for damages after a slip and fall. However, people should act with urgency after an accident. The party that failed to remedy safety hazards might take action to destroy or alter records pertinent to your claim. For example, a property management company has no obligation to store security camera footage that might have captured your accident. Additionally, the property owner might execute repairs and claim that a hazard does not exist. Immediate medical attention and picture taking at the accident scene are necessary to build a case for compensation. A Stuart slip and fall attorney can send the defendant a Preservation of Evidence letter to halt evidence destruction, but this action needs to happen as soon as possible.