Gainesville Slip and Fall Lawyers
Slip, Trip, and Fall Accidents in Florida
If you slipped and fell on someone else’s property, leading to a serious injury, medical bills, and other physical, emotional, and financial hardships, you could be entitled to financial compensation. If the property owner was negligent or otherwise contributed to the incident that caused your slip and fall injury, you may have grounds for a premises liability case.
At Schackow & Mercadante, our Gainesville slip and fall lawyers have a long history of success in helping victims of serious property accidents fight for the fair compensation they were owed. We understand the ins and outs of Florida premises liability law, and we have the resources to efficiently pursue your case. We are here to protect your best interests and guide you through the legal process so that you can get back on your feet and move forward with your life.
For a completely free consultation, call (352) 261-6767 or contact us online using our secure case evaluation form.
How Long Do You Have to File a Slip and Fall Lawsuit in Florida?
Most slip and fall cases fall under Florida’s general personal injury statute of limitations, meaning you typically have four years from the date of injury to file a lawsuit. If you wait too long, and the statute of limitations expires (i.e., more than four years go by), you will almost surely lose your right to seek compensation for your damages.
There are very few exceptions to the four-year statute of limitations. However, if you believe you have a claim against a government entity, such as a city or state, you have just three years (in most cases) to file your personal injury lawsuit. There are typically multiple other deadlines that apply in cases involving government entities. It is important that you contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible to avoid making any mistakes or missing important deadlines that could jeopardize your claim.
Proving Negligence in a Florida Slip and Fall Case
Just like most other personal injury cases, you must prove that someone else—typically a property owner but, in some cases, another party—was negligent and that this was the cause of your injury to have a successful slip and fall claim.
Specifically, you will likely need to prove each of the following elements of your case:
- The defendant owed you a duty of care, meaning they had a legal responsibility to take and/or avoid certain measures to prevent foreseeable injury or harm.
- The defendant breached/failed to uphold the duty of care, typically by acting negligently or wrongfully in some way.
- You were injured and suffered measurable, compensable damages as a result of your injury.
- The defendant’s negligent or wrongful conduct was the direct or proximate cause of your injury and resulting damages.
- You were lawfully on the property when the incident occurred (i.e., you were not trespassing).
In Florida, property owners owe varying duties of care to different types of visitors. Generally speaking, they owe the highest duty of care to those who visit their properties for the mutual (and often financial) benefit of both parties, such as a customer or client. So, if you were a customer at a restaurant, you would be owed a greater duty of care by the property owner than someone who was not a customer but came inside to use the restaurant’s bathroom.
Additionally, in Florida, property owners do not owe any duty of care to trespassers other than to refrain from causing intentional injury—unless the trespasser is a minor (under the age of 18). When the trespasser is a minor, “attractive nuisance” laws may apply.
Most slip, trip, and fall cases involve at least one “dangerous property condition.” Generally speaking, a dangerous property condition is any condition or hazard that the property owner knows or reasonably should know presents a risk of injury. If the property owner fails to take appropriate and adequate measures to remove, repair, or warn visitors of the dangerous property condition, they could be held liable for any accidents, injuries, or deaths that result from the dangerous property condition.
Some examples of dangerous property conditions commonly involved in slip and fall accident cases include:
- Wet floors
- Slippery surfaces
- Uneven flooring
- Torn carpeting
- Cluttered walkways
- Spills and falling objects
- Improper or missing signage
- Missing handrails
- Defective steps
- Unsafe stairwells
- Loose floor mats
- Faulty stepladders
- Parking lot defects
- Building code violations
- Poorly constructed structures
- Environmental conditions
These and other dangerous property conditions can lead to serious slips, trips, and falls, which may, in turn, cause devastating injuries. Slip and fall victims may suffer broken bones, head injuries, brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, serious cuts and scrapes, contusions, and other life-altering injuries. In fact, falls are a leading cause of catastrophic injury and death in the United States.
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Many slip and fall accidents result in severe injuries, which can have numerous negative effects on victims’ lives and the lives of their family members. By filing a personal injury lawsuit, you can seek fair financial compensation for your accident-related losses, or “damages.”
Some examples of common types of damages available in slip and fall cases include:
- Medical expenses, including future care costs
- Lost income, wages, and employment benefits
- Loss of future earnings and earning ability
- Past, current, and future pain and suffering
- Diminished quality/enjoyment of life
- Miscellaneous out-of-pocket expenses
At Schackow & Mercadante, our Gainesville slip and fall lawyers fight tirelessly to recover the full, fair amount their clients deserve. We carefully investigate and prepare cases, developing innovative litigation strategies designed to secure the best possible results. While we always work to settle our clients’ cases without them having to go to trial, we know that this is not always possible. Whenever necessary, our team is fully ready to represent you and your rights in the courtroom.
Learn how the Schackow & Mercadante team can help you get back on your feet after a slip and fall accident; call (352) 261-6767 or contact us online for a free, no-obligation consultation.
“I am a UF student who got injured on campus and Schackhow and Mercadante handled my case extremely well. Everything was settled in about a year and I highly recommend them for any personal injury case in which you are a victim in any capacity.”