Imagine you are walking through the grocery store after work one evening. You’re focused on picking up what you need and just getting home when suddenly you slip and fall. In the blink of an eye, your routine visit to the store ends up with you at the hospital.
Unfortunately, this scenario is anything but imaginary for many Floridians who have suffered very real and serious injuries after slipping, tripping and falling. It is common for people in this situation to blame themselves or assume that the accident was just a fluke. However, the fact is there may be signs that negligence on the part of a property owner actually contributed to or caused an accident.
After a slip-and-fall accident, it can be crucial to identify any of the following elements:
- The hazard existed for a long enough time period that the property owner knew or should have known about it
- The dangerous condition has existed before with regularity and it would be reasonable to think it would exist again
- There is evidence that reports or complaints were filed regarding the situation, yet little or nothing was done to address it
These are all indications of negligence that could support a claim for damages against a property owner.
However, it is important to note that many situations are not so black-and-white. Unsafe conditions can be covered up; property owners can lie about knowledge of a dangerous obstacle; people can strongly disagree on what is and is not considered reasonable in terms of a foreseeable hazard.
Identifying signs of and proving negligence can be very complicated if you are not familiar with Florida state laws and the elements of a personal injury claim. Because of this, it is wise to consult an attorney who can help you understand if your accident may have been caused by negligence and then pursue a claim if appropriate.