Important Steps To Take After A Slip-And-Fall Accident in Florida

Need an Attorney right now? You've come to the right place.
By Marcus Fernandez

Most people have, at one time or another, fallen. Fortunately for most, the only injury was to their pride. However, more than one million people each year are not as fortunate and require treatment at a hospital emergency department caused by a slip and fall accident.

If you sustain more than a bruised pride in a slip-and-fall accident, you may be entitled to compensation from the person or company that owns the property where you fell. It depends on the circumstances of the fall, not the least of which is evidence that you fell because of the property owner’s negligence. 

What you do after a slip-and-fall accident can affect your ability to recover damages from the at-fault party, so this article explains the steps to take. It also looks at Florida laws that affect property owner liability when someone falls on their property.

What does it mean when someone has a slip-and-fall accident?

Personal injury lawyers use “slip-and-fall” to describe an accident when a person slips, trips, slides, or otherwise loses their balance when walking on property owned by someone else. It’s typically something left on the floor or ground or a defect. Some of the common causes of slip-and-fall accidents include:

  • Broken concrete sidewalks.
  • Food or liquids that spill onto the floor.
  • Broken floor tiles.
  • Torn carpeting.
  • Area rugs with backings that make them slide on the floor.
  • Highly waxed and polished floors.
  • Uneven staircase steps.
  • Loose or broken stairway railings.
  • Stairs without railings.

Holding a property owner responsible for injuries you suffer in a fall depends not only on the existence of a defective or dangerous condition. The slip-and-fall law in Florida requires evidence proving the property owner was aware of it and failed to take corrective action. 

Proving liability with Florida slip-and-fall law 

Before recovering damages for injuries caused by slipping and falling on someone else’s property, you need evidence that the owner knew or should have known of the dangerous condition. The law allows a property owner to correct the condition before holding them responsible for it. However, time plays an important role.

Property owners can be held responsible when they have actual knowledge of a condition and fail to correct it. They can also be liable for failing to correct dangerous conditions when they have constructive knowledge.

Constructive knowledge means the condition existed long enough that a reasonable person exercising ordinary care should have been aware of and corrected it. The burden is on you, the injured person, to prove actual or constructive knowledge on the part of the party that owned it was in control of the property. Videos from surveillance cameras, business records, and witnesses are types of evidence that help you prove a claim for injuries caused by a slip-and-fall accident.

What to do after a slip-and-fall accident to strengthen your claim?

  • Report the accident to the property owner, manager, or other person in charge: Write down your report by filling out an accident report form provided by the property owner. If they do not have one, verbally report it and immediately follow up with a written account by email or regular mail.
  • Obtain medical treatment right away: Seeing a doctor for your injuries creates a record proving the date you incurred the injuries and a detailed description of them.
  • Document the scene: Use a smartphone to take photos of the location of where you fell, including the defect or substance that caused you to slip or trip. If you cannot do it because of your injuries, enlist the help of a friend or bystander to do it using your phone.
  • Obtain names and contact information of witnesses: Witnesses can be crucial to proving your claim, so get their names and contact information, including their email addresses to give to your Tampa personal injury attorney.

Contact KFB Law as soon as possible after the accident to allow one of our Tampa personal injury attorneys to investigate your case and gather evidence to prove the property owner’s fault.

Tampa slip-and-fall lawyers 

The legal advice and guidance you need for your claim to recover compensation for a slip-and-fall injury is available during a free consultation at KFB Law. Contact our Tampa personal injury lawyers today.