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Mark J. Leeds P.A.
Main Office Ft. Lauderdale
633 S. Federal Highway
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
Cell: 954 683 0355
Fax: 954 337 2435
5621 Strand Boulevard
TelePhone: 954 683 0355
Email: [email protected]
Fast Facts: Slip and Fall Cases
Slip and Fall
— How long was the substance on the floor?
— Where were you looking?
— Is there a reason that you did not see the slippery liquid?
— Where did you park
— What path did you take to get from your car to where the pothole was?
— How long was the pothole there, before your accident?
— Why didn’t you see the pothole, aren’t you careful?
Note: There are plenty of other slip and fall accidents that do not involve a pothole or a slippery liquid. For example:
— Apartment Building or Condominium Stairs that are worn, or have no handrail.
— Elevator or Escalator Abruptly starting, stopping, jerking or misleveling.
— Ropes, wires, strings or other objects placed in your way.
— Lots of other ways, too many to list here. The legal concepts are the same.
If you have been paying attention, then you know that numbers 1 & 2 above asked you a question that you would usually respond to with a:
“How should or could I know how long the liquid or pothole was there for? If I knew it was there, then I would not have slipped/tripped!”
This is a problem response. Because in many slip and fall accident cases, most of you think that simply the fact that there was substance/liquid on the floor, or a pothole in the parking lot, that all you have to prove is that you encountered the problem area and were seriously injured.
But, truth be told, Florida Law is very different than you probably expect.
Under most slip and fall lawsuit circumstances, you have to prove that the store, office building, condominium or other premises should reasonably have been aware of the condition for a sufficient amount of time before your accident to have been able to warn you, or to attempt to prevent the accident from happening by correcting the problem area or dangerous condition.
We call this awareness “Notice” of the defect or dangerous condition, and it is not always totally needed to provide clear documentary proof, sometimes proof can be in the form of accident facts, witness testimony, statements made by employees, and many other types of evidence.
There are several ways that savvy and experienced Florida Attorneys may be able to prove, indirectly, how long a dangerous condition existed.
Do not speak with the insurance company representative before you speak with a Florida Personal Injury Attorney about your slip and fall.
No matter how simple you think it will be answer a few questions; no matter how smart you are; no matter if you are a good Christian, Muslim, Citizen, or have nothing to hide.
With over thirty years of slip and fall cases and injured clients, I can tell you that these statements to adjusters are very important, and that many adjusters really are so tricky that you do not even know it; the tricky ones can manipulate the interview and produce problems where none should exist.
Not all adjusters, but how will you spot the difference?
Keep your shoes and do not wear them again.
The same goes for your clothes, if you have encountered a foreign substance other than water.
If your accident happened in an area that will be cleaned up, try to take a cell phone photo of the defective condition.
Usually cell phone photos of liquids on a floor do not turn out well; the glare, flash or transparency of some liquids do not end up coming out clearly in the photos. But if you can, try to take one anyway.
If it is a pothole, place a ruler in the hole to measure its depth, and take pictures of not only the pothole but also the area of the pothole location, so that the insurance company can identify which parking lot, which building, shopping center, etc.
Otherwise, how do they know that you are not sending them a picture of a pothole in Zimbabwe, or that you found on the internet. Insurance company scammers have tried these ways to defraud the insurance company, so they trust nobody to be honest with them.
As a Florida Bar Board Certified Civil Trial Attorney, I send out competent investigators and go to the scene myself in most pothole cases.
Take pictures of your injuries, especially red spots, bruises, scrapes.
Often these photos put to rest the issue if you injured a specific body part. If you have a fracture, take a picture of yourself in the cast or on crutches. Or in the hospital bed.
I send out investigators or take my own pictures, also.
Slip and Fall cases and lawsuits are subject to Florida’s Comparative Negligence Law.
This is a complicated law, but basically, if you do not settle your case and decide to press onwards with a jury trial, the jury will have to decide who, if anyone is at fault.
In the event, for example, that the jury decides you should have been more careful, but that both you and the landlord were negligent, the jury may decide – just to randomly pick figures of money and fault from a hat to explain it more clearly – that your injury is worth $100,000 in damages, but that you are 50-50 at fault.
What happens then, in most cases, is the Judge reduces your money by the percentage that the jury came up with for your fault. This means, to continue using the aforementioned example, that your $100,000 and 50% at fault results in the Judge adjusting your award to $50,000!
There may be more than one person or company that your Florida Premises Liability Attorney will need to put on Notice, file a claim against, or sue over your slip and fall accident.
Remember, too, that Notice Requirements are not the same as the Statute of Limitations for a Florida Personal Injury Lawsuit.
There are time limits for filing a lawsuit.
With a Free Legal Consultation available to you right now, what are you waiting for? Call, explain, and ask questions.
Learn about your legal rights.