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Slip and Fall Injury

The owner of premises, whether they are a business or a private residence, has a duty to maintain the property in a safe and proper way. If you slip and fall on someone else’s property, the property owner may be held to be legally liable for damages, including lost wages, loss of earning capacity, medical expenses (past, present and future), loss of ability to enjoy life and pain and suffering. Your spouse may have claims as well.

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The owner of the premises will only be responsible if they were negligent or careless in some way and the negligence or carelessness caused or contributed to the accident. Some examples and indications of negligence include:

  • Failure to have procedures in place to inspect for dangerous conditions. Often, in falls that take place in supermarkets or retail stores, the owner of the premises does not make reasonable provision for regular inspection of the aisles for liquids or other debris that create a hazard for shoppers
  • Failure to repair known dangers, such as loose carpeting, cracked tiles, roof leaks
  • Failure to post hazard indicators such as cones in areas that are wet and slippery which were recently cleaned or washed
  • Using inappropriate materials which create a slippery or hazardous condition. Examples include using indoor tiles for outdoor areas where they become dangerously slippery when wet due to rain. There are special tests that can be conducted to determine if surfaces are too slippery by measuring the coefficient of friction.
  • Failure to comply with building codes
  • Failure to have adequate lighting

A business owner has a high duty of care to make the premises safe for shoppers (business ‘invitees’), however, there may even be responsibility for trespassers, especially if they are children.

The injured party is under a duty to use due care as well. If a dangerous condition is open and clearly visible, the premises owner may be able to defend the case or at very least claim that the injured party was also negligent and shares responsibility for the accident.

The following are important evidence in a slip and fall case, and should be gathered and preserved at the earliest possible time:

  • photos of the scene, showing the location of the fall and the condition of the premises
  • The names and addresses of any potential witnesses
  • the “incident report” (if it occurred in a business establishment)
  • Any video of the scene of the accident (many businesses automatically take constant video of the various areas of the premises

If you have had a slip and fall accident that was caused by a property owner’s negligence, call Hoffman, Larin & Agnetti, PA at (305) 653-5555 for a free consultation and evaluation. All Slip and Fall cases are taken on a contingency- we only earn a fee if we win the case. Hoffman, Larin & Agnetti, PA have been representing injured parties since 1975.