Proving Negligence in Slip-and-Fall Cases in Florida

Were you injured in a slip-and-fall accident? If your accident happened in a store or other commercial location, you might be thinking that they should pay for your medical bills and lost time at work. While this is the case in some situations, it doesn’t apply to every incident. You have to be able to prove negligence, and that means a lot more than you might think.

What is legal negligence in civil law?

As a general rule, you have to prove negligence to receive damages from any entity for any type of personal injury case. Slip-and-fall accidents definitely fall under this umbrella, but negligence is not an easy thing to understand when it comes to Florida’s slip and fall laws. Here is an explanation by way of example.

Let’s say you slip and fall from a wet spot on the floor of a retail establishment. You injure your ankle, resulting in medical bills and lost income. The puddle was not marked with a caution sign. 

Scenario 1:

It is a rainy day, and a reasonable person would take care to watch the floor for slip-and-fall hazards. The store owner has the proper mats, places a cautionary wet floor sign in the proper location near the front entrance of the store. It is not reasonable for the company to pay someone just to stand at the door and mop up after everyone as they come in. Arguably, the owner would not be negligent because they acted reasonably by placing the proper mats and wet floor signs at the entrance to warn the store’s customers of the potential danger of wet floor. 

Scenario 2: 

An employee spilled a cleaner on the floor. The hazard was not marked, and the employee made no effort to clean up the mess. Management is busy and unaware of the hazard, which the employee did not report. In this case, the employee was negligent because they did not clean, mark, or report the spill. However, the employee is a representative of the company, which means that the retail establishment itself is negligent.

Of course, few cases are as cut and dry as these. The law is very complicated, and there can be a lot of other factors that can affect your ability to prove negligence in your slip-and-fall case. It is much better for you to retain an attorney who is experienced in personal injury law and can walk you through the process.

If you have questions regarding your slip and fall case, contact us today to schedule a free consultation.