Proving fault in a slip and fall case can sometimes be difficult. Both the property owner and accident victim have a responsibility to ensure safety. Negligence can be alleged on either side, and the determining factor of who is at fault, and to what extent, will have a direct impact on the compensation you could receive for your injuries.
The Property Owner’s Liability
The property owner has a responsibility to provide a safe environment to the best of their ability. This does not mean that any hazards are automatically due to the negligence or liability of the property owner. In order to get compensation from the property owner for a slip and fall accident, you have to prove that they were at fault.
This usually means one of three things. The property owner, his employee, or his contractor should have known about and responded to the hazard, because a reasonable person would know that there was a hazard to be addressed. Reasonableness in itself can be difficult to prove in some cases. The second thing it could mean is that the property owner or their representative knew about the hazard and did nothing to correct it. This proves direct negligence. Finally, it may mean that the property owner or their representative caused the hazard that led to the accident.
If you can prove negligence and liability through one of these three methods, you will be able to get at least some compensation for your claim. There are some other factors that could be considered as well that could affect your claim.
Your Responsibility and Negligence
Every individual has a responsibility to keep themselves safe. If signs indicating a hazard are placed in the area and you do not notice them because you are not aware of your surroundings, this is negligence on your part. You could also be found to have contributed to the accident through comparative negligence if you were talking on your cell phone or otherwise distracted when the accident occurred. Again, the reasonableness test comes into play. Would a reasonable and appropriately cautious person have had the accident?
If you are found to have contributed to the accident, your compensation could be at risk. The judge or jury can assign a percentage to how much your negligence contributed to the accident, and reduce your compensation by that percentage. To protect yourself and ensure you are fully compensated, you should always consult an attorney for a slip and fall case in Florida. Contact us today for a consultation.