Orlando Slip and Fall Attorney
Call Now (407) 803-2139
If you have been injured during a slip and fall accident, such as slipping on a wet spill at a grocery store, then you may have a viable claim against the owner of the store or property. Property owners have a duty to keep their premises in reasonably safe condition. When property owners fail to keep their premises safe for the public, and someone gets injured, the injured person may be entitled to file a lawsuit based on something called “premises liability,” which is another way of saying the owner of the premises might be liable for damages.
2010 Changes To Florida’s Slip & Fall Law
One problem for plaintiffs is that Florida’s slip and fall law changed in July of 2010, making slip and fall claims based on falls after that date somewhat more difficult to prove. Under Florida’s now current statute governing slip and fall (aka premises liability) cases, plaintiffs must demonstrate either that the substance or object had been in the dangerous spot long enough that the property owner should have noticed and corrected the situation or that the problem recurred often enough that the owner should have known. Without some type of evidence to prove one of those two scenarios, the plaintiff cannot get to a jury (because, without that evidence, the judge would be forced to dismiss the case after the defense attorney filed something called a motion for summary judgment, which means the case would never reach a jury).
Slip & Fall Attorney Case Evaluation
The good news is that a creative Orlando slip and fall attorney can sometimes uncover facts to establish arguments that the spill or object had been on the floor long enough to demonstrate that the property owner should have known about it. Here are just a few examples of factual scenarios that would probably be good enough for a plaintiff to get to a jury (meaning not get dismissed after a motion for summary judgment) in a Florida slip and fall case:
- If a video recording from a security camera of the location shows the spill existed for enough time;
- If an employee confesses that they meant to clean the spill;
- If there are tread marks or dirt in the spill;
- If there is rust around the spill;
- If there was a store employee stocking product or working a short distance away from the spill;
- If the spill was actually a frozen item that had time to thaw;
- If the spill was located near a store cashier; and
- Many other scenarios.
Here are some questions your Orlando slip and fall attorney might ask you during the first consultation to help evaluate your case:
- How did you slip and fall? What happened?
- Did anyone see you fall? In other words, were there any witnesses?
- Did anyone speak to you on behalf of the owner after the fall (such as employees)? Did they say anything about the spill area?
- Do you have any idea what caused the spill or obstacle?
- Had you ever seen this type of spill or obstacle on the same premises before?
- Was there any indication regarding how long the spill or obstacle had been on the ground or in the walking path?
- What was the size of the spill or obstacle?
- Did the spill or obstacle look fresh and/or new or more like it had been around for a while?
A careful Orlando slip and fall attorney will ask you many detailed questions during the intake interview to determine whether they think they can establish the facts necessary to succeed on a slip and fall case. These cases can be very complicated, so your attorney needs to carefully analyze the facts to ensure that you have the best chance of withstanding a motion for summary judgment after discovery in your case. Lawyers can never guarantee that they will be successful on a motion for summary judgment, or after any other stage of any case, because all cases are factually unique. For example, if water appeared to be leaking around a commercial cooler, but the defendant could show that the water actually came from a customer’s water bottle just one minute before the accident happened, then satisfying the slip and fall statute might be more difficult. However, a conscientious Orlando slip and fall attorney will do everything possible to ensure that you have a good case before filing a slip and fall lawsuit.
Although my office is located in Winter Garden, Florida, I accept slip and fall cases from anywhere in Florida or Georgia, including Orlando, Tampa, Miami, Jacksonville, Tallahassee, Valdosta, Macon, Atlanta and all places in between.
Call Now (407) 803-2139