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Slip and Fall Case Jurors Award Millions

Slips and falls account for over one million hospital emergency room visits which are 12% of total falls recorded. They are also the leading cause of worker’s compensation claims but do not constitute a primary cause of fatal occupational injuries, rather a sizable percentage of lost work days.

Recently, a Florida Appellate Court was considering whether or not a bank could be held liable when a woman fell in a hole in a construction zone that was located on the bank’s property. The woman reportedly went to the bank, and when she realized it was closed, she decided to park her vehicle and take advantage of the outdoors ATM. The area was clearly under construction and had a barricade in front of the ATM.

The woman said there was an arrow telling people to walk around the barricade and as she did this, she stepped into a hole which caused her to fall and break her leg. The woman filed the claim against the bank because the bank failed to provide a safe environment. The bank alleges that there was a sign expressing the danger and the woman was not entitled to any sort of settlement because of the obvious conditions related to the fall. The woman said they were not entitled to this summary judgment and the appeals court agreed with her.

The court revealed that the defendants could still be liable for not maintaining the premises, even though they provided the warnings.

What is an Obvious Danger Doctrine?

The Obvious Danger Doctrine is a common defense that is used in several liability cases. It states that the owner owes a duty to exercise reasonable care to protect those visiting the premises from any sort of unreasonable harm that may be caused by a dangerous condition present on the property.

In the case of the woman that was seeking restitution from the bank and the contractors for her broken leg, the courts considered how long the hole had been there, and this led the court to deny the summary judgment of the defendants, and they proceeded with the case.

If you have been involved in a Slip and Fall incident, then it is your right to seek reasonable legal counsel to help with your case. It is best if you find this legal counsel immediately following the incident. Small claims, worker compensation claims, and car accident cases do not necessarily require legal assistance, but if the injuries you have sustained in a slip and fall accident are severe, then it would be in your best interest to find a knowledgeable and reputable attorney to help you prove liability and negligence.

Once the attorney determines how the slip and fall occurred, they will then address how they will prove that the defendant should be held responsible for the slip and fall incident. If you missed a step and fell then it can be considered your fault. As a result, this may not fall under the legal responsibility of the defendant. However, if you slipped on something found on the stairs or the steps were of different heights that you were not aware of, and the difference in height between the steps caused you to slip and fall then the attorney could seek compensation for you from the defendant resulting from their negligence.

In proving the case, you and the attorney will have to provide sufficient evidence to support the claims you are making. Proper documentation can include the medical records and bills related to the incident, lost income and other pay records, and in some cases, a letter from the physician explaining how the injuries were sustained may also be beneficial in some cases to help prove that the injuries occurred due to the slip and fall.

It is in the best interest of the Plaintiff to seek legal representation and help for a slip and fall case because these cases can become extremely complex in nature. If you choose not to hire an attorney, it could result in more lost income and the loss of settlement you may receive if you proceed in court with your claim.

Stephen M. Fernandez developed a strong belief in justice and fairness in public policy while earning his Political Science degree prior to attending law school. Since joining the Florida Bar Association in 2004, Stephen Fernandez has combined his background in public policy, business administration and civil law to serve as a highly effective trial lawyer fighting for Florida's injured, working hard every day to make sure his clients get what they are owed.

Slip and Fall Case Jurors Award Millions

Goldman Babboni Fernandez
Murphy & Walsh

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