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When Can A Slip & Fall Go To Court?

Most of the time when someone slips and falls—especially when it’s children—the usual response is to get whoever fell back on their feet, check for injuries and if there’s nothing serious, just get back to business as usual.

On rare occasions, those slips and the subsequent fall can result in serious, sometimes permanent injury, the kind that will debilitate a person for the rest of their lives. When that happens, there may be some solid, legal ground for a lawyer to take on the case and go to court for personal injury compensation. But just falling and getting injured, even seriously, isn’t enough. For any lawyer (or court for that matter) to decide a case is worth pursuing to a resolution, certain conditions have to exist that merit a legal proceeding. Here are a few of the things that solidify a slip and fall case and give lawyers the confidence to go forward with a case.


This is an absolute necessity, and a case simply can’t go forward without it. There has to be reasonable grounds for accusing a landlord or store-owner or other management that they had a basic responsibility for public safety which they ignored. Moreover, that negligence MUST be the direct cause of the accident you experienced. So, for example, if you had shoes that you noticed were untied, but ignored them, walked into a shopping mall and had your shoelace unknowingly caught in the escalator, causing you to trip as you left the escalator, the premises would not be responsible for this.

On the other hand, if you were visiting a car mechanic and they’d left a pool of oil spread across the ground near the entrance for the entire day and didn’t warn anyone about it, if you fell down as you entered because you slipped on the oil, that would definitely be negligence on the part of the owners, and a lawyer would likely advise you that you have a case worth taking up.

Clear Cause

If you slip, fall and receive an injury, there must be a direct, observable cause for the fall. A waxed or polished floor, some kind of lubrication such as an oil or grease spill, or a foreign object, like some moist food or a drink left on the floor must be the cause. If you fall, and a quick investigation after your fall reveals the floor is free from anything that would reasonably cause a slip, it’s going to be very difficult for any lawyer to represent the case. In the event of slips with no discernible cause, the usual assumption is that the victim caused the fall, perhaps through a dizzy spell or some other personal experience with no bearing on the premises.

Prolonged Period Of Negligence

The other important thing to reinforce a case is that not only was a slippage hazard present on the property, it was left unattended for an unreasonable period of time. So, for example, if someone decide to play a prank and poured grease on the floor of store directly in front of you, and you had no way to avoid it because it happened so quickly, the store is unlikely to be liable. It’s the same if the prank was played a few seconds prior to your turning a corner and slipping. There is no reasonable way for a staff member or management to react to—and clean up—an event that happened literally seconds before.

However, if the prank pool of grease has been left unattended for 30 minutes, that is now the responsibility of the management since they had plenty of time for an employee or manager to observe the problem and correct it.

If the cause of your injury is backed up by these three factors—or others—then it’s quite likely you have been wrongfully injured by negligence and are entitled to compensation. The lawyers of Goldman Babboni and Walsh would be more than happy to discuss the terms of your case in such an event.

Attorney David Goldman has a strong belief that everyone should be treated fairly and those with the means should do what they can to bring justice in all areas of our society. That belief has led him to help Florida's injured from being taken advantage of by corporations and insurance companies. Since 1989 David Goldman has been fighting for the rights of Floridians both as an attorney and by personally supporting our community.

When Can A Slip & Fall Go To Court?

Goldman Babboni Fernandez
Murphy & Walsh

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