At some point in all of our lives we have slipped and fallen for one reason or another. Usually it's because we weren't watching where we were going and slipped due to our own carelessness. But sometimes, slipand falls are caused by another person’s negligence. Imagine a scenario where you are visiting a grocery store and slip and fall because a store employee left a banana peel on the floor. This is the classic slip and fall case involving a commercial property. This article will walk you through the basic elements of a slip and fall case and what your attorney will be looking for when they evaluate your potential claim.
Was there a duty owed by the business?It is important to establish that the person you are claiming caused your injury actually had a duty to protect you. A duty exists when a business owner owns, controls, or operates a business and consumers are invited onto that premises to conduct business. A business owner owes a duty to these customers to make sure that the premises are in a safe condition. If a business owner or employee fails to keep the premises clean and free of noticeable dangers, they may be found to have breached their duty to their guests, and that is when they could potentially face liability.
Was the store aware that the situation existed?This is called the “notice” requirement. Was the store either actually aware that the condition existed or constructively aware? A store is actually aware when they discover the banana peel themselves and fail to take any action. If someone tells the store or a store employee about the banana peel they are also on actual notice of the condition. Constructivenotice can be established when a plaintiff can prove that the store failed to regularly inspect the premises when they know that it is likely that a spill could occur. If they know this probability is high, and they fail to take steps to inspect, they are said to be on constructive notice that a dangerous condition could be present.
Did the store breach their duty to keep the premises safe?As discussed above, a business owes a duty to its customers to keep the premises in a safe condition. This duty is breached when they are put on either actual or constructive notice that a dangerous condition is present and they fail to take action to remedy the situation. If a business is aware that the banana peel is on the floor and they decide to ignore that notice and fail to pick it up, and someone slips on that banana peel, they have breached their duty to their guests. Likewise if a business fails to actually regularly inspect the business for dangerous conditions knowing that there is a chance one could appear at any time, they have breached their duty to regularly inspect and could be liable.
Were your injuries caused by the stores breach?So you slipped and fell on the floor after you stepped on the banana peel, does that mean your case is automatically worth a million dollars? No. Most people do not realize that you must be able to pointto an actual injury which was caused by that slip and fall. This is known as the causation element. In order for you to claim damages, you must be able to show that the injuries you suffered were either caused by the slip and fall, or were preexisting conditions which were actually aggravated by the slip and fall. An aggravated injury is one in which an old wound once again surfaces and begins causing pain again. If you can show that your injury was caused by the slip and fall, or that a preexisting injury was aggravated by the fall, you stand a better chance of being compensated for your injuries.
Contact an experienced attorney for your slip and fall caseThe personal injury attorneys of the Dolman Law Group have decades of experience in negotiating and litigating slip and fall claims. They fight hard to protect Clearwater residents from injuries and ensure that they are fairly compensated when injuries do occur. Whether your slip and fall injuries were caused by the negligence of a grocery store or other kind or business, our experienced team has the legal expertise to ably handle your claim. Call (727) 451-6900 to schedule your free consultation with a personal injury attorney today. Our experienced, aggressive attorneys will protect your right to be compensated for your injuries and losses.
Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher RoadClearwater, FL 33765