Key Points of This Article:
- A Florida slip-and-fall case requires you to present enough evidence.
- To win compensation, you’ll need to prove someone else was at least partially at fault.
- It’s vital to find the right Florida lawyer.
When you sue over a slip-and-fall accident, the burden is on you to prove your case. You need to present evidence that supports your injury claim and clearly shows who’s responsible.
For the average person, that’s a lot to handle when you’re already struggling to heal from an injury. You’ll likely need a lawyer’s help. Let’s start with some tips for gathering and presenting evidence in a Florida personal injury lawsuit.
Know Florida’s Premises Liability and Personal Injury Laws
It’s not good enough to merely prove that you were injured. In order to hold a property owner responsible, you must also show that you were an invited guest on the property. In Florida, trespassers aren’t eligible to receive compensation for the injuries they suffer.
This means it’s important to establish which class of people you fall into:
- Business/social invitee. This is someone who was invited onto the property to do business or enjoy a social visit. Property owners do have a legal duty of care to maintain safe premises for these guests.
- Child trespasser. Property owners do owe child trespassers a certain duty of care against an “attractive nuisance,” like a swimming pool.
- Adult trespasser.In Florida, property owners do not owe adult trespassers a duty of care.
- Licensee. If someone wasn’t forbidden from the property but wasn’t necessarily invited by the owner, they are a licensee. Property owners do not have to provide safe premises for licensees.
The court will look to you to present evidence that establishes which of the four classes you belonged to when you were on the property. As you can see, the class determines whether the property owner has any responsibility to provide safe premises for you.
It’s not always as clear-cut as it seems. If you went to a party on someone’s property as the friend of an invited guest – but the host themselves didn’t know you were coming – it probably means you were a licensee and not a social invitee. That distinction could be the difference between winning and losing your slip-and-fall case.
Understand Florida’s Law of Comparative Negligence
What if you were partially to blame for your own injuries? Don’t let this deter you from suing! Florida is a “comparative negligence state,” which means you can sue for damages even if you were partially at fault.
During your case, the court will compare how much fault each person had for the situation. They’ll assign each person a proportion of the blame and assign damages accordingly. This means if you’re found to be 10% at fault, any damages you are awarded will be reduced by that much.
This means you could still receive plenty of compensation for your injuries, even if the property owner says it’s your fault. Look at it this way: If you were only going to receive 90% of $1 million, wouldn’t it still be worthwhile to sue?
Gather Evidence and Get Legal Assistance
You’ll need as much evidence as possible to back up your case. If you slip and fall on someone’s property, take photos and videos of the scene including what caused your injuries. Photograph the injury itself. Save your medical bills, health records, and doctors’ recommendations for future care.
Keep track of other things related to your injuries, like lost wages and your ongoing pain and emotional suffering. Contact a Florida personal injury attorney who is experienced with slip-and-fall cases and knows what it takes to win them. With the help of the right attorney, you’ll build a mountain of evidence that supports the compensation you deserve.
When Results Matter, Call Kemp, Ruge & Green of Tampa Bay
When you have legal questions, connect with a Tampa Bay lawyer. The attorneys at Kemp, Ruge & Green Law Group handle many areas of personal injury law, including those related to slip-and-fall accidents. We believe you should only have to work on getting well, while we worry about using the justice system to protect your rights. We give our clients the best possible results-driven service. You pay us only if we win in injury cases. Call 877-941-4878 today for a free consultation.