In August 2017, Plaintiff filed suit in the Orange County Circuit Court against a major Orlando theme park alleging negligence for failure to follow safety guidelines and regulations. Plaintiff claims that a broken and defective sidewalk caused her to fall while she was a guest on property. Allegations state that the amusement park failed to administer proper inspections and maintenance and/or that it failed to warn guests of any dangerous conditions. The damages alleged are the Plaintiff suffered mental anguish, physical disability, and medical expenses as a result of the fall. Damages demanded are in excess of $15,000.00.
A slip and fall accident is a type of premises liability case under personal injury law. Slip and fall accidents can be caused by poor maintenance of a property and unsafe conditions. Common causes include items left in a well-traveled area like a hallway, unmarked wet spots from leaks or cleaning, ripped or torn carpets, walkways that have not been cleared of debris or ice, cracked sidewalks, and poorly lit areas. Serious injuries requiring medical attention can occur after a slip and fall. Even if your health insurance covers some of your injuries, you may find yourself left with hefty bills and a long recovery period.
In order to recover damages in a Florida Slip and Fall case you must prove three things:
- The property owner or business owed aduty of care to the injured person. For example, when a store is open for business, it is the same as if they have asked you to come in and shop. When a business invites someone onto their property, they must ensure that their property is safe.
- The property owner or business didn’t usereasonable care in maintaining or operating the property. The court decides what is reasonable in each case based on the evidence.
- Because the property owner or business didn’t use reasonable care, a person was injured.
***This is the general rule and clearly the facts and situations surrounding each case dictate outcomes. All outcomes vary based on the specific facts of the case.
Property owners are expected to maintain safe spaces. For example, if you’re shopping, you’d expect walkways to be clear, slick spots to be appropriately marked, escalators and elevators to be working properly (or to be marked as broken), etc. It is the duty of the property owner to keep on top of maintenance and to be aware of any issues. If, however, they are aware of issues and fail to fix them, are not aware of issues but should be, or purposefully caused unsafe conditions, they may be held liable for injuries that result because of their negligence.
In Florida, the statute of limitations (time limit to file your claim) is four years.
If you have been injured in a slip-and-fall accident, contact Don Morrell of the Kendrick Law Group at 407-641-5847 for a complimentary review of your case.
Co-written by: Kirsten Williams, Law Clerk