If you visit a store or mall in Florida, the store or property owner has a duty to keep their premises free of hazards that may cause you to suffer an accident such as a slip and fall or trip and fall. If you fall on a commercial property while shopping, there are steps you need to take to protect your rights to file a claim for compensation.
What is Premises Liability?
After you have been injured in a slip and fall accident while shopping, you may have a premises liability claim against the store owner or the owner of the property where the store is located. Premises liability refers to the legal duty of businesses and property owners to provide visitors and customers with a safe environment free of hazards. This legal duty obligates business and property owners to undertake reasonable efforts to regularly inspect their premises for any possible hazardous conditions and to either repair or clean up those hazards or ensure that visitors are adequately warned of their presence. Businesses and property owners who fail to exercise reasonable diligence in the maintenance of their properties may be held liable when a customer is hurt in a slip or trip and fall accident.
Common Causes of Slip and Trip and Fall Accidents
In stores and shopping centers, some of the most common causes of slip and fall or trip and fall accidents include:
- Water leaks
- Spilled foods and liquids
- Tracked in rainwater, mud, or plant debris
- Recently mopped or waxed floors
- Messy restrooms
- Trash or debris on the ground
- Boxes or products left on the ground
- Defective or malfunctioning escalators, moving walkways, or elevators
- Cords or wires strewn across the ground
- Uneven flooring surfaces
- Broken or loose flooring
- Worn or torn carpeting or rugs
- Broken or uneven pavement or walking paths
- Inadequate lighting
What to Do After Suffering a Slip or Trip and Fall
After you have had a slip or trip and fall, steps you need to take to preserve your legal options for pursuing a claim for financial recovery for injuries and losses include:
- Report the accident to store management. If a manager or employee drafts an incident or accident report, ask for a copy of the report. Do not agree to give a statement for the report, other than to state that you fell and what you believe may have caused you to fall. Also make sure to ask the store management to check their surveillance footage to see if it recorded your fall and to preserve the footage of your fall and the time leading up to the accident.
- Take photos or video of the area where you fell, including details such as the hazard that may have caused you to fall, the presence of any warning signs, and the lighting or weather conditions.
- Get the contact information and a short statement from anyone who may have witnessed your fall.
- Seek medical attention as soon as possible to get checked for any injuries you may have suffered.
- Preserve or photograph your footwear and the clothing you were wearing at the time of your fall.
- Keep copies of bills and receipts for any expenses you incur.
Finally, talk to a slip-and-fall lawyer as soon as possible to learn more about your legal options for pursuing a claim for compensation from the business or property owner.
Contact a Lake Worth Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Slip/Trip and Fall Accident Case in Florida
Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries due to a slip or trip and fall accident in Florida? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at Gonzalez & Cartwright, P.A. represent clients injured because of slip and trip and fall accidents in Miramar, Coral Springs, Davie, Boca Raton, and throughout Florida. Call (561) 533-0345 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 813 Lucerne Ave., Lake Worth, FL 33460, as well as offices in Pompano Beach.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.