If you have suffered injuries as a result of a slip and fall accident in Florida, you may wonder if you have a personal injury case from which you can recover damages. Slip and fall cases, which are considered premises liability cases, involve negligence on the part of the property owner (or manager) where you fell. They assert that the owner or manager didn’t take the reasonable precautions to make the area safe for those passing through.
For example, there may have been a danger on the property, like a wet floor, and the owner or manager of the property didn’t clean it up or place a “wet floor” sign to warn about the danger. The failure to do one of those things may result in you falling and being injured.
The property owner’s failure to take reasonable precautions is considered negligence, and you may have a valid slip and fall claim. However, it’s possible that the property owner will argue that you had fault in the accident. If it is determined that you did have some fault in the accident, it’s referred to as comparative negligence.
Understanding Comparative Negligence in Slip and Fall Accidents
It is the responsibility of the defendant to establish comparative negligence. That means that the property owner must prove that you did not demonstrate reasonable care or that you behaved in a dangerous manner, and that your behavior was at least partially responsible for the injuries that you suffered.
How does this affect your slip and fall accident case? If the defendant is able to prove that comparative negligence exists, then your settlement or recovery in a trial may be much less than if the defendant was found completely responsible for your injuries.
How Do Defendants Establish Comparative Negligence in Slip and Fall Cases?
Typically, the property owner will attempt to prove that you were acting in an irresponsible manner or doing something that you shouldn’t have been doing to establish that you are partly responsible for the accident and your injuries.
Some of the common arguments that defendants in slip and fall accident cases will use to establish comparative negligence are:
You were not paying sufficient attention when your accident happened
You were somewhere on the property that you shouldn’t have been
You did not pay attention to warnings about the dangerous condition
You didn’t have appropriate footwear, or your footwear caused the accident
The dangerous condition was clearly visible
If Comparative Negligence is Proven, What Does It Mean for You?
If your slip and fall accident case goes to trial, the court has to determine who is responsible for the accident and how much responsibility they have. If it’s found that you and the defendant share responsibility, then your compensation will be adjusted based on the percentage of fault you are determined to have.
Get Help from a Slip and Fall Accident Lawyer
Defendants and their attorneys will commonly try to prove that the injured person was at fault in slip and fall cases. That is why it is important that you seek the help of a slip and fall accident attorney if you or a loved one is injured on someone else’s property.
Florida slip and fall lawyer, Joe Osborne, can help you with your case, and fight for you if comparative negligence is alleged against you. Contact him at (561) 293-2600, for an evaluation of your slip and fall case and help with how to proceed.