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Proving Fault After a Slip and Fall Accident

by Holliday Karatinos Law Firm, PLLC, posted in Premises Liability Blog
fallen man in office

Slip and fall cases are challenging to prove, particularly in Florida. As a matter of fact, many injury and premises liability lawyers in Florida don’t even want to handle slip and fall cases.

Florida is a state that applies the legal doctrine of comparative fault to slip and fall cases. This means that a Hillsborough County jury hearing a slip and fall case is allowed to determine to what degree the property owner was at fault, and to what degree a slip and fall victim caused their own injury in an accident. That makes it doubly important to seek the guidance of an experienced Florida premises liability attorney who understands what an injury victim needs to show a court in order to win a slip and fall case.

It is understandable to have questions if you have been injured in a slip and fall accident or your loved one has been hurt. You deserve reliable answers so that you can make well-founded decisions about how to move forward. If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident in North Tampa or Lutz, call Holliday Karatinos Law Firm. One of our North Tampa attorneys will review the details of your accident and answer your questions free of charge. As each slip and fall case is highly dependent on the specific facts of what the hazard is and how the injury occurred, we will determine together whether you have a slip and fall case.

Could the Property Owner Have Prevented the Accident?

When a trip-and-fall or slip hazard occurs at a retail store, mall, office, or other public place that essentially invites visitors, the property owner has a reasonable amount of time to repair the hazard. Property owners are expected to inspect their premises regularly for any unsafe conditions and correct them in a reasonable amount of time. A property owner has a legal responsibility to repair a slip and fall hazard, or put out an adequate warning if the issue cannot be corrected immediately. Generally, businesses have to meet a higher standard of inspecting their property to keep their premises free of hazards for customers who come to do business.

As part of our investigation of a case, the attorneys at Holliday & Karatinos Law Firm seek to determine whether the property owner in question had received previous reports of similar slip and fall accidents. Finding other reports of accidents demonstrates that the owner was on notice of the problem and had failed to address it in a reasonable time. We determine whether the property owner posted a sign warning of the hazard. If the property owner had addressed the problem in a timely fashion or warned adequately of it, then the injury would have been prevented. What constitutes a reasonable amount of time to correct a hazardous condition depends on the issue involved. It is often a point of dispute in slip and fall cases.

Liability for a Slip and Fall Injury

Many jurors are inclined to think that if an individual tripped and fell or slipped and fell and sustained an injury, then that person probably was not paying enough attention or did something to cause the fall. As experienced slip and fall attorneys, we know that we will have to overcome that mindset when we present a case on behalf of a person who has sustained slip and fall injuries.

At Holliday & Karatinos Law Firm, PLLC, we know that we will need to gather a mountain of evidence to prove the property owner’s liability for our client’s fall injury. Our attorneys have to identify a specific hazardous condition that existed at the property such as a loose stair railing or broken step. We must show that the hazard caused you to fall, and that the fall resulted in your injury.

To prepare a slip-and-fall case, we move quickly to gather evidence before a property hazard is repaired and the evidence is lost. We get a forensic engineer on the scene right away to document the property defect. We seek security camera footage to show that a hazardous condition was left unrepaired for an unreasonably long amount of time. We gather your medical records to show the extent of your serious injuries resulting from the fall and the cost of your medical bills and missed work due to your injuries that were caused by the property owner’s disregard for safety or their negligence. We do a thorough investigation of the accident scene to have full command of the facts.

Property owners may not be liable for certain hazards. Some hazards are so obvious that any reasonable person would know to avoid them. If you were acting carelessly—staring at your cell phone while walking— and stepped into an open pit at a construction site, then the property owner may not necessarily be liable for your injuries. The open pit should be obvious to anyone who was paying attention.

Part of our job as your slip-and-fall attorney is to foresee how the opposing side might try to shift the blame to you for the accident. We then work to gather evidence to minimize the harm that argument might have on your case.

It is important to work with a North Tampa law firm that has handled numerous slip-and-fall cases and understands how to prove fault in these complex cases.

Contact Our Slip and Fall Lawyers Today

At the Holliday Karatinos Law Firm, PLLC, we understand how devastating a serious fall injury can be and how it can disrupt your life. You need to know how to move forward. When you contact our law firm and schedule a free case consultation, we will listen to your concerns, explore the facts of your accident, and offer what we believe to be the best course of action. We have been successful in taking slip and fall cases to trial when an insurance company refuses to offer a just settlement.

Our North Tampa attorneys at Holliday Karatinos Law Firm, PLLC represent individuals who have suffered slip and fall injuries on someone else’s property. Call our premises liability lawyers today!

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