So the first thing is, you need to know what you slipped on to have a case. One of the big important things that we have to show in Florida is that the defendant knew or should have known that the substance was on the floor for a sufficient amount of time that they had time to get around it and fix it. If the client comes to us right away, I send out a letter immediately asking for the store to save and provide a copy to me of the security video.
In order to win a slip-and-fall case, several things need to be done right away at the beginning of the case. It's very important to hire a lawyer immediately. You talk to employees that may have seen the fall to get a recorded statement of what happened, or of witnesses. If someone is hurt at work on the job, then that's a workers' compensation claim but there may also be a personal injury claim outside of a claim against your employer because a third party, someone that works at the same job site for a different company may have caused the reason why you fell. We need to begin an investigation to find out who caused the fall, and why.
There are several elements of damages that we explore and determine whether we can prove and for how much, but that's not the whole story because we have to project out over the course of my client's lifetime, what are the future damages, and so we look at that and explore that, and also life care planners who can project out what the cost of that future medical treatment will be. So there is not only past lost wages and past medical bills but what are the future loss of wage earning and what are the future medical bills. These are all the things that we look into and we kind of build into the case to get the best possible result we can, what I call a full cup of justice.
A landowner in Florida has a non-delegable duty to keep the premises reasonably safe. If the landlord hires an outside company to do maintenance or to manage the property, does not get the landlord out of the problem if they didn't keep the place safe. The law does not allow a landlord to get out of, or find a loophole or get out of the way of liability by simply saying someone else that I hired did it.