Slips and Falls
If you are injured in a First Coast slip-and-fall accident, you may be able to obtain financial recovery for your damages if the injury was caused by someone else’s failure to use reasonable care in maintaining the property and preventing accidents. There are many possible defendants in First Coast slip-and-fall cases, but the most common ones are property owners, property lessees, and people responsible for constructing or maintaining the property.
Some locations are especially prone to slip-and-fall accidents due to wet floors, spills, uneven surfaces, or other hazards. Some of the more common places where slip-and-fall accidents occur include grocery stores, malls, and workplaces.
The first thing your First Coast slip-and-fall attorney must show is that there was a dangerous condition or hazard that was a contributing factor to your fall. The hazard can be temporary, like spilled liquid, or permanent, like an improperly constructed staircase.
Next, your attorney needs to show that the defendant owed you some duty, such as the duty to inspect, warn, or repair. Assuming you are a customer in a store or your accident occurred on public property, your attorney must also show that the defendant knew or should have known about the dangerous condition and the fact that an injury was likely to occur because of it. Proving this point is usually the crux of a slip-and-fall case.
“Actual” notice (meaning that the defendant knew of the hazard and failed to correct it) is rare. Most cases rely on a theory of “constructive” notice, meaning that the defendant may not have actually known about the hazard but should have known about it if he had used ordinary care and properly inspected and maintained the premises. Finally, your First Coast slip-and-fall attorney needs to show that you sustained an injury and that there is a causal link between the hazard and your injury.
Slips and falls are common and can cause serious injury or even death—17,000 people die from slip-and-fall accidents every year. Yet, proving a slip-and-fall case can be difficult because you may be the only witness to your fall. An experienced First Coast slip-and-fall attorney will examine the totality of the available evidence and develop a case strategy based on what you can prove. If you are not already represented by an attorney, please contact John Fagan for a free evaluation of your case.