Florida personal injury lawyer, Guy S. DiMartino, discusses the three common defenses in a Florida slip and fall case.
Every year many folks are seriously injured in Florida slip, trip and fall cases. Over the years, I have had clients who broke their shoulder, hip, ankle, wrist, forearm, knee cap in these types of falls.
To be successful in a Florida slip, trip and fall claim, the injured person must show that there was a dangerous condition on the property and because of the dangerous condition he/she was injured. In these cases, we see three common defenses: (1) the property owner didn't have notice or knowledge of the problem; (2) the condition was open and obvious; or (3) the fall didn't cause the injury.
No Notice or Knowledge of the Dangerous Condition
In a certain type of slip and fall case, called the foreign transitory object case. These cases include slip and falls on water, objects, food products, and/or grease. In these cases, the injured person has to show that the property owner had knowledge of the substance on the floor or the substance was on the floor for a long enough period of time that the defendant should have discovered the danger. In foreign transitory object cases, if the injured person is unable to show notice, he/she will not be successful.
The condition was open and obvious
Under the law, all people are responsible for their own safety. The defense of open and obvious means just what it says. The problem was visible and the person was injured because they weren't paying attention.
The fall didn't cause the injury
This defense goes to the legal element of causation. For this defense, the property owner's insurance company will hire a doctor to testify that the fall didn't cause the problem; instead, the problem was due to some pre-existing condition or problem.
Every slip, trip and fall case will not have all these defenses but depending on the facts of the case, you lawyer will be able to anticipate the defenses.
Florida slip and fall cases can be complex at times, if you have any questions, you can call me directly on my cell phone at (352) 267-9168.