Slip and Fall Comparative Negligence

Watch this video to learn how fault is assessed in a slip and fall case in Florida. Then call Perenich Law Injury Attorneys for a free legal consultation.

Is it hard to win a slip and fall case in Florida?

Probably one of the most common situations I have with the slip and fall case is what we call the open and obvious defect. I have a case, actually, right now in which there was a boat propeller left on the floor of a dive shop. My client was walking to the front counter and didn’t see the boat propeller, and he suffered a pretty bad injury on his foot. When we put our claim together, the response of the dive shop was, “Why didn’t your client see it?” What does that mean?

Yes, I suppose there would be a claim to say that everybody should watch where they’re walking, but, at the same time, store owners have a responsibility to create safe walkways for their customers. This means that a jury will allocate fault to the parties who were involved, and sometimes they divide it up. They can say that my client was 50% at fault and the store owner was 50% at fault, or they can say my client was 10% at fault and the store owner was 90% at fault. That’s called comparative negligence.

Florida is a comparative negligence state. That means that the jury has the responsibility of apportioning fault among anybody who had a responsibility in causing the injury. You should presume that walking into a business, it’s going to be safe for you to walk in there. That presumption doesn’t mean you should put your guard down. You should still make sure that where you’re walking is safe, but it’s also about notice.

In this case that I’m talking about, the dive shop had been warned about not putting boat propellers on the ground where their customers were walking. They had been given notice for an extended period of time before my client walked in that day. He walked in that day, and he had seconds, compared to the weeks and months of the dive shop. We were going to take the position that the dive shop had the greater responsibility. That’s a factor that a jury can consider when apportioning fault— notice. Who has the greater notice of the defective and dangerous condition, even if it was open and obvious? That’s how comparative negligence works in the state of Florida.

I have experience proving fault in court, even when there’s comparative negligence. Call me today. I can help you with your claim.

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