Unfortunately in Florida, the burden of proof falls on the person that slipped and fell to prove that the business knew about the liquid substance on the floor. This can obviously be a difficult thing to prove without the help of an attorney. If you are involved in a slip and fall accident, there are a few things you can do to protect your rights under Florida’s slip and fall laws:
Take Notes About Where You Fell
It is a rare occasion where a person can actually prove that the business actually knew about the liquid on the ground. Unless you can get an employee to admit they knew about the spill, this is an almost impossible standard. But, the new Florida slip and fall laws also allow an injured person to show that the business should have known about the liquid on the floor. For example, if the spill was directly in front of a cashier or employee station, the employee is trained to look for spills and should have known about the spill if they had been diligent in their job duties.
Another example of should have known is a fall caused by a melting substance like ice cream or ice. If a person slips and falls in a pile of ice cream or ice that has started to melt and spread, this is a condition that remained on the floor for at least a little while to allow the liquid to solid to start to melt. When a person can show that the liquid they fell on has remained no the floor for a period of time, this is a dangerous condition that the business employees should have known about and corrected the problem.
Take Pictures of Where You Fell — And What Caused the Fall
Everybody carries a cell phone these days, and most cell phones have a camera as part of the phone. Cell phones may not take the highest quality photographs, but you will be amazed how quickly a business makes the spill on the floor disappear. Photographs document exactly what the area looked like at the time of the fall, and you can photograph steps taken by the business after the fall to clean the area. Don’t rely on the business to document what happened – if the pictures are bad for the business, you can bet they will not be found when you need them.
Don’t Let the Statute of Limitations Run Out
Most people that become injured think that the injury they suffered will go away over time. Some people injured in accidents also believe businesses “assurances” that they will take care of the injured person. This never happens to the injured person’s satisfaction. However, waiting to make a claim can destroy your ability to make a claim. Over time, key evidence is lost or destroyed, and witnesses disappear or their memories fade.
Complete an Incident Report Where the Slip and Fall Took Place
After becoming injured at an unfamiliar surrounding, most people’s immediate reaction is not how to preserve their claim, but usually embarrassment and trying to get back up and leave the scene before anybody notices. However, failing to report the accident is one of the biggest problems you’ll face in making a claim.
Most businesses will first claim the accident never happened if it was not reported right away. If this argument fails, the next argument will be that even if the accident or injury did happen, by not reporting it, the injured person failed to give it a chance to investigate the area and cause of the injury or accident. Reporting the accident or injury immediately to the businesses employees, and requiring a detailed, and factually correct incident report to be filled out, ensures you do not encounter these defenses when making a slip and fall accident injury claim against a business. Also make sure the incident report lists witness names and contact information, and details whether any photographs were taken of the scene of the slip and fall.
Let the a Slip and Fall Attorney at the Maus Law Firm Help with Your Claims
Attorney Joseph M. Maus has been recognized by Martindale Hubbell as being preeminent in his field, and he is “AV” rated. Attorney Maus has also been recognized by AllExperts.Com as being an authority in the areas of accident and injury claims. He is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court, the Middle and Southern District Courts for the State of Florida, and all Florida State Courts. His practice includes representing victims of serious injury accident claims which occur in Florida. Let our top-rated attorney help you win compensation. Get it touch today!