For fit and healthy people, a slip and fall accident can be a significant setback health-wise, possibly necessitating months or years of physical therapy and rehab to recover. For the vulnerable, whether ill, elderly, or disabled, a fall can have even worse ramifications, including fatality. This scenario can be particularly frustrating when the accident is the result of another person’s careless property maintenance.
Whether on someone else’s commercial or residential property, you may be able to sue for the personal injury you sustained. After an accident, there may be far-reaching ramifications aside from your physical and mental well-being. An Orlando slip and fall lawyer could you offer their assistance, first appraising whether it is possible to seek financial compensation, and then possibly pursuing an out-of-court settlement or, if necessary, filing a lawsuit on your behalf. To get started, schedule a consultation with an injury attorney in Orlando today.
The Duty to Maintain Safe Premises
Slip and fall accidents come under a subset of premises liability law. Premises liability aims to incentivize landowners to manage their properties to a requisite level of safety. On the other hand, the law holds accountable those who do not comply.
Under Florida statute, property owners have a duty to keep their premises safe for invited visitors, to exercise reasonable care in maintaining properties for visitors’ foreseeable use of the property.
The duty varies depending on the type of establishment, such as a store or restaurant, a movie theatre, an amusement park, a school, church, or municipal facility. Some hazards landowners must insure against include:
- Spilled liquid or slippery substances
- Untended debris in an aisle, entry, or passageway
- Trailing cables or hoses
- Uneven, lose, or damaged flooring
- Poor lighting
- Unmarked steps or surface transitions
- Non-compliant, broken, or lose stairs
When a slippery substance causes a fall in Orlando, plaintiffs must meet specific conditions for the accident to give rise to liability. A property owner must have actual or constructive notice of a hazard. Under Florida Statues § 768.0755, a spill must have existed for a long enough time so that the business establishment should have been aware of it to give rise to liability. That, or that the spill occurred regularly and was, therefore, a foreseeable hazard.
When to File an Orlando Slip and Fall Lawsuit
Florida Statutes section 95.11(3)(a) sets forth the maximum time that can pass from the time of a slip and fall accident to the filing of the plaintiff’s lawsuit. The time limit, known as the statute of limitations, is four years, with a few exceptions.
This is also the deadline for filing a lawsuit claiming property damage. It makes sense for a person involved in an Orlando slip and fall accident to bring a property damage claim, say, for a broken watch or smartphone, at the same time as their personal injury claim.
From a strategic point of view, Orlando slip and fall attorneys generally do not want to wait until the eleventh hour to file a lawsuit. Starting early allows for greater leverage in negotiations, which could result in a settlement before a plaintiff ever has to file a case.
Contact an Orlando Slip and Fall Attorney Today
Making use of the legal system can seem daunting for a person who has no experience with it. Hiring an attorney could be advantageous in that they alleviate the stress of following procedural rules, adhering to deadlines, and building a sound legal case.
Pursuing legal action could help you and your family access the financial resources you need to cover medical bills, lost income, and even compensation for the pain and suffering you have experienced. Speak with an Orlando slip and fall lawyer today to discuss why hiring counsel might be right for you.