Elements of a Clearwater Slip and Fall Case
The most common cause of slip-and-fall accidents in Clearwater, Florida is something called “transitory” substances, which means that there is something that is on the floor that should not be there. The most common injuries resulting from a slip and fall in Clearwater are fractured or broken bones, concussions, and occasionally, there are soft tissue injuries to the discs of the back or a brain injury.
There can always be multiple defendants based on the control of the premises and potential contractual liability obligations. The statute of limitations on a Clearwater slip-and-fall case is governed by Florida law that allows for four years from the date of the injury. Contact a Clearwater slip and fall attorney as soon as an injury happens because there are very short timeframes to be able to gather evidence before conditions are changed.
Duty of Care
A property owner is obligated to maintain a safe environment even if that means that they have to inspect their property at reasonable intervals to determine whether any hazardous conditions exist. They are obligated to inspect their premises at “reasonable intervals” to ensure that no dangerous condition exists. The reasonableness is based on the particular type of business and the type of injury that occurs.
The duty of care element of a Clearwater slip and fall case falls on the premises owner or the person that controls the premises to maintain a reasonably safe condition. The duty also falls on the individual that is visiting the premises to ensure that they are acting reasonably on the property.
If a property owner does not meet a specific duty, it very may well still cause them to be liable for the injuries of another.
It is possible for a slip-and-fall case to be rejected because the specific Florida statute governing slip-and-falls requires that the plaintiff is able to prove that the person is responsible for maintaining the premises. They must prove the person acted unreasonably based on the circumstances because the Florida statute indicates that the owner has a reasonable timeframe to identify and cure an unsafe condition in transitory substance cases.
A court may reject a case when the plaintiff cannot meet all the elements necessary to prove that the injuries were causally related to the dangerous condition. This can occur because the plaintiff failed to engage with an attorney soon enough and do not have enough of the evidence to show that the person controlling the premises acted unreasonably.
Appeals are a possible element of a slip and fall case in Clearwater. An individual has 30 days from the date of an unfavorable verdict to file an appeal. The Court of Appeals for Clearwater is in the Second District Court of Appeals, which is either in Lakeland or in Tampa because there are two divisions of the appellate court.
A slip and fall case is appealed by filing the appropriate notice of appeal within the statutorily prescribed period of 30 days after the rendering of a verdict or an appealable issue and then, from that point forward, either the documentation or the transcripts are ordered and briefs are filed with the appellate court to demonstrate that the decision of the lower court was somehow erroneous.
An individual should bring whatever documentation that supports their injury, any medical records that they have, the shoes that they wore on the date of the injury, and they should also be prepared to discuss the circumstances of the injury.
If it is a condition that is dangerous, it is always best to at least document the place where the injury occurred to demonstrate what was defective prior to any curative measures being taken by the property owner.
Important to Note
The most dangerous thing for a person to do is to conclude the case too hastily. Once a person has settled his or her claim, they have likely waived any ability to go after a party for subsequently identified injuries.
People should understand that there is a very short amount of time to be able to gather evidence before dangerous conditions are changed. There are also short windows to be able to identify and obtain video surveillance. Requests for video surveillance have to be very specific and an individual has to be able to prove that the person controlling the video surveillance received them so that an individual can preserve evidence. People have to understand that there are very specific statutes that control slip-and-fall cases in Florida that require a lawyer with experience handling these types of cases on a regular basis.