Tampa Slip and Fall Attorney
Slip and fall accidents are one of the most common types of injury in the U.S. Slip and fall accidents account for more than one million emergency room visits each year, and are the leading cause of missed days of work due to injury. The term “slip and fall” may sound like a minor accident, but this type injury can have drastic effects including serious physical harm, long-term complications, and a higher susceptibility to subsequent falls.
Slip and fall injuries are common in the workplace and represent the majority of workers’ compensation claims. Additionally, older adults are more susceptible to falling and sustaining injury. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data, falls are the second-leading cause of injury-related death for people between the ages of 65 and 84. For people over 85 years of age, falls are the leading cause of injury-related deaths.
Most slip and fall accidents lead to lawsuits under the purview of premises liability law. While every state has unique facets to their premises liability laws, this law generally applies to private property owners. All property owners have a legal duty to ensure that their grounds and facilities are not hazardous to lawful visitors to the property. If a hazard exists, the property owner must take adequate steps to prevent the conditions from causing injuries and should warn any visitors of the hazard.
It’s vital to recognize the distinction between lawful visitors and trespassers. A property owner has no legal obligation to prevent injury to trespassers or other unlawful visitors on the property. If a person entered the property without permission and sustains an injury that would normally lead to a premises liability lawsuit, the injured trespasser has no claim. The only exception to this is in the case of trespassing children. The law does not consider children to have the same level of self-awareness and propriety as adults, so property owners should take extra care if there is any possibility of a child wandering onto the property.
When Property Owners Are Liable for Falls
Property owners who welcome guests onto their properties – either for social or business reasons – must take care to keep their properties free from hazards. Some of the most common slip and fall hazards that lead to personal injury lawsuits include:
- Failing to clear away snow and ice
- Damaged structures such as stairwells and floorboards
- Unmarked wet floors
- Poor visibility or lighting, especially in stairwells
- Cluttered walkways
This is not an exhaustive list, and any injury that results from slipping and falling can lead to a premises liability lawsuit. To file such a lawsuit, meet with a personal injury attorney to determine your case’s value and your likelihood of succeeding with the suit in court.
Winning Your Case
To win a premises liability lawsuit against a property owner, a plaintiff must prove that the property owner failed in his or her duty of reasonable care to provide a safe and hazard-free environment. In many slip and fall cases, the plaintiff must prove that the property owner in question knew about the injury-causing hazard but did not address it in a timely or effective manner. The plaintiff must also prove that the property owner’s negligence caused actual harm in the form of bodily injury, property damage, or other losses.
Whether your slip and fall accident happened on private property, at work, in a publicly maintained area, or at home, our attorneys at Williams Law will work closely with you to determine where the liability lies for your injuries. Reach out to our team in Tampa to schedule a free initial case evaluation and we’ll be happy to let you know how we can help.