I’ve Fallen & I Can’t Get Up!
Here’s how the typical slip and fall occurs. You walk into your favorite store. While walking along you slip in a puddle of water and – bam! – down you go, banging your elbow and hitting your head on the concrete floor. A store employee runs over and offers you a hand. You say you are okay and refuse medical treatment. He has you sign the “standard paperwork” then you head home with your newfound migraine. You miss three days of work and finally call an attorney.
We will ask:
- What caused you to fall?
- Was there a wet floor sign?
- Did you take photographs?
- What was the name of the employee that assisted you?
- Do you have any witnesses?
The most common answers we get – “I don’t know; I don’t know; no; James Something; no.”
What should you have done? First, never sign anything! Second, take out your phone and take pictures or, better yet, video of your injuries and the scene especially what caused you to slip. You win or lose your case based upon this evidence. Yes, they probably do have video cameras but they will make it difficult for you to get a copy. Next, get the name of the employee that assisted you, the names of any witnesses, and get a copy of the incident report. Yes, report it, just do not sign anything! Chances are, they do not want to compensate you for your injuries.
Florida Statute § 768.0755 forces you to prove that the store knew or should have known of the dangerous condition. They want to know if this condition (water on the floor in our example) just occurred or had been there for a while. The best way to prove this is to take pictures of the substance you slipped on. The longer it was there the more negligent the store becomes. Why? They have a duty to protect their customers from danger. Does it have dirt in it? Does it have shoe or shopping cart tracks through it? Take the picture!
The store may tell you to send the bills to them. That does NOT mean they will pay them! Instead, the store will likely deny your claim stating the ‘condition’ (water) was “open and obvious” and you were negligent by not watching where you were walking. In our example above, the store would probably say you have not proven there was water on the floor or argue the water spill was new or they would have cleaned it on their very next scheduled inspection. How do you prove otherwise? That’s where we come in. Call us. We can help. 1-800-332-1992
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