Slip and Fall Laws in Florida: What Residents Need to Know
The humid subtropical climate of Orlando can be a heavenly escape for many individuals. Going to visit family and friends in Florida brings to mind visions of fun in the sun, days at the beach, and cookouts overlooking the sunset. Vacationers rarely consider the threats of personal injury when they are in the sunshine state.
Any time you are on someone else’s property it is important to consider the risk involved in regards to slipping and falling on the premises. Like many other states, Florida has enacted a series of laws that clearly dictate the process and procedures for taking legal action in the event of personal injury on someone else’s property.
If you have been injured from a fall on another person’s premises, contacting an experienced personal injury attorney should be high on your “to do” list. Regardless, this article is intended to serve as a primer for understanding the factors courts consider when hearing personal injury cases related to slips and falls on personal property.
The Statute of Limitations
“Statute of limitations” is a fairly popular term applied to various aspects of the law. In general, a statute of limitations specifies the amount of time a party has to take legal action and have their case heard by a state’s court system. In Florida, the statute of limitations for slip and fall claims is four years.
There are exceptions to this statute of limitations, but these instances are quite rare. For example, if you were rendered unconscious (e.g. in a coma) from the slip and fall, an exception may be granted. In most cases, however, the court is almost certain to dismiss a claim if it is filed after the deadline.
Make sure you leave plenty of time when filing to manage unexpected scheduling or timeline issues. Even if your legal team is confident the other side will settle out of court, maintaining the option of going to court enhances your bargaining power during settlement discussions.
It stands to reason that not every slip and fall on someone’s property is recourse for litigation; there are times when the person who slipped and fell did so because of their own negligence. When faced with a personal injury lawsuit, property owners will typically try and develop a case that shows that the person who fell was actually acting in a negligent manner that led to their fall, as opposed to a fault in the property itself. This is referred to by the courts as “comparative negligence.”
The courts determine comparative negligence by asking questions such as:
- Were you paying attention when you fell?
- Were you wearing appropriate shoes for the location?
- Was the danger level of the situation obvious?
There are many things that allow a property owner to build a case for comparative negligence. For example, if security cameras caught the fall on tape, the court will answer these questions easily. The location of the fall and the reported circumstances surrounding the fall are also fair game for discussion.
Call a Professional
Contacting an Orlando personal injury attorney who is well-versed in slip and fall cases should be strongly considered when taking legal action after a fall. With over three decades of experience in personal injury law, Payer Law has firmly planted themselves within the Orlando area as a trusted source of legal counsel for a variety of personal injury cases. Contact Payer Law today to get the personal injury representation you need.