Gainesville Florida Slip and Fall Accident Attorney
Serving Gainesville, Lake City, Live Oak and all of North Florida
Although many types of accidents can occur within someone’s home or a place of business, the Law Office of Christopher J. Annis, LLC with offices in Gainesville, Florida, generally finds that the most common type are slip and fall accidents.
Slip and fall accidents occur in and outside of homes, on school grounds or campuses, in stores, parking lots, or anywhere one might be a guest or visitor.
Slip and Fall Law in Florida
In Florida, your ability to make a successful slip and fall case is dependent on a variety of factors, including the location of your fall along with your reasons for being there. In the law, such claims are called “premises liability” claims.
If you want to make a premises liability claim, you are best off hiring an attorney who has experience and success with premises liability cases.
A knowledgeable lawyer who understands the complexities of slip and fall accidents will be able to determine if you even have a case, and if so, how to handle the case to ensure you receive the best possible outcome.
What You Need to Make a Claim
In order to make a successful slip and fall case, certain criteria must be met. Just because you fell and got hurt doesn’t necessarily mean you have a case.
The most obvious requirement is that there must have been a “dangerous condition” on the property where you were hurt that caused you to fall.
A dangerous condition is one that posed an unreasonable risk to create harm or injury to someone coming on the property.
A second important factor is that the property owner must have had knowledge or should have had knowledge about the dangerous condition but did not take precautions to prevent the dangerous condition or warn potential guests about the dangerous condition.
Even if these criteria are met, you must also consider whether or not your own negligence contributed significantly to the accident. Even if the other party is at fault, if you were somewhat at fault as well, it could hurt your ability to make a claim.
If you knew of the dangerous condition, but did not attempt to avoid it, or if the dangerous condition was so obvious that you should have reasonably been aware of it, it could hurt your ability to make a case.
What is Required of a Property Owner?
The Law Office of Christopher J. Annis, LLC will investigate what a reasonable property owner should have done in relation to the dangerous condition.
In order to win a slip and fall lawsuit, we must be able to show that the property owner was actually negligent.
- Did the property owner know about the dangerous condition for a significant amount of time or was the condition there for so long that the property owner should have known about it?
- Was there an acceptable excuse for the dangerous condition? For example, if a floor was wet because someone had just mopped and warning signs were in place, you may not have a case.
- Did the property owner have any procedures or practices in place for inspecting the property for dangerous hazards?
- Were barricades or warning signs in place to keep people out of the area or warn them about the hazardous condition?
- What actions could the property owner have taken to eliminate the dangerous condition or make it less dangerous?
As you can see, the action or lack of action on the part of the property owner plays a significant role in whether or not you will have a successful slip and fall case.
Of course, if the property owner had warnings in place or if you knew of the risk and chose to proceed anyway, it could hurt your case or lessen its value.
Is the Property Owner Liable?
The Law Office of Christopher J. Annis, LLC will carefully investigate the factors that caused your accident and whether or not the property owner was negligent.
If the dangerous condition had been in existence for a fair amount of time or if the property owner knew about the dangerous condition and did not make a reasonable effort to correct the situation, they may be held liable for your accident.
In order to really nail down liability, however, we need to be able to show that a reasonable person in the property owner’s position would have done something to fix the situation.
For example, if the lights in a stairwell are not functioning, making the steps difficult to see at night and the property owner is aware of the situation but does nothing, the property owner could be held liable for your injuries.
Or, if a pipe bursts in a store, creating a slippery area for the customers, and the store owner allows the situation to continue without doing anything to fix it, like barricading the area, fixing the leak and cleaning up the water, and/or putting up warnings around the dangerous area, then the store may be liable for your injuries.
Also, if a property owner does not obey certain laws and regulations regarding safety standards, their failure to adhere to the law can be used against them in a premises liability lawsuit.
Common violations include failure to install railings on staircases, inadequately lighting dark areas and failing to follow building and safety codes.
To have a successful slip and fall case, you must satisfy two basic elements, the property owner must have negligently failed to maintain their property in a safe condition and you must have suffered a physical injury as a result of their failure to maintain the property.
What the Law Office of Christopher J. Annis, LLC Will Do
Mr. Annis will meet with you in person to determine whether or not you have a case.
After we agree to take your case, we will investigate the accident, acquire any accident reports, gather your medical records from the accident and interview any witnesses.
At first, we will try to settle your case without filing a lawsuit. This will save you the time and aggravation associated with litigation. But we will not settle if their offer is not fair. If we need to file suit, we will, and we will do whatever is needed to ensure you receive just and fair compensation.
Contact a Gainesville Florida Personal Injury Lawyer
If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident, then the Law Office of Christopher J. Annis, LLC in Gainesville, Florida is ready to talk to you.
We will then set up a free, no obligation consultation with Gainesville, Florida slip and fall attorney Christopher J. Annis. We will evaluate your case and formulate a plan of action to protect your rights.