Earlier this year, the Florida Legislature enacted a law that will make it harder for people suffering personal injuries as a result of slip and falls to make a recovery. Slip and fall accidents often involve the presence of a liquid on the floor of a store or other premises open to the public. A customer that slips as a result of a substance on the floor often has no way of knowing how long the substance was on the floor or whether the store employees were aware of its presence.
Traditionally, Florida law required a plaintiff prove that a business either knew of the dangerous condition that caused the fall or prove that it existed for a long enough time that the business should have found it and eliminated it. However, in 2001, the Florida Supreme Court removed that burden from plaintiffs in the case of Owens v. Publix Supermarkets when it ruled that the existence of a hazardous substance on a floor meant the owner failed to maintain the premises in a safe condition.
The legislation essentially reverses the Supreme Court decision. Now, plaintiffs will again have to prove that a substance that caused a fall was either known to the store employees or that it was present for a sufficient length of time that it should have been discovered and removed prior to the fall.
As Jacksonville injury lawyers, we have handled numerous personal injury cases resulting from falls, including falls resulting from substances on floors, stairways that have no handrails, staircases without uniform riser or step sizes, and the presence of items on a floor which cause a person to trip.
Often fall cases result in surprisingly serious personal injuries. We have handled fall cases causing injuries including: a broken femur; a broken fibula; a froken maxilla (jaw); broken elbow or radial head; herniated vertebral discs; shoulder injuries requiring surgery; and ligament injuries to the knee.
If you have any questions about personal injuries resulting from a fall please contact our Jacksonville slip and fall lawyers for a free consultation.