Premises Liability Attorney
If I do file a lawsuit for a slip and fall, or some
other type of injury on someone else’s property,
what kind of defenses can they raise?
The main defense that can be brought against you if you fall and get injured on someone else’s property, due to a dangerous condition of some kind, is called comparative fault. This term means that a jury can be asked to determine what percentage of fault for your fall lies with the store, or homeowner where the fall occurred, and what percentage of fault for your fall lies with you, for either doing something that a reasonably prudent person would not do – like running across a crowded area – or failing to do something that a reasonably prudent person would do –such as noticing a puddle of orange juice in the middle of a white tile floor. In almost all the slip and fall cases I have handled over the past twenty plus years, the defense raises the issue of comparative fault. Only a skillful and knowledgeable attorney with slip and fall experience can resolve these comparative fault issues in your favor. In fact, if the condition of the property is so open and obvious, the law in Florida could bar you completely from a recovery of any money damages – unless you come up with a real good reason why you didn’t or couldn’t see it or avoid it.
There are also many situations where an injury occurs after someone has consumed alcoholic beverages. If you fall, due to a dangerous condition – such as an uneven curb, inadequate lighting, stairways with missing hand rails, etc., and are under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance, and it is determined that you are more than ½ at fault for your own fall – you are completely barred in Florida from collecting any money at all from the other side, even if everyone agrees they had a dangerous condition on their property.