The Most Common Defenses to Slip and Fall Cases in Miami
The busy and energetic nature of the city of Miami is known around the world. Year-round sun and tourists from all over make Miami a top destination. A downside to the pace of a city like Miami is the frequency in which accidents occur. A common accident in the city of Miami is the slip and fall. Whether it happens at a supermarket, an apartment building or at the Heat game, slip and falls are always unexpected and can leave you looking for answers. What you will immediately learn after suffering an injury from a slip and fall, however, is how difficult property owners and their insurance companies will make it for you to be compensated for your injuries. One of the main roadblocks in a financial recovery after a slip and fall is getting the owner to admit fault. Below you will find a list of the most common defenses that property owners and insurance companies have in trying to defend a slip and fall case. An experienced Miami slip and fall attorney can help you get past these defenses and help put you on the path to recovery.
It Was Your Fault
The first thing that property owners and insurance companies usually do in defending a slip and fall case is to blame you. If a property owner is able to shift the blame to you for your slip and fall, then they can reduce their potential liability under a legal defense called comparative negligence. Comparative negligence takes into account how much you are to blame for the accident and reduces your potential for recovery by that amount. For example, if you are hurt from a slip and fall at the supermarket and a court finds that you were 50% to blame for the accident, then your recovery will be reduced by that same 50%. The best way to help prevent this from happening is to refrain from making any statements about what happened until you speak to an attorney.
The Property Owner Didn’t Know of the Dangerous Condition
Along with blaming you for your slip and fall, property owners also commonly argue that they didn’t know of the dangerous condition that led to your slip and fall injuries. There are various legal standards that require property owners to maintain their property and keep it from unsafe conditions. Even if the property owner actually didn’t know the dangerous condition existed, he or she can be held responsible if they should have known that the dangerous condition was there. If you can prove that the property owner failed to regularly clean and maintain his or her property for instance, then it won’t matter what the property owner knew or didn’t know. The property owner can then be held liable for the dangerous condition that led to your slip and fall.
The Property Owner Took Reasonable Steps Towards Safety
In order to recover from a property owner or insurance company after a slip and fall, you must prove that your injuries were caused by the property owner’s negligence. If the property owner can show that he or she took “reasonable steps” towards making their property safe for visitors, then they can be excused of any financial liability. The burden is on you to prove that the property owner did not take reasonable steps to maintain safety on their property. If you are able to show that they did not reasonably maintain their property, then the property owner can be found negligent and financially responsible to compensate you for your injuries.
It Was an Open and Obvious Danger
Florida law states that when you are on another’s property, you have a duty of care to avoid ‘open and obvious’ dangers. The open and obvious danger doctrine is a legal defense that allows a property owner to be excused from liability if you were injured from and open and obvious hazard on their property. This defense would fail, however, if you are able to show that the building was not up to code, or there was inadequate lighting or warning signs where you were injured.
The Claim Was Filed Too Late
The statute of limitations in the state of Florida for slip and fall claims is four years. What that means is that you have four years from the date of your slip and fall injury to make a claim in court. If you do not file a lawsuit within those four years, then the property owner is excused from all liability for your injuries sustained in a slip and fall. If you have been hurt in a slip and fall, the clock is already ticking. Use your time wisely and get in touch with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible.
The Law Offices of Prosper Shaked is Here to Help
If you or a loved one has been the victim of a slip and fall in and around the city of Miami, then it is important that you consult with an experienced Miami slip and fall attorney. The Law Offices of Prosper Shaked is proud to offer FREE consultations to all prospective clients. Call us today at (305) 694-2676 or contact us online for an experienced and honest assessment of your legal situation. Our advice is free, and all our discussions will always be protected by the attorney-client privilege. Take your first steps towards recovery with a consultation with an experienced slip and fall attorney at the Law Office of Prosper Shaked today.