As we South Floridians know too well, with increased summer rains come many slip and fall accidents. Often these falls result in serious injuries, including fractures, sprains, abrasions, torn ligaments and even death. In fact, statistics prove that premises liability accidents such as slip and falls are a leading cause of these personal injuries.
The act of slipping generally happens when your shoe’s heel slides on a walking surface causing you to lose your balance. Slips usually occur as your heel hits the floor, and your weight is on that foot. Most often, slips happen because there is insufficient traction between your shoe and the floor. The most frequent cause of slips result from hazardous weather, foreign substances such as water or oil on the floor, poorly maintained or inappropriate flooring and improper footwear.
It is not unusual particularly in Miami, to find buildings which use indoor tile on outdoor surfaces. Given our humid weather and frequent rains, the use of such indoor flooring materials frequently result in unsafe friction, meaning unreasonably slippery walking areas. Despite the availability of slip prevention additives which are easily applied to such walking surfaces, businesses often fail to apply these friction adders and cause their customers to slip and fall. As businesses have an obligation to provide safe means for customers to enter and exit their property, the use of such inappropriate flooring is negligent, and may result in liability.
Businesses have had the Florida Legislature pass many recent laws which place a large hurdle in front of personal injury slip and fall accident victims, to wit: proving the business owner or operator either knew or should have known of the dangerous condition which caused their fall. This burden rests solely upon the injured victim; the business does not have to prove anything. This is the precise reason why consulting with an experienced Miami slip and fall lawyer shortly after a fall is critically important; as an immediate investigation into the cause of the fall, and preservation of photographs or surveillance videos of a fall area must be pursued. Incredibly, Florida Courts have recently held that businesses do not have an obligation to preserve accident videos, that is, unless they receive a written request for such preservation shortly after an accident.
This is the precise reason why it is imperative that all accident victims contact an experienced Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorney shortly after their accident.