Articles Posted in Premises Liability

According to the Centers for Disease Control, every year, slip and fall injuries cost Americans close to $34 billion for medical and hospital expenses. Older adults are more prone to the most serious injuries resulting from slip and falls, though individuals at any age can suffer broken bones, head trauma, or other injuries as a result of a slip and fall. When falls occur, there is a 20% chance that the fall will result in a serious injury. The CDC reports that falls can cause brain injury, wrist fractures, ankle fractures, and hip fractures. These injuries can lead to lifestyle changes, result in missed time at work, and may make it difficult for some individuals to live independently.

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Traumatic brain injuries resulting from slip and falls can be particularly pernicious. In some cases, it can take a while before patients experience the full range of symptoms of a head injury. Insomnia, memory loss, vision problems, changes in mood, and dizziness can all be symptoms of mild traumatic brain injury. Slip and fall victims may not be immediately aware that these changes can be linked back to their accident. This is why it is important for slip and fall victims to follow up with physicians following release from the hospital and to make sure that they are tested properly for all symptoms.

Some slip and fall victims may experience post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of their accident. They may avoid situations similar to the circumstances leading to their fall. This can lead to major disruptions in life activities. Older adults are most prone to suffer following a slip and fall because their injuries—psychological and physical—are more likely to result in a more sedentary lifestyle. A slip and fall accident can affect an elderly adult’s health years after it takes place and can even shave off years from a person’s life.

If something fell on you, and you got hurt, it might be hard to prove someone else’s negligence caused that problem.  For example, maybe someone stocked a shelf and then left an item really close to the edge, too close.  Then, when someone lightly bumped the shelf, it fell on you.  But how do you know they stocked the shelf wrong?  Now this may or not be an instance where this applies, but, sometimes, the thing speaks for itself.  And this is called the legal doctrine of “res ipsa loquitur”. 

Danger Falling Objects Warning Sign Isolated, black drop triangle over yellow, large macro

Danger Falling Objects Warning Sign Isolated, black drop triangle over yellow, large macro

Young woman falling on wet floor

Young woman falling on wet floor

Ever wonder how to win your Miami slip and fall injury case?

The law in years past has vacillated in slip and fall cases in business establishments involving water or other similar transitory substances.  For the past several years, actual or constructive notice has been the requirement. And, in a recent case, the Third District Court of Appeals dismissed a Plaintiff’s claim because, as they said, the “record here is devoid of any evidence suggesting that the Appellees had any notice—either actual or constructive—of the water on the floor.”

Slip and fall cases are hard.  And, summary judgment is very difficult at times to avoid.  This is due to the relatively new statutes.  But if the Court lets defendant’s argue evidence that was not filed, well that makes it even more difficult.  Recently, the Fourth DCA corrected a trial court that allowed evidence to be presented during a Summary Judgment Motion that was not filed in accordance with the rule.  In fact, that evidence was relied upon in the trial court’s ruling on the slip and fall case.  The ruling, actually, dismissed the case because the Plaintiff was found to be an undiscovered trespasser.

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The Fourth District Court of Appeals recently reversed a trial court’s ruling granting summary judgment for the defendant in a slip-and-fall case when it came to the issue of allowing deposition testimony that was not attached to the motion, pretrial filings, or the record of appeal. In Denniser v. Columbia Hospital Corporation of South Broward d/b/a Westside Medical Center, 39 Fla. L. Weekly D990a, the appeals court would not conclude that Denniser was an “undiscovered trespasser” in the hospital pantry because the only evidence Columbia brought and relied on was deposition testimony where Denniser said she did not see anybody before she fell, which was not attached or admitted into evidence.

In doing so, the 4th DCA cited Servedio v. U.S. Bank Nat’l Ass’n, 46 So. 3d 1105, 1107 (Fla 4th DCA 2010) to assert that “a trial court’s order for summary judgment must be reversed when there is no sworn evidence, in the record, to support that motion.” So although there is relevant testimony to support Columbia Hospital’s motion for summary judgment, procedural and evidentiary rules preclude admissibility of the statement and left a gaping genuine issue of material fact to be resolved by a jury.

The law in years past has vacillated in slip and fall cases in business establishments involving water or other similary transitory substances.  For the past several years, actual or constructive notice has been the requirement. And, in a recent case, the Third District Court of Appeals dismissed a Plaintiff’s claim because, as they said, the “record here is devoid of any evidence suggesting that the Appellees had any notice—either actual or constructive—of the water on the floor.”  Kenz v. Unicco, 116 So. 3d 461 (Fla. 3rd DCA 2013).  In Kenz and for the foreseeable future, a Plaintiff must show evidence that the Defendant had actual or constructive notice of the condition that caused him or her to slip and fall and be injured.

Wet Floor

Suffering a slip and fall can be both dangerous and embarrassing. If you suffered a slip and fall because of the negligent behavior of another party, you may be able to recover damages.

To recover damages, an attorney would have to prove not only that the injured party slipped and fell, but also that the owner of the property was liable. Then, we would need to prove that it was foreseeable that the property owner’s negligence would create the danger that caused your injury.

A recent study shows that bedrails might cause more deaths and injuries than they prevent. According to a Miami Herald article, the problem is that bedrail designs are not regulated whatsoever.

420B LARGE

After elderly or mentally impaired people fall out of their beds, care facilities and doctors advise that their families install bedrails to prevent future falls. Unfortunately, thousands of elderly citizens are injured by becoming trapped by those rails.

Federal agencies have known that bedrails can be hazardous but have done little to inform the public or regulate the manufacturers. Without warnings or regulations, consumers purchase rails expecting to provide safety for their loved ones, only to find out that the bedrails might lead to injury or even death.

June 25, 2013, Miami, FL- When a hundreds of die-hard Miami Heat fans gathered at the Shucker’s Bar and Grill on Biscayne Bay June 14th to watch their favorite team duke it out with San Antonio Spurs for a NBA title, they had no idea that they were in danger. But when the crowd jumped after the Heat scored a basket the deck gave way and at least a hundred people were plunged into the shallow waters of Biscayne Bay, leaving two people in critical condition and dozens of others injured. Now, a Miami couple has filed the first of several anticipated personal injury lawsuits against the bar.

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Property accidents, which are too common, rarely make national headlines, but this particular incident took place during a pivotal game in the national basketball playoffs and demonstrates how quickly a seemingly innocuous night on the town can turn tragic.

The wooden deck which jutted 25 ft. onto the water collapsed in a V-shape plunging patrons, chairs and tables into the four-foot deep water. Patrons who managed to escape the fall jumped into the water and offered aide to the injured people. Emergency crews took over two dozen people to the hospital where two of the victims were listed in serious condition.

MIAMI BEACH – In our first “what to do after an accident” tip, we discussed what to do at the scene of an accident after the accident. The sum of it was to be consistent and complete. 

Now, in this tip, we will discuss what to do at the scene of a trip or slip and fall accident. We are Miami Beach and Miami personal injury attorneys and have represented thousands of people in auto accident cases. Jerome H. Wolfson, Esq. has been practicing for over 50 years. 

At a trip and fall or slip and fall, many times you won’t fully recognize how serious your injuries might be. Therefore, if a store employee or manager asks if you want them to call Fire Rescue or an Ambulance, it is best to be on the safe side and say yes if common sense and your body is telling you the same. 

We are Miami Beach Personal Injury Lawyers and handle slip and fall or trip and fall cases against local businesses. A slip and fall negligence case against a property owner is a “premises liabilty” case. In such a case, the owner’s liabilty stems from his, her, or its ownership of the “premises” and the negligence that caused an injury to a prospective Plaintiff. Essentially, the landowner or renter is being held responsible for something wrong they did in maintaining a property which caused an injury to someone.

Slip and falls commonly happen in supermarkets, stores, businesses, offices, and other places. People injured in slip and fall accidents complain about back, knee, shoulder, wrist, and other injuries that range from ligament and tendon tears to fractures and broken bones.

But to be held liable, one must first show that the person, company, or business that was in possession of the property had a duty toward the injured Plaintiff. This “duty” means a requirement on the part of the premises owner / possessor to do something or refrain from and not do something.

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