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Articles Posted in Slip and Fall

Trip-and-fall injuries can occur on a myriad of different walking surfaces, and are usually caused by an uneven walkway or some type of non-obvious obstruction or hole. These type of incidents can result in severe and sometimes disabling injuries, so it’s important to explore all potential legal options that could assist victims with medical bills and compensate for pain and suffering. pebbles

Still, as our Boca Raton injury lawyers can explain, the fact that an injury occurred is usually not in and of itself enough to secure compensation. There must be evidence that the negligence of the property owner or property manager caused the fall that resulted in injury. Property owners have a duty of care to those invited on their site, especially if it is for business purposes. Companies that invite customers on site for the benefit of the company have a responsibility to regularly inspect the site and to keep it reasonably safe of potential hazards. Where such hazards exist and cannot be immediately addressed, customers are owed a warning.

In the recent case of Piotrowski v. Menard, Inc., the assertion was that plaintiff tripped and fell on a couple of small rocks that she did not see in the store parking lot. She fell hard on the concrete and sustained serious injuries. She alleged the store owner was liable for her injuries. But she had a tough time proving that it was the negligence of the store that caused her fall. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit recently reviewed.  Continue reading

Florida is a major tourism industry hub, drawing more than $80 billion a year. Hotels, motels, resorts and other property owners get a huge chunk of that. In return, they are expected to provide a reasonably safe space for guests. Courts have grappled with how to define this, though, and there is no clear, brightline rule. Typically, the courts will take into account the foreseeability of a certain accident or injury, based on whether it’s happened before or whether the circumstances make it likely. shower

In the recent case of Goodwin v. Al J. Schneider Co., the Kentucky Supreme Court was asked to weigh in on whether a hotel was liable for the slip-and-fall injury suffered by a guest in a shower that was not equipped with a bath mat, as showers in other suites were.

According to court records, it was not disputed that plaintiff and his wife were attending a convention in August 2011 and stayed at defendant hotel. The day after they arrived, plaintiff slipped and fell as he was exiting the shower. As a result, he suffered injury to his knee. The bathtub was equipped with a “grab bar,” but it did not have a bathmat. After the fall, staffers at the hotel provided him with a bathmat. Later, plaintiff learned from other attendees at the convention that their rooms were equipped with bath mats.  Continue reading

Dominique Sharpton, daughter of American civil rights activist Al Sharpton, has come under fire after a number of social media posts emerged showing her hiking, dancing in high heels and traveling to Miami. None of this would likely be noteworthy to the public, except for the fact that almost two years ago, she suffered a personal injury in a trip-and-fall accident on the streets of New York City. pothole2

Sharpton has insisted the pictures do not show the whole picture. And of course, she’s probably right. The fact is, what we post on social media doesn’t give a full and accurate view of our entire lives, particularly our emotional suffering or our physical pain. Nonetheless, defendants in personal injury cases will be quick to scour these accounts for any sliver of information that might contradict the injury claims made by the plaintiff.

In Sharpton’s case, she says the heels she could wear only for a very short time. That hiking trip? She had to stop numerous times and received a great deal of help from friends. She doubted whether she would make it to the top. Continue reading

A slip-and-fall accident plaintiff in Missouri sought a retrial after learning that a juror who weighed her case engaged in misconduct by Googling the weather on the exact day of her injury. The Missouri Supreme Court, in its review of Smotherman v. Cass Regional Medical Center, ruled that while litigants are entitled to a fair trial, “No court can guarantee a perfect trial.” bathroomsign

That said, juror misconduct is not a recent problem. Even though jurors have strict instructions not to seek information outside what they are given in the courtroom, some still do so anyway. It has become easier in recent years, however, as the internet and smartphones have given us easy, instant access to almost any sliver of information we’d ever want to know. Jurors also have the ability to instantly communicate with friends and send out texts, tweets, Facebook posts, blogs and more in between breaks. This has meant that outside influence on jurors is not just a problem on big, high-profile cases.

Although sequestration – or keeping jurors isolated during trial – is sometimes used in serious, high-profile criminal cases, it’s not economically feasible to do it in civil lawsuits. That means your personal injury attorney needs to be vigilant about recognizing it and calling it out. The sooner it can be addressed, the better.  Continue reading

A retail property owner in South Florida is accused of creating a dangerous condition on the property that resulted in the traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injury of a woman in Palm Beach. ramp

According to courtroom news coverage from Courtroom View Network, plaintiff in Sumner v. Lantana Palm Beach Retail, et al., alleges that she suffered severe injuries to her head and back in a slip-and-fall accident on an access ramp while working in Lake Worth at Lantana Square.

As her personal injury attorney explained during opening arguments, the 61-year-old plaintiff was someone who was bright, energetic, caring and productive. But after the accident, she was sent spiraling into illness and depression that has consumed her life. Once a real estate agent who actually worked on site at the property, her lawyer has likened the extent of her injury to that suffered by a shaken baby.  Continue reading

Every state varies in its requirements for success in slip-and-fall cases. watermelon1

Slip-and-fall lawsuits are a type of premises liability claim that stems from the assertion that a business failed to keep its customers safe by addressing hazardous conditions on the ground about which they knew or should have known and in failing to warn about that risk. A requirement is that the company had either actual or constructive knowledge of it. Actual knowledge could be created in one of two ways: The company created that particular hazard or else someone informed them of it. Constructive knowledge, meanwhile, holds that a company should have known about the floor hazard because it had existed for such a period of time that it was discoverable in the course of reasonable care or else it was part of the company’s mode of operation.

In Florida, F.S. 768.0755 sets for the the requirements specifically for premises liability claims stemming from transitory foreign substances in a business establishment. This is the statute that says plaintiffs have to prove either actual or constructive knowledge of the dangerous substance on the floor.  Continue reading

Sidewalks are constructed solely for the purpose of providing a safe space to travel on foot, out of the way of cars or other traffic. Unfortunately, many sidewalks are a threat in and of themselves. Specifically, they can be a fall risk if they are not properly built or adequately maintained. sidealk3

When a fall injury occurs as a result of an unexpected danger on the sidewalk, whoever is responsible for sidewalk maintenance may be liable to pay compensation for failing to mitigate those risks or warn about them.

Some potential sidewalk conditions that could result in a fall are:

  • Uneven pavement;
  • Potholes;
  • Pavement that is cracked;
  • Slippery substances (i.e., gravel, mossy vegetation, sand, excessive mud);
  • Tree roots breaking through the surface. Continue reading

Trial started recently in Las Vegas for a woman who went shopping for palm trees at a big box store and left with a serious head injury. plantsale

In Hendrickson v. Lowe’s Home Centers LLC plaintiff is seeking punitive damages in her premises liability lawsuit in a Nevada state court. She alleged the home improvement retailer failed to clear standing water in the store’s outdoor area, which caused her to slip and fall, suffering a serious brain and neck injury.

At the time, back in 2013, she was searching for trees and plants for her outdoor garden and she did not see the water that was on the concrete floor. The claim for punitive damages is bolstered by the fact plaintiff was able to show this was not merely an isolated incident. In fact, there were at least 33 other similar incidents plaintiffs identified at other stores in the outdoor garden area.

Plaintiff attorneys have characterized defense willful lack of regard for customer safety “despicable,” and argued such an award is necessary to drive home the point that ignoring such a serious safety risk should come at a price.  Continue reading

Florida slip-and-fall plaintiffs suing a business for injuries have to show the defendant had actual or constructive knowledge of the substance in question. wetfloor1

Actual knowledge means defendant was actually on notice about that particular hazardous condition. Constructive knowledge means they should have known about it, either because it was a condition that occurred with regularity or it existed for such a length of time defendant would have discovered it in the course of using reasonable care.

Most of these cases rely on assertions of constructive knowledge. There are many ways plaintiffs can prove this, including by request of internal memos, work logs, time sheets, surveillance video or other elements tending to show this was a regular problem or defense didn’t use reasonable care to routinely examine the site.  Continue reading

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