Do I Really Need a Boca Raton Slip and Fall Attorney – YES!
You may believe that if you slip or fall while on another person’s property or in a commercial setting you do not need a slip and fall attorney because the property owner is automatically liable if the reason for your fall was something left on the floor that caused a hazardous condition. You are wrong — you need a Boca Raton slip and fall attorney because Florida slip and fall laws make it much more difficult to prove fault in these types of cases.
If you have fallen due to a substance left on the floor, contact our office immediately to protect your legal right to receive a fair and just settlement from the property owner.
What is a Transitory Foreign Substance?
A transitory foreign substance was defined by the Florida Supreme Court in 2001 as a liquid, solid substance, item, or object that is located in a place where it should not be located. The case before the court was Owens v Publix Supermarkets, Inc. Examples of transitory foreign substances include water, grease, ketchup, block of wood, and dish detergent.
Over the years, Florida courts routinely found that the property owner had to prove that the property owner had taken reasonable care to maintain the premises in a safe manner. The victim benefited under this theory of premises liability. Unfortunately, changes in the law by the Florida legislature now makes proving fault in these types of premises liability cases much more difficult for the accident victim.
The Florida legislature first enacted a law that required the slip-and-fall victim to prove the property owner had acted negligently by failing to use reasonable care in the operation or maintenance of the premises, inspecting and repairing the premises, or warning of a dangerous condition. This law made proving a slip-and-fall case involving a transitory foreign object much more difficult.
The burden of proof on the accident victim became even heavier with the enactment of the current Florida slip-and-fall statute. Under Florida Statute §768.0755, your Boca Raton slip and fall attorney must prove that the property owner knew or should have known about the substance and failed to take steps to correct the situation.
Proving a property owner had actual knowledge of a transitory foreign subject can be difficult unless you have a witness, video, or audio proving the owner knew about the substance. Sometimes it may be easier to prove that the property owner had “constructive knowledge” of the substance or the owner “should have known” about the substance. The slip-and-fall law states that an accident victim can prove constructive knowledge in two ways:
- The dangerous condition existed for a long enough period that the owner, exercising ordinary care, should have been aware of the condition; or,
- The dangerous condition occurred on a regular basis so it was foreseeable by the property owner.
Even though the statute allows you to use constructive knowledge to prove the property owner was negligent in a premises liability lawsuit, you need an experienced Boca Raton slip-and-fall attorney who understands how to investigate the accident to identify and preserve key evidence to use in you slip-and-fall claim.
Call an Experienced Boca Raton Slip and Fall Attorney
The slip and fall lawyers of The Broderick Law Firm, P.L. understand Florida’s slip and fall laws including the statute regarding transitory foreign substances.