Under Florida negligence law, a business can be liable for injuries caused when a person slips and falls on a transitory foreign substance in a business establishment. Many slips and falls are preventable, and can be reduced by attentive maintenance.
Facilities Management Magazine has tips for business owners to prevent injuries of customers and workers:
Businesses should select cleaning chemicals and floor finishes that are designed to help reduce slips-and-falls
Document any falls to identify any areas that are problematic or dangerous
Conduct periodic walkthroughs to identify unsafe conditions, before, during, and after business hours.
Be on alert for debris and fallen merchandise. Although many focus on liquids, debris and fallen merchandise also pose a slip, trip, and fall threat.
A plaintiff bringing a claim against a retail establishment for his or her injuries must prove that the business had actual or constructive knowledge of the dangerous condition, and should have taken action to remedy it. Actual knowledge can be proven, for example, by demonstrating that a spill had been reported to a store manager who failed to take any action to remedy the dangerous situation.
Constructive knowledge can be proven with evidence that shows that the dangerous condition existed for so long that, if the business had exercised ordinary care, it should have known about the conditions. It can also be shown by demonstrating that the dangerous condition occurs with such regularity that it was foreseeable, and therefore, that the business should have taken steps to remedy it.
Because of the highly fact-specific nature of these claims, it is important to gather as much information as possible about the circumstances at the time of the accident. Were there any “wet floor” signs or absorbent mats? Take note of every detail you possibly can.
Posted in Personal Injury