Accidents happen all of the time, sometimes due to poor maintenance at venues that are frequented such as schools, libraries, restaurants, gyms, and places of work, where the owner was aware of the damage that might potentially lead to an accident such as a leak leading to slippery walking conditions,  broken railings leading to falls or damaged tiles leading to tripping accidents. Understanding what to do about accident reporting and follow up is important if you end up with an injury and costly expenses to pay for it.  Building owners are responsible for the upkeep, care and maintenance of a place where people frequent due to the activities present therein.  An office building needs to insure the businesses who rent within, that there are no present dangers that will cause its visitors undue harm or injury.  Since a broken step is something that should have been fixed in a timely manner once the owner became aware of the condition, there may be a cause to sue for your damages.

Was Fall Due to Poor Building Maintenance?

If you fall at work due to a dangerous condition in the building, that incident would fall under Florida Statute 768.0755 for a Florida premises liability claim.  Under this statute a person can recover for injuries: 1) if they slip and fall on a transitory (not permanent) substance at a place of business; and 2) the business should have remedied that situation. If the business had actual knowledge of the situation they are accountable, and knowledge can be proven by showing that the dangerous condition existed for an amount of time to cause the damage and that its dangers were a known problem.

Were “Warning” or “Danger” Signs Present?

Warning signs are sometimes present when slip and fall accidents occur leading to legal complaints.  Can someone still sue for damages if there is a sign, or indication of danger? If the victim of the injury can still prove the elements of negligence exist, despite a warning sign,  a business may still be held liable for the injury.  A legal professional can help with these situations as they know what arguments will support an injury claim due to building dangers.

What Types of Damages Can I Sue For?

What are the damages I can sue for?  In the State of Florida, the courts will award both punitive damages and/or compensatory damages.  Compensatory damages are those that will compensate a victim for a loss that can be measured or calculated; and punitive damages are those that will be a punishment to the person who caused the damage.
Damages are classified as economic or non-economic.  Economic damages include: 1) medical expenses, lost income, property replacement values, loss of services, and funeral expenses related to loss of life due to the dangerous condition.  Non-economic damages include loss that is not financial in nature such as: 1) anxiety, 2) pain and suffering; 3) loss of capacity to enjoy life; and 4) inconvenience caused by the accident.
A slip and fall injury can be very costly, whereby you will need the assistance of a personal injury lawyer, but there are some situations where the case damages would not amount to more than $5,000.  In that situation, a small claims case may be the best option.  The Broward County Clerk’s office website has information on how to file small claims cases that will enable you to collect for damages sustained.

Seek Legal Counsel.

If you have damages incurred due to a slip and fall injury that could have been avoided if a dangerous condition did not present itself by no fault of your own, contact the Law Office of Gabriela C. Novo, P.A. for a free consultation to see if your case has merit.