An unexpected fall onto a hard surface, over a long distance, or even just at an awkward angle can cause long-lasting injuries that may even have permanent repercussions. Unfortunately, as severe as slipping and tripping accidents like this can be, filing suit against a negligent property owner for causing one can be a deceptively complex process—especially if you try to go through with your lawsuit or settlement demand alone.
Guidance from a capable Largo slip and fall lawyer could be the difference between obtaining fair restitution for the losses you have suffered and getting no money at all. Even if you are not completely sure you have grounds for a case under Florida law, a conversation with a seasoned personal injury attorney at Distasio Law Firm could provide answers to any questions you have.
Holding a Landowner Liable for Specific Damages
Maybe the most important thing for slip and fall victims to understand about civil litigation for accidents like theirs is that property owners are not automatically liable for every injury that happens on their land. For someone injured in an accidental fall to hold someone else financially accountable for their losses, they must show through significant evidence that the named defendant(s) owed them a duty of care and then caused their injuries directly by violating that duty.
The extent of the duty a landowner owes a visitor on their property depends mostly on the visitor’s reason for being on that property to begin with. Generally, property owners have a more substantial duty to protect visitors who are on their land lawfully and for their financial benefit, but there are some exceptions that a knowledgeable Largo slip and fall attorney could go into more detail about as needed.
In any event, a landowner found to have caused a slip and fall through negligence can be held liable for all economic and non-economic forms of harm caused directly by the incident. This can include both past and future losses relative to when the lawsuit or settlement demand is expected to conclude.
How Comparative Fault Could Impact a Claim
Even if someone can prove a landowner bears most of the fault for their slip or trip and fall, that injured person may miss out on much-needed compensation if a court finds that they contributed to causing their own injuries through their own negligence—for example, wearing shoes with no tread, or running in an area where they should have been walking. Under Florida Statutes §768.81, a personal injury plaintiff found partially liable for their own injury may be subject to a proportional reduction in the total amount of compensation they can receive from a court verdict in their favor.
Fortunately, Florida takes a “pure comparative fault” approach to this legal concept, so there is no amount of fault a person can hold for their own injuries—other than 100 percent—that would completely disqualify them from seeking civil restitution. Still, working with a skilled slip and fall lawyer in Largo, such as Scott Distasio, to contest allegations of comparative fault made against a slip and fall victim can be key to obtaining fair financial recovery.
A Largo Slip and Fall Attorney Could Help You
Slipping and tripping on someone else’s land can lead to injuries that may be difficult to recover from physically and even harder to recover for financially through civil litigation. Fortunately, assistance is available from dedicated legal professionals who have experience helping people in situations like yours get the comprehensive compensation they deserve.