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When can you sue after a fall in Florida?

Some slip-and-fall accidents can result in serious, debilitating injuries such as brain damage and broken bones. If negligence contributes to an accident, the injured person can file a legal claim in Florida for related costs such as medical bills and lost wages.

Review the factors that affect slip and fall accident liability in the Sunshine State.

Liability for slip and fall accidents

For a successful case, the plaintiff must prove that the property owner failed to live up to the expected duty of care. For example, a person may have a claim if he or she slips on a wet floor in a store that staff did not mark with cones or caution signs.

The injured party can file a claim with the property owner’s home or commercial insurance policy. They can also file a lawsuit in lieu of an insurance claim.

Comparative negligence in Florida

Florida also uses the comparative negligence standard. That means that the defendant can argue that the plaintiff had partial responsibility for the accident. In the example above, the plaintiff may have been on a smartphone and not paying attention when the fall occurred.

In this case, the judge or jury can reduce the plaintiff’s financial award by his or her determined percentage of fault. If medical expenses, lost wages and other damages total $80,000 and the plaintiff was 20% at fault, he or she would receive $64,000.

Florida gives injured parties four years from the date of the incident to file a lawsuit. After the statute of limitations passes, the court will dismiss the legal claim.

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