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You slipped and fell on a puddle of water at a business establishment and tore your ACL – is the establishment liable for your injuries?

Every day unsuspecting business customers across Florida find themselves seriously injured in a slip and fall incident that should have– and could have — been prevented by the business establishment had they acted with reasonable care. It happens so often, that the Florida legislature created a specific statute, Fla. Stat. 768.055, to deal with such scenarios, entitled:

Premises liability for transitory foreign substances in a business establishment

(1) If a person slips and falls on a transitory foreign substance in a business establishment, the injured person must prove that the business establishment had actual or constructive knowledge of the dangerous condition and should have taken action to remedy it. Constructive knowledge may be proven by circumstantial evidence showing that:

(a) The dangerous condition existed for such a length of time that, in the exercise of ordinary care, the business establishment should have known of the condition; or

(b) The condition occurred with regularity and was therefore foreseeable.

Note, that the statute places the burden of proof on an injured party to prove that the business establishment had “actual or constructive knowledge” of the dangerous condition. If they can prove the business had knowledge and could have remedied the problem before the customer was hurt – then they should be held responsible for resulting injuries and pain and suffering.

The trial lawyer’s at Abrams Justice have handled slip and fall cases where knowledge by the business establishment of a dangerous condition was discovered prior to litigation through our Firm’s investigation. Our firm has also handled other cases where knowledge and liability has only become clear after litigation through rigorous and intensive discovery. In either scenario, the victims would not have been able to prove “knowledge of the business establishment” on their own.

Practically speaking, an injured party only has the time and energy to focus on recovery and treatment after being seriously injured in a slip and fall incident. This is why it is imperative that injured parties hire an attorney immediately after an incident, to investigate the issue of actual or constructive knowledge to determine if a claim or lawsuit is warranted.        Common sense dictates that large corporations such as Publix or Wal-Mart have much more experience than the injured party in dealing with such situations, and more often than not, large corporations are trained to avoid any admission of knowledge or liability when communicating with a victim. Moreover, the likelihood that a large corporation would voluntarily and truthfully answer questions posed by an unrepresented victim related to the businesses knowledge of a dangerous condition is simply naïve and unheard of. In order to ensure that a large corporation and their team of in house lawyers do not take advantage of you, it is recommended that you retain your own legal counsel to protect your interests. Better safe than sorry.

The trial team at Abrams Justice is comprised of former prosecutors, who spent the first few years of their legal careers investigating and supervising complex criminal cases while working in tandem with state detectives and federal law enforcement agents. If anyone is up to the task of investigating “knowledge” of a transient foreign substance by a business establishment without fear or intimidation — it’s the trial lawyer’s at Abrams Justice.

From the issuance of subpoenas, to complex document requests, to numerous employee and executive depositions, to interrogatories, – no stones are left unturned. In addition, the trial attorney’s at Abrams Justice handle slip and fall cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning the injured party does not have to come out of pocket to cover expensive legal costs, on top of medical treatment costs. Rather, the Firm is only compensated if and when the at-fault party compensates the victim.

If you or a loved one, have been seriously injured in a preventable slip and fall incident, don’t hesitate to contact Abrams Justice at (305) 709-0880 for a free case consultation, or email Managing Partner Ivan Abrams directly at ivan@abramsjustice.com, for a free case analysis.