If you suffered a slip and fall-related injury, a Pasco County slip and fall lawyer might be able to review your situation and help you weigh your recovery options. It could be overwhelming to determine your legal rights and adequately handle the meticulous work that goes into negotiating, arguing, and overcoming legal obstacles. With an experienced local personal injury attorney in your corner, you could be more informed and more prepared for your journey toward recovery.
Plaintiffs who file a personal injury case based on negligence must prove four elements: duty, breach, causation, and harm. When it comes to slip and fall cases, plaintiffs are required to show that the defendant’s conduct was negligent and caused the condition that leads to the slip and fall.
The first two elements are duty and breach in a negligence claim. All persons owe a duty to act as a reasonably prudent person would under the same circumstances. Property owners owe a duty to protect visitors from dangerous conditions by properly maintaining their property and warning visitors of potentially harmful conditions on the property that they know about. Though different standards of care are owed to different types of visitors, generally, property owners do not owe a duty of care to trespassers. A property owner defendant would be in breach of their duty if they failed to warn a visitor, or failed to maintain the property with reasonable care.
It is not enough to show that the defendant breached their duty of care. Slip and fall plaintiffs in Pasco County must also prove that the defendant’s negligent conduct was the actual and proximate cause of their injuries. Actual cause states that “but for” the defendant’s negligent conduct, they would not have been injured. Proximate cause is the legal cause of the injury and occurs when the defendant’s actions are reasonably related to the plaintiff’s injuries and is not superseded by another intervening cause.
Florida follows the pure comparative fault rule, enacted under Florida Statutes §768.81. Under pure comparative fault, the plaintiff may recover damages even if they are 99 percent at fault, but their recovery is reduced by their percentage of fault. For example, if the court finds that the plaintiff was 20 percent at fault and the defendant as 80 percent at fault, the plaintiff would get 20 percent less of the overall damages that they would have been entitled to receive.
Between negotiating with insurance companies and litigating your case at trial, you could be at a disadvantage without legal support and guidance. Staying on top of strict deadlines and filing requirements alone is challenging to manage on your own. A seasoned Pasco County slip and fall lawyer could provide insight and assistance depending on your circumstances. Start exploring your options today by scheduling a consultation with an experienced attorney.