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Sarasota Slip and Fall Lawyer

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Slip and fall accidents can happen anywhere, at any time. Perhaps you were dining at a restaurant and slipped on a wet floor that was not closed off or lacked warning signs. Maybe you were in a store when the heel of your shoe got caught in torn carpeting, and you suffered a broken bone or serious back issues.

If the property owner failed to keep their premises in a safe condition and you were injured as a result, you may have a valid slip and fall claim. A Sarasota personal injury lawyer at Kogan & DiSalvo can protect your rights while fighting for you to receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries.

Frequency and Severity of Slip and Fall Accidents in Sarasota

Person laying in the street partially out of frame after a slip and fall accident

Slip and fall accidents happen every day in Sarasota. Most of them cause more embarrassment than real harm, and the person walks away a little bit worse for wear. However, there are exceptions when the slip and fall victim is seriously hurt. There are also situations in which the person does not think they were hurt, only to find hours or even days later that they were indeed injured.

Older people are especially vulnerable to serious injury or even death in a slip and fall. In 2021, 3,805 people over the age of 65 died due to a slip and fall accident. Many more were seriously injured. While many of these slip and fall accidents took place in their own homes and were not the result of poorly maintained premises, a considerable percentage did occur due to a property owner’s negligence.

Common slip and fall injuries include broken bones. While most such injuries heal eventually, for some victims they are permanently disabling. That may mean the loss of their independence and inability to work in their current occupation.

Common Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents

Man after slipping and falling inside of an apartment with a wet floor sign in the foreground

The most common causes of slip and fall accidents include:

  • Wet floors
  • Inadequate lighting
  • Uneven or loose flooring
  • Torn carpeting
  • Debris in walkways
  • Unfastened cords or wires
  • Lack of handrails

Understanding Liability in Slip and Fall Cases

Cracked and broken cement stairs in front of a house

Duty of Care

To succeed in a slip and fall case, you must prove that the defendant had a duty of care to keep their property in a safe condition. For businesses, customers and clients are considered invitees under Florida law. It is imperative that commercial enterprises make “reasonable” efforts to keep their properties free from hazards. That means correcting any conditions they know about or should know about. Everything depends on the circumstances of the specific case.

For example, a Florida supermarket manager may not know that a bottle of oil broke on the floor of aisle 3 before a customer slips and falls on it. If it happened just a minute beforehand, they may not be considered liable because they wouldn’t have had time to learn of it and take action. If the oil was there for a considerable amount of time and was reported but not cleaned promptly, or the area was not blocked off, they may be held liable.  

Negligence and Breach

The breach of a duty of care occurs when the property owner fails to remedy a hazardous situation or does not warn anyone on the premises that such a hazard exists. For example, the defendant may have known that a broken handrail or broken steps was a hazard. If they fail to do anything to fix the situation, they are negligent and very likely at fault. However, if they posted warning signs or closed off the area, and someone went down the stairs and fell, they may not prove liable.


To receive compensation, the plaintiff must show that some form of damage occurred due to the property owner’s negligence, and it would not have occurred had the owner not been negligent. While that generally involves physical injuries, in some cases the accident results in emotional or mental injuries.

What to do After a Slip and Fall Accident

A person writing on a form labeled "Slip and Fall Incident Report"

Document everything. If you are physically able, take photos of the area in which you fell and the specific hazard causing your slip and fall. If you are very badly injured, ask an eye witness to document the area for you. If there were no witnesses, have a friend or family member visit the premises ASAP to document the incident before proof can be removed.

Report the accident to the property owner or manager if you can. If a slip and fall occurred in a store or other public place, the management should have an accident form for you to fill out. 

Seek prompt medical attention after a slip and fall accident, even if you initially think you were not seriously injured. Some injuries do not appear right away, and it may take a day or two before they become apparent.

Go to the emergency room if you are badly hurt or to an urgent care doctor if your symptoms appear the following day. Failure to obtain medical care right away will harm your claim. The insurance company will almost certainly allege that your injuries are unrelated to your slip and fall or are not that serious.

Get in touch with a Sarasota slip and fall attorney right away. The sooner you contact us, the faster we can start building a strong case to win you the compensation you deserve. Without an experienced lawyer on your side, you will be taken advantage of by your insurance company.

There are also things you should not do. Do not tell anyone that you are at fault for the accident. Avoid posting anything on social media about your injury. Insurance companies scour social media to find anything that will harm your claim. Even the most innocuous post can be used against you, with the insurer twisting your words.

Start Collecting Evidence for Your Case Right Away

An injured woman who fell down the stairs

We can’t stress this enough— success in slip and fall lawsuits depends on the strength of the evidence. That is why you should take photos of the premises immediately after the accident if you are able. While photographic or video evidence is critical in any personal injury case, that is especially true in a slip and fall lawsuit, as the property owner can make quick repairs that hide the hazard causing the accident. Sometimes it is just a matter of getting rid of trip hazards or replacing torn carpeting.

If anyone witnessed your slip and fall, ask them for your name, address, and contact information. If employees of the premises came to your aid, get their names.

Keep track of all medical expenses and receipts concerning your accident. Keep a journal describing your level of pain on a daily basis and how your injury is affecting your daily life. This can serve as important documentation in your slip and fall claim.

How Modified Comparative Negligence Impacts Your Case

An employee placing a wet floor sign in the entryway of a business

Florida operates under a modified comparative negligence standard when it comes to personal injury lawsuits. Even if you were partly at fault for the accident, you can still file a claim as long as your percentage of fault is less than 50%. Any award is then reduced by your percentage of fault. Anyone deemed 50% or more than 50% at fault cannot receive compensation.

For example, if the judge or jury determines that you are 25% responsible for the accident, a $100,000 award is reduced by 25% to $75,000.  

In slip and fall cases, formally known as premises liability, it is not uncommon for the plaintiff to bear some percentage of fault. That is certainly what the defendant’s insurance company or attorney will argue.

For instance, the defendant’s lawyer might argue that the victim was not paying attention and the accident occurred because they were engrossed in their phone. While every premises liability case is unique, you can often expect the defendant to allege the accident was at least partially your fault.

Filing a Lawsuit

Close-up of an hourglass, pen, and magnifying glass on top of a legal document

Statute of Limitations

In Florida, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit is generally two years from the date of the accident. However, you should not wait that long before hiring a lawyer. Waiting too long often results in valuable evidence disappearing.

How a Slip and Fall Lawyer Can Help

A slip and fall lawyer investigates every aspect of your case. That includes reviewing medical records, interviewing eyewitnesses, and identifying all possible defendants. Responsible parties may not include just the owner of the business in which the accident occurred. For instance, if you slipped and fell in a poorly maintained parking lot, a third party, such as a landscaping or maintenance company, could prove negligent.

A Sarasota slip and fall lawyer negotiates with the at-fault party’s insurance company to arrive at a reasonable settlement. What is considered a reasonable settlement is based on various factors, including the extent of your injuries, your age, income, and prognosis. While most cases are settled, if the insurer fails to agree to a fair settlement, we can take your case to court.

Kogan & DiSalvo Are Ready to Help You

Female judge on the bench in a courtroom with plaintiff and defendant and their lawyers

If you or someone you know suffered serious injuries in a slip and fall accident due to another party’s negligence, schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with a Sarasota slip and fall attorney at Kogan & DiSalvo today. Because we work on a contingency basis, you pay no fee unless you receive compensation.

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