Comparative fault in a Premises Liability Case – A Boca Raton, Coral Springs, Deerfield Beach, Pompano Beach, and Fort Lauderdale injury lawyer perspective

In the last blog, I discussed premises liability and specifically slip and falls and trip and falls accidents cases.  I am trying to give this from an injury lawyer from Boca Raton perspective or an injury lawyer from Sunrise perspective, etc.  We, the accident attorney and staff, handle these slip and fall cases that happen in all of Broward county– whether it is Coral Springs, Deerfield Beach, Pompano Beach, Coconut Creek, Margate, Lauderhill, North Lauderdale, Hollywood, Miramar, Pembroke Pines, Hallandale, Cooper City, Oakland Park or Fort Lauderdale.  We, the injury attorney and staff, also handle cases in Palm Beach – Boca Raton, Delray Beach, Boynton Beach, West Palm Beach, Loxahatchee, Greenacres, Lake Park, Lake Worth, Royal Palm Beach, etc. and Miami-Dade Counties – Miami, Kendall, Aventura, Hialeah, Miami Lakes, Homestead, Coral Ridge, South Miami, Coral Gables, Pine Crest, etc. 

When people fall and are injured, and assuming a jury later finds that the landowner or business is negligent for the fall, the question commonly raised by the defense is that the injured person is also at fault for the fall.  This is called comparative fault.  

The general argument made by defense counsel is that the plaintiff bears the burden of caring for themselves and they were negligent in doing so which caused the injury.  With a liquid on the ground type of case the defense position would be:  look the liquid was right there in front of the plaintiff and had they simply looked to the ground, they would have seen it and avoided it.  Let’s say that someone goes to a business and there is a leaky air conditioner that the business owner has known about but has not fixed.  If the plaintiff falls in that liquid on the ground, this would generally make for a pretty strong negligence liability case against that business owner.  If a jury in court would find that the business owner was negligent, the next question would be whether they also find that the injured person was also at fault (comparatively at fault) for the fall.  If the jury would answer that question also in the affirmative, then they would have to apportion fault between the two parties, i.e. x percentage to one party and x percentage to the other party and the numbers must equal 100 percent.  So a jury could find 10 percent on the injured party and 90 percent on the business owner, or it could find 90 percent on the injured party and 10 percent on the business owner.

How does this comparative fault generally work out in a slip and fall case?  Generally, if the injured persons damages are $50,000.00 between medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering and the jury found that the plaintiff was 10 percent comparatively at fault, then the jury award would be reduced by 10 percent and the judgment would be for $45,000.00.  On the other hand, if the jury found plaintiff was 90 percent comparatively at fault, then the jury award would be reduced by 90 percent and the judgment would be for $5,000.00, and so forth. 

In working on these cases, trying cases and reading jury verdicts, it is very common for juries to find comparative fault in slip and fall cases as usually the thing that the injured person is falling on is not hidden and right in front of them, so the argument that if they would just look down is very persuasive to juries and hence you see this type of findings by juries.  Usually, the counter-argument to this defense position is that when the client is in the business, the business is usually doing things to encourage their customers to look around the store, like sales signs and so forth.  Also, people generally do not look to the floor when they walk and they generally assume the area inside a business is safe to walk without slipping and falling.

All of these examples are of course very case specific and every case needs to be legally analyzed, by an injury attorney  or an accident attorney, as there may be specific laws that apply to a certain case.  At Drucker Law Offices, the injury lawyer analyzes slip and fall cases as well as trip and fall cases for the client and he helps them get compensated for their injuries.  Drucker Law Offices handles these cases in Broward– whether it is Coral Springs, Deerfield Beach, Pompano Beach, Coconut Creek, Margate, Lauderhill, Wston, North Lauderdale, Hollywood, Miramar, Pembroke Pines, Hallandale, Oakland Park or Fort Lauderdale; Palm Beach – Boca Raton, Delray Beach, Boynton Beach, West Palm Beach, Manalapan, Loxahatchee, Greenacres, Lake Park, Lake Worth, Royal Palm Beach, etc.; and Miami-Dade Counties – Miami, Kendall, Aventura, Hialeah, Miami Lakes, Coconut Grove, Homestead, Coral Ridge, South Miami, Coral Gables, Pine Crest, etc,  If you have any questions, please feel free to call the accident lawyer today at 561-483-9199 (Boca Raton Principal office) or 954-755-2120 (Coral Springs satellite office) or 305-981-5393 (Miami Satellite office).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *