727-381-9200

Slipping & Falling Is Also About The Owner Knowing

One of the areas that The St. Pete Lawyer specializes in is the types of injuries and compensation that are occur when someone slips and falls. To many on the outside, this might actually seem like a very simple and straightforward legal practice. In theory, those people on the outside should be right, and it should be a very simple legal procedure. If you are walking in a store, hotel, amusement park, or some other area, and you should slip, trip, or otherwise fall and injure yourself as a result of something on the property causing you to lose balance, you’re clearly not responsible for that.

Under ordinary circumstances, this would be the responsibility of whoever made the mess, or whoever failed to clean it up. But in Florida, things work a little differently, and this is why the help of an accident lawyer is essential if you know you were wronged in a slip and fall injury. You need to prove what is known as “constructive knowledge.”

Gross Negligence At Work


Constructive knowledge is one of the key concepts that need to be proven for a successful slip and fall case to win in a court of law. This means that it is up to the plaintiff and lawyer to prove that the owners/managers of the property where the accident occurred knew about the danger that was presented by a hazard, such as a pool of water, or grease, but did nothing over an unreasonable period of time to deal with the situation.

This simply means that if someone in a large, retail outlet pierced a can of motor oil, for example, and spilled the contents on the floor, and you just happened to slip on it less than five seconds later, as you turned the corner, it would be very difficult to lay blame for this on the property, especially if there are security cameras monitoring the situation. In a case like this, five seconds simply isn’t enough time for management to reasonably find the spill, assess it, clear the area, place signs, and bring in a crew to clean up the mess.

However, if this same spillage occurred and you slipped on it one hour later, you’re much more likely to have a case. In that instance, the management of a facility has had plenty of time to recognize the hazard, but has chosen to do nothing about it. In this case, security camera footage would work in your favor, as it would be clearly seen that the motor oil remained on the floor, unattended by anyone for an entire hour before you had your accident. There is “constructive knowledge” here in that a personal injury lawyer can easily prove that not only was the management aware of the issue, but they neglected their basic legal responsibility to take care of it, and you suffered as a result.

If you slip and fall at on any property that is not your own, always consider whether or not you need legal help. Get some advice from an accident lawyer to see what kind of options you have..