Broken Asphalt Results in Trip and Fall Lawsuit
A woman who was injured after she tripped and fell on broken asphalt in the parking lot of the Boca Raton Community Center has filed a lawsuit seeking damages in excess of $30,000 (which simply means that it will be tried outside of small claims court). The lawsuit seeks damages from Simon Property Group which is the company that is paid to maintain the grounds. The plaintiffs allege negligent maintenance of the property led to the woman’s injury.
Elements of negligence
Despite their popularity, slip, trip, and fall lawsuits are hard to win. The injured plaintiff must be able to show that the defendant knew about the dangerous condition, should have known about the dangerous condition, or caused the dangerous condition that led to the plaintiff’s injuries.
Most of the time, attorneys for plaintiffs in slip and fall lawsuits end up arguing how the negligent maintenance of the property led to a situation where no one was considering the danger on the premises. In this case, we can’t know from the article how long the asphalt was turned up or potholed, but potholes tend not to form overnight. Unless someone took a jackhammer to the parking lot in the wee hours of the morning, the pothole had likely been there for quite some time. The plaintiffs will provide testimony from workers at the mall or video surveillance footage to prove that the pothole had been there for quite some time and left in disrepair by the property management company.
Defenses against negligence
If you can establish that a property owner left a dangerous condition on the premises without marking it off with signage or remedying the dangerous condition, you have essentially met the elements required to prove a slip and fall lawsuit. However, the defendant, in this case the property manager, can claim that you contributed negligence to the injury. While this won’t prevent a lawsuit from moving forward, especially in Florida, successfully establishing a plaintiff’s negligence can reduce their damages award significantly. Plaintiffs who are assigned a percentage of the blame find their awards reduced by that percentage.
In this case, the defendants can allege that the plaintiff was looking at her phone or talking on her phone while she was entering the mall. If she couldn’t see where she was going because she was distracted, that is exactly the type of argument that reduces damages in slip and fall accidents.
Damages in slip and fall accidents
Damages in slip and fall accidents run the gamut. In some cases, the injuries are so severe that they alter the lives of the injured. In other cases, there are no injuries whatsoever. Establishing the extent of your injuries is your personal injury attorney’s job. This particular plaintiff sustained scarring, medical expenses, and more.
Talk to a Miami Personal Injury Attorney
If you’ve been injured because a proprietor left a dangerous condition on their premises, the Miami personal injury attorneys at the office of Alan Goldfarb, P.A. can help you recover damages related to your medical expenses, lost wages, and reduced quality of life.