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Slippery Surface Falls

Slippery surface falls routinely cause serious injury, ranging from skull fractures and spinal injuries to broken hips and fractured wrists.

Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured has been representing slip-and-fall victims in South Florida for more than 40 years. Unfortunately, recent legislation in Florida has made these cases tougher to pursue, with the burden of proof to establish negligence more demanding on plaintiffs than ever before.

With strict liability no longer a principle Florida courts use in premises liability cases, determining the chances of success following a Fort Myers slip-and-fall will require careful analysis of the following elements:

  • Where the injured person was;
  • What they were doing;
  • The nature of the slippery substance (and whether it was plainly visible);
  • How long the substance had been on the floor;
  • What notice/knowledge the property owner/possessor had about the substance;
  • Whether the property owner should have known it was likely to be present;
  • The steps, if any, taken by the property owner to address the hazard or warn about it.

Answering these questions will help our personal injury attorneys establish the injured party’s status on site (business invitee, licensee or trespasser—each owed a different degree of care by the property owner), the property owner’s actual or constructive knowledge of the danger, and whether his or her duty of care was breached, proximately resulting in the injuries sustained. It will also help us to determine whether there may be a degree of comparative fault, meaning the injured person shares some responsibility for what happened, which could diminish the amount of total recovery.

Where Do Slippery Surface Falls Occur?

While almost any walking surface can become slippery under the right conditions, those most likely to become slick are tile floors, including ceramic, marble and terrazzo. Florida builders have been more apt to use these materials in residential and commercial structures than those in Northern States.

The surface looks nice and it’s generally easy to maintain. However, these floors are prone to causing slips—even when they are dry—and they can be especially dangerous when highly-polished or when some other liquid substance is present. HGTV.com, which advises property owners on building design and materials, indicates that terrazzo tile, which is often installed in public buildings because of its durability and versatility, is “quite slippery and can cause falls.”

Some tile is made to be “slip-resistant,” and these are ideal for areas that expect a lot of traffic. Even so, any tile that sees a lot of wear-and-tear can become smooth over time and slippery when wet.

ASTM F13, the committee with the American Society for Testing and Materials responsible for setting pedestrian and flooring product safety standards, currently has no coefficient of friction standard to reduce slipping hazards. The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) has recommended a coefficient of friction standard of 0.05 for walking and working surfaces, which was offered as a proposed rule but never passed as law to become a mandatory standard.

Some common places where slippery surface falls in Cape Coral occur include:

  • Public bathrooms;
  • Grocery store entryways;
  • Restaurants;
  • Shopping centers;
  • Hospitals and nursing homes;
  • Public meeting places.

You will note that many of these locations are often primarily covered with tile walking surfaces.

Prevention of Slippery Surfaces

Property owners—especially those who welcome the public on site to conduct business—owe a duty to patrons to use reasonable care in preventing fall hazards that aren’t obvious, or at least warn of them.

It’s true that the passage of § F.S. 768.0755 raised the bar for claims against businesses for slippery surfaces by requiring plaintiffs to present proof a business had actual or constructive knowledge of the condition and should have taken action to remedy it. However, businesses that ignore risk posed by slippery surfaces may quickly find themselves on the losing end of litigation.

The tips below will help Florida business owners mitigate the risk of slip-and-fall injuries occurring on their premises:

  • Place absorbent mats at entryways in wet or inclement weather to prevent the floor from becoming slippery in the first place; such mats should also be placed in areas that are prone to spills, such as kitchens, bathrooms and dining areas.
  • Businesses with tile or highly-polished floors should place anti-skid adhesive tape in areas where foot traffic is known to be highest.
  • Establish and follow procedures to deal with spills; ensure spills are discovered and cleaned up immediately.

If you or a loved one has been a victim of a slip-and-fall accident in Southwest Florida, contact Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured, for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights. There are no fees or costs unless we win. Offices in Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Naples and Port Charlotte.

Call 800-646-1210 for a Free Consultation
Client Reviews
Bruce L. Scheiner and his team were the most friendly people I've ever met they genuinely cared about me... I highly recommend them Brooke Krause
I was really satisfied with services I received. Bruce is not only an attorney, but like family. He got me three times what I thought I would receive and was always there when I needed an answer on something. I'd say he is the best attorney I have dealt with in my 68 years. Harry Zulauf
I found working with the BLS firm to be a very good experience. They kept me informed on my case, answered all my questions, and were prompt when I needed assistance. Wendy Walker
I was in an accident and BLS was very helpful and gave a lot of support. If I had any questions, it was just a phone call away. Everyone in the office is very nice and helpful. Celeste Thompson
We had a wonderful experience with everyone here. The staff and attorneys were friendly, knowledgeable, and compassionate. They inquired about our injuries and our recovery. I would highly recommend their services! Heather Bair Daniels
I have nothing but good things to say about this law firm. I can honestly say that I am very satisfied with their work and my end results. I would absolutely recommend these set of attorneys to anyone. Thank you guys for all the hard work! Merida McDonald
BLS was incredibly helpful with my case, even during the hard challenging periods of my case Bruce & PJ were always just a call away. Even though they couldn't answer my call at that direct moment, they ALWAYS made a point to call me back. The staff at Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner were always helpful and friendly, if they didn't have the answer they would always call me back with what I needed to know. Robert Drawdy
I was in a car accident and I seen his Advertisement on TV and I was very impressed of how kind and caring he really is to others and I called them and they took my case and they were very caring and understanding .. they were right on top of everything from being to end and the staff that works in the Fort Myers office were very friendly I would recommend them to a friend or family member if in need of a attorney... Thank you for your services and you made me feel like part of your family. Christina Mauro