Will a Building Code Violation Help Me Win My Slip and Fall Case?
When a person is injured in a slip and fall, it is often difficult to determine initially what caused the incident and who is responsible. A careful investigation into a property owner’s practices regarding inspection and maintenance is necessary. Showing that a property is subject to violations of Florida’s Building Code can also be useful in establishing an owner’s negligence. The Jacksonville slip and fall attorneys at The Lawrence Law Group help victims injured on someone else’s property receive the compensation necessary to aid in their recovery. Our firm offers dedicated legal representation in premises liability claims, working hard to ensure that the parties responsible for the accident are held accountable. If you or a loved one has been harmed while visiting another party’s property, and you would like to know more about your legal rights and options, contact us today to discuss your case.Will a Building Code Violation Help Me Win My Slip and Fall Case?
Under Florida’s Building Code, structures must meet certain minimum requirements to ensure the safety of occupants. If a building is not up to code, serious injuries can result. In Florida, a Building Code violation can be used to show that a property owner was negligent or that construction was not up to par, and this contributed to a victim’s injuries. Slip and fall accidents can result from a variety of factors, including broken or missing handrails near stairs or ramps, elevators or escalators that have not been inspected, inadequate lighting in dark areas, uneven floor surfaces, or poorly designed walkways. In stairwell cases, considerations include the vertical rise of the stair and its horizontal length. Studies show that stairwells with steps that are 7 inches in height and 11 inches in horizontal tread tend to be safer than those that are steeper and have a shorter horizontal tread. The presence or absence of handrails is also an important aspect of stairwell safety.
Florida’s Building Code is not the only statute that can be useful for a slip and fall victim’s case. Local governments, as well as federal regulations, set their own standards for design and construction. These guidelines regulate the materials to be used, as well as plumbing, electrical, and mechanical requirements. Under Florida’s Standard Jury Instruction 401.8, violation of safety statutes constitutes negligence per se, which means that if the jury finds that the at-fault party violated the statute, then that party is determined automatically to be negligent. Under Florida’s Standard Jury Instruction 401.9, violation of other statutes and regulations can be used as evidence of negligence, which can greatly assist an injured party in carrying their burden of proof.
In a premises liability case, a victim needs to establish that the owner, as the party responsible for their injuries, failed to maintain their property in a reasonably safe manner. Victims must show that their injuries were caused by dangers that an owner either recognized or should have recognized if regular inspections were conducted. For example, failing to keep a stairwell up to the Building Code’s requirements, leading to a victim falling down the stairs because a handrail is missing, is evidence of negligence.
Evidence of Building Code violations must be relevant to a victim’s case. This means that there needs to be a causal link between the violation and the victim’s harm. Additionally, actions taken by an owner to remedy a violation are not allowed as evidence of negligence. However, citations for violations themselves are permissible, since they indicate that an owner knew of the existing danger at the time of an accident. Most Building Code violations are not obvious, and identifying them often requires an examination of construction blueprints, inspection records, and other documents related to a business or property. Once liability is shown, victims can receive compensation for pain and suffering, medical costs, time missed from work, and other damages sustained. Consulting an experienced premises liability attorney can ensure that you have the proper evidence and strategic approach to succeed in a slip and fall claim.Speak with a Jacksonville Attorney About Your Claim
Slip and fall accidents can occur anywhere, whether the victim is shopping at a retail store or going to dinner with friends. Making sure that you obtain vital evidence is important to receiving proper compensation for your injuries. The premises liability lawyers at The Lawrence Law Group are dedicated to zealously advocating on behalf of their clients to hold those responsible for their injuries legally accountable. Our firm offers seasoned and knowledgeable legal representation to victims in Jacksonville and other areas of Duval, Clay, Nassau, Flagler, Putnam, St. Johns, Baker, Brevard, Union, Columbia, Suwannee, Hamilton, Jefferson, Volusia, and Alachua Counties. Contact our office at 904-632-0077 or online to set up a free consultation and learn more about your legal rights if you are considering bringing a personal injury claim.