For many people, the last night of the year is the most fun. You dress up, get together with all of your friends, have some booze, hit the clubs, and ring in the new year.
What happens when your New Year’s Eve isn’t so fun, though?
We’re not just talking about hangovers. Sticky floors, spilled drinks, and low lights can be a recipe for disaster. If you slipped and fell at a club while celebrating New Year’s this holiday, you may be facing more than just a headache at the beginning of 2019.
Slip and fall cases are some of the most common premise liability cases in the field of personal injury law. How do the rules of slip and fall lawsuits apply to accidents that occur in nightclubs and other places that pose greater risks? Let’s explore.
Florida Slip and Fall Lawsuits: The Basics
Before we talk about nightclubs specifically, let’s zoom out. What does a Floridian need to file a lawsuit against any property where they slipped and fell?
Duty: Property owners owe a certain duty to keep visitors or patrons safe. Mall owners have a duty to maintain the walkways, parking lots, stairwells, and so on. Grocery stores and restaurants need to make sure spills are cleaned up quickly.
Breach of Duty: The next step is to prove that the defendant neglected to fulfill their duties. In many slip and fall cases, the defendant saw a hazard (a spilled drink, uneven floors) and simply ignored it. This hazard created an unsafe environment for patrons.
Injury: In order for the plaintiff to win their case, they will have to prove that the breach of duty (and therefore, the defendant’s neglect) is what caused their injury. In other words, you would need to show that your slip and fall due to the wet floor resulted in your injuries rather than them coming from somewhere else.
Damages: It’s not enough to get injured. You also need to be able to prove that your injuries resulted in financial losses for you, or damages. For example, you can receive compensation for medical bills and loss of income if you are able to show that they were due to the injury.
How Slip and Fall Injuries Work in a Florida Nightclub
In broad daylight, it’s easy for employees or property owners to recognize a hazard and take appropriate action. In a dark, crowded nightclub, though, how are staff able to recognize every time a drink spills and rush to clean it up?
Florida courts take into consideration the fact that property owners and employees have a duty to their patrons within reason. It is probably unreasonable to argue that a nightclub owner should clean up every spill throughout the night within moments of them occurring. However, it should be reasonable for nightclub owners to enforce rules that prevent slip and fall hazards.
This is what happened in Feris v. Club Country of Fort Walton Beach. In this case, a patron filed a lawsuit after they slipped and fell on the dance floor. The defendant won the case“because there was circumstantial evidence of “active” negligence by employees of the premises (i.e., not enforcing the rule against allowing drinks on the dance floor), a recurrence of spills on the dance floor, and the existence of liquid on the floor for a sufficient amount of time.”
In plain English, the club had a rule that patrons could not bring drinks on the dance floor. This rule was put in place to keep patrons from slipping, falling, and hurting themselves. However, negligence occurred when the staff saw patrons breaking the rules and did nothing about it. By ignoring those rules, the employees put patrons at risk and breached their duty to keep everyone safe.
This is not the only case when victims can sue for negligence. If, for example, you fell down a flight of broken stairs at a club, you would likely be able to file a lawsuit. Likewise, if the club failed to warn patrons that the floor would be sticky after a “foam party,” you might be able to file a lawsuit.
What to Do If You Want to Win Your Florida Slip and Fall Lawsuit
Now that you know you can sue, the question becomes: what next?
Likely you will want the experience and knowledge of a good Florida personal injury lawyer. Before you even contact them, though, there are things you can and should do.
Make sure you seek medical attention for your injuries as soon as possible. Collect as much information as you can about the night and the specifics of the situation. Seek out witnesses and other evidence (maybe someone took a video on their smartphone).
The more you can prove, the likely you are to win your case and get yourself the compensation you need and deserve.
About the Author:
Jeffrey Braxton is a trial lawyer in Fort Lauderdale who has devoted his career to the practice of personal injury law. As lead trial attorney for the South Florida Injury Law Firm, Jeff has litigated thousands of cases and is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, an exclusive group of attorneys who have resolved cases in excess of one million dollars.
Imagine sleeping soundly in bed and then a loud crashing crane comes through your roof. It was a scene that happened this week in North Miami Beach, where a crane that was being used to repair a seawall slid off a barge and struck the roof of a condominium building. [gallery type="slideshow" link="file" size="large" [..]
Car accidents can happen anywhere. Especially where you least expect it. Parking lots, driveways, parking garages, and drive-thrus are well-known for accident scenes. Even your own living room. On Wednesday, August 21st, an accident involving two cars ended up crashing into a Miami Gardens home. One of the drivers was air lifted to a [..]
Dade and Broward county roads are about to become a bit more confusing and request drivers to be more attentive to the road and the scheduled construction plans on the 826 Palmetto Expressway and I-75 throughout August 2019, while making room for a new Express Lane on the 826 Palmetto Expressway. As auto accident attorneys [..]
July 4th tends to evoke backyard barbecues, poolside cocktails, and fireworks at dusk. We usually think of spending this holiday with family, and staying close to home. On the contrary, AAA pegs the fourth as one of their busiest days. Did you know the average distance traveled on July 4th is 617 miles? What’s more, [..]
When most of us think about Fourth of July safety, we think about fireworks. Although improper use of fireworks can cause serious injuries, there’s a less obvious risk: food poisoning. Most Fourth of July celebrations involve outdoor gatherings, with perishable food that’s often brought in by a number of people, some of whom may not [..]
Summer is upon us, and it’s peak swimming pool season in the sunshine state. Although swimming is a great way to cool off and get some exercise, it can also be dangerous. Statistics show three children die every day from swimming pool accidents, and many more people sustain serious injuries. In many cases, these tragic [..]
Memorial Day offers a time to celebrate loved ones lost. It also signals the beginning of another Florida summer which often means road trip! In either case, we all find a reason and a way to cut loose. Unfortunately, these celebrations also lead to an uptick in car accidents. The primary causes? More cars on [..]
Johnson & Johnson has been a trusted name in cosmetics and household products for decades. However, in recent years, they have come under fire for lawsuits that suggest their talcum powder products caused cancer. The company isn’t just paying with a blow to their reputation, either. Earlier this year, a woman in California won $29 [..]
Every summer, Floridians look forward to that much needed break that summer camp provides: the kids to get away from the daily grind of the school year, and you to get a little breathing room from them. Exactly how much of a break would it be, though, if you’re still holding your breath in anticipation [..]
Temperatures are rising and a lot of long weekends are just around the corner. Whether you’re planning to hop in your boat for Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, or other summer holidays, it’s important to stay safe this season. Boating accidents do happen here in Florida, and many can be fatal. In 2017, 658 [..]
Bars and advertisements for alcoholic products often encourage people to “drink responsibly,” but in some cases, the establishments or bartenders serving these drinks may be at least partially liable for a patron’s alcohol-related injury or death. Under certain circumstances, bars can—and should—be held responsible for over-serving patrons. Many states have “dram shop” laws (named [..]
Summertime is quickly approaching, which means barbecues, family vacations, and a lot of days sitting by the pool. While you and your loved ones enjoy the hot summer weather and cool water, it is important to keep yourself safe. In this post we will be focusing on swimming pool injuries and how to prevent them. [..]
Uber and Lyft have really made getting around town a lot easier. The apps are simple to use, the cars are relatively inexpensive, and getting a ride only takes a few minutes. However, as wonderful as Uber and Lyft are for convenience when you need a quick lift, it is important to remember that [..]
The death of a loved one is traumatic and devastating experience— regardless of the cause. However, the ordeal can be especially upsetting if the death could have been avoided had it not been for the negligent actions of another. In Florida, surviving family members and loved ones may be able to recover compensation for [..]
Florida’s summer is well underway, and the hot weather is a perfect excuse to get out on the water. With close to 900,000 registered vessels in the state, chances are that you or someone you know owns a boat and is planning to use it this season. Getting out on a lake or the ocean [..]
Right now, all Florida drivers are required to have car insurance coverage that pays personal injury protection (PIP) benefits, but that may come to an end in 2019 if some lawmakers get their way. Florida currently operates under a “no-fault” system when it comes to paying insurance claims after a car accident. If a [..]
When you become a parent, every little decision regarding your child’s safety and development can become a hot debate. We’re not going to tell you how to raise your child, but we do have one piece of advice backed up with statistics from the AAP and NHTSA. When you are driving with your child, [..]
It’s not every day that you get into an accident and need to file a personal injury protection (PIP) suit. This type of litigation may be confusing to many, especially since PIP laws are constantly being debated and changed in Florida. However, it is possible for you to get through this process and receive [..]
What are your chances of getting hit by someone driving a rental car in Florida? Every year, the state of Florida has 15 million active drivers on its many roads and highways. About 250,000 drivers end up in car crashes annually in Florida. Since almost 85 million visitors come to enjoy Florida every year, [..]
Image: http://pixabay.com/en/dog-man-attacking-canine-training-78117/ When Pets Attack, They Can Cause Serious or Even Fatal Injuries Most people like dogs. How can you resist those adoring eyes, the wagging tail, and the warm, fuzzy head that seems to appear in your lap just when you’re feeling your lowest? So many Americans like dogs, in fact, that [..]