Florida Personal Injury – I fell in a store; can’t I just get the surveillance video to prove it?
Slip and falls in a large department or grocery store is an extremely common cause of injury. However, successfully making a claim on one of these accidents is not as simple as getting the surveillance video. This guide will explain the process.
Timeliness is keyLarge stores often have business procedures in place to tape over surveillance videos after a few days or weeks, so acting swiftly to obtain it is a must. However, they will not provide it to you willingly and will exhaust all legal options in trying to keep you from getting it. Having an attorney on your side can make sure the video is preserved, and if it isn't, making a claim for spoliation of evidence. This is when certain key evidence has been destroyed, altered, or simply lost. If your attorney can prove that the evidence lost was crucial to the just resolution of the case, then you as the plaintiff can be given wide leeway for evidentiary presumptions.
Proving the liabilityEven if you are successful in obtaining the surveillance video, this does not mean an open and shut case. According to the laws in Florida, a plaintiff has to prove that the store either already knew or should have known about the risk that caused the accident and should have done something about it. Only in that small margin of liability will a slip-and-fall claim be successful. For example, let us say that you slipped on a wet spot in a grocery store. If video reveals that the liquid had spilled out of another shopper's water bottle just moments before, your claim will most likely be unfounded because they had no way of knowing of that risk. However, if the water had spilled an hour before and an employee had walked by it without cleaning it up, then your claim may be valid.
Hire a personal injury attorneyMaking a claim against a store is never going to be easy, especially in Florida, due to the laws that favor the corporation over the common person. Hiring a personal injury lawyer immediately after your accident is the smartest thing to do in this situation. A knowledgeable attorney will hear your case, determine the best course of action, and take the right steps towards making your claim. Many offer free consultations and contingency agreements, meaning you don't pay them a dime unless you win your case. Good luck!