Facebook From Slip and Falls to Negligent Security: Personal Injury Law in Florida - Morgan Law Group, P.A. Skip to main content

“You should sue!!”  It’s something we hear, or at least think, when someone suffers a personal injury.  But lawsuits have rules and to file one, you need to follow those rules.

What Is a Personal Injury?

When another person injures you, either on purpose or carelessly, they have committed what the law calls a tort.  A tort is the civil equivalent of a crime, and you are entitled to recover damages for injuries you suffer as a result of a tort.

In Florida, an injury is usually a physical injury, that is when the injury occurs to one’s body rather than one’s property.  It can include property, but it must involve physical injury. A serious bodily injury, under Florida motor vehicle law, is an injury to a person that creates a substantial risk of death, personal disfigurement, or protracted loss of the full function of a limb or organ.

Florida also includes emotional distress and similar injuries under personal injury, although the requirement for evidence may be higher.

Who Handles Personal Injury Cases?

In most states, attorneys are not permitted to claim a specialty like a doctor can.  A doctor can be an orthopedist, an internist, and so on, but with very few exceptions, attorneys cannot say they are specialists in any given area of the law.  In reality, of course, almost all attorneys do specialize; they just call it concentrating their practice in a specific area.  Thus, a lawyer who handles mostly semi-truck cases will advertise that they do so.  Likewise, there is a large group of personal injury lawyers.  Even injury lawyers can specialize in one or two kinds of cases.  Thus, if you fell and were injured in a public place, you would begin your search by thinking, who are slip and fall attorneys near me?

Some Examples of Personal Injuries

There are lots of injuries and proving a case to recover on any of them requires that you, the plaintiff, prove all the elements or parts of the injury or tort.  In general, you have to prove

  • The injury occurred
  • The defendant caused the injury
  • You suffered damages from the injury

Individual torts or causes of action have different things you have to prove, but essentially you have to prove that it is more likely than not that you were injured by the defendant and suffered damages from the injury.


A large percentage of personal injury cases arise out of negligence, which is the legal term for carelessness.  In Florida, a negligence case requires that you and your personal injury attorney prove:

  • The defendant owed you a duty – for example, all drivers owe a duty of careful driving to all others on the road.
  • The defendant breached that duty – for example, some drivers on the road were not careful around you.
  • That lack of care was the legal cause of your injury – for example, the driver’s lack of care was shown by his running a stop light and T-boning your car, causing severe physical injuries.
  • You suffered damages as a result of the defendant’s breach of duty – for example, your medical and property expenses from having your car hit by a careless driver.

All negligence cases, whether a slip and fall injury, negligent hiring, or negligent security, follow this basic structure.

Slip and Fall Injuries

Since we used slip and fall injuries above, let’s look at what it takes to win that kind of case.  Assume you were in a grocery store and were injured when you fell after slipping on a large quantity of broken eggs. You and your injury attorney have to prove that:

  • The store owner had a duty to maintain the premises in a reasonably safe condition when allowing the public inside – in other words, not leave two dozen broken eggs on the floor.
  • The store owner had a duty to correct a dangerous condition that the owner knew or should have known existed – in other words, clean up in aisle six.
  • The store owner must warn about a dangerous condition – thus all the “caution wet floor / Cuidado piso morado”  signs you see in grocery stores.
  • The store owner breached their duties – that is, the eggs stayed on the floor and there was no warning or clean up.
  • You fell due to the eggs and suffered damages from the fall.

Like all personal injuries, your case will require that you show it was more likely than not that the injury occurred the way you said it did. Slip and fall injury cases are one kind of premises liability lawsuit.

Negligent Security in Personal Injury Cases

Another kind of premises liability case is a negligent security case.  Florida has recently made changes to negligent security law as part of its overall tort reform.  The new law permits a property owner to gain a presumption against being held liable for an injury caused by negligent security if the owner has implemented certain security measures, such as:

  • A security camera at all the doors with film that can be accessed
  • Lighting in the parking lot, walkways, common areas, laundry rooms, and porches
  • One-inch deadbolts in each unit
  • Locks on windows and unit doors that exit to the outside
  • Locked pool gates with limited access
  • Door views on each unit door

Additional requirements come into play in 2025, but you can see that the state is enforcing the duty to have reasonable security in a dwelling.

Further, the state now allows the jury to assign some of the damages to the bad actor who injured you.  In other words, if you’re robbed in your parking lot, the landlord and the thief will share liability.  Depending on how the jury does that, you may “win” your case, but recover little or no damages.

Avoiding a Bad Result

The best way to recover your full damages in a negligence case is to retain an accident attorney whose practice focuses on the kind of case you have.  If you were hit by a car, look for an accident attorney.  If you fell in a store, look for a slip and fall attorney.  Your best recovery comes that way.