Florida Slip and Fall Award Reversed
What happens when a person slips and falls on a sidewalk or other public place? Can they sue the government entity involved? Will they be able to receive compensation for their injuries?
There are several factors involved in a slip and fall case, but whether or not a person will receive compensation for their injuries will depend on two main factors: duty of the property owner and the evidence used to prove one’s case. While digital website such as photos and websites can be effective for many legal cases, they can negatively impact a case if they cannot be proven authentic. This was recently the case for a Florida woman, who lost her $90,000 award over Google Maps.
The woman had tripped and fallen while walking on a sidewalk in Miami in 2010. The woman attempted to obtain compensation from the city of Miami for her damages. She alleged that the city was negligent in maintaining the sidewalk. To prove her case, the woman presented a Google Maps image in court. The photo of the sidewalk had a date stamp of November 2007. This was used to prove to the court that the city of Miami should have known about the sidewalk and taken the proper steps to fix it before she was injured. The woman used the photo to prove that the city had constructive knowledge of the faulty sidewalk. The woman also had an expert testify that there was not much difference between the Google Maps photo from 2007 and a photo of the same location in 2010 when the woman fell.
However, the photo was not enough. The woman was not able to authenticate the photo. She simply presented it in court without testimony from anyone who had personal knowledge of Google Maps. The judge had concerns about the equipment used by Google Maps as well as the procedures used to take the photos. Without this information, the photo was deemed inadmissible and not authentic. The woman had no evidence to prove that the city had constructive knowledge of the faulty sidewalk.
Originally, the woman won her case and received a $90,000 award from the jury. However, the city of Miami appealed the case. The Third District Court of Appeal in Florida considered the photo to be inadmissible evidence. Therefore, the appeals court reversed the original verdict and instead ruled in favor of the city of Miami. The victim received no compensation for her damages.
Contact a Coral Springs Personal Injury Attorney
Slip and fall cases are hard to win. It all comes down to duty, and even if someone is injured when slipping and falling on a substance, they do not automatically win their case. Other factors apply.
You need assistance from a caring and compassionate lawyer who understands what you’re going through. Get the legal help you need from a Coral Springs slip and fall attorney at The Law Offices of Barry S. Mittelberg, P.A. We can help determine liability and get you the compensation you deserve. Schedule a free consultation today by calling (954) 752-1213.