Slip and fall accidents can cause serious injury. These injuries often occur on elevated areas, but can also happen with a shortfall on a flat surface – depending on how the person hits the floor. If you are injured due to a fall and feel it may have been caused by the negligence of another party, you should contact an attorney immediately and let them know what happened. The Fort Lauderdale slip and fall attorneys of Madalon Law have an incredible success record with these types of cases and have won when going up against large corporations. Let us know what happened and we will tell you if you have a case.


Fort Lauderdale can be hectic. It may not be as congested as Miami, but it is still very busy. The first areas that may come to mind when we think of crowded places where people can slip & fall may be popular hotspots like Fort Lauderdale Beach, Las Olas Riverfront and all of its great bars and restaurants. Even a person who may not like to go out to these areas can still run into examples of premises negligence in places like the Swap Shop, the Galleria, Whole Foods or even the local Publix Supermarket.


Property owners have a responsibility to provide a safe walking area for visitors. Unfortunately, there are many cases in Fort Lauderdale where property owners lose sight of this and the result is a tripping hazard or dangerous walking condition that causes a slip and fall accident. Reports show that there are over one million Americans injured due to slip and fall injuries each year. Even more shocking is the fact that this does not include a large number of people who are hurt in a fall and say nothing.

So why do some people do nothing when they are injured in a slip and fall accident? They could be embarrassed if it happened in public (like most slip and falls do). A person in this situation may want to get up as quickly as possible and just keep moving even if they can feel they may have been injured in the fall. A person may also assume it was probably their fault and they should have been paying more attention. This may be true in some cases, but there are many other times where the cause of the fall is not as obvious as a spilled drink.

There could be a building code violation, design flaw or other tripping hazards that had not been attended to or repaired by the property owners.


People injured in a slip and fall should speak to an attorney about their incident. Speaking to one of our Broward accident attorneys does not mean you are hiring us. Our goal is to give you a better understanding of what your options are. Contact us for your free consultation and get answers to your questions today.


Common Building Violations Causing Slip & Fall Injuries

The Fort Lauderdale slip, trip and fall accident lawyers at MADALON LAW want you to know that the next time you fall and injure yourself, you might want to take a closer look at what caused the fall before assuming it was your own carelessness.

There are building codes in place to provide a safe walking area for anyone on a property. Even though all property owners are required to meet these safety requirements, it is surprising how many don’t. This is negligence on their part that can put you or a loved one in a situation that could cause an injury by tripping or falling.

The American Society of Testing Materials (ASTM) has a standard that has been carefully developed for your safety. It covers design and construction guidelines for buildings and their walking areas. Besides walkways and floorings, the ASTM standards also address carpeting, changes in level, headroom, lighting, mats, runners, hardware, exterior walkways, stairs, single steps, speed bumps, wheel stops, warnings and gratings.

Here are some of the most common building violations and/or walking hazards most people see on a daily basis:

Handrails: At home a staircase only needs one handrail, but commercial buildings actually require their full height staircases to have 2 handrails. Commercial building codes also make it a requirement that handrails must be continuous and uninterrupted.

Stairways with dimensional inconsistency: Have you ever seen stairs where one step is shorter or higher than the others? Have you ever climbed to the top of a staircase (also called the “rise”) and before you enter the doorway there is still a separate step because the stairs ended before the doorway? These are all considered dimensional inconsistency. This interruption in the flow of design can be the cause of someone tripping down the stairs.

Interior and exterior surfaces are not leveled: Have you ever walked into a business and you had to step up to go into the doorway because the entrance was not leveled with the exterior of the business? This is a common building code violation and tripping hazard that many see.

Obstruction within the entranceway: The entranceway must be clear for people who enter. If there is an obstruction in the entrance of a business, then that is a code violation and hazard.

Uneven base of ramp: the base (or bottom) of a ramp is supposed to smoothly meet the ground level. If it doesn’t, then it creates a “trip step” which someone can easily trip over.

Stairways with no landing: When you get to the top of the stairs, there needs to be a landing (the flat area you can stand on). If the stairs meet exactly at the door so that you are still standing on a step until you walk in the door, then that is a violation.

Building code violations are enforced because it has been proven time and again that a violation can cause an accident. The Fort Lauderdale slip, trip and fall attorneys at MADALON LAW know what to look for in these types of cases to establish the other party’s negligence and seek the financial compensation you deserve. Contact our office so you can tell us what happened and we can answer your questions with a free consultation.

The Fort Lauderdale slip and fall attorneys at MADALON LAW want you to understand how falling down the stairs may be the fault of the building owners.

By understanding the parts of a stairway and required safety standards, it becomes easier to tell the difference between someone falling due to their own carelessness and an accident that happened due to the negligence of the building owner.

Stairways – the basic parts and requirements of a stairway

Parts you may not be familiar with

  • The Tread: The tread, commonly called the “step”, is the surface that we step on
  • The Rise: This is the vertical distance from one step to another
  • The Nosing: This is the horizontal distance that the edge of the tread extends beyond the riser
  • The Dimensional Uniformity: The maximum variations in step depth and riser height in order to maintain dimensional uniformity. If there is too much of a variation, then the stairs will not have a “flow” to them and a person can lose their balance.
  • Structural Integrity: There is a safety requirement for them to be sound and maintained.
  • The Stringer: This is what forms the angle of the stairways and is what the steps are fastened to.
  • The Landings: These are the areas at the top or between flights of stairs

Parts we all know and the safety requirements you may not know

  • The Handrails: The railings must be placed at a specific height above the edge of the stair treads. For gripping purposes, the handrails are not allowed to be greater than 2” in width. Only a single handrail is required in one and two family structures, but in a commercial structure there is a requirement for two handrails – one on each side.
  • The Guardrails: The railings that protect us from falling off the stairway or landing are required to be a minimum of 36” in height and designed to be able to withstand 200 lbs. of lateral force.
  • The Lighting: Because proper lighting of a stairway is critical for safe usage, a minimum of one foot candle is required according to the International building code.

Types of Stairs

There are several different types of stairs. There are the more common straight run stairs and scissor stairs that we see almost everywhere. Then there are also metal pan stairs, Alternating tread stairs and winder stairs.

Even though all stairs must meet safety standards with guardrails, handrails and structural integrity, there are other types of stairs that have additional requirements to be up to code:

  • Straight Run Stairs & Scissor Stairs: Need to meet the general safety standards
  • Spiral Stairs: a spiral stairway is permitted in residential and commercial buildings that serve an area on not more than 250 square feet. The treads of the stairway need to meet certain measurement requirements and the minimum width of a spiral stairway is 26”.
  • Metal Pan Stairs: OSHA (the Occupational Safety and Health Administration) does not allow the use of pan stairways by workers until the pans are filled with concrete or temporary wood filler pieces
  • Alternating Tread Stairs: These stairways are limited to be used only in factory, storage and high hazard buildings serving not more than 250 square feet. Alternating tread stairways can also be used in institutional buildings. It could be a prison with a guard tower, observation room or control room not more than 250 square feet.
  • Winders: Winder treads also have strict inch requirements that must be met for safety standards

If you have slipped, fallen and are now injured from an accident, then you need to contact a law firm that is familiar with these cases and knows what to look for and be able to identify what happened. Contact the Fort Lauderdale slip and fall attorneys at MADALON LAW today for your free consultation.

Property Owners Need To Be Responsible

A slip and fall is not always caused by a spilled drink

If you ask someone what causes a slip and fall accident, the most common response will probably be a spill of some sort. Even though that is not a wrong answer, there are many times that a person may fall down a flight of stairs, a few steps or a ramp – with no liquid in sight. In many cases a person may try to get up as best they can and walk away (even though they may have been injured). It may be due to embarrassment if others were watching because the person who fell assumes it was caused by their own carelessness.

There are many times this could be true, but then there are some cases when the cause of the fall is much more subtle than someone who spilled a soda at the top of the stairs.

Staircases and ramps need to follow safety standards

Walking surfaces like staircases, ramps, steps and doorways all have codes and safety standards that they must abide by. In many cases a building may not follow these codes and go for decades with a defective stairway or ramp that is undetected or not brought to anyone’s attention. This could be laziness on the part of the company that owns the property or work done by an unlicensed contractor who did not follow safety standards. It could also be something the property owners are aware of, but don’t find it cost effective to make the required changes and are hoping it just goes unnoticed and hopefully anyone who trips might just assume it was their own fault.

Codes and Standards

Various local, state and federal governments require ramps and stairs to meet certain requirements in order to be deemed safe. This is taken very seriously by the International Code Council (ICC), Americans with Disability Act (ADA), the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) and the American Society of Testing Material (ASTM), just to name a few.

What if it’s an old building?

Building codes are typically “grandfathered” in. What this means is a building has to meet the code requirements that were in place when it was originally built. Something a lot of people are not aware of is that a change in the use of a building or renovation will trigger code compliance and the property owners will be responsible for making sure the building is up to code.

Ramps have requirements and safety standards that need to be met as well.

Even though it may not seem like a slipping or falling hazard for someone walking, a ramp that does not meet safety requirements can be incredibly dangerous for a disabled person. The Americans with Disability Act Accessibility Guidelines (ADA/AG) require safety standards that need to be met with the slope of the ramp, accessibility, handrails and their ability to be grasped, handrail clearance and ramp friction.

When seeking legal representation for a slip and fall, you need to hire a law firm that understands and is willing to do the amount of research that is needed for a successful outcome to your case.

The Fort Lauderdale slip, trip & fall attorneys at MADALON LAW have an impressive success rate with these cases and also offer a free consultation. Contact our firm today so you can tell us what happened and we can let you know your options.



Every property owner in South Florida has a level of a responsibility, a duty to someone else. The most common name for these incidents occurring on properties is Slip and Fall. However, injuries from accidents on someone else’s property can be as a result of not only falling but also from anything associated with the property. The owner must warn you of a dangerous condition that he or she should have known. The level of responsibility and duty that the property owner will have towards you depends on how the law classifies your presence on the property. In essence, the law wants to know how you got to be on the property, and what you were doing. That is where it is essential to hire an attorney to represent your rights.

The accident attorneys at Madalon Law have successfully represented clients against property owners for years. Our winning record of settlements and litigations stem from tireless hours working hard to stand-up for your rights. Often times, most individuals are not aware of their ability to seek compensation for injuries suffered as a result of someone’s negligence. Liability on the person or entity responsible for the area comes in different forms: slipping inside a retail store places the burden on the store to have made the area clean and safe and to have warned you if there was a dangerous condition – like liquid or substance that could have caused you to fall; faulty construction creating a bad step on a walkway or sidewalk allows us to seek a claim from the city, county, or state; bad lighting on a parking lot that prevented you from watching your step will place the responsibility on the parking lot owner. These are just some of the examples our firm handles on a daily basis.

Experience and triumph is the combination that our firm offers every client and their family. The critical components faced in premise liability law are the duties of the owners and burden of proof. As a result, we investigate every detail of the case, we survey the scene where the fall or incident occurred, and we document every step through photography and video if necessary. Our team of experts then assembles and analyzes the facts of the law. Based on today’s statistics, our ability to help clients and their families survive these tragedies is invaluable.

According to the National Floor Safety Institute, over 8 million people visited emergency rooms across the country as a result of falls. That number represents double the combined population of Broward, Dade and Palm Beach Counties! Reality is that you are at risk and so is your livelihood. Slip and Falls represent the primary cause for lost days of work, and they affect everyone. If you are between the ages of 18-24, it is the leading cause of occupational injury. If you are 65 and over, it is the second leading cause of death related injuries.


The slip and fall accident attorneys at Madalon Law are here to pursue the best compensation possible for your injury. The longer you wait, the more time the property owner has to prepare a defense. Contact our Broward Slip and Fall Lawyers today. Serving the entire State of Florida.

Slip and Fall Accident at Florida Wal-Mart

Reffaie v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 96 So. 3d 1073, 1074 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 2012)

This tort action was brought on by the plaintiff in the lawsuit after they sustained injuries from a slip-and-fallincident at a store.

On the day of the slip and fall accident, the plaintiff was entering a Wal-Mart Supercenter when they encountered a substance described as slippery on the floor. Without warning, the plaintiff was caused to fall to the ground when her feet slipped out from under her when she came into contact with the substance. Ultimately, the plaintiff required surgery to fix injuries sustained to her shoulder and neck.

This case is unique in that the jury found in favor of the plaintiff, however, they reduced the amount of damages by the percentage of fault found to be attributed to the plaintiff. Though Wal-Mart was in fact found negligent for allowing the liquid to remain on the floor walked on by customers, the plaintiff was determined to have contributed to the fall itself. The jury assigned the plaintiff with eighty percent of the liability in causing her injuries. After calculating the total amount of damages to be just under one hundred thousand dollars, the jury reduced that amount by the eighty percent, and awarded the plaintiff with nineteen thousand dollars.

Until recently, Florida did not institute a strong burden of proof on the part of a plaintiff to establish conditions of a slip-and-fall accident at a place of business. However, changes in the law have made this burden of proof more stringent on the part of a plaintiff. Previously, the burden of proof that a plaintiff was faced with in a slip and fall case only required them to demonstrate that a slip and fall had actually taken place. The defendant was left to show that they took appropriate steps in making sure that the property was safe for their patrons.

The changes to the law make it necessary for a plaintiff in a slip and fall lawsuit to show that the business owed them a duty of care, and that duty was breached as a result of a negligent act. The way that a plaintiff can demonstrate this is by showing that the business knew, or should have known of the hazardous condition, and that the business needed to take steps towards fixing the problem.

There are two types of “notice” when it comes to a business being aware of a hazardous condition. The first type of notice, ‘actual notice’, is seemingly cut and dry; the business knew that the condition existed. A more difficult type of notice is in proving the second type, “constructive notice”. In essence, this type of notice simply means that given the circumstances, the business should have known of the condition, regardless of them actually knowing about it.

Though this new law requires a bit more investigation into slip and fall accidents, it does not eliminate recovery from them altogether. The goal that the Florida legislature had in mind was to reduce the amount of fraudulent cases being filed against businesses. At one point, Florida slip-and-fall lawsuits were nearly two times greater than the average across the country.

If you have been injured from a fall and believe it may have been caused by negligence of the store, contact our firm and tell us the details. We will go over your case with you at no cost during your free consultation. We are based in Fort Lauderdale, but fight for the rights of the injured throughout Florida.

Slip and Fall: It May Not Be Your Fault

Fort Lauderdale slip & fall attorneys that want you to understand the truth about these cases

When you here “Slip & Fall”, it is common for people to envision a frivolous lawsuit or more clearly someone who fell because they weren’t paying attention and now want to try and sue for millions. This public perception can make a person who is injured on a fall feel like they should just get up, chalk it up to their own negligence and limp off. This is the wrong thing to do. Not just because the limp or pain they have can be something they find out is more severe later, but also because in many cases the fall was not due to the negligence of the individual who slipped.

So where do slip & fall cases happen?

Slip and falls can happen anywhere. You could be at a restaurant where there could be spills that are not picked up. It could be a store at the mall where items have not been picked up or a spill has been disregarded by a mall janitor. There can also be dangerous environments like offices and other workplaces that man have stairs that are not up to code. Another common place for slip and falls are gaming and casino areas like the Hollywood Hard Rock Hotel & Casino or the Coconut Creek Casino.

It could be an environmental issue like flooring, lighting or other hazards. With stairs there can be liquids or other contaminates that can make the surface slippery.

The stairs you fell on may not meet safety requirements

Not all stairs are created equal and if the staircase you fell on does not meet safety requirements than you may have a case. There are requirements with the tread, dimensional uniformity, structural integrity, handrails, proper lighting, guardrails, landings and other requirements depending on the type of stairs you climb. It’s not just stairs that need to meet codes and requirements – ramps also have safety standards that must be met.

Our slip and fall attorneys have an incredible success rate with these types of cases and take them very seriously. Some of our steps can include:

  • Going to the scene and taking as many pictures in as many different angles as possible to preserve the scene.
  • Making notes of different surface conditions that can be caused by weather.
  • We will research the codes of the building, as well as its stairways and ramps.
  • We will test stairs for slip resistance and stair tread.
  • Check for defects that could have caused the fall – there are common ones that can be easily missed if not carefully looked for.
  • Research and review other safety issues in the walking surface.
  • Speak to all witnesses and people that may be familiar with the building or anything else that can help your case
  • Find out who is responsible for the maintenance and repairs of the place you were injured

You need to contact a firm that understands these types of cases. Contact the FT. Lauderdale slip and fall attorneys at MADALON LAW and we will answer your questions and give you your free consultation.

Steps to Take After a Fall

The Steps You Should Take After a Slip and Fall Accident?

Slips or trips and falls can happen to anyone in any place. It can happen in high traffic places like the Sawgrass Mall or even at your local Publix Supermarket. A person simply falling because they were not paying attention does not mean they have a case.

But what if the fall was preventable? What if the fall was due to another party’s negligence? Did the owner or an employee know of the spill, worn area, spot or slippery dangerous surface and did nothing about it? It could have been a slippery surface, wet stairs or building code violations, like no handrails or an improper stair height or depth.

In these types of cases, an insurance company and court will look to see if the accident that occurred was due to your negligence.

If you are injured in a slip and fall accident, the following steps can help you win your case:

  • Get help – If you fall hard and find it difficult to sit up, stay down and call for the paramedics. You could have a head injury or spinal cord injury. By seeking the appropriate medical attention, you are not only taking the proper medial precautions, but you are also getting injuries documented by doctors. Even if you feel the injuries may not be that bad, you should still seek help. Delaying this can negatively affect your case. Make sure you mention all of your medical complaints to the doctor – what may seem like a little pain now may be much worse tomorrow.
  • File a report – File a report with the store owner or manager, but do not give an extensive statement to them.
  • Take detailed notes – What time was it? Where did you fall? What was the condition of where you fell? Were there hand rails? If the weather was relevant, what was it like? Who were the employees or witnesses? What clothes were you wearing – particularly your shoes? Make sure you also take notes of what you were doing when the accident occurred. Remembering this will help when the business claims you were not paying attention.
  • Take photographs of the accident scene – This includes the area you fell, its conditions and the lighting that was on when the incident occurred.

Jurors tend to be skeptical of slip and fall cases, but following these simple steps can prove the incident was due to a hazardous environment and not your negligence.

Don’t let an insurance company accuse you of being careless. It’s time to contact our firm for your free consultation. The slip and fall injury lawyers at Madalon Law are here to protect your rights.