Aug 4

Personal Injury And The Res Ipsa Loquitur Doctrine

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In Law, the Latin term “res ipsa loquitur” is translated to mean the thing speaks for itself, is an ideology which is applied when a plaintiff attempts to establish negligence on the part of a defendant without actual proof. However, for this doctrine to hold, the plaintiff must establish that the said act of negligence is one that should not have happened and that the defendant had absolute power over the instrument or object that caused the resultant injury.

A practical example is when a customer finds a foreign object inside a sealed beverage drink. The manufacturer is in sole control of the said drink and his actions or inactions may have led to the object being present in the drink. In this case, the ideology of res ipsa loquitur can apply.

In a recent case of slip and fall in Florida where the ideology of res ipsa loquitur was brought out before an appellate court, the court had ruled that the said doctrine did not apply and that the lower court had been right in its judgment.

The fact of the case goes thus; the plaintiff had slipped and fallen off the wooden stairs of the defendant’s home. During the time of the accident, the defendant completely owned the house. After a few years, the plaintiff files a lawsuit for personal injury citing negligence on the part of the defendant and making a claim for compensation. The plaintiff had argued that the wooden stairs had been rotted and that the defendant had known about it but refused to inform her. But since the plaintiff had no evidence of the defendant’s knowledge of the stairs condition, the plaintiff asked the court to apply the ideology of res ipsa loquitur.

The court in its ruling had determined that the ideology of res ipsa loquitur could not be applied. According to the court, for the doctrine to apply the plaintiff must be able to present concrete physical evidence that links the plaintiff’s injury to the defendant’s negligence. The court had stated that without evidence such as photographs there was no way to be certain that the staircase was rotted and that the plaintiff was speaking based on mere conjecture or speculation, and this was not sufficient enough to rule that the defendant was guilty of negligence.

If you have ever been involved in any slip and fall accident, or any of your loved ones have found themselves in such unpleasant scenarios, then you may be entitled to some monetary compensation. There are skilled personal injury and wrongful death Florida attorneys who are ready to represent you or your loved ones to claim your rightful compensation. These Florida injury attorneys have extensive experience representing victims of personal injury, including slip and fall.