Have you recently been the victim of a slip and fall in Florida? Suffering these incidents may be one of the most tormenting situations to be in. These accidents can cause you more trouble than you think. Slip and falls can unleash severe bodily pain, emotional anguish, and severe financial repercussions.
Injuries resulting from a slip and fall can range from mild concussions to severe body trauma. Serious injuries such as tears in soft tissues and bone fractures will undoubtedly prevent you from taking care of your family and working in your profession. Furthermore, these ailments may force you to require invasive medical procedures in order to recuperate from your injuries. Afterwards though, you will have to assume the responsibility of paying exorbitant medical bills.
Equal to any other personal injury accident, slip and falls can be very difficult to confront because of their degree of unexpectedness. Depending on the situation, all Individuals possess a duty of care for others especially in the course of personal injury accidents. That is why it is usual to expect others to act responsibly.
Picture yourself on someone else’s property and suddenly falling due to an impending hazardous condition. In that instance, you’ll automatically understand that the accident was not your fault and that you’ve become a victim of negligence.
Having said that, the party at fault needs to be held liable for your damages. You should know that slip and fall accidents are encompassed by the theory of negligence. This means that by law, the party at fault must provide the victim with a fair set of compensation for their physical, emotional, and financial burdens.
As a victim, you are entitled to receive reparation for all of your damages. However, attaining compensation on your own can turn out to be extremely complex. Why? Because the other party will also have their say.
In addition, insurance companies often undermine victims’ claims. As a result, they may approach individuals with low offers of coverage when they are entitled to receive way more compensation. It is also important to mention that in personal injury claims, it is mandatory to prove that the opposing party caused the accident.
As you see, slip and fall cases are not an easy task to deal with. Nonetheless, we are here to tell you that there is a solution available. You can hire an accident lawyer in Florida. These legal experts have the ability to guide you through your entire process of achieving compensation. They will also assist you in filing your slip and fall injury claim as well.
We invite you to keep reading our article so that you can learn the advantages of hiring a slip and fall lawyer, the legal standards of these accidents in Florida, and what to do after suffering one.
Legal Basics of Slip and Fall Accidents in Florida
Slip and fall is a legal term that refers to the action of where an individual trips and falls on private or public property. Despite these two things, personal injury law states that property owners must keep their areas free of any potential hazards. Some examples of dangerous conditions are:
- Floor debris,
- Wet floors,
- Broken tiles,
- Cracked sidewalks,
- Objects on stairways,
- Torn carpeting.
How to Prove Liability in a Slip and Fall Case in Florida
Slip and fall injury claims fall under the category of premises liability. This is an area of law that holds property owners legally responsible for accidents and injuries that occur on their property due to unsafe conditions. These claims are governed by state law and ensure that they are adhered to. Slip and fall cases can occur in both residential and public property. As a result, the process of proving fault can vary depending on the type of property.
- In Public Spaces: Supermarkets, retail stores, and restaurants are some of the most common establishments where these accidents happen. In these crowded spaces, the likelihood of spilling liquids or other hazards can be quite high. If this occurs, the property owner or business manager could be found liable for any injuries. In order to prove culpability, slip and fall victims must demonstrate that:
- The establishment owner or employees were the cause of the dangerous condition that led to the slip.
- The establishment owner or employees knew about the existence of the potential hazard but did not take the proper steps to improve, repair, and warn customers about the dangerous condition.
- The establishment owner or employees should have known about the dangerous condition since a reasonable property caretaker would have removed it.
- In Private Spaces: If you have been the victim of a slip and fall accident on private property, it is required to prove that you were lawfully on this space. The establishment owner or landlord will not be held financially liable for your injuries if you were a trespasser. Furthermore, it is imperative to prove that the homeowner caused or knew about the dangerous condition but decided not to repair it as well.
Steps to Take After Suffering a Slip and Fall Accident
- Report The Accident: Whether the accident occurred on commercial or private property, it is crucial to report it to the property owner.
- Request Immediate Medical Attention: Regardless of the severity of your injuries, it is important to call 911 and request medical assistance. If not, make sure to see medical attention in the first 2 weeks of the accident.
- Seek Evidence of The Accident: If there were any witnesses, make sure you request their full name and phone number. If you are able to, take photographs of the cause of the accident, establishment name, and your injuries.
- Keep a Case File: Save all documents related to the case. These can serve as medical bills, records of other accident-related expenses, correspondence with insurers, any records about missed work days resulting in missed income, and medical or police reports. Furthermore, you should annotate what you were intending to do when the accident happened. For example, buying groceries, clothes, or consuming food.
How to File a Slip and Fall Injury Claim
The Summons Complaint: The Complaint is a document where you explain to the court how the accident occurred. In addition, you will be required to detail who the parties are, who may have caused the incident, and the amount of compensation that you are seeking. The summons is another legal form that must be delivered to the party allegedly at fault. They must respond to the victim’s complaint within a specific amount of time.
Response of the Part At-Fault: The other party must file an answer, which is a document where they accept or deny your allegations. Filing the answer often sets forth the “affirmative defenses”. These are legal doctrines that if the sued party can prove that they apply on the case, it may decrease their liability or exonerate them from any charges.
The Discovery Phase: In this stage, the parties involved are interrogated in order to gather information of the slip and fall accident. Depending on the complexity of the case, this phase can last between three months to various years.
Pre-Trial Motions: A motion is an application to the court made by the parties involved where they request that the court make a decision on a certain issue before a trial. These are the most common motions:
- Motion to Dismiss: This document is filed when a party believes that the court should void the case due to certain reasons. For instance, the complaint is legally invalid, the statute of limitations passed, or there is no significant evidence that proves that they caused the accident.
- Motion to Compel: In this document, the parties involved ask the court to enforce a request for information that is relevant to the case. For example, the sued party can request the victim to show evidence proving that the slip and fall was provoked by the establishment’s employees or managers.
Mediation/Settlement Conference: Usually, parties intend to settle these cases without a trial. In a mediation conference, the parties settle the case on their own with a private mediator. However, in a settlement conference, the court will appoint the judge who will lead the meeting.
Benefits of a Slip and Fall Attorney in Florida
- Slip and fall lawyers possess the needed expertise for your case since they have represented several individuals with cases similar to yours. Furthermore, they fully comprehend personal injury dynamics and state laws.
- Several slip and fall attorneys work with different professionals. For example, they can point you towards private investigators that can gather evidence for your case and medical professionals who can treat your injuries.
- As we mentioned before, insurers may not be so honest as they seem at first. These dishonesties can be countered by an injury attorney. They can properly calculate your compensation as well.
- Most accident lawyers work on contingency fees. These are a percentage of the victim’s recovered damages. If your case is not settled, they will not cost you.
- If reaching a settlement with the other party has not been possible, a slip and fall attorney can force a trial.
Hire The Best Florida Slip and Fall Lawyer Right Away!
This article was brought to you by the Law Offices of Scott J.Senft. Slip and fall accidents can turn your world upside down in a blink of an eye. That is why we are here to help you during these tough times. We can help you file your slip and fall injury claim so that you can get rightfully compensated. Call us right now at 954-927-3326!