Have you recently suffered an unfortunate slip and fall accident? These difficult events can cause you serious physical, emotional, and financial anguish. These accidents can be severely disastrous because incidents like these can occur anywhere and at any time.
Since slip and falls are unexpected accidents, nobody can be prepared to confront the consequences that arise in its incoming aftermath. As a result, dealing with these repercussions can be significantly demanding. Also, severe injuries can change your life completely because they may leave you with permanent disabilities and force you to miss work while you recover from your injuries.
Having said that, we know that there is nothing more annoying than enduring physical pain and at the same time assuming the responsibility of paying expensive medical bills. This issue can also affect your peace of mind and cause you more uncertainty. Therefore, it is important to take action as soon as possible.
It is important to mention that slip and fall accidents often result from someone else’s negligence. For that reason, it is crucial to identify what exactly caused the incident. By proving that the incident was indeed caused by someone else’s lack of responsibility, you will be entitled to receive fair compensation for all of your damages.
You should know though, that achieving compensation on your own will be very difficult. For that reason, you should seek guidance from attorneys in Florida. These trained professionals possess the necessary expertise to tackle any type of personal injury cases, especially slip and fall accidents in Florida.
We would like you to keep reading this detailed account because we will discuss the legal standard of slip and falls, how to deal with them, and the benefits of hiring qualified lawyers when confronting the complexities of your injury claim.
Definition of Slip and Fall Accidents and Their Legal Standard
Slip and falls are personal injury accidents in which an individual trips and falls on someone else’s property. These events are categorized as “premises liability” claims.
Slip and fall accidents usually occur in public spaces such as supermarkets, restaurants, and banks. Personal injury law declares that if there was a hazard in the property and the establishment owners were aware of it but decided not to eliminate it, they will be held liable for your damages.
Liability is defined as culpability after causing victims physical, emotional, and financial damages by an act of negligence.
Trespassing in Slip and Fall Accidents
A trespasser is an individual who enters another person’s property without invitation or consent from the property owners. In that case, landowners do not have the responsibility of maintaining their space safe and free of any hazards that may menace trespassers. However, that does not mean that property owners are allowed to intentionally cause harm to the general public.
Responsibility of The Establishment Owner
Owners of public spaces are legally responsible for the safety of their premises. This means that if there are any dangerous conditions, they must eliminate them or warn individuals about them. The following are examples of dangerous conditions that may be found in spaces:
- Torn carpeting,
- Poor lighting,
- Cracked sidewalks,
- Slick floors,
- Changes in floors and walls,
- Broken roofs,
- Lack of warning signs,
How to Prove Liability in a Slip and Fall Case in Florida
Unless it is a case where there are clear intentions from the establishment owners to harm individuals, a slip and fall case will require the victim to prove that the incident was caused by negligence from the landlord. Negligence means that the defendant failed to act lawfully manner when the event occurred.
For example, it is expected to see warning signs when floors are wet and slippery after being recently mopped. If this is not done and the individual slips on the wet floor and becomes injured, the store will be found liable for negligence.
To determine that a property owner already had previous knowledge about the existence of the hazard, it must be proven that:
- The owner of the premises contributed to the danger either on purpose or due to inaction.
- The owner knew about the existence of the hazard and did not correct it.
- According to the National Floor Safety Institute, falls account for 40% of all nursing home admissions and are the sixth leading cause of death in people aged 70 or older.
- According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, cracked floors and flooring materials cause around 2 million fall injuries each year.
- Slip and falls are the leading cause of missed worked days in the United States.
What to Do After Suffering a Slip and Fall Accident in Florida?
- Seek immediate medical attention: It is imperative to seek medical assistance regardless of the severity of your injuries. Sometimes, mild injuries can be tricky to pinpoint on your own because they can take time to fully develop. Apart from receiving treatment for your ailments, a doctor’s examination will be a valuable asset of evidence when you initiate your injury claim. It is important to follow your doctor’s orders for treatment. If you are not treated how you were supposed to, the other party may argue that you were hurt in the accident.
- Report the accident: To have a record of the incident, you must report it to the landlord or establishment owner. You should also ask them to write an accident report that provides details of the accident. This would include the date, the time, the cause of fall, and their contact information.
- Take photographs: When filing a claim, it is crucial to have photographs of your injuries, the exact area where the slip and fall accident occurred, the dangerous condition, and the establishment name or address.
- Keep a case file: Save all documents related to the case. These can be medical bills, records of other accident-related expenses, correspondence with insurance firms, any records about missed work days resulting in missed income, and medical or police reports. Additionally, you should annotate what you were intending to do when the accident occurred. For example, buying groceries, bank transactions, or eating.
- Do not blame anybody nor assume fault: Establishing fault in a trip and fall accident requires an investigation. For that reason, you must neither assign nor accept fault for the incident until the case has been truly reviewed by professionals. Furthermore, do not provide statements to the space owner’s insurance company until you have a lawyer on your side. Also, refrain from signing any documents from the establishment owner or insurance firm.
- Hire an attorney: A qualified slip and fall accident lawyer will provide you with the best representation throughout your legal case. These are the following benefits of hiring a lawyer for a slip and fall claim.
Advantages of Hiring a Lawyer for Your Slip and Fall Case in Florida
- Experience: Slip and fall accident attorneys possess the needed expertise for your case. They have represented several individuals with cases similar to yours as well. In addition, they can negotiate with insurance companies. Moreover, a qualified lawyer can guide you through the entire process. This means properly filling paperwork and understanding legal verbiage on documents.
- Achieving higher compensation: Calculating compensation with the help of an attorney will be a lot more accurate than doing it on your own. Lawyers will evaluate your injuries, missed income, and other factors in hopes of properly calculating the compensation you deserve.
- Access to other services: A grand majority of lawyers work alongside different professionals. For example, they can point you towards private investigators who can gather evidence for your case and medical professionals that can treat your injuries.
- Representation in court: If your case is brought to court, rest assured that attorneys will do anything that is in their power to seek compensation for you. Additionally, they can force a trial if you fail to reach a settlement with the other party.
- Negotiating on your behalf: There is nothing more stressful than having to talk to insurance firms and attend meetings if you are injured. By hiring a lawyer, he/she will represent you while you recover from your injuries.
Time to Contact an Attorney!
This information was brought to you by the Law Offices of Scott J. Senft. We hope that after reading this detailed account, you have learned that you need to hire a lawyer after suffering slip and fall accidents in Florida. Scott and his team have over 23 years of experience in handling personal injury accidents in our area. They will fight for your rights and make sure that you achieve the compensation that you are entitled to. So, go ahead and contact him right away!