Slip and Fall Lawyer Serving Fort Pierce
Fort Pierce is known as the “Sunrise City” because of its magical sunrises over the Indian River Lagoon and as such 40,000 people have decided to make their homes in this idyllic city.
However, the serene community is not immune to personal injury incidents like slip and falls. Slip and fall accidents can happen everywhere and most of the time, the victim is not at fault. Slippery floors, uneven ground, poor lightning and fallen debris can all cause slip and fall injuries in Fort Pierce.
According to the Florida Department of Health, 62,451 people were hospitalized due to slip and fall injuries and 2,475 were killed as a result of these accidents. In Florida, unintentional falls are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries among senior citizens (ages 65 and older).
If you or a loved one have been injured in a slip and fall accident in Florida, it is important to understand that you may have a legal right to pursue compensation for your injuries and damages. Contact the experienced slip and fall attorneys at Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers for a free consultation and guidance as to your legal options. Our attorneys will fight for the compensation you deserve.Leading Causes for Slip, Trip and Fall Accidents
Slip and fall accidents occur when a person slips over a slick surface causing them to lose their footing. These usually result in the victim falling backwards. Trip and fall accidents occur when a person's foot is obstructed or hit an object that shouldn't be there. This results in the victim falling forward.
According to the National Floor Safety Institute, department store slip and fall injuries result in as much as $450 million in damages brought forward by slip and fall victims.
The main causes of slip and fall in a grocery store are:
Spilled Food or Drink: Shoppers at grocery stores may spill food or drink items on the floor, which may cause it to become slippery. Additionally, food items may become knocked off of display cases or water may leak from the frozen food section. It is the duty of the people running the store to make sure the spill is clean immediately so that it cannot become a risk of slip and fall injuries to other customers.
Wet or Mopped Floor: A freshly mopped floor is another common cause for slip and fall incidents. The floors need to be mopped routinely. To minimize the risk of people slipping on the slick floor, the staff should put up blocks and warning signs around the wet area. Failing to do so can result in injury.
Dirty Restrooms: Wet floors, spilled debris and toilet paper wadded on the floor can all cause risks for slip and fall injuries. Therefore, it is important that the restrooms are kept clean and dry throughout the day.
Broken Ground In Parking Lots: Slip and fall accidents in parking lots can occur due to uneven floor and cracks in the ground, and potholes. It is important to maintain the parking lot regularly and repair any cracks or potholes fixed so that people may not risk injuring themselves.
Poor Lightning: It is the duty of an establishment to make sure there is adequate lighting both inside and outside the store so that visitors can easily navigate and not trip or fall with unexpected objects.
Other examples of scenarios that cause slip and fall accidents include:
- Carpets with low friction
- Uneven or broken stones on the pavement
- Door jambs beneath the doors
- Items left cluttered in the floor like mops, brooms, crates, and tools
- Colliding with objects or people
- Falling off stairs, ladders, or scaffoldings
- Broken handrails
The Florida Statute of Limitations places a time limit on your right to file a lawsuit in the civil court. For slip and fall accidents in Fort Pierce, the Statute of Limitations is four years from the date of the incident. If you fail to file your lawsuit within this time frame, the court will likely dismiss your case and you will be barred from pursuing your claim.
This same statute of limitation applies to most other personal injury cases as well as property damage caused by slip and fall accidents (for example, you broke your expensive smartphone or watch when you fell).
Contact an experienced personal injury attorney for further guidance.Slip and Fall Claims We Are Available to Handle in St Lucie County
Slip and fall accidents can happen anywhere. The most common slip and fall accidents in Fort Pierce happen in grocery stores, shopping malls, stores, parks, residential properties, parking lots, gyms, pools, and driveways.
Under the Florida premises liability law, property owners must maintain their property in a manner that is reasonably safe and free of hazards or danger. If the property owner or manager knows, or should have known, about a potentially dangerous condition, they must provide warnings and take actions to correct it.
Slip and Fall Injuries at a Grocery Store: Visiting grocery stores or department stores is an almost daily occurrence for most people and although these places may seem very safe, sometimes there are dangers that visitors fail to recognize. Businesses like Walmart, Publix, Walgreens, Target, CVS, and Winn Dixie may have wet or uneven floors, food spills or exposed electrical or mechanical equipment. These can result in slip and fall accidents.
Slip and Fall Injuries at a Pool or Amusement Park: Slip and fall accidents are very common in public places that are wet like pool and water parks. Victims may suffer injury while boarding rides, going down steps, and walking near fountains. A stairwell may not have a railing or a swimming pool may have a step which is not visible due to it being underwater. All of these things can cause harm to a person and they may be entitled to pursue compensation.
Slip and Fall Accident at Work: According to the CDC, nationwide, 261,930 private and government employees missed work due to a fall on the same level or lower levels. About 798 workers have died from falls at the workplace. If your workplace fails to take the necessary measure to keep your working environment safe, you may be eligible to seek compensation.
The above are some of the most common places that are at risk for slip and fall accidents. Some other places include:
- Slip and fall accidents at private homes
- Shopping malls
- Hotels, restaurants, and nightclubs
- Sports stadium
- Event halls
If you have been involved in a slip and fall accident at a property, here are some steps you may choose to follow:
Step 1: Seek Medical Treatment for Your Injuries
If you are injured in a slip and fall incident, the first step is to make sure you get the appropriate medical treatment. As mentioned above, a severe fall can be life-threatening. Getting medical help is essential because your injuries may not be obvious immediately. You can get treated for your slip and fall injuries in Fort Pierce at:
Lawnwood Regional Medical Center: Emergency Room
3rd St, Fort Pierce, FL 34950, United States | 772-468-4551
Step 2: Take Photos and Videos of the Scene
If you are able to, make a record of all the physical evidence at the scene, including the cause of the accident (spilled liquid, objects on the floor, poor lighting, etc.). Also make a video or take pictures of your injury, and damaged property, including any torn clothing or broken personal possession).
Step 3: Collect Information From the Witnesses
If there were many people around you, who saw you slip and fall, they can provide statements on your behalf. You need to get their name, phone number, and addresses, and ask them to give a detailed account of what they witnessed.
Step 4: File an Accident Report With the Business
If you have suffered a slip and fall accident at a business, ask them to make an official record of the incident, detailing what happened. If you fall on a private property, always record the location of the accident and report it to the property owner. Be sure to get a copy of the report.
Step 5: Don't Provide a Recorded Statement to the Insurance Company
If you suffer a slip and fall accident, you may get a call from the insurance company of the property owner. Do not make any statement to the insurer until you have spoken to your lawyer.
Step 6: Do Not Sign Documents From the Insurance Company
We strongly recommend you do not agree to sign any documents or statements provided to you by the property owner's insurance company as you can potentially waive any rights to pursue your claim and could likely jeopardize any chance of a fair compensation.
Step 7: Do Not Avoid Medical Treatment
Make sure you do not ignore any injuries you may have sustained during a slip and fall accident. Even if you don't feel the symptoms immediately, it is still important to undergo an examination.
Step 8: Speak to a Florida Personal Injury Lawyer
If you are considering legal action, you need to hire a slip and fall lawyer who understands the details involving slip and fall incidents. At Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers, we have a team of highly skilled and experienced attorneys who will fight on your behalf to pursue fair and just compensation for your injuries.Types of Injuries You Can Sustain in a Slip and Fall Accident
There are several causes for slip and fall accidents but they are primarily divided into two categories: same-level and elevated. Same level falls are the most common but elevated level falls potentially inflict the most damage.
Some of the injuries associated with these falls include:
Head Injuries: Injuries to the head are always the most dangerous. According to the CDC, slip and fall accidents cause 40% of all traumatic brain injuries in the United States including concussion, long-term seizures, cognitive impairment, mood changes and other devastating symptoms. In severe cases, it can also lead to death.
Neck Injuries: As the person falls to the ground, they may try to break the impact on the body. This causes a whiplash effect on the neck that can cause muscle strain and other more serious injuries.
Back Injuries: About 25% of all spinal cord injuries result from slip and fall accidents. These can result in muscle sprain, disk slips, fractured vertebrae, partial or full paralysis and sensory and neurological impairments.
Limb Injury: If you have put out your arm to bear the brunt of your fall, it may result in a fractured limb, particularly if you are elderly. Without health insurance, the diagnosis and treatment for a broken arm can cost up to $2,500. For surgical treatment, the cost will be more significant.
Hip Injuries: According to the CDC, 95% of all hip injuries are due to slip and fall accidents. A total hip replacement can cost anywhere between $31,839 and $44,816.
Finger Injuries: The brunt of the impact of your fall can cause your finger and thumbs to sprain or break the delicate bones. These may require a cast to fix and people whose work requires manual labor or typing may lose income because of the injury.
There are several other types of injuries like cuts, bruises, and abrasions as well as organ damage, depending on the severity of your injury. You may be eligible to file a claim for monetary compensation for your injuries and damages.Who Is Liable For My Slip And Fall Accident?
Slip and fall accidents fall under premise liability and are due to negligence of the property owners, property managers or the staff.
In order to establish negligence, four basic criteria need to be met:
- There must be a reasonable duty of care. For example, it is the duty of a store staff to clean up any spills that can cause slip and fall accidents.
- You must prove a breach in the duty of care. For example, the oil spill in the store was left unattended for hours causing harm to the visitors.
- You suffered an injury because of the breach of duty.
- Your slip and fall has resulted in measurable or quantifiable damages. Such as medical bills or time lost from work.
Property owners have a duty to correct any known hazard or potential hazard or at least post a warning about the hazard so that the visitors may not come to any harm. They need to inspect their property regularly for any damages and strive to correct it as soon as possible. However, if they fail to do so and this results in an injury, the property owner or manager may be held liable for the damages.
It should also be noted that Florida is a comparative negligence case, meaning that if the victim is partially responsible for the slip and fall accident, the victim can still pursue compensation. However, the compensation awarded will be reduced by the victim's percentage of fault.Injured at Someone's Home?
Under Florida personal injury laws, a claimant is considered to be an invitee, a licensee, or a trespasser. A property owner is required to maintain their property so that it is safe and secure.
An invitee is a person who is on the property for public, or business purposes. Examples of invitees are a member at a public library or a visitor at a grocery store, who is welcomed by the property owner. Invitees require the highest level of care by the property owner.
A licensee has implicit permissions to come onto the property, for example a guest, salesman or mailman. For invited licensees, property managers need to show the same level of care as an invitee. For uninvited licensees, property managers need to prevent willful harm.
A trespasser is an uninvited person on a property. A property owner has no duty of care to a trespasser. This means that if the property owner did not protect a trespasser from a known hazard, he will likely not be liable. However, a property owner cannot intentionally cause injury to a trespasser.What Damages Can You Pursue In A Florida Slip And Fall Claim?
According to Florida slip and fall laws you can try to recover damages including:
Medical Bills: Generated by medical treatment, prescriptions, diagnostic testing including x-rays and MRI scans, physical therapy, surgery, or rehabilitation.
Full or Partial Disability: If you suffer from full or partial disability, you may be entitled to special equipment like a wheelchair or cost of house modification like installing a ramp.
Lost Wages: All past, current, and future wages that were lost as a result of the victim not appearing for work or not being able to continue his line of work.
Pain and Suffering: The emotional pain, long-lasting trauma and the diminished quality of life that results from a slip and fall injury will also be calculated.
Wrongful Death: In case of a death due to negligence, your family member may also be entitled to compensation for loss of consortium, loss of finances and support, funeral cost etc.How Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers Can Try To Help
Filing and establishing your own slip and fall claim can be a complicated task. Dealing with the property owner's insurance company and attorneys can be very daunting. Our legal team can assist you in obtaining the necessary evidence for your case, such as: witness statements, medical records, evidence of lost wages, surveillance footage and maintenance records.
Our slip and fall lawyers have a combined legal experience of over 40 years and we have recovered over $100 million in damage in both settlements and verdicts.
At Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers, we will provide you with free no-strings-attached consultation to explain your rights under the law and discuss your legal options. We offer a contingency based fee.
If you want to discuss your options, our legal team can be reached at 772-800-8000. You can also fill out our free case evaluation form if you want to book an appointment with us.