Miramar Slip and Fall Lawyers
Slip and fall accidents can cause severe, life-changing injuries such as broken bones or a traumatic brain injury (TBI). They can happen anywhere at any time in the Sunshine State.
The National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI) reports slip and fall accidents as the primary cause of hospital ER visits in the United States. Slip and fall injuries can take up to months to heal, making them the primary reason for missed days from work.
Victims of slip and fall accidents on someone else's premises may have a legal right to recover compensation from responsible parties. Whether making a claim with an insurance company or filing a personal injury lawsuit, it is essential to learn the laws that will influence your case. Our Miramar slip and fall lawyers can help clarify the Florida statutes and legal standards to help build a solid case (by appointment only).
Read on to discover crucial aspects of slip and fall accidents in Florida.Common Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents
Various possible hazards could lead to slips and injuries. They include indoor threats such as:
- Wet floors caused by waxed or mopped floors, floors with food or liquid spills, water leaks, or tracked-in rainwater or pool water.
- Carpeting or rugs that are torn or loose, including frayed or bulging carpeting that can snag someone's foot and cause them to slip and fall
- Broken staircases, including those with crumbling stairs, or damaged or missing handrails
- Lack of anti-slip mats and materials on stairs or at entrances where individuals are most prone to slip and fall.
- Inadequate lighting making it difficult for visitors to recognize and avoid potential sliding or tripping hazards.
A person can also slip and fall when outdoors because of issues such as broken pavements or uneven ground.Types of Slip and Fall Injuries
Slip and fall accidents can cause different mild to severe injuries. Here are some of the most common injuries from Florida slip and falls:Soft Tissue Injuries
A fall can cause bruises, sprains, and other tissue injuries. The injuries might be unnoticeable initially, leading to significant harm when someone detects the injury.
Soft tissue injuries are difficult to detect because they usually have no visible signs. Even if it has been a few days since your slip and fall accident, victims should seek medical assistance if they detect swelling or limited range of motion.Cuts and Bruises
A person falling onto a sharp object may sustain wounds or abrasions. Victims may need stitches or surgery depending on the injury's severity. If a person falls on a rough surface, such as concrete, bruises are common and may necessitate stitches or even a skin graft.Head Injuries
The Center for Disease Control cites falls as the primary cause of TBIs. A traumatic brain injury happens when a severe bump or blow to the head occurs. TBIs affect normal brain function and can cause reduced cognitive ability, dizziness, or comas.Back Injuries
A slip and fall might cause the victim's vertebrae to be severed, crushed, or misplaced. Spinal cord injuries are some of the most devastating because they frequently result in long-term issues, and some may even result in paralysis.
Back injuries are also extremely uncomfortable, and their agony can harm a victim’s quality of life.Bone Fractures
Broken bones are another typical slip and fall injury when someone falls on a hard surface. While fractured bones are more common among the elderly in Florida, they can happen to anyone.
If someone has a broken bone, they may suffer severe, unexpected pain and difficulties moving a joint. Receiving care as soon as possible is critical because a broken bone is far more challenging to heal once swelling begins.Understanding Florida Slip and Fall Laws
Even if a person slipped and fell on someone else's property, that doesn't always mean the property owner is legally liable. Those filing claims must show that the property owner was careless or acted negligently, which caused them to slip and fall.Establishing Duty of Care and Breach of Duty
Statistics show that customers and guests are most likely to suffer injuries from slip and fall accidents on commercial premises in Florida. Under Florida's slip and fall legislation, customers are "invitees," and the business or property owner owes them the highest duty of care. One of these responsibilities is ensuring the property is free from anything that could cause harm to a visitor.
When a property owner knows or should have known that a dangerous or defective condition exists on their property, and that owner fails to take reasonable measures to correct the situation or provide enough warning to invitees, that owner has breached their duty to invitees.
Suppose a shopper slips and falls in a grocery store, and the store's employees are unaware of the spill. The customer may still be able to file a claim against the store if they can establish that the spill was there long enough that the employees would have found it had they made reasonable efforts such as conducting regular maintenance checks.Causation and Damages
The injured party in a slip-and-fall case must show:
- The incident was reasonably foreseeable.
- The accident would not have happened if the property owner had not breached their duty of care.
It is also necessary for a plaintiff suing for injuries sustained in a slip and fall to prove that they suffered actual monetary losses because of the incident. Emotional and psychological injuries may also be valid.Statute of Limitation in Florida Slip and Fall Cases
Time is of the essence when establishing cases under negligence laws. Statutes of limitations dictate the deadline for filing a lawsuit, and failing to meet the timeline may prevent you from seeking compensation. Our Miramar slip and fall lawyers can help clarify exceptions to the Florida statute of limitations (by appointment only).
The deadline for filing a slip and fall case in Florida is four years from the date of the accident. Having legal representation will ensure that the victim has their claim filed on time.Comparative Negligence Laws
Property owners often use comparative negligence as a defense during slip and fall cases. The Florida comparative negligence law may apply when victims were somewhat responsible for the events that led to their injury. This law can proportionally lower the compensation amount awarded by courts based on the degree of fault.
Florida is a pure comparative negligence jurisdiction. However, whichever degree of guilt is established, a victim is still entitled to seek financial compensation. If a victim lost $100,000 in damages and was 70% at fault, they could still be eligible for a $30,000 settlement.
To prove comparative negligence, a property owner could allege:
- Victims were in a restricted area of the property.
- Victims were careless and not attentive.
- The hazard that caused a fall was visible.
Our Miramar slip and fall lawyers can help victims overcome these defenses in court (by appointment only).What Compensation Can I Seek After a Florida Slip and Fall Accident?
Victims of accidents that were not their fault may be eligible for financial compensation in the state of Florida. They must prove that the defendant was negligent or reckless to recover damages for their injuries. There are two primary types of compensation or damages: economic and non-economic.
Economic damages are quantifiable and often have a dollar value. They include:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Damage to property
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earning ability
Our slip and fall attorneys can look into other factors to determine how much financial compensation victims may deserve.
Non-economic damages describe losses with no specific dollar value. Victims can seek compensation for other intangible losses, including emotional distress. Our injury lawyers will negotiate with the defendant or insurance company to seek fair compensation.
Courts often award punitive damages to serve as a deterrent to others and as a punishment for the defendant's negligent or malicious actions. Judges may award punitive damages in rare circumstances involving slip and fall lawsuits.How Soon Should I See a Doctor After a Florida Slip and Fall Accident?
In a Florida slip and fall case, there is no hard and fast rule about how soon after the accident someone should seek medical attention. The statute of limitations remains in effect, though.
However, the "14-Day Rule" applies in other types of personal injury lawsuits, such as auto accidents, where you must seek accident-injury-related treatment within 14 days of the accident to maintain eligibility for PIP coverage.
Victims should seek legal counsel immediately after a slip and fall accident to determine the next course of action. Scheduling a doctor's visit within 72 hours of the date of injury will help create a solid case.Where do Slip and Fall Accidents Happen in Florida?
Someone can potentially slip and fall in various public areas. Some of the most common include grocery stores, shopping malls, and theme parks.
Slip and fall accidents cost grocery stores millions of dollars annually in legal fees and settlements. Because of the high polish or slipperiness of flooring in supermarkets, customers may trip over a wet spot and sustain injuries. Having a shopping cart in front of them makes it more difficult for customers to identify potential hazards. Another possible cause of slips and falls in supermarkets is knocked-over jars that haven't been removed despite reasonable requests for their removal.Theme Park Slip and Falls
Millions of people visit Florida's theme parks every year. Although these venues are usually safe, accidents do happen. Most slips and falls are minor, resulting in mild injuries such as a bruised knee. If an injury was severe and caused by the park's negligence, victims might be able to recover damages.
It's important to know that most theme parks are ready to fight back if someone slips and falls on their property. The Florida laws that protect people who hurt themselves when they slip and fall on the private or public property include Florida theme parks. This means someone could be eligible for compensation if they fell anywhere on the property.
A theme park doesn't want bad press, so the establishments may settle quickly and quietly for much less than a victim's injuries deserve or deny all responsibility. Theme parks in Florida and the rest of the country are lawfully obliged to keep their premises safe and keep guests from being hurt by hazards such as spilled drinks or surfaces that are too slippery to walk on.What Steps Can I Take After a Slip and Fall Accident?
Taking the following steps can help your legal rights:
- Reporting injuries to the relevant authorities.
- Collecting witness contacts and avoiding discussing the case.
- Photographing or recording accident scenes and injuries.
- Documenting the hazardous condition.
- Seeking medical attention.
- Avoiding signing
- Contacting a Florida slip and fall attorney.
Slip and fall cases are often complex, so seeking legal representation is critical to increasing the chance of success.Documenting Slip and Injury Fall Cases
Victims must collect compelling evidence to prove negligence in slip and fall injury cases. Documentation and testimonies play a vital role in seeking compensation for losses.
Here are some of the essential documents required for Florida slip and fall cases:
Accident Police Reports
If a person falls on a property owned by a business, they should immediately tell the manager on duty. Businesses will often ask people who were hurt to fill out an incident report when an accident happens. This gives the company and insurer the information they need to contact you.
Victims should ensure to fill out the accident report before leaving the scene of the accident and ask for a copy of the information for a personal record.
You could obtain a copy of the police record produced at the site if your slip and fall event resulted in a call to law enforcement. If you lost consciousness or were transported away from the site by emergency responders, this helps to prove your claim.
Written Account of the Incident
If the police were not involved and the accident did not take place on business property, someone should create a detailed account of the incident that includes the following:
- The accident's date, time, and location
- A thorough description of the surroundings
- What the victim was doing before the accident and what happened afterward
- Any notable conditions
- Witnesses that were present
Ensure to include any other details that may be pertinent to the case.
Photos, Videos, and Eyewitnesses
Photographs of the accident scene are instrumental evidence in a slip and fall case. Photos provide facts that a victim might have missed, and videos document the actions of the irresponsible parties and their reactions to the injury.
Suppose the accident happened in a public location. In that case, everyone who witnessed it could provide a statement to corroborate what happened. Collect as many names and phone numbers from people who witnessed the accident to have your attorney contact them and confirm the details.
A trip to the emergency room following a slip and fall accident is always advised. Seeking prompt medical assistance benefits victims' health and helps damage cases by generating a record of clear and timely medical evidence.
Suppose someone goes straight from the accident scene to the doctor, and an x-ray indicates a broken wrist. It will be difficult to dispute the break wasn't caused by the fall. However, suppose someone goes home after the accident and consults a doctor the next day because the pain is unbearable. In that case, the negligent party may claim the victim suffered the injury after leaving the accident scene.
From the first visit through the most recent follow-up sessions, patients should request detailed documentation of all tests, treatments, and doctor's recommendations relating to accident injuries.
Our slip and fall attorneys can use the medical data to forecast prognosis, earning potential, the possibility of permanent impairment, and lost quality of life, all of which will be factored into damages calculation.
If a victim cannot work because of the accident, our attorneys will require pay stubs demonstrating the effect of your injuries on paid time off or extended sick leave balances.Seek Legal Recourse
Slip and fall accidents can cause serious physical injuries. If they do, victims should receive prompt medical attention. After treatment, the next step should be reaching out to an experienced slip and fall attorney.
Our Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers team will help victims understand the complex Florida laws. We'll help victims take action and guide them on the necessary steps in filing a claim. Call our Miramar slip and fall attorneys at (561) 800-8000 for a free consultation on fair compensation.