Slip and Fall Lawyer Serving Okeechobee

Report a slip and fall accident, slip and fall injuriesLocated in Okeechobee County, Florida, Okeechobee is a city with a rich history and a flourishing industrial scene. The city is known for its incredible fishing and hosts a number of festivals and competitions that welcome both local and international tourists. With a population of nearly 6,000 people as of 2020, this city is a growing urban hub.

With a growing city comes a rising rate of accidents. Among these accidents, slip and falls are common. In 2014 alone, falls were responsible for nearly 3,000 deaths in Florida. Slip and falls bring nearly a million people or more in the US to the emergency room every year.

Slip and falls can cause injuries ranging from minor scrapes and bruises to injured limbs and more. They can damage your personal property and lead to extended periods of hospitalization. However, if you have been the victim of a slip and fall, you may be eligible to file a claim for personal and property damage.

Contact the legal team at Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers. We can evaluate the circumstances of your claim, and offer guidance as to your legal options.

Leading Cause for Slip, Trip and Fall Accidents

Slip and falls can occur in different places due to different circumstances. Common causes that land people in the emergency room include:

1. Wet, Slippery or Oily Surface 

For public and even private properties, it is a legal requirement that the property owner or manager correct or warn about known hazards and regularly inspect for hazards and correct them. Slip and falls frequently occur in grocery stores due to liquid or food on the floor, or a leak in the freezer or refrigerated food area.

2. Objects on the floor

Objects on the floor may range from litter during construction to spilled food or other items in a mall or a restaurant. These fallen objects can cause people to trip and hurt themselves. Objects on the floor are a particularly common cause of slip and falls on private properties and residences where there is no property manager overseeing hygiene and safety compliance.

3. Loose carpeting or wiring

An overturned carpet or wires snaking across the floor don't always stand out from afar and may cause a person to trip before they notice that it's there. This may happen indoors or even outside during public events, local concerts, construction sites, or ongoing construction in indoor properties.

4. Uneven Pavement or Concrete

This usually causes slip and falls outdoors and in parking lots or garages. Tripping on the pavement or cement can be quite dangerous and can cause severe injuries like a fractured jaw, dislocated joints, and so on. These accidents may happen anywhere, from the main road to the pavement outside someone's house.

5. Poor lighting

Similar to uneven pavement, poor lighting is a leading cause of slip and falls in parking lots, garages, and similar spaces. Lighting in any space should be sufficient for pedestrians to be able to see what's ahead, including potential objects, pillars, wet surfaces, and more. Even a flickering light bulb falls into poor lighting since it can reduce the clarity of your vision.

6. Falling off a ladder, scaffolding, building, stairs

Around 40% of all falls are from a height or elevation of some sort. These may occur due to climbing on unstable ladders, using stairs without railings/railings that are not secure, slipping from the scaffolding, or even falling from a building floor. Such falls may even end up being fatal and causing loss of life.

Types of Injuries You Can Sustain in a Slip and Fall Accident Broken or Fractured Bones

Fractures occur in 5% of all fall accidents. Broken bones require extensive treatment and may even require bone grafting in order to heal completely. The force of the fall can cause fractures in the wrists, legs, knees, spine, and so on. 

Traumatic Brain Injury or Concussion

Regardless of whether you fall on your head or not, the trauma of a serious slip and fall can lead to a concussion or serious brain damage due to the shock sent through your nerves. While a concussion in such accidents may heal, it is important to keep an eye out for lasting symptoms such as prolonged migraines, blurred vision, etc. If any of these occur, it is important to consult a doctor immediately.

Knee Damage

For a number of slip and falls, the knees are the first part of the body to experience the entire force of the accident. Knee damage can take time to heal, and in some cases, may even leave you with a permanent limp.

Muscle Sprains

The jolt of a fall can sprain muscles in different parts of the body. This might particularly affect the muscles in your arms and legs as you use these limbs to try and cushion your fall. These sprains may either heal on their own or require physical therapy.

Dislocated Shoulders

Dislocated joints are another negative effect of slip and falls. These may occur in your knees and in your shoulders. If you try to use your arms to prevent the fall from happening, the entire force may land on your shoulders and cause a dislocation which may require immediate surgery.

Nerve Damage

The nerves are among the most sensitive components of the human body. The slightest shock can damage nerve endings, which can have lasting problems, including twitching in the body, brain injuries, and more.

Injuries to the Spine

Like the nerves, the spine is also quite sensitive, and the force of a fall can damage the discs. While some people are lucky enough to completely recover from spinal injuries, others may experience lasting problems.

Cuts and Bruises

Cuts and bruises are part and parcel of most accidents. Surface scrapes and bruises are usually not very painful and heal within a few days. However, cuts that penetrate deeper may require stitches to heal completely and cause permanent scarring.

Slip and Fall Claims We Are Available to Handle in Okeechobee County

Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers are ready to assist in a number of slip and fall cases, including those that happen in:

1. Slip and Falls at Private Residences

Slip and falls don't necessarily occur on public property. Many of these accidents may occur when you are visiting a friend or a family member. This includes tripping on broken steps, slipping due to fallen objects, falling on wet surfaces, falling due to broken tiles, etc. If the property owner did not warn you about any of these potential problems, then they may be held liable in a slip and fall case.

2. Retail Stores or Shopping Malls

The state of Florida has nearly 16,000 stores in malls and shopping centers. Slip and falls can occur in any of these. If the fall occurs in a general mall area such as spilled drinks or water splashing out of a fountain, then the mall ownership and management may be responsible for the fall. If the fall occurs in a particular store, then the store ownership and management will be responsible for the fall.

3. Grocery Stores

Falls in grocery stores may occur due to an array of reasons including fallen fruit or vegetables, liquid items dropped in particular aisles, bagged goods that have fallen out of carts, floors that are being waxed, and so on. Grocery stores need to use clear signage for any ongoing work and seal off the area. Otherwise, they may be responsible for your slip and fall injury.

4. Restaurants, Hotels, Nightclubs

All these places share common slip and fall accidents. Spilled food and drinks, unclean bathrooms, and more are responsible for slip and falls. In many cases, dim lighting is also a cause for people being unable to make out any obstructions coming ahead, leading to a fall.

5. Schools, Parks, Sports Stadiums

Like all public places, schools, parks, and stadiums have a legal requirement to ensure that they comply with all health and safety requirements. This includes providing clean swings for children, clean and dry restrooms, and the use of warning signs for wet surfaces and areas under construction. Schools particularly have to be very careful about these factors since children are more prone to getting into accidents than adults.

6. Parking Garage or Parking Lots

Parking lots usually face problems over two main problems: broken and uneven pavements and poor lighting. Both of these can cause slip and falls that can cause serious injuries such as broken teeth and bones, etc. Parking spaces in basements have to pay particular attention to ensure that they provide proper and sufficient lighting.

7. Event Hall, Conference Center, Amusement Parks

All these public places are a gateway for slip and falls. From loose wires to overturned carpeting to ride platforms that are unstable, a fall can occur pretty much anywhere. The majority of these problems are such that they will not be accompanied by warning signs and can lead to a trip to the emergency room.

How Long Do You Have To File a Claim for a Slip and Fall Injury?

The amount of time you have to file a lawsuit for damages in a slip and fall case is determined by the Florida Statute of Limitations. Slip and falls can occur anytime, anywhere, ranging from employees falling on the job, visitors tripping on public or private property, or children injuring themselves on school property. If the fall occurred on a property that does not belong to the victim and was due to circumstances beyond their control, they can file a suit for compensation. The legal timeline for filing a lawsuit is as follows:

The victim has a time period of 4 years to file a lawsuit for personal or property damage resulting from a slip and fall accident. In the event of a fatality, the statute of limitations for a wrongful death lawsuit is 2 years from the date of death. If the accident occured on government owned property, the statute of limitations is 3 years and there are specific procedures for filing a lawsuit which must be followed. Speak to an experienced personal injury attorney for further guidance on the statute of limitations for your individual case.

What to Do After a Slip and Fall

Being in a slip and fall accident is a less than ideal situation for anyone. If you have sustained any injuries in a trip and fall accident, seek medical treatment immediately. Raulerson Hospital in Okeechobee is open for 24/7 emergency care and will be able to treat your injuries.

At the scene of the accident, be sure to take plenty of photos and videos. Pay close attention to factors like wet or oily surfaces, fallen objects, broken items, dim lighting, and so on. You may also take photos of your injuries.

If there were any witnesses to your accident, obtain their personal contact information and a statement of what exactly they saw.

Speak to the property manager and have them prepare an incident report. Be sure to obtain a copy of the report.

Undergo a medical examination by a qualified medical professional. You may go to your own physician or a local emergency room. Be sure to have treatment for any injuries. Keep a copy of the medical records, discharge papers and expenses.

The at-fault party or their insurance company may contact you. Avoid giving a recorded statement or signing any documents without first speaking to a slip and fall attorney.

The legal team at Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers offer a free consultation and case review. We are available to help you with your slip and fall accident claim.

Who is liable for my slip and fall accident?

Most public property owners and many privately owned ones have a legal requirement to comply with health and safety regulations and make their properties free of any hazards like loose wiring, cluttered walkways, etc. Failure to comply with these usually end up becoming a cause for slip and fall accidents where the victim may hire an attorney to fight for their rightful compensation for damages.

In the state of Florida, homeowners must also ensure that anyone they invite in is aware and warned of potential hazards like wet floors, broken objects, loose stairs, etc.

Invitees vs Licensees vs Trespassers
  • Trespassers- starting with the obvious one, trespassers on private property will be unable to file a lawsuit since they themselves are breaking the law being on that property. The case may become a little more complicated for children who enter property, such as a garden that displays attractive items like a swing set, etc. In such situations, the property owner may be liable for displaying such items to begin with.
  • Licensees- these are contractual workers invited to perform a particular job or service on the property.
  • Invitees- they are invited onto public or private property by the property ownership or management, and any slip and fall accident may make the inviter liable.

For more details on determining liability for your slip and fall accident, click here.

What damages can you try to recover in a Florida Slip and Fall claim?

Slip and fall accidents cause personal injuries and property damage, and you can file for a number of these including:

Medical Bills

Injuries in slip and falls range from cuts and bruises to fractures and dislocations. Keep records of your medical expenses, including emergency room charges, tests such as MRIs, medical prescriptions, physiotherapy, surgery, etc. This includes ongoing treatment after immediate care. You can file a claim for all these medical bills.

Full or Partial Disability

Severe injuries may lead to a permanent limp, partial or complete paralysis, and so on. These problems are particularly likely for people who are old and fragile and are involved in a slip and fall. You can file a claim for damages, including the medical expenses incurred from the ongoing treatment of this disability.

Lost Wages or Future wages

One of the leading problems of slip and fall injuries is the amount of time needed off work. This can lead to the temporary loss of wages. For injuries that are long-lasting or permanent, this may lead to a complete loss of earning potential or reducing earning, which drastically affects your quality of life.

Pain and Suffering

Slip and fall accidents can be very painful. From the physical injuries sustained to the treatment for these injuries and the mental stress, trauma and depression, slip and falls can take a toll on your entire life. They may prevent you from enjoying special occasions with loved ones and performing other enjoyable activities.

Wrongful Death

Slip and fall accidents, especially those that occur from a height can be fatal and lead to a loss of life. This enables the family members of the victim to file a wrongful death suit against the at-fault party.

How Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers Can Help

Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers have over 40 years of combined legal experience and have worked with over 8,000 clients to recover millions of dollars in both settlements and verdicts. We manage each and every one of our cases with great care and will fight to pursue the compensation you deserve.

Contact us for a free consultation of your case without any prior or future obligations. If you are unable to visit due to any reason, we can visit you any day of the week in your home or at the hospital.

To start your free consultation, contact us at 863-800-8000 or reach out to us through our website.

(863) 777-5987
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