Port St. Lucie Slip & Fall Lawyer

How to start a slip and fall claimLocated an hour's drive from Palm Beach, Florida, Port St. Lucie is known for its museums, botanical gardens, environmental preservations, and more. With a population of over 195,000 people, the city is a hub for sports, shopping, dining experiences, and commercial activities.

With a growing population comes a growth in the number of people headed to emergency rooms at local hospitals. A major cause of injuries results from slips and falls, which, according to the US NFSI, accounts for over a million emergency room visits annually. According to the Florida Health Department, unintentional falls claimed over 2,700 lives in 2014 and hospitalized nearly 68,000 people.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a slip or trip and fall due to the negligence of someone else, you may be able to pursue compensation for your damages. Contact the legal team at Frankl & Kominsky Injury Lawyers for guidance and a free evaluation of your case.

With a countless number of people ending up in the emergency room due to slip and falls, it's important to know of the common causes so that you can be more cautious in the future:

1. Wet, Slippery or Oily Surfaces

Wet, slippery, and oily surfaces are found frequently in most places, whether they are public, domestic, or corporate. Keeping surfaces from moisture, drying them thoroughly after cleaning, and leaving a warning sign is the responsibility of those who own the place and those in charge of the area.

2. Falling off a Ladder, Scaffolding, Building, Stairs

Slip and falls may occur in a number of ways, including:

  • If the stairs don't have handrails
  • If the person involved was rushing down the stairs or accidentally fell over due to someone else doing the same thing
  • Trying to climb a ladder that is wobbly and not stable
  • Trying to move on a surface littered with objects or even garbage
  • Using random bits of furniture such as chairs to reach higher items instead of a proper ladder, etc.
3. Broken Tiles

Broken tiles are a possibility in any space and may be the result of heavy objects falling on the floor, weather damage in open-air spaces, burst pipes, and so on. Such tiles should be replaced immediately to prevent people from tripping over them or injuring their feet on any jagged tile pieces.

4. Poor Lighting

Inadequate lighting impairs a person's vision and keeps them from seeing any obstructions or other objects in their way. This is particularly a hazard in parking lots, storage areas, stairwells, and passages both within a building and outside it. It is important for these areas to be extremely well lit to avoid the risk of a slip and fall.

5. Broken, loose or missing guardrails or handlebars

This is among the top causes of unintentional falls and accidents. Unsuspecting victims may hold on to a handrail only to find that it is unstable or not secured to the banister. Accidents caused in such cases range from a minor slip to major accidents where the victims may topple over and be severely injured or may even die.

6. Colliding with Another Individual or Object

We've all seen those TV moments where the main character runs straight into a glass door and falls. Unfortunately, such accidents are possible in real life as well. Glass doors not clearly marked may face a number of these incidents. On some occasions, recklessness on the part of others may cause you to trip and fall over. This may include running in narrow passages or stairs, carrying a heavy load and being unable to see what's in front of them, and more.

The Florida Statute of Limitations determines how much time you have to file a lawsuit for damages sustained in a slip and fall injury. For the case or personal and property damage in a slip and fall, the injured party has 4 years from the date of the accident to file their lawsuit. If a loved one has died due to a slip and fall accident, the Statute of Limitations for a wrongful death lawsuit is 2 years from the date of death. If you fail to file your lawsuit within the Statute of Limitations, the Court will likely dismiss your case.

St. Lucie County: Slip and Fall Claims We Are Available to Handle

Frankl & Kominsky Personal Injury Lawyers serving Port St. Lucie are ready to help you with your slip and fall claims in the following cases:

1. Slip and Falls at Private Residences

These are likely to occur if you have been invited by someone to their residence. Since they are the hosts, it is their responsibility to inform you of any dangers like loose floorboards and such that can cause you to slip. If an accident occurs, they can potentially be held liable for your damages.

If your child enters another private residence if they find something they like, such as a swing or other attractions and get involved in a trip and fall over there, the other party may be held responsible for displaying those items.

2. Retail Stores or Shopping Malls

The state of Florida has over 15,000 stores, and a slip and fall can occur in any of them. Incidents like tripping on uneven carpeting, wiring, or spilled food or drinks at the mall are likely possibilities. If you were hurt in a common mall area, then the mall ownership could possibly be liable. If an incident happened in a retail outlet, the store owner may be responsible. If the accident was the result of a faulty escalator or elevator, then the manufacturer or repair company may be responsible.

3. Grocery Stores

Grocery store management has a responsibility to maintain cleanliness and safety in their store. They also have a duty to regularly inspect their store for spilled liquid or dropped food which may cause shoppers to slip and seriously injure themselves. Similarly, any display cases sticking out or leaking can lead to a fall with injuries.

4. Restaurants, Hotels, Nightclubs

Spilled drinks, dropped food, and restrooms with wet floors all act as a gateway to slip and falls that can lead to knee injuries, concussions, and more. Some of these incidents can be more serious, for instance, if broken glass is involved. In these cases, the restaurant or bar management or owners could potentially be held liable.

5. Schools, Parks, Sports Stadiums

Schools, parks, and stadiums are responsible for maintaining clean bathrooms, keeping functioning playground equipment, and overall making sure that walkways and stairs are even and clear of objects.

6. Parking Garage or Parking Lots

Poor lighting, unclear signage, stairs without railings, and more are all common causes for slip and falls in parking lots. Cracked and chipped flooring is also a contributor to these slip and falls. It is the responsibility of the parking management to ensure that there is plenty of light, and any sign boards are clearly visible and legible to prevent these incidents from occurring.

7. Event Hall, Conference Center, Amusement Parks

Water on the steps, uneven or unstable ride platforms, and obstacles in walkways lead to slip and falls in event halls and centers as well as amusement parks. Hall and park owners have a duty to their visitors to maintain a safe environment free of obstacles and uneven surfaces that can cause injuries.

What to Do After a Slip and Fall

If you have been involved in a slip and fall accident, there are certain steps you may choose to follow. Firstly, if you have sustained any injuries in the fall, seek medical treatment immediately. For immediate care, you can visit Port St. Lucie Hospital for 24/7 emergency services.

Before leaving the scene of the incident, take plenty of photos and videos, particularly zooming into any uneven surfaces, surfaces that are wet, and other obstructions that caused the fall. If there were any witnesses nearby, collect their personal information and statements about what exactly they witnessed.

File an incident report with the business. If necessary, you can contact the Port St. Lucie Police Department. Be sure to get a copy of the report.

If you are contacted by the insurance company on behalf of the at fault party, do not give them a recorded statement or sign any documents without speaking to your attorney first. Talk to your attorney before accepting any settlements.

Contact an experienced and dedicated slip and fall attorney for assistance with your premise liability case.

Common types of Injuries You Can Sustain in a Slip and Fall Accident

Slip and falls lead to a number of injuries including but not limited to the following:

Broken or Fractured Bones

Slip and falls cause stress on the body and can lead to fractured bones, particularly in the hips, ankles, wrists, and legs. This is particularly common in cases where elderly or weak people are involved in a fall.

Traumatic Brain Damage or Concussion

Brain injuries or concussions can occur. Some signs of brain trauma are not always immediately noticeable and may leave you with migraines or other pain for months. If you notice any symptoms like headaches, blurred vision, etc. consult a doctor immediately.

Knee Damage

Knees have a very complex structure, and a knee injury can take months of treatment for a full recovery. If you dislocate your knee, you may need immediate surgery for reconstruction to avoid lifetime impairment.

Muscle Sprains

If you tried to stop your fall by putting your arms out or trying to steady your legs, you may end up causing a sprain in your wrists or ankles. Sprains can take a long time to heal and may keep you from basic day-to-day activities like walking properly, picking up a glass of water, etc.

Dislocated Shoulders

If you fall on your shoulder, it may end up getting dislocated and could possibly require immediate surgery. In some cases, complete recovery for your shoulder may require long term treatment and therapy.

Nerve Damage

The nerves are quite sensitive, and if you're involved in a slip and fall, the stress and trauma of the fall or even your open wounds may cause nerve damage. In some cases, the effects may even be permanent.

Injuries to the Spine

Like the nerves, the spine is also sensitive, and if it gets damaged in a fall, it may even cause lower-body paralysis, body disfigurement, and other injuries that are painful to recover from (or may not lead to full recovery).

Cuts and Bruises

When you fall, you may scrape yourself badly, especially if there is a rough surface or object involved. The impact of the fall may also cause bruises that may take time to disappear completely.

Who is liable for my slip and fall accident?

Property owners and managers have a duty to keep their property safe for those visiting or working there. They are legally required to fix any hazards like replacing broken lights or tiles, etc. In cases where instant repairs or adjustments are not possible, they must provide clear notice to all those on the premises about the situation and the precautions to be observed. The same applies to homeowners who invite others onto their property.

Our attorneys can try to help you determine who is at fault for your slip and fall injuries so you can pursue a claim for your damages.

  • An invitee is someone who is invited onto private property by the owner of the property themselves. In such cases, property owners are most liable for any injuries and damages in a slip and fall.
  • A licensee is a contractor who is invited onto the property by the owner to perform a certain task or job. The level of liability of the owner is almost just as high as in the case of an invitee, but the case may be more complicated depending on the way the fall occurred.
  • A trespasser is someone who enters property they were not invited on. In such cases, filing for claims can be tricky if not void unless the case involves children trespassing onto other property, etc.

If you were injured on someone else's property, here is what you may choose to do.

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

Injuries in slip and falls range from slight concussions and cuts to nerve damage, brain trauma, and injured knee caps. These injuries require emergency care as well as prolonged treatment for recovery. If you are a victim in a slip and fall, you may recover expenses for medical care, including emergency room bills, prescription medication, physiotherapy, and any other treatment, surgery or consultation related to a slip and fall injury.

Full or Partial Disability

Serious slip and falls may lead to a permanent limp, paralysis, or other problems. This will require lifetime care, medication, and such, all of which you can pursue. This will also include therapeutic treatment for dealing with the trauma of the disability.

Lost Wages or Future wages

Those injured in a slip and fall may lose wages during their recovery time, and if they become fully or partially disabled, they will lose some or all their earning potential as well. You may recover lost wages and the loss of potential income or missed financial opportunities.

Pain and Suffering

Apart from physical injuries, victims also experience pain, including mental suffering such as anxiety, stress, and depression, which can affect their quality of life. They may also need therapeutic care in the long term.

Wrongful Death

Some slip and falls accidents are fatal and lead to loss of life of the victim involved. In such cases, their loved ones can file a wrongful death lawsuit against the at-fault party.

Injured at Someone's Home?

With over 40 years of legal experience in helping injured victims, Frankl & Kominsky Injury Lawyers have helped victims recover millions in settlements and verdicts. We strive to meticulously examine each case and have clear and open communication with our clients at all times.

We offer a free consultation, no obligations involved to those injured in a slip and fall incident. If you are unable to come into our offices, we are also available for home and hospital visits. We're available for visits 7 days a week, including weekends!

Reach out to us as 772-800-8000 to start your consultation or contact us through our website.

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