Slip and fall accidents are one of the leading causes of personal injury claims in the United States of America today. Even though slipping and falling may sound commonplace, the resulting injuries can still cause substantial damage to you and may even result in lifelong disabilities and impairments if the slip and fall accident is severe enough.
One good thing, however, is that with the help of experienced personal injury attorneys, you are likely to be able to recover compensation for the injuries and damages you received as a result of your slip and fall accident. There are variables involved, and you will have to prove that the property owner was negligent in allowing a slip and fall risk to remain on your property. Luckily, here at The Law Place, we have over 75 years of combined experience dealing with slip and fall cases and recovering the maximum settlement amount for our clients.
The compensation process begins with a simple phone call to our office in order to arrange a free consultation. We make sure our phone lines are open 24/7, and every call is entirely confidential. This process of seeking a case evaluation and legal advice is entirely free and comes with no obligation. For more information on how one of our personal injury lawyers can help you, simply call (941) 444-4444 today!
How Is a Slip and Fall Accident Defined Under Florida Law?
A slip and fall or trip and fall accident is when a person falls and causes themselves an injury due to the negligence of a property owner, as defined under Florida’s property negligence laws which are set out in Florida Statute 768.075.
In order to claim for a slip and fall accident, you will need your personal injury attorney to demonstrate that the property owner violated premises liability.
Premises liability hinges on the different types of property owners. If your slip and fall case occurred on public property, such as a shop or other place of business, you would be owed the highest duty of care as you are considered an invitee.
This duty of care is the duty that the owner of the property owes to prevent any risk to you that they should have been reasonably aware of. If they do not take care to properly signpost or remove a potential hazard, it is likely that they have violated their duty of care to you and are thus liable for your injuries.
The best way to find out if the property owner has violated their duty of care to you is to call our office today and speak to one of our personal injury lawyers. They will be able to talk through your case with you in an entirely free and no-obligation environment to determine whether or not you have a case.
What Is the Difference Between a Slip and Fall Accident and a Trip and Fall Accident?
While very similar in their outcome and their legal handling, a slip and fall accident is slightly different from a trip and fall accident.
A trip and fall case is defined as when you trip over a solid object, for example, an obstacle or broken step.
A slip and fall case, on the other hand, is defined as when you slip on a substance, for example, a liquid spillage.
The main difference between the two is that trip and fall cases are slightly easier to prove. This is because the object that caused the trip and fall should have been obvious to the property owner before the accident occurred.
What Types of Personal Injuries Are Usually Sustained Following a Slip and Fall Accident?
The injuries which result from slip and fall accidents are varied, as there are many ways in which a slip and fall can occur.
The main thing which exacerbates the risk of a fall injury is when a victim is either elderly or has a pre-existing medical condition.
The following is a list of common injuries which our personal injury lawyer team sees as a result of slip and fall cases:
- Cuts, abrasions, lacerations, and bruises.
- Fractured or broken bones.
- Head and brain injuries, which can often lead to additional cognitive, emotional, or physical complications.
- Physical disabilities or mobility impairments.
- Scarring or disfigurement.
There are also other outcomes of a slip and fall accident that are not listed above. No matter what your injury is, you could be entitled to compensation for your damages. This even includes anxieties and mental anguish as a result of your slip and fall. The best way to get a good idea about your injury claim is to call our office and speak to an experienced Florida personal injury lawyer today.
Is It Possible to Seek Compensation Even if the Hazard Was Noticed Before the Slip and Fall Occurred?
This is a difficult question, as it really depends on how obvious the trip and fall hazard in question was.
In cases where the trip and fall hazard was very obvious, it can be hard to recover compensation for the injuries you received as a result. Often, comparative negligence laws will come into play in a slip and fall case like this, and we will go into more detail about this in the next section.
The most important thing is how you handle your claim and the gathering of evidence to back your case. If you slipped and fell, you should immediately take photographs of the hazard that caused your accident so that you can use them for proof should you need to file a lawsuit.
Furthermore, you should seek the advice of a lawyer immediately and do not take matters into your own hands, as this may damage the chances of you receiving a compensatory settlement.
No matter what happened in your slip and fall case, there is no risk involved in pursuing your personal injury case with The Law Place. All our cases are no-win-no-fee, and our case evaluation process is completely free and under no obligation. You really have nothing to lose when you contact a Florida lawyer from our law firm.
How Do Florida Comparative Fault Laws Work in Relation to Slip and Fall Cases?
It is possible that these laws can complicate your personal injury claim and impact your settlement amount if you are found to be partially at fault for your slip and fall case.
The way that comparative fault works is that your final settlement amount will be decreased by an amount that scales with your percentage of fault. For example, if the jury finds that the accident was half your fault and half the fault of the property owner, then you will only receive 50% of the total settlement amount.
Examples of arguments often used by the defendant’s lawyer to demonstrate comparative fault include:
- That the owner of the property did not agree or consent to the visit in which the claimant’s accident occurred.
- That the claimant was not paying proper attention to their surroundings when the slip and fall occurred, a good example of when this strategy would work is if the claimant was looking at their mobile phone when the slip and fall happened.
- That the claimant was wearing footwear that was inappropriate for their surroundings.
- That the defendant took all of the necessary steps to prevent the slip and fall hazard from causing harm, in accordance with Florida law, examples of this include the use of cordoning tape or hazard signs.
If your slip and fall case occurred on someone else’s property and you believe that some of the above may apply to your claim, all is not lost.
The lawyers from our law firm have a wealth of experience in maximizing claim amounts, even in cases of comparative negligence, and could still secure you a settlement. The best way to find out if you could be owed compensation is to get in touch for a free consultation and case evaluation today.
How Is Liability Determined in Cases of Slip and Falls in Florida?
The most important thing that your lawyer will do if you are injured in a slip and fall accident is to determine liability.
This may involve searching through available CCTV footage, looking at photographs taken at the scene of the accident by the injured person, or interviewing any eyewitnesses where possible.
How Much Time Following Slip and Fall Accidents Does the Claimant Have to File a Lawsuit?
Like all personal injury cases that occur in Florida, you only have a limited amount of time to seek the compensation you deserve. This is due to the statute of limitations.
The statute of limitations for slip and fall accidents is four years from the date on which your accident occurred, as laid out in Florida Statute 95.11.
This does not mean that you should delay in raising your claim or filing a lawsuit. Any unnecessary time that passes from the date on which the accident occurred could impact your settlement amount. This is because the property or store owner could hide the evidence, their lawyers could have additional time to build their defensive case, or additional evidence or eyewitnesses could become lost.
As such, when claimants want to maximize their settlement amount, we always recommend calling The Law Place in Florida for a free consultation as soon as possible.
How Much Is the Average Slip and Fall Claim Worth?
It is hard to give an average settlement payout amount for a slip and fall claim. This is because every slip and fall case is different, depending on the circumstances that surround the injury claim and the extent of the damage and consequences caused.
If you are injured in a slip and fall accident, one of our personal injury lawyers will take a look at your medical records, any police reports involved, wage slips to determine lost wages, the evidence surrounding the case, and many other factors to build you the strongest case possible to maximize your settlement amount.
In the following sections, we will break down the various damages associated with slip and fall accidents to give you a good idea of which damages apply to your specific case.
Claiming for Lost Wages
One set of damages that your lawyer can help you to claim are lost wages.
If you sustain a serious injury from your trip and fall, it is more than likely that you will have to spend some time off work to recover. Lost wages damages seek to reimburse you for the amount of income you have lost during this time of recovery.
If you are hoping to claim for lost income, the best thing you can do is to retain all of the correspondence you have with your employer concerning the time you spent off work. This is because your lawyer must prove to the jury or the insurance company that you were forced to take time off from work.
Claiming for Medical Expenses
We probably do not need to tell you that medical bills and associated expenses are one of the leading causes of financial stress today in the United States of America. However, this does not have to be the case.
We can help you recover the money you were forced to spend on medical bills as a result of the negligence of someone else. For the best results, we would advise that you keep copies of all of your medical bills and receipts to prove the cost.
Claiming for Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering damages are incredibly useful for personal injury claims, as they calculate compensation based on the duration of your recovery process, the pain level throughout, and the presence of any lifelong complications to the way that you live your life.
Examples of lifelong complications covered under pain and suffering damages include:
- Mobility impairments.
- Permanent disabilities.
- Chronic pain.
- Lasting mental anguish or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
- Disfigurement or scarring.
If you are claiming pain and suffering for a prolonged impairment, it can help to come armed with a copy of your lifelong medical records. This is because many insurance companies will attempt to pass the consequences of your injury off as a pre-existing condition.
Claiming for Property Damage
Claiming for property damage is much less common in slip and falls than it is in other accident cases such as car accidents. However, it is still possible that valuables such as portable electronics or expensive jewelry can be damaged in a slip or fall.
If this is the case, it is possible for your Florida lawyer to attempt to recover property damage compensation up to the value of your damaged property.
Claiming for Wrongful Death
Unfortunately, freak accidents do happen, and it is possible that you could lose a family member or a loved one to a particularly serious trip and fall accident.
While it may seem unthinkable to consider compensation at a time like this, many people are often blindsided by the costs involved in losing a loved one. As well as surprising burial and funerary costs, you will often be dealing with less household income and a period of grief in which you may not be able to work.
Wrongful death damages are designed to cover all funerary costs, as well as reimburse you an amount equal to the amount of income your partner or family member was providing for the household. As well as this, you will receive an amount designed to cover the loss of companionship and loss of consortium of your family.
It is worth noting that if you are claiming for wrongful death, the statute of limitations sits at two years instead of four. This is something that catches a lot of people out.
Furthermore, filing a wrongful death claim is not the same as accusing somebody of murder. Wrongful death claims are settled in civil court for monetary value instead of in a criminal court that could land someone in jail.
How Long Does It Normally Take to Settle a Case for Somebody Injured in a Slip and Fall Accident?
As with most personal injury cases, it is difficult to give an exact amount of time in which to expect your slip and fall case to be settled. This is because every case is different, and some cases take longer than others, depending on the property owner’s position. Slip and fall cases can take an especially long time when dealing with large corporations and franchisees with access to lots of money or expensive legal teams.
The majority of trip and fall cases are able to be settled before they reach the court. However, in cases where they do go to trial, you can expect the process to take a much longer time. This is because the full process will look a little like this:
- First, a complaint and summons must be filed.
- Then your law firm must wait for a response to be received from the defendant.
- Then a demand letter must be sent.
- Then the pre-trial discovery phase begins.
- Following this, the pre-trial discovery motions must be undertaken.
- Then comes the mediation and settlement of the case, if possible.
- Finally, the trial must be attended.
- After all of this, a judgment on your slip and fall case will be received, and the process will be complete.
How to Handle Insurance Companies and Settling Your Slip and Fall Case Out of Court
As we mentioned above, most personal injury cases involving a slip and fall are settled before they reach the courts. This is because it will be much cheaper for your insurance company to avoid the trial process.
However, it is important to be aware of the many tricks employed by insurance companies. They may claim to be on your side, but this is not true as it is in their best interest to pay out as little as possible to the injured person.
As such, it is important that you disclose as little information as possible to your insurance company. You are typically required to inform them about your accident within an allotted time window. This is usually within 24 hours of your injury occurring, but this may vary from insurance company to insurance company.
Unfortunately, insurance companies often use this call as an opportunity to pump you for unnecessary information with the aim of lowering your potential settlement amount. This is why it is important to receive a briefing from your Florida personal injury lawyer on what to say beforehand.
Furthermore, when it comes to negotiating your settlement amount with the insurance company, an experienced attorney can do wonders for your payout. Not only will they handle all of the paperwork required, but they are also well acquainted with negotiation techniques and will work tirelessly to maximize your settlement amount.
How Much Will Securing Legal Counsel From an Experienced Attorney From The Law Place Cost?
Many people are put off securing legal counsel because of false ideas about how much a worthwhile lawyer will cost. This is somewhat understandable, as the time surrounding an accident is often fraught with anxiety, trauma, and financial instability.
The truth, however, is that there is no risk in securing a trustworthy attorney from The Law Place. We operate all of our personal injury cases on a no-win-no-fee basis. This means that all legal fees will only be taken from the final settlement amount once the case has been concluded, and you will have to pay nothing upfront. It also means that if for whatever reason, your case is unsuccessful, the whole process will cost you nothing at all.
Here at The Law Place in Florida, transparency and honesty are at the heart of what we do. This means that there will be absolutely no hidden costs or extra fees involved and no nasty surprises waiting for you around the corner. If you don’t believe us, you will be happy to hear that all of our contingency work is monitored by The State Bar Association, so you have nothing to worry about!
Contact The Law Place Today
If you have received injuries as a result of a slip and fall on someone else’s property in the previous four-year period, you could be entitled to compensation for your injuries and any complications received as a result under Florida personal injury law. If this is the case, it is important to get in touch with a Florida attorney today to protect your rights to compensation, as the more time that passes, the less money you are likely to receive.
Here at The Law Place in Florida, our legal team has amassed over 75 years of combined experience dealing with injuries just like yours. Unlike other law firms, we work on all of our cases as a team in order to harness the experience and wisdom of each and every member of our team. Many of the lawyers who work for our law firm are AVVO rated a perfect 10.0 and have the skills, tenacity, and drive to maximize your settlement amount.
If all of this sounds like something you could benefit from, all it takes to get your legal process started is a simple call to our office in order to arrange a free consultation and case evaluation with a member of our attorney team. All calls are completely free of obligation and protected by the confidentiality of the attorney-client relationship. Plus, our phone lines are always open.
For more information on how we can help you, contact us today by calling (941) 444-4444!