We have all been victims of slip and fall accidents at least once in our lifetimes. Such accidents are usually very embarrassing especially when they happen in full view of people. However, the effects of slip and fall accidents go beyond mere embarrassment.
Slip and fall accidents can lead to severe physical injury. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that 20% of all falls result in serious physical injury. More than 800000 people are hospitalized annually due to slip and fall injuries and about 3 million senior citizens end up in emergency rooms for fall injuries.
What Is a Slip and Fall Accident?
In legal terms, a slip and fall accident occurs when a person falls and gets injured after tripping or slipping within premises. As such, a slip and fall case is a personal injury case that involves seeking due justice for a victim.
What Causes Slip and Fall Accidents?
There are several causes of slip and fall accidents. They include;
- Slippery floors
- Wet floors
- Torn, ripped, or raised carpeting
- Objects recklessly left on the ground
- Electric cables were carelessly strewn over the place
- Poor or improper lighting
- Lack of lighting
- Absence of any posters or warnings for dangerous conditions
- Railing in poor condition
- Unsafe staircases
- Poorly maintained pavements, sidewalks, and parking lots
- Holes in the flooring
- Insufficient or negligent security
Florida Premise Liability Law
All types of property owners from commercial properties such as grocery stores, restaurants, malls, liquor stores, e.t.c as well as private residences owe visitors duty of care.
How much of the duty of care one is entitled relies on whether you are an invitee, licensee, or trespasser. Invitees are owed the highest amount of care as they access a property for commercial purposes.
Therefore, the property owner should ensure the premises has the highest safety standards possible by fixing all dangerous conditions and outing up warnings to communicate the risk of injury at certain locations on the premises.
Licensees on the other hand are guests invited to a property by consent of the owner on account of friendship and not commercial purposes. The property owner still owes you a duty of care but not as much as if you are an invitee. You deserve to warn them of any potential threats that may result in slip and fall accidents.
Trespassers are the least entitled to a duty of care as they intrude on other people’s properties without permission. They might be compensated in case of a personal injury that the premise owner is liable for but they are entitled to the least compensation.
Florida is governed by pure comparative negligence law. This means that before settlements are awarded for personal injury cases arising from various accidents, the case is carefully evaluated and the contribution of all involved parties assessed.
Damages are then awarded in proportion to that percentage of fault that isn’t the victims. If the victim is partially responsible, the monetary award is adjusted to discount that percentage for which they are responsible.
When is a Business Owner or Homeowner Held Responsible for a Slip and Fall Accident?
Property owners can be held liable for a slip, trip, and fall cases when their deliberate negligence has resulted in;
- Poor maintenance of the premises
- Reckless and non-thorough inspection of the property
- Less than satisfactory repairs of the property
- Failure to warn visitors of the possible danger arising from the property
If these three have directly contributed to the occurrence of a slip and fall accident then the property owner is held liable for the accident.
Which Are The Injuries Associated With Slip and Fall Accidents?
Victims of slip and fall accidents suffer injuries of varying degrees. Depending on the nature of the fall and the surrounding environment, these injuries could be minor or major. Below are the major injuries one can sustain from a slip and fall accident;
Head injuries are one of the most dangerous outcomes of a serious slip and fall accident. A head injury can lead to severe traumatic damage to the brain. Traumatic brain injury may in turn result to amnesia, speech and language problems, reduced concentration, and even memory loss. In extreme cases, head injuries can be fatal and end up as wrongful deaths.
Injuries to the Shoulder(s)
We all try to reach out our hands first to minimize the resultant impact when falling. However, this can lead to serious shoulder injury if the fall is sudden and heavy. The pressure from our body weight may cause a joint on the shoulder to dislocate. A muscle may tear and a bone may be fractured as well. This might lead to severe pain or in extreme cases nerve damage which may cause a permanent handicap
Back and Spinal Cord Injury
Besides head injury, back and spinal cord injuries have to be the most terrifying outcomes of slip and fall accidents. This is because injuries to the spinal cord can cause permanent disability that may completely overturn a victim’s life. The nerves may be damaged and mobility permanently affected. The back is very delicate and if that is coupled with a hard, rough surface, the consequences are bound to be devastating.
The Fracturing of The Hip
Falls are the leading cause of hip fractures as figures from the Centre of Disease Control indicate. Hip fractures are likely to occur when one slips and falls sideways. The protruding pelvic bone is exposed to more damage from the resultant impact of a fall. This causes severe pain and may gravely affect mobility as well. Hip surgery may be required to manage such fractures and victims may end up being bedridden for long.
What Damages Can a Clearwater Slip and Fall Victim Claim Compensation For?
Florida has very stringent laws that govern the litigation of slip and fall accidents. One needs to provide irrefutable evidence and prove beyond any reasonable doubt that the owner of the premises is liable for their fall.
However, once you prove that, Florida law allows you to seek compensation for both monetary and non-monetary damages.
Some of the monetary damages you are entitled to claim include;
Cost of Both Past and Future Medical Treatment
Many slip and fall accidents result in serious physical injuries. As such, if you are a victim you are bound to need professional medical attention. If your injuries are a direct result of another person’s or entity’s negligence, you are entitled to be compensated for any medical expenditure incurred.
This compensation also factors in any future medical expenses you will accrue to treat and manage health issues directly emanating from that slip and fall accident. If the injuries sustained are significant enough to warrant a personal injury case, the compensation amount will correspond directly to the severity of the injuries.
Lost Wages and Diminished Future Earning Capacity
If your slip and fall accident causes severe physical injuries, you may miss work while undergoing medical care at a hospital. If you are remunerated only for the number of hours worked, missing work will definitely result in a loss of wages.
Our slip and fall attorneys ensure that you are compensated for these lost wages. If you sustain debilitating physical injuries to the back, spine, hip, or head, resulting in permanent disability, you may be unable to fend for yourself. Our Clearwater slip and fall attorneys can help you recover compensation for your undermined future earning capacity too.
Physical Pain and Suffering
Like all other personal injury accidents, slipping and falling can lead to a great deal of physical pain and anguish. The severity of the pain may vary depending on the specific nature of the fall and the roughness and hardness of the surface upon which a victim falls.
If you present a valid slip and fall claim, our team of competent attorneys ensures that you are justly compensated for the physical discomfort, pain, and suffering you undergo. We also ensure you receive damages for the loss of enjoyment of life, convenience, and permanent disability that may have resulted from a slip and fall accident.
A slip and fall accident may not be one of those incidents that arouse loud gasps from an audience when narrated. But have you felt that immense terror when you slip unexpectedly and are headed for a sure fall which you can do nothing about to stop? Exactly. Some serious slip and fall accidents are terrifying and cause acute emotional shock.
Such accidents may have devastating consequences especially in cases where the victims may have preexisting conditions that increase the propensity of health scares like heart attacks. Therefore, slip and fall victims deserve compensation for the emotional suffering such accidents cause. Our qualified Clearwater slip and fall attorneys can help you recover that compensation.
What Should You Do After a Clearwater Slip and Fall Accident?
There is limited knowledge concerning the legal options Clearwater slip and fall victims have. As such, many people are not aware of what to do when these accidents occur. Below is a clear guideline of actions to take once you are involved in a slip and fall accident;
- First of all, ensure that you are safe. Items such as electric cables and appliances may pose a threat if they caused the fall as they may be live. So move away from such potential dangers.
- Slip and fall accident claims are admissible but they have to be proved irrefutably. Take photos and videos of the scene where the accident has happened. Capture all the critical details that may be useful in strengthening your case.
- Besides photograph evidence, testimonies by real people help a lot in providing proof. Were there any witnesses at the scene? Ensure you take down their names and capture their contact information.
- Slip and fall accidents may seem not to be life-threatening. However, it should be noted that they cause serious physical harm. Therefore, whether your injuries are major or minor, ensure you seek professional medical attention immediately.
- Once a qualified medical professional has attended to you, contact a Clearwater slip and fall attorney immediately. Victims of slip and fall accidents due to the negligence of premise owners deserve compensation for the monetary and non-monetary damages they suffer.
Mistakes That Can Undermine the Strength of Your Slip and Fall Claim
Like in all other personal injury cases, victims can make some mistakes that undermine the merit of their claims regardless of how strong a case they had. Therefore, to ensure your slip and fall claim is foolproof, do the following;
- Do not engage with the defendant either directly or through their representative without the presence and guidance of your own qualified slip and fall attorney.
- Do not accept any settlement amount the defendant offers you without involving your slip and fall attorney. You may be manipulated into accepting an inferior deal that does not satisfy the damages you underwent.
- Ensure you are evaluated and treated by a medical professional after your slip and fall accident. Retain any documents and receipts issued to this effect.
- After comprehensive medical evaluation and treatment, make sure that you follow all the instructions issued by the doctor. Failure to do so may provide fertile ground for the defense to contest the settlement amount.
Why Do You Need to Hire a Clearwater Slip and Fall Lawyer?
While slip and fall accidents are a common occurrence, they are not very easy to prove when seeking damages for premise owner negligence. Also, property insurance companies have formidable legal teams that fight to ensure their clients do not lose money in compensating slip and fall victims.
These factors compounded by other legal complexities that surround seeking compensation for slip and fall accidents make it very hard for victims to receive fair treatment. Slip and fall attorneys are therefore very helpful as they are experienced and can help victims get fair compensation.
What We Will do As Your Clearwater Slip and Fall Attorneys
To win trip and fall lawsuits, you require competent legal representation. As your trip and fall attorney, we have a clear and systematic method of ensuring that you are awarded the compensation you deserve.
Below is an outline of how we will help you achieve a desirable outcome for your slip and fall case;
Free Consultation and Evaluation
Our qualified and experienced trip and fall lawyers sit down with you and have a candid discussion to go over your injury case. We obtain the facts and specific details and circumstances surrounding your slip, trip and fall case.
We then determine whether you have a strong case after which we proceed to present you with the legal options available. Our consultation sessions last up to sixty minutes and you do not need to pay upfront. Our fees are purely on a contingency basis and so we only get paid once we’ve won you a favorable settlement.
Collection of Evidence
After a thorough evaluation of your trip and false case, we go on to collect evidence to irrefutably prove that your injuries are as a consequence of the property owner’s negligent action.
To do this, we visit the scene, take photos and videos, take down witness statements and contact information, obtain police reports, investigate lease agreements, and note down all other specific details surrounding your slip and fall accident.
Our trip and fall Clearwater attorneys then secure evidence by sending out spoliation letters to the business owner and their associates to leave evidence intact and not to destroy it. We can also enlist the services of accident reconstructionists if the need arises.
Demand Compensation for Your Damages
After collecting and securing solid, accurate evidence, our Clearwater slip and fall lawyers then settle on a compensation amount that covers your damages satisfactorily. We ensure that this proposed settlement takes into account your medical expenses in totality.
We are concerned about your welfare and as such we make sure that you are treated well. We then liase with your doctor and obtain medical records that help to fortify your fall injury accident case. Our skilled and experienced lawyers also utilize their impeccable negotiation skills to protect you from long and arduous litigation and ensure that the whole matter is settled out of court.
Sometimes both parties may feel to reach an amicable consensus concerning the settlement amount or terms and conditions. In such cases, the only remaining solution is litigation. In the unfortunate event that the matter has to go to court, our Clearwater slip and fall attorneys provide you with excellent legal representation to ensure you win the case and get awarded your deserved compensation.
Schedule a Consultation With Our Clearwater Slip and Fall Lawyers
At Denmon Pearlman, we are wholly committed to providing legal services of the highest quality at an affordable rate to our clients. If you are a Clearwater resident involved in a slip and fall accident, contact us today and let us help you recover compensation for both the monetary and non-monetary damages you have endured.
We have a team of highly qualified lawyers with extensive experience in handling Clearwater trip and fall cases. We have won numerous slip and fall cases for victims in Clearwater and enabled them to get favorable compensation amounts. Hire us today and let us help you win your slip and fall injury case!
Our Clearwater Personal Injury lawyers are also competent in handling other personal injury cases including