Accidents happen, and when a slip and fall occurs in Florida, it can lead to severe injuries. Whether it happens in a grocery store, a restaurant, or on someone else's property, the consequences can be severe. That's why it's essential to understand the importance of hiring a personal injury lawyer.
In the aftermath of a slip and fall accident, you may be dealing with medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. A skilled personal injury lawyer will not only fight to get you the compensation you deserve but also navigate the complex legal process on your behalf. They will investigate the circumstances surrounding your accident, gather evidence, and build a solid case to hold the responsible party accountable.
Don't make the mistake of trying to handle a slip-and-fall claim on your own. By working with a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer, you can level the playing field and increase your chances of a favorable outcome. Reach out to our team to schedule a free initial case evaluation, and we’ll be happy to let you know how we can help with your case.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for a Slip and Fall in Florida?
The statute of limitations for a slip and fall in Florida is four years. Florida law 95.11(3)(6) says that the victim of a slip and fall in Florida has four years from the accident date to bring their personal injury claim. The law applies to all negligence personal injury lawsuits in Florida, including slip and fall cases.
Why You Need a Florida Slip and Fall Attorney
Insurance companies may not treat your case fairly after a slip and fall accident. You might find yourself arguing with claims adjusters about the details of your accident or facing an unreasonable claim denial or payment delay. Insurance companies want to save money by limiting your recovery as much as possible. Conversations with insurance claims adjusters can be incredibly stressful if you are in the hospital facing severe personal injuries from your fall.
A slip-and-fall lawyer can take over communications with insurance companies on your behalf while you focus on physical recovery. Your lawyer will ensure no one takes advantage of you during the claims process. Your attorney will fight for a full and fair settlement in Florida.
Working with a slip-and-fall attorney minimizes the odds that you will have to take your case to court. If it does require a trial, however, a lawyer can help. As the plaintiff or injured party in a slip-and-fall trial, the burden of proof rests with you. It is your, or your attorney’s, responsibility to prove that the defendant breached a duty of care and caused your slip and fall accident. This burden of proof can be difficult if you do not have legal representation. A slip-and-fall attorney, however, will improve your chances of winning your case and securing a fair settlement or verdict.
Causes of Slip and Fall Injuries in Florida
Slip and fall accidents can happen anywhere, from supermarkets to hotels, restaurants, and public places. Florida's tropical climate also means rain can lead to slippery conditions, making slip-and-fall accidents even more common. These incidents can result in severe injuries, including broken bones, head injuries, and spinal damage.
Slip and fall accidents can occur due to various hazards. Some of the common causes include:
- Wet or slippery floors: Spills, leaks, or recently cleaned surfaces can create slippery conditions that increase the risk of a slip-and-fall accident.
- Uneven or damaged flooring: Cracked pavement, loose floorboards, or uneven surfaces can pose a significant tripping hazard.
- Poor lighting: Insufficient lighting can make it difficult to see potential hazards, increasing the likelihood of a slip and fall accident.
- Hazardous walking surfaces: Loose rugs, cluttered walkways, or unsecured cables can create obstacles that lead to slips and falls.
- Lack of warning signs: Failure to provide warning signs for hazardous areas, such as wet floors or construction zones, can contribute to slip and fall accidents.
The Importance of Seeking Medical Attention After a Slip and Fall Accident
After a slip and fall accident, your immediate concern should be your health and well-being. Even if you initially feel fine, it's crucial to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Some injuries may not be immediately apparent but can develop into more serious conditions if left untreated.
A medical professional will evaluate your injuries and provide the necessary treatment. Additionally, their documentation of your injuries will be crucial evidence in your slip and fall claim. Insurance companies and courts rely on medical records to assess the extent of your injuries and determine the appropriate compensation.
By promptly seeking medical attention, you not only prioritize your recovery but also strengthen your case. A personal injury lawyer can help you gather medical records, bills, and other documentation to build a strong compensation case.
How a Slip and Fall Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help
Hiring a law firm to handle your slip and fall accident case will make the process easier for you and your family. You are already dealing with enough as the victim of a severe injury. We believe you should not also have to worry about filing a claim, filling out confusing paperwork, speaking with insurance companies, and gathering documents.
- Collect copies of police reports and medical records
- Subpoena copies of accident reports or maintenance files
- Determine how the slip and fall accident occurred
- Access video surveillance of the accident
- Interview eyewitnesses
- Gather evidence of negligence
- File your claim with the Tampa courts
- Give trustworthy legal counsel
An experienced slip-and-fall lawyer will be on your side from the beginning. Your lawyer can revisit the scene of your accident, identify the defendant (e.g., a property owner or corporation), and build your case. Working with an attorney can give you peace of mind about your case.
Slip and Fall Statistics
Slip and fall injuries are common in the workplace and represent the majority of workers’ compensation claims. Additionally, older adults are more susceptible to falling and sustaining injury. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data, falls are the second-leading cause of injury-related death for people between the ages of 65 and 84. For people over 85 years of age, falls are the leading cause of injury-related deaths.
Premises Liability and Slip and Fall Accidents
Most slip-and-fall accidents lead to lawsuits under the purview of premises liability law. While every state has unique facets to its premises liability laws, this law generally applies to private property owners. Property owners have a legal duty to ensure their grounds and facilities are not hazardous to visitors to the property. If a hazard exists, the property owner must take adequate steps to prevent the conditions from causing injuries. The property owner should warn any visitors of the hazard.
It’s vital to recognize the distinction between lawful visitors and trespassers. A property owner has no legal obligation to prevent injury to trespassers or other unlawful visitors. If a person enters the property without permission and sustains an injury that would typically lead to a premises liability lawsuit, the injured trespasser has no claim. The only exception to this is in the case of trespassing children. The law does not consider children to have the same level of self-awareness and propriety as adults, so property owners should take extra care if there is any possibility of a child wandering onto the property.
When Florida Property Owners Are Liable for Falls
Property owners who welcome guests onto their properties must keep their properties free from hazards. Some of the most common slip and fall hazards that lead to personal injury lawsuits include:
- Failing to clear away snow and ice
- Damaged structures such as stairwells and floorboards
- Unmarked wet floors
- Poor visibility or lighting, especially in stairwells
- Cluttered walkways
This is not an exhaustive list. Any injury that results from slipping and falling can lead to a premises liability lawsuit. To file such a lawsuit in Florida, meet with a Florida personal injury attorney to determine your case’s value and likelihood of succeeding with the suit in court.
Recoverable Damages After a Slip and Fall
The purpose of a civil case is to reimburse a victim for their damages. The damages or types of compensation you could recover during a slip and fall case will vary according to your losses. Your slip and fall lawyer will review your case and provide an estimate of its value. You and your lawyer may need to prove your damages with evidence such as receipts and expert testimony during a settlement or court case.
- Past and future medical expenses
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional or mental anguish
- Property damage repairs
- Lost wages and capacity to earn
- Lost quality of life
- Loss of consortium
- Wrongful death damages
- Punitive damages
Your recoverable damages will be the economic and noneconomic losses the defendant’s negligence caused. In a slip and fall case, common damages include hospital bills and missed time at work during recovery. Your lawyer can help you present evidence of your past and future losses to a judge or jury in pursuit of full and fair financial recovery. Please speak to one of our attorneys today to learn the potential value of your slip and fall case.
Winning Your Case With a Qualified Florida Slip and Fall Lawyer
To win a premises liability lawsuit against a property owner, a plaintiff must prove that the property owner failed in their duty of reasonable care to provide a safe and hazard-free environment. In many slip-and-fall cases, the plaintiff must prove that the property owner in question knew about the injury-causing hazard but did not address it in a timely or effective manner. The plaintiff must also prove that the property owner’s negligence caused actual harm in the form of bodily injury, property damage, or other losses.
Have You Been Injured Due To The Negligence Of Others? Williams Law, P.A. Is Here To Help.
If you or a loved one has been physically injured due to someone else's neglect, you should speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Florida law office at 800.451.6786 to schedule your free consultation. We help Florida residents like you who have been injured in a motor vehicle accident, slip and fall, or other accident resulting in an injury. Remember, we work on a contingent basis, meaning you don't pay us anything until we win your case.