Hire a Florida Slip and Fall Lawyer
Slip and fall accidents cause 15 percent of all accidental deaths, second only to vehicle accidents. In the U.S., over a million people a year are injured this way. Tragically, the elderly are particularly vulnerable due to balancing difficulties and a fragile bone structure. In many cases, a slip and fall accident can be traced to negligence or other misconduct on the part of someone else.
When a Florida slip and fall accident occurs due to the culpability of someone other than the victim, a personal injury claim arises. It’s only fair – in addition to the suffering that an injury causes, financial difficulties often arise as medical bills mount. Financial difficulties can become particularly acute when a family breadwinner is injured on the job. My job is to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.
Workplace slip and fall accidents are usually (but not always) resolved under the workers’ compensation system. The main advantage of this system is that you do not have to prove fault to win compensation. The main disadvantage is that compensation is limited—there is no recovery for pain and suffering, for example. Some workplace accidents can be resolved outside the workers’ compensation system.
Premises Liability Under Florida Law
Outside of workplace accidents, most Florida slip and fall claims are resolved under premises liability law. Whether your slip and fall accident occurred at a commercial establishment or a private residence, the owner (or in some cases the lessee) of the premises is charged with the duty to ensure that the property is free of unreasonable dangers, including non-obvious hazards.
The owner (or lessee) of premises can be held liable for injuries caused by conditions on the property that he did not even know about, as long as a reasonable inspection of the property would have revealed the condition. Once the condition is discovered, the owner is obligated to either repair or warn of the dangerous condition.
Common slip and fall accident scenarios include:
- Slipping on a piece of fruit in the produce aisle of a grocery store.
- Falling down a stairwell due to weak stairway railing.
- Falling off a ride at an amusement park because of insufficient restraints or improper operation of the ride.
- Falling from a poorly constructed scaffolding at a construction site.
An arbitration clause is a section of a contract that obligates you to resolve any dispute in in private arbitration rather than in court. In most cases the arbitrator’s decision cannot be appealed. Arbitration clauses commonly appear in gym membership contracts, for example. A Florida slip and fall lawyer may represent you in an arbitration proceeding.
Although not all arbitration clauses are enforceable, if you signed a contract with an arbitration clause, and if a personal injury dispute arises between you and the counterparty involving the subject matter of the contract (you were injured falling off a treadmill at the gym, for example), you might be stuck with arbitration. This is not necessarily bad news, however.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What are the most common causes of slip and fall accidents?
Some of the most common causes are:
- Icy pavements
- Pavement defects
- Wet floors without warning signs
- Inadequate stairwell lighting
- Weak handrails
What should I do (and not do) after a slip and fall accident?
The following is a list of standard “dos and don’ts”:
- DO seek medical attention immediately, for the sake of your health and to gather evidence for your claim.
- DO take photos of the scene of the accident.
- DO obtain contact details for any witnesses.
- DO contact a Florida slip and fall lawyer as soon as possible.
- DON’T apologize for the accident. This is no time to be polite — “I’m sorry” can be used against you in court and in settlement negotiations.
- DON’T use your social media accounts until your claim is resolved. The defendant or his insurance company is likely going to be monitoring them for evidence that your injuries are not as severe as you say they are.
What kind information should I prepare for our consultation?
Please prepare the following information, to the extent that you have access to it:
- The location of the accident.
- Information about witnesses.
- Details of how the accident occurred.
- Who discovered you after the accident.
- Anything you noticed that might reveal the cause of the accident.
What are “pain and suffering” damages?
Pain and suffering damages are damages for the physical suffering that you endured as a result of the accident. In many cases, these damages are awarded in an amount equivalent to several times the amount awarded for medical expenses.
The accident occurred at my friend’s house. My damages are extensive, but I don’t want to drive him into bankruptcy. What should I do?
In all likelihood you will be claiming against your friend’s homeowner’s insurance policy, not your friend. Most homeowner’s insurance policies cover slip and fall accidents even when negligence was involved. Your friend might, however, might have to pay the deductible and suffer an increase in his homeowner’s insurance premiums.
Can I win a claim against a shop owner even if the employee who caused the accident disobeyed the owner’s specific instructions?
Yes, as long as the perpetrator was an employee and not an independent contractor. In Florida as well as elsewhere, an employer is liable for the consequences of the wrongful behavior of his employee, even if the employer was not personally at fault.
You Don’t Pay Unless You Win
I don’t charge by the hour – I charge by the results I achieve. That means you will owe me nothing up front to take your case. Furthermore, your bill will not come due until you win the case and your compensation is actually paid. If you don’t receive any compensation, you won’t receive a bill from me either.
Now is the Time for Aggressive Action
There’s no time like the present to begin pursuing compensation for your Florida slip and fall accident. Your best chance of receiving full compensation comes when you act promptly to enforce your claim. Slip and fall claims can get complex, however, and you are going to need a slip and fall accident lawyer in Florida to maximize your chances of victory.
Contact DLE Lawyers today at (305) 363-7855 or fill out my online contact form for a free initial consultation on your case.