Slip and fall accidents occur far too often due to the negligence of property owners and their failure to inspect and repair dangerous conditions. The term “slip and fall” has the connotation of a minor accident or injury. On the contrary, slip and falls and trip and falls can result in catastrophic harm to a victim that includes traumatic brain injuries and death.
Victims of slip and fall cases can find themselves in a state of mental anguish between trying to stay current with medical bills and figuring out how to compensate for lost present and future wages. In this type of case, retaining an experienced Miami slip and fall lawyer for representation is crucial not only to ensure that a victim is compensated for injuries suffered but to also hold the liable parties responsible for the injuries they caused. Call Prosper Shaked to develop a plan of action to pursue your claim.
Why Should I Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer After a Slip and Fall?
Unlike other types of personal injury cases, there are certain steps that must be taken to fully maximize a slip and fall or premises liability case.
Preserve Critical Evidence
An experienced personal injury attorney will immediately send letters to the Defendant business requesting that it preserve all evidence of the fall. Many slip and falls occur at businesses and retailers, such as Publix, Wal-Mart, and Home Depot. These companies often have video surveillance throughout every corner of their property. Video evidence is the strongest type of evidence available in any type of premises case.
Depending on the circumstances of the fall, the preservation letter will require the Defendant business to save any videos of the incident. If you or your attorney fails to deliver the preservation letter to the Defendant business promptly, there is a good chance the video will be deleted.
Dealing with Insurance Companies and Claim Handlers
Although it is certainly possible for the victim of a slip and fall accident to negotiate their settlement with the Defendant’s insurance company, it is not recommended. Attorneys who specialize in these types of cases know how to effectively communicate with the insurance companies to maximize the settlement.
Managing Medical Care
It is extremely difficult for injured individuals who lack good health insurance to obtain proper medical treatment. At Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys PA, we are able to refer our uninsured clients to trusted doctors and medical providers who agree to forego payment for their services until after the case is resolved.
Slip and fall cases are much more difficult to prove than other types of personal injury cases. Often, the Defendant business will deny liability. In these instances, the victim will need to file a lawsuit to prove that the Defendant was responsible for causing their fall.
Maximizing Case Value
Ultimately, you will want to hire a personal injury attorney who specializes in premises cases to secure the best outcome. Insurance companies know that ordinary individuals are limited in what they can and cannot do on their own. They know that an unrepresented injury victim will not sue them if they do not agree with the settlement offer. At Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys PA, we do not stop pursuing a case when we receive a settlement offer that is not fair or reasonable. We push the case as far as it needs to go to obtain the best results for out clients.
Most Common Causes of Slip and Fall and Trip and Fall Accidents
Slip and falls are a type of premises liability accident that occurs in a vast variety of conditions and settings. No two slip and fall cases are the same, and they usually attributable to a property owner’s negligence. Some common types of causes and settings of slip and fall cases include:
- Uneven flooring – surface irregularities can be caused by damaged or dented tile, unsecured carpeting, poor structural design etc.
- Poor lighting – Insufficient lighting in stairwells and other areas with uneven flooring that.
- Uneven steps and stairs – Many properties throughout South Florida are not code compliant. We find that many steps have uneven treads and risers or lack handrails.
- Holes in the ground – Properties must either warn visitors of dangerous holes in the ground or fill them.
- Spills – Unattended spills are a leading cause of slip and fall accidents in Miami, Florida. If liquid is spilled on the ground, the business must dry the floor within a reasonable amount of time. When a person slips and falls due to a spill that the business owner knew or should have known about, the business may be found negligent.
- Drainage Issues – Water and other types of leaks that are not properly managed.
It is worth noting that the vast majority of slip or trip and fall accidents that in Miami-Dade County occur at hotels, apartment complexes, houses, and supermarkets. Additionally, a large number of slip and falls occur around hotel pools.
Common Slip and Fall Injuries
The kind of surface a victim falls on and the location of impact are two determinants in the kind of injuries that he or she will suffer from. Injuries sustained during slip and falls can range from mild to very severe. Some of the most common injuries stemming from Miami slip and fall accidents include:
- Shoulder injuries
- Neck injuries
- Cuts and abrasions
- Sprains and fractures
- Back and spinal cord injuries
- Broken bones
- Fractured bones
- Head injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
Determining Liability for Slip and Fall Claims in Miami
In order to prove fault in a slip and fall or trip and fall case in Miami, Florida, a victim must prove:
- The business or property owner did not maintain their property with reasonable care. The owner knew or should have known that there was a dangerous condition on the premises;
- The negligence of the business or property owner was the cause of harm to the victim; and
- As a result of the business or property owner’s negligence, the victim suffered damages.
To succeed on a negligence theory in a slip and fall case, a victim has to prove constructive knowledge on behalf of the business or property owner. Circumstantial evidence can prove that the business or property owner had constructive knowledge of the dangerous condition by:
- The unsafe condition was in existence for a length of time such that the owner would have discovered the condition if he or she exercised reasonable care; or
- The condition occurred with such regularity that its presence was foreseeable.
Sometimes, a victim is partially at fault for a slip and fall incident. This could be the case where the victim was using a cell phone at the time the accident took place or the victim was on a part of the property where visitors were not permitted to be. In this type of claim, Florida follows the Pure Comparative Negligence Rule. The Pure Comparative Negligence Rule states that damages that a victim recovers in a personal injury case will be reduced by the percentage he or she was at fault. For example, if a victim recovers $100,000 and is found to be 20% at fault, the victim will ultimately recover $80,000 since the $100,000 will be reduced by $20,000.
How Long Do I Have to File a Lawsuit for a Slip and Fall in Florida?
Individuals who are injured in slip and fall cases in the State of Florida have four years from the time of the accident to file a claim. If the family of a victim who died as a result of a slip and fall accident wants to file a wrongful death claim, they have two years from the date of the victim’s death to file.
Call Miami Slip and Fall Attorney Prosper Shaked
In order to get back on your feet again after suffering from a slip and fall accident, it is important to fight for the compensation you deserve. Medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering are just a few of the damages that victims of slip and falls must seek just compensation for. An experienced slip and fall lawyer is essential in order to create the best litigation plan to right for your legal rights. If you or someone you love have been injured in a slip and fall accident due to the negligence of a property or business owner, call Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys PA to speak to an experienced slip and fall injury attorney. Call us today at (305) 694-2676 for a free consultation.