Slip and fall accidents frequently occur in restaurants, bars, and hotels across Miami and are often preventable incidents. Property owners and managers are responsible for regularly reviewing their premises and taking necessary steps to eliminate hazards and dangers. Failure to do so can lead to serious injuries and hefty medical costs for injured tourists, guests, and patrons. While some individuals may sustain minor injuries from a slip and fall, others are less fortunate.
Fortunately, Florida law provides premises liability rules that allow victims to seek compensation for their injuries. Experienced Miami slip and fall lawyers at Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys, PA., can help you explore your legal rights so that you can move forward after a serious injury accident.
If you’ve suffered from serious injuries or substantial medical bills due to a wet floor, poor lighting, algae-covered surface, or any other hazard, call our law firm today. Our attorneys will manage all of the legal aspects of your claim, so you don’t have to bear this burden on your own.
To begin the process, contact Prosper Shaked today for a complimentary, no-obligation case review.
Why Should I Hire a Miami Injury Lawyer After a Slip and Fall?
Unlike other types of personal injury cases, there are specific steps you must take to maximize a slip and fall or premises liability case fully.
Preserve Critical Evidence
An experienced personal injury attorney will immediately send letters to the property owner and business requesting that it preserve all evidence of the fall. Many slip and fall accidents occur at businesses and retailers like Publix, Walmart, 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 business to save any videos of the incident. If you or your attorney fails to deliver the preservation letter to the business owner 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 property owner’s insurance company, it is not recommended. Attorneys specializing in these cases know how to communicate with insurance companies to maximize the settlement.
Managing Medical Care
Obtaining proper medical treatment is extremely difficult for injured individuals without good health insurance. At Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys PA, we can 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 business or property owner will deny liability. In these instances, you must file a lawsuit to prove that the property owner’s negligence was responsible for causing your fall.
Maximizing Case Value
Ultimately, you will want to hire a personal injury attorney with experience handling premises cases to secure the best outcome. Insurance companies know that ordinary individuals are limited in what they can and cannot do independently. They know an unrepresented injury victim will not sue them if they disagree 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 client results.
Most Common Causes of Slip and Fall and Trip and Fall Accidents in Miami
Slip and falls are a type of premises liability accident that occurs in various conditions and settings. No two slip and fall cases in Miami are the same, and they are 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.
- 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 a liquid is spilled on the ground, the business must dry the floor within a reasonable 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 leaks that are not adequately managed.
It is worth noting that most slip and fall accidents in Miami-Dade County occur at hotels, apartment complexes, houses, and supermarkets. Additionally, a large number occur around hotel pools or from algae that grow on surfaces in Florida.
Common Slip and Fall Injuries
The kind of surface a victim falls on and what body part they fall on are two determinants of the injuries they will suffer. 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
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
- 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 they 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 when the accident occurred or the victim was on the part of the property where visitors were not permitted to be.
In this type of claim, Florida follows a modified comparative negligence system. The modified comparative negligence law states that damages that a victim recovers in a personal injury case will be reduced by the percentage they are found to be at fault. A slip and fall accident victim can recover damages if they were not more than 50 percent responsible for the accident.
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. However, if the victim is found to be more than 50% responsible for causing their injuries, they will be barred from recovered anything.
How Long Do I Have to File a Lawsuit for a Slip and Fall in Florida?
Individuals injured in slip and fall cases in the State of Florida have two years from the accident to file a claim. If a victim’s family who died due to a slip and fall accident wants to file a wrongful death claim, they also 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 to create the best litigation plan to fight for your legal rights.
If you or someone you love has 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.