People in Florida are injured every day while going about their business. When shopping or visiting a friend, it is not uncommon to slip and fall on a broken step or a wet floor. Some people lose their footing because of a defective sidewalk, or in a poorly lit staircase. Others are hurt because an object fell, or a dog bit them. Hazardous conditions exist throughout many Florida properties that present an unforeseen danger for those who enter the premises. If you were injured on someone else’s property, there are some things you should know and do. Miami premises liability attorney Prosper Shaked discusses this and more.
Florida Property Owners + Duty of Care
Businesses owe anyone who enters their property a duty of care. So do homeowners. Even if it is a public space, a person has a reasonable expectation that they will not encounter an unreasonable risk of harm while on the property. At a minimum, this requires the property owner to inspect their property and repair any conditions that could prove dangerous to any visitors. If repairs are unable to be made, then the property owner should warn any visitors about the hazard. If a property owner is aware of a dangerous condition and decides to ignore it, they could be held liable for any injuries that occur.
Should You Seek Medical Attention If You Are Injured on a Florida Property?
It should go without mentioning that if you are injured – whether it be a slip and fall accident, swimming pool injury, or other accident – you should seek medical attention. The full extent of an injury is not always immediately apparent. There are times, especially if you injured your back or neck that it will take days, weeks, or even months before you show any noticeable symptoms. If you delay in receiving any medical treatment for that length of time, it will be difficult to trace your injury back to your accident. If you do not see a doctor immediately, you should not delay more than 24 or 48 hours. Any gap between getting medical treatment and the accident could reduce your chances of prevailing in a personal injury lawsuit.
The Importance of Evidence of a Florida Property in a Personal Injury Lawsuit
In any lawsuit, good evidence is critical. If you are able and have access to a camera, you should take pictures of the scene of your accident. If a set of stairs were in an unreasonably unsafe condition, photographs of the staircase could be much more convincing than a verbal description of the site. In some cases, the owner of a property could fix the hazardous condition after your accident. Taking pictures of the site at the time of the accident will preserve the exact state of the area. Therefore, if you can, you should ensure that any photo taken is correctly time and date stamped.
Information is also crucial in any Florida premises liability lawsuit. If anyone saw your accident, be sure to get their name, phone number, and email address. Eyewitness testimony is vital in describing any hazardous condition of the property. If you are in a place of business and there are cameras, inform the manager that you want the video preserved. You should do this in front of at least one witness. Also, preserve any other evidence you can, including your clothes. They should be kept in a safe place and not washed.
Be sure to save all your bills for medical expenses or any other costs, such as parking fees, that are associated with your injury. Economic damages are recoverable in a Florida lawsuit, and you want to ensure you have a complete list of all the costs you incurred.
Filing a Police Report or an Accident Report with a Florida Business
In some situations, you might want to file a police report of the accident. This is especially the case if you were injured in a public space. If you were hurt at a friend’s or neighbor’s, then it might be uncomfortable to contact the police. However, if this is the case, you should be sure to get a medical report if you received treatment in an ambulance or emergency room.
When an accident occurs at a business, you should file an accident report with the manager or owner. The incident report will help provide a contemporaneous description of the property and your accident.
Should You Speak with an Insurance Company or Contact an Attorney?
You should not speak with an insurance company before talking with our experienced Miami personal injury attorney. Insurance providers are working to minimize their liability and are looking to find grounds to deny your claim or defend a potential lawsuit. Anything you say to an insurance agent could come back to hurt you in a lawsuit. A simple statement such as “I was fine after the fall” could be evidence that your injuries were not related to your accident. While it should go without saying that you should not sign any document the insurance company provides, depositing a check could be construed as agreeing to a settlement offer. It is crucial to have our office representing you to help ensure you do not make a costly error.
Call Our Florida Personal Injury and Premises Liability Attorney Today
Whether you are injured at a local business or in a friend’s home, you should not be responsible for the resulting medical expenses and other costs associated with your injury. Prosper Shaked is an experienced personal injury attorney who understands Florida’s complex premises liability laws and can help you fight for the compensation you deserve. To schedule a free consultation to review your case, call Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys PA at (305) 694-2676.