Property managers and owners are required by law to ensure that their premises are safe for visitors. If they are careless and don’t deal with wet floors and other hazards, visitors could fall and suffer injuries. If this happens, you may be eligible to recover compensation for your damages, including your medical bills, pain and suffering you experienced, and lost wages from time away from work.
It’s important to understand that there are many ways you can get injured in a slip and fall accident, and some of these accidents are not necessarily a result of negligence. At Steinberg Law, our Delray Beach personal injury lawyers have the resources and experience to help determine exactly who is responsible and whether you have a case or not.
Schedule a free, no-obligation case evaluation and consultation with a slip and fall lawyer in Delray Beach. You can get in touch with us by calling 877-783-4611 today or completing our contact form.
What Are the Most Common Slip and Fall Accidents?
Slip and fall accidents can occur almost anywhere. Whether you’re walking on public property or visiting someone’s home, property owners and managers are responsible for maintaining reasonable safety standards to ensure your safety. This entails identifying any hazards and fixing them promptly.
Many hazards can make a property dangerous. The following list gives some common examples.
- Structural faults and improper maintenance that cause hazards like potholes in streets or parking lots, uneven steps, cracked sidewalks, or torn carpeting.
- Faulty elevators, escalators, or broken staircases, such as missing handrails.
- Unlit walkways or hallways.
- Dangerous debris like tree stumps, etc. that are not properly cleaned up.
- Failing to get rid of spills inside facilities like hospitals, nursing homes, retail stores, etc.
- Exposed electrical wires.
- Wet floors or walkways.
- Weather-related hazards like snow or ice that haven’t been gotten rid of.
- Failing to install safety-related features like gutters, storm drains, or anti-slip measures.
- Not placing signs and warnings or not restricting access to areas when dangerous conditions exist.
Things like replacing a worn carpet might seem like a superficial or cosmetic concern. But when you consider that a small snag could cause a visitor to trip, you can see why property owners, businesses, and landlords have to prioritize fixing anything that could be a safety concern.
How Can a Slip and Fall Lawyer in Delray Beach Help Me?
A slip and fall lawyer can help you seek financial compensation for your losses if you or a loved one was injured on someone else’s property.
Some people mistakenly believe that they only need to hire a lawyer if the case goes to trial. However, you have the right to and should seek a lawyer from the beginning of the case, which usually starts with filing an insurance claim.
Here are some of the things a slip and fall attorney can help you with during your case.
An attorney can help to investigate your case and establish liability on the part of the property owner or the occupier. They can assess the cause of your slip and fall and demonstrate how the manager or the property owner was negligent in failing to fix the issue that led to your injuries.
This means showing that the property owner was aware of the hazard or would have been if he/she was taking proper care of the premises. If the defendant didn’t take reasonable action to address it promptly, they can be held liable for your losses.
For instance, a lawyer will search for reports of similar accidents that have occurred in the past, security footage at a business, and other evidence.
In a lot of cases, insurance companies will offer a prompt initial settlement once the victim makes a claim. A lawyer will help you make sure that this settlement offer can adequately cover all your current and future damages.
In case the accident left you temporarily or permanently disabled or unable to go to work or work at the same capacity as before, an attorney can help negotiate for an amount that will cover the cost of the diminished earning capacity, not to mention any ongoing treatment.
Represent You if Your Case Goes to Trial
If negotiations with the insurance company are unsuccessful, your slip-and-fall attorney can help you file a lawsuit. They can help you ensure that you meet all the deadlines and that all the paperwork is taken care of. An attorney can also represent your best interest to a judge and jury.
If you or a loved one suffered a slip and fall accident, you might have a valid premises liability lawsuit. A slip and fall attorney at Steinberg Law can handle your case and represent you in court if necessary.
What Steps Can Be Taken to Help a Slip and Fall Case?
One of the best things you can do following a slip and fall accident is to protect your legal interests. You can be your best advocate. We recommend taking the following steps after an accident.
Seek Medical Attention
Along with treating your injuries, a doctor’s examination will document the fact that you got hurt in the slip and fall accident. The records will serve as crucial evidence when you file your claim. It’s also important to follow your doctor’s orders for treatment. If you don’t seek treatment immediately after the accident, the defendant side might argue that you were not hurt.
Take All the Photos You Can at the Time
If are hurt in a slip and fall accident but fail to capture any evidence of what happened by taking videos and photos, you can be sure that the property manager or owner will fix it. Plus, even if there was surveillance footage, it will be gone quickly, and so will the dangerous condition.
Be sure to take all the photos and videos you can immediately after the accident, making sure you capture the specific hazard that caused it.
Report the Incident to a Supervisor or Manager
Don’t make the mistake of attempting to walk off your injury and putting on a brave face if you’re hurt. You should instead report the incident immediately to the business manager or property owner.
You don’t need to cast blame. Just make sure that you have made them aware of your injuries and the hazard that caused them. Once you file the report, make sure you get a copy from the business.
Write the Names and Numbers of Witnesses
Is there anyone who witnessed your slip and fall accident or offered to help you after the incident? Make sure you note down their contact information, including names, phone numbers, email addresses, and physical addresses that can help you track them down later.
If you are with anyone, such as a friend or family member, ask them to help you record their statements using your smartphone.
If You Can, See If the Problem Is Addressed Right Away
If possible, make sure the hazard that led to the accident is addressed as soon as possible, to prevent future injuries. However, you only have to do this once you have evidence that proves the existence of the hazardous condition in the first place.
Contact a Slip and Fall Lawyer
You should always call a lawyer as soon as possible after a slip and fall accident to ensure your rights are well protected and that you’re compensated for your injuries. Our Delray Beach slip and fall lawyers will handle your case and demonstrate how the property owner was at fault to help you recover compensation for the damages you incurred.
How Can a Slip and Fall Accident Be Proved?
Proving liability or fault in a slip and fall accident case can be challenging. You have to provide clear evidence that the property owner was negligent in their actions. You generally have to prove the following elements.
There Was a Hazardous Condition on the Property.
Just because you got injured on someone else’s property doesn’t mean the owner is automatically liable for your damages. You need to demonstrate that the dangerous conditions existed on the property and the hazard exposed you to an unreasonable risk of injury.
The Property Owner Knew About This or Should Have Known.
You must also prove the property owner knew about or should have reasonably been aware of the hazard by the time the incident occurred. You can do this by, for instance, demonstrating how employees on the property had been close to the hazard and should have already seen and addressed it.
Alternatively, you could prove that the hazard was there for such a long time and the defendant should have discovered it should they have exercised a reasonable level of care.
You Were Unaware of the Danger.
You also need to show that as a visitor, you were not aware of the hazard existing on the premises, and you wouldn’t have reasonably avoided it. Your lack of knowledge matters a lot. You need to show that no signs or warnings were posted, or that you couldn’t have seen them in time.
How Is Liability Determined in a Delray Beach Slip and Fall Case?
Slip and fall cases are usually governed under premises liability law. Property owners in Florida have the legal responsibility to maintain their property properly. They can be held liable if they are found negligent by allowing hazards to exist.
Every slip and fall case is based on these questions to establish who’s liable:
- Was there a good reason to be on the premises at the time of the accident?
- Would another person of reasonable caution have noticed the hazard and avoided it if they were not distracted in any way?
- Were there any warnings of the hazard that led to your slip and fall incident?
- Were you doing anything that contributed to the accident?
Comparative Negligence Doctrine and How It’s Likely to Affect Your Case
The comparative negligence doctrine is mainly used in personal injury cases to establish what percentage of responsibility lies with the defendant and what percentage lies with the plaintiff. Florida uses a version called pure comparative negligence.
Under this doctrine, the damages awarded to the plaintiff are reduced based on the percentage of fault they contributed to the accident. Unlike in other states, the injured party can still seek compensation even if she/he is 50% or more at fault.
How Much Is My Slip and Fall Case Worth?
Every slip and fall accident is different, meaning it can be difficult to tell just how much your case is worth without a full case review. A variety of factors will affect the actual amount of compensation.
Some of the things that will likely affect your case worth include:
- The percentage of fault the property owner had in the accident
- How much wages or income you lost as a result of the accident
- The extent of your injuries
- The extent of your pain and suffering
- The treatment you need to address your injuries
- Whether you suffered any temporary or permanent disability
Are There Any Time Limits for Filing a Slip and Fall Lawsuit?
With Florida’s statute of limitations, you are allowed four years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury lawsuit. If you don’t meet this deadline, you forfeit your rights to bring the case in the future.
Reach out to a Slip and Fall Lawyer in Delray Beach Today!
Did you or a loved one slip and fall on someone else’s property? You might be eligible for compensation for the injuries and damages you incurred.
At Steinberg Law, our lawyers have extensive experience handling slip and fall cases, as well as other personal injury claims. We will thoroughly investigate your claim and collect all evidence of negligence by the property owner or manager, and fight to get the full compensation you deserve.