Slip and fall accidents happen every day. In fact, more than 1 million Americans will visit the Emergency Room this year because of an injury caused by a slip and fall. Slip and fall injuries can serious, often requiring extensive medical care and rehabilitation.
Whether you’ve suffered an injury at work or while on another person’s property, the attorneys at Lavent Law can help you recover the money you need after your slip and fall accident. Call today to request a free consultation with our Florida slip and fall accident attorneys.
Understanding Slip and Fall Accidents
Slip and fall accidents happen when a person loses his or her footing and falls to the ground. This can happen for a variety of reasons. Sometimes, we will simply stumble over our own feet and trip ourselves. Other times, falls will happen because of dangerous conditions and factors outside of our own control. When another person is responsible for causing your slip and fall, they can be held liable for any damages you suffer.
Where Do Slip and Fall Accidents Happen?
Slip and fall accidents are commonly reported at:
- Retail stores
- Shopping centers
- Grocery stores
- Parking lots
- Athletic stadiums
- Amusement parks, and
- The workplace.
What Causes Slip and Fall Accidents?
While almost anything can result in a slip and fall accident, some causes are reported more frequently than others. Commonly reported causes of slip and fall accidents in Florida include:
- Inadequate lighting
- Slippery conditions
- Uneven surfaces
- Broken or cracked floors
- Poorly designed stairs
- Rugs and carpets
- Electrical cords
- Broken or missing railings, and
Slip and Fall Accidents in the Workplace
Slip and fall accidents are the leading cause of injury in the workplace. Retail workers, construction workers, and manufacturing employees report slip and fall incidents most frequently. Slippery and oily conditions, working on elevated platforms, unorganized workspaces, and tools and debris are often cited as the leading cause of these workplace slip and fall accidents.
Workplace slip and fall accidents will typically be taken care of under the umbrella of workers’ compensation. In Florida, employers are required to carry a workers’ compensation insurance policy to cover the costs of injury and disability caused by workplace injuries.
Common Slip and Fall Accident Injuries
Approximately 20 to 30 percent of slip and fall accident victims will suffer a serious or moderately-serious injury. The most frequently reported slip and fall injuries include:
Broken Bones and Fractures: Fractures are perhaps the most commonly reported injury after a slip and fall, often affecting women and the elderly. Parts of the body that can be fractured in a slip and fall include the hips, legs, arms, hands, fingers, and pelvis.
Head Injury: Slip and falls victims are at risk of hitting their head on the ground or another object close to them during an accident. Strikes to the head can result in brain injuries, soft tissue damage, and internal bleeding.
Spinal Cord Injury: Sudden falls can result in trauma and damage to the spinal cord, leading to the loss of physical sensation, speech difficulties, sexual dysfunction, and paralysis.
Bruising: Sudden falls will often result in bruising, which is basically the pooling of blood beneath the skin’s surface. Bruises can indicate internal injuries and should be checked out by a medical professional.
Liability for Slip and Fall Accidents
Who is responsible for the injuries you suffer because of a slip and fall accident? In Florida, it is best to look to the person who owned and/or controlled the property you were on at the time of the accident. Property owners (and those in physical control of that property) have a legal obligation to make sure that their premises and land are safe. If you are injured on another person’s property, you may have grounds for a premises liability lawsuit.
In order to recover compensation from a premises liability lawsuit, you must be able to establish that you were injured because a property owner (1) owed you a duty of care and (2) breached that duty.
Duty of Care
The owner of the property where you were injured must have owed you a legal duty of care to protect you from harm. The level of care that a property owner owes you depends on your relationship with them.
- Visitor to Property Open the Public: Owners of stores, restaurants, and other places open to the public owe the highest duty of care to their guests. These owners must regularly inspect for hazards, fix them upon discovery, and warn guests of potential dangers.
- Visitor to Private Property: If you are invited over to someone’s home, that person has an obligation to make sure you are safe in their home. The duty of care they have, however, is not as intense as that held by public property owners. Instead, owners of private property must simply fix dangerous conditions when they find them and warn you of potential dangers.
- Trespasser: In Florida, property owners do not generally owe trespassers a duty of care. If you are injured in a slip and fall accident while trespassing, the property owner may not be responsible for your injuries.
Breach of Duty
Once you’ve established that a property owner had a duty to protect you from dangerous conditions on his or her property, you must prove that they failed to uphold this duty. What classifies as a “breach” will depend on the specific duty owed to you by the property owner. In most cases, failing to inspect, maintain, or warn about dangerous conditions would be considered a breach of duty.
Causation and Injury
In addition to proving that a property owner had and breached a duty of care, you must also be able to establish that his or her actions caused your slip and fall accident and injury.
Damages Available to Slip and Fall Accident Victims
What kind of compensation can you recover if you are injured in a slip and fall? Florida law generally allows accident victims to an award of economic and non-economic damages. However, the specific damages that will be available in your case will depend on the seriousness of your fall and the extent of your injuries.
Filing a personal injury lawsuit may allow slip and fall accident victims to recover compensation for:
- Medical bills
- Nursing care
- Lost wages
- Reduced earning capacity
- Pain and suffering, and
- Emotional distress.
When Can I File a Slip and Fall Claim?
In Florida, slip and fall accident victims have four years from the date of their accident to file a claim for damages. If you do not file your claim before the statute of limitations expires you will not be able to recover the money you need.
This is why it is imperative to speak with an attorney as soon as you can after your accident. Call the Florida slip and fall accident attorneys at Lavent Law today to get started on your personal injury claim. We will make sure that you get the money you deserve.
Experienced Florida Slip and Fall Attorney
Have you been injured in a Florida slip and fall accident? The attorneys at Lavent Law can help you hold a negligent property owner responsible for your injuries. We will aggressively pursue compensation on your behalf and will not rest until you are fairly compensated for your injuries. Call today to schedule a free consultation with one of our Florida slip and fall attorneys.