Why you should call our Fort Lauderdale slip and fall lawyer. Slip and fall describes a personal injury where a person trips and falls on someone else's property and sustains minor or severe injuries. Slip and fall cases fall under a broader tort category known as premises liability. It means that the property is owned by someone else and not the victim. In Florida, slip and fall victims can file personal injury claims against the property owner. If you suffered an injury on another person's premises, our Fort Lauderdale slip and fall lawyers at VG Law would help you get the compensation you deserve.
After a slip and fall accident, several people sustain different types of injuries. It usually depends on the severity of the fall and the impact on the body. Slip and fall occurrences send people to hospital emergency rooms yearly, and they can lead to broken bones amid other severe bodily injuries.
Here are some of the most common injuries sustained in accidents of this nature.
A bone breaks when the body applies more pressure on it than it can withstand. A fall usually results in a stressful force on bones all over the body. Most broken bones affect the hip, waist, and ankle bone fractures in slip and fall accidents. Broken bones are more common among older adults because of the fragile state of their bodies.
However, your age does not have any legal consequence when filing a personal injury lawsuit. Even if the defendant proves that you're more fragile than someone else, and that's why the break happened, you're still entitled to financial compensation.
During a fall, you might take an uneven or unusual step. You might also attempt cushioning the fall by bringing out your arms. Either of the two scenarios might lead to a tear in the ligament of your wrist or ankles. The preceding would then result in a sprain or strain.
This injury type takes a long time to heal because ligaments don't receive a lot of blood. Thus, it might affect your life in a significant way. You may be unable to perform simple chores like buttoning a shirt, and walking would be difficult. This is why you should hire personal injury lawyers to help you sue the negligent property owner for your wounds and medical expenses.
When you fall on a slippery floor or snowy surfaces, you may twist as you land and injure your knee. Since knees are a complicated collection of bones and ligaments, you may hurt your medial collateral ligament (MCL) or anterior cruciate ligament (ACL).
The two take a long time to heal, meaning an accumulation of hospital bills. At worst, you can dislocate your ligament and may need knee reconstruction surgery. This also adds thousands of dollars to your medical bills.
Whether or not your head hits the ground in a fall, you can sustain a traumatic brain injury as long as the brain receives a jolt. It is quite dangerous, and often, victims of slip and fall do not realize they suffered the harm until later.
Injuries of this nature are harmful if you don't realize and treat them immediately. Thus, it is crucial to get medical care after falling on slippery surfaces or uneven surfaces. Getting a checkup also helps with premises liability claims. Plus, it is the proof you need to convince the landlord's insurance company that you suffered an injury from the fall.
Other common injuries sustained by slip and fall accident victims are shoulder dislocations, muscle strains, spinal cord injuries, and nerve damage. You can also sustain head injuries, a neck injury, soft tissue injuries, cuts, and bruises.
Because of the shock and commotion that accompanies slip and fall accidents, a victim might not remember every single detail of the accident. This usually has adverse consequences and affects their claim.
To ensure you have all you need for a successful personal injury claim, do the following:
Doing all these will help you have enough evidence to win your claim. If a person dies from injuries sustained in a slip and fall accident, their relatives can bring a wrongful death lawsuit.
Most slip and fall cases are due to the negligence of a property owner. Slip and fall accident victims can bring a personal injury claim against the landlord. But to succeed, several elements must be present to show that the property owners acted below the standard of care.
1. Owed Duty: Liked in most negligence lawsuits, you must show that the owner of the premises where the accident occurred owed you a duty of care. It involves keeping the premises in a safe condition for all business visitors and business invitees.
2. Damages: The hazardous condition on the premises must have led to the victim's injury. If the injured party cannot link their wound to fall, they will not succeed at their claim.
3. Knowledge: The victim must show that the responsible party had constructive knowledge of the foreign substances on the premises. They must show the person failed to do anything about it, and it led to their wound.
4. Dangerous or Hazardous Condition: A dangerous or hazardous condition covers wet floors, poor lighting, snowy surfaces, among others. One of the preceding must have led to the fall for your slip and fall claim to succeed.
After a successful claim, the insurance company or court can award economic and non-economic damages. If there is evidence of gross negligence on the property owner's part, you can get punitive damages. It is best to hire an experienced attorney from Fort Lauderdale to help you with the legal process.
There are different classes of people recognized as property owners under Florida Premises Liability Law. They include:
Commercial properties include public spaces like restaurants, malls, parking lots, or a store. For the owner of the commercial property to be liable in a personal injury lawsuit, you must prove that either them or their employee:
While this type of accident is not always simplified, the justice system applies the "Common sense" test in determining whether the property owner upheld their duty of care. Note that in slip and fall cases on commercial properties, several people can share liability. Thus, engage Fort Lauderdale accident lawyers to ensure you don't shortchange yourself.
In residential buildings, the landlord may be held liable for injuries sustained by tenants and third parties visiting their property. To hold a landlord liable for a slip and fall injury, you must show that:
If you suffer a slip and fall injury on a property owned by the local, state, or federal government, you can bring a personal injury claim. However, several rules like immunity provisions and stringent notice requirements can hinder your case. Therefore it would be best to secure Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorneys services.
While it appears that victims of slip and fall injuries mostly succeed in their claims, there are instances when they do not. This happens when you are a trespasser with no right to be on the property. The owner won't be liable and your claim will fail.
Also, your claim will fail in part if the property owner's insurance company proves that you share part of the liability in the accident. The argument falls under the doctrine of comparative negligence and contributory negligence. Florida follows the rule of pure comparative negligence.
Accident victims who share part of the liability can still receive fair compensation from the liable party. It doesn't matter if the degree of negligence exceeds 51%, but the money you get will be comparative to your degree of liability.
There is no hard and fast rule for calculating the settlement of a slip and fall injury claim. What influences the average settlement is the severity of the injury suffered and the cost of medical treatment. Other factors are future expenses and loss of wages in cases where the victim took a lot of time to recover.
Another determining factor is the person you're suing. It means that what a small business owner will pay is different from what a brand like Walmart will pay. Most settlements run between $3,000 to hundreds of thousands.
Note that you must bring your claim within four years of the incident. If not, it is barred by the Florida Statute of Limitations, and you'll lose your compensation.
Did you or anyone you know suffer an injury from a slip and fall accident? VG Law can help you. We have a team of experienced Fort Lauderdale slip and fall lawyers dedicated to being accessible to you. We will use a modern approach to get you the settlement you deserve. Contact us today for a free case review.