A claim denial doesn't always mean you cannot receive compensation for damages. Learn the steps to take if your slip and fall claim gets denied.

Slip and fall accidents occur more frequently than you may realize, and the severity of the injuries is often understated. In severe situations, such incidents can result in catastrophic injuries such as head injuries, back injuries, torn ligaments, or even death.

If you were injured in a slip and fall accident that wasn't your fault, you're probably considering legal action to get the compensation you deserve, especially if you've been physically incapacitated and are unable to do work activities.

But what if you file a lawsuit and your slip and fall claim gets denied? Read on to explore what steps to take.

Florida Slip and Fall Laws

When you suffer injuries in a slip and fall accident on someone's property in Florida, it is best to look into your possibilities for recovering compensation for your losses, especially if the property owner was clearly negligent in connection with the event.

Whether you make a claim with the property owner's insurer or file a personal injury lawsuit, a variety of Florida statutes and legal standards will likely influence your case. The statute of limitations dates for initiating a slip and fall case and the shared blame restrictions may influence your opportunity to seek compensation. 

Comparative Negligence in Slip-and-Fall Injury Claims in Orlando, FL

In the event of a slip-and-fall mishap, the property owner will likely argue that you are somewhat to blame for the incident. You might lose a major portion of any court award if you share responsibility.

The property owner, for example, may argue that:

  • You entered an area of the property that's off-limits to visitors.
  • You lacked proper safety gear to enter a risky area.
  • Cones and signs were used to seal off the risky area.
  • You knowingly entered into an obviously risky situation.

It is important to know that if your Florida slip and fall case goes to trial, the comparative negligence rule applies to evaluate how much compensation you can collect from the property owner.

If a plaintiff is found to have contributed to the underlying accident, the damages they get will be lowered proportionately. In Florida, you could be 99% at fault and might still be able to recover 1 percent in damages. This is known as "pure comparative negligence."

Suppose the jury decides that you were 15 percent to blame for your fall. Besides that, they also conclude that you are entitled to $100,000 in damages. The property owner will be responsible for the remaining $85,000, which is the initial $100,000 minus the 15% of the blame you bear. 

Shared blame also applies if your Florida personal injury lawsuit involving a slip-and-fall goes to trial. The regulation will apply even if your case is never tried in court. Florida's shared-fault statutes make establishing the property owner's blame critical. 

Statute of Limitations on Slip and Fall Cases in Florida

In civil law, a statute of limitations is an enactment that sets a time restriction for bringing a case to court in the state. If you don't file by the deadline, your case will be dismissed, unless a special circumstance warrants an extension of time to file. There are a few exceptions to the statute of limitations in Florida, so consult with a slip and fall attorney in Orlando to learn more about them.

Slip-and-fall victims in Florida have four years from the accident date to file a claim against the property owner. To be on the safe side, file a personal injury case in Florida as soon as possible. If you wish to submit a claim for property damage caused by a slip and fall, the same four-year limit applies.

Whether the property owner was negligent or not, every Florida slip and fall case will almost probably rely on this question. A slip-and-fall case requires proof of negligence.

Can You Sue an Employer for a Slip and Fall Accident?

You could submit a worker's compensation claim with your employer if you were hurt in a slip and fall accident at work. Most enterprises have worker's compensation, which means you must make a claim with their worker's compensation insurance coverage. You have the right to submit a worker's compensation claim.

Also known as trip and fall accidents, slip and fall accidents are the most prevalent work-related injury in the United States. Most work-related injuries are covered by your employer's worker's compensation insurance coverage.

However, if your employer lacks worker's compensation insurance coverage, you can file a personal injury case to seek compensation for work-related accidents. It is best to consult a seasoned slip and fall attorney in Orlando to help build a strong case.

Common Reasons for Slip and Fall Claim Denial

There are several reasons why an insurance company decides to refuse your slip and fall accident claim, including:

  • Failure to provide enough proof to back your personal injury claim.
  • Fill out your claim incorrectly or omitting key pieces of information.
  • You request an exaggerated amount for compensation benefits.
  • Despite your best efforts, you did little to lessen the severity of your injuries.

All the scenarios above might lead to a denial of your claim by an insurer or possibly a judge or jury.

If a property owner or insurance company denies your injury claim or any responsibility for your slip and fall mishap, don't be shocked; they are looking out for their own interests.

What Are Your Options If Your Slip and Fall Claim Gets Denied?

Even if your slip and fall claim gets denied, it does not mean that you will not be compensated. In order to recoup some of your losses, you can try the following options:

Negotiating With the Insurance Adjuster

If an insurance adjuster tells you your accident is uninsured, you should proceed with negotiation. If you choose to work with a slip and fall attorney in Orlando, you should let your lawyer speak with the insurance adjuster on your behalf. Otherwise, you might accidentally say something that the adjuster will use to justify your claim denial.

Insist on receiving a formal explanation from the adjuster as to why the insurance company denied your claim. Once you get the reasons, you might respond by stating why the reasons don't apply to your situation or why the policy should still cover your injuries.

Do not hesitate to give more proof if an adjuster claims that you did not establish that the property owner was accountable for your injuries or provide enough information regarding damages. No matter how little the damage was, it may still be possible to obtain some compensation for your suffering. 

Send a certified letter to the adjuster stating that you requested a written explanation if the adjuster declines your claim, and attach this letter to your injury claim. The adjuster may take action because of this letter. If they fail to respond, it might be used as evidence of bad faith once you decide to sue later.

File a Complaint Against Another Responsible Party  

In some cases, an insurance adjuster is right to decline a claim. In this circumstance, you can submit a claim with another party's insurance carrier.

For example, if you got tripped by a rake and fell when walking on a park's grounds and the city denies your accident claim since it was not liable for the rake, which was on the park's grounds. The person or corporation that left the rake in the park might be held accountable for your injuries. There might also be a third-party contractor to blame.

File a Lawsuit  

If the claims adjuster in your case refuses to budge on their denial of your claim, you can take your case to court. Although the slip and fall claim was rejected by the responsible party's insurance company, you won't sue the insurance company. Instead, you will directly sue the at-fault individual or party.

Slip-and-fall accidents are best handled in the district or superior courts of the county where you live or where the accident happened.

In some cases, a small claims court lawsuit may be the best option for you if you're seeking a small sum of money. In most jurisdictions, small claims lawsuits have a monetary cap, and the regulations are designed to be as simple as possible for those who do not want to engage an attorney.

The litigation procedure outside of small claims courts may be expensive and time-consuming, with several phases and deadlines. So get legal advice from an experienced slip and fall attorney in Orlando.

Below is an overview of the legal litigation process:

  • Filing a plaintiff's complaints and the defendant providing answers.
  • The discovery process allows involved parties to investigate and gather evidence.
  • Parties can file motions to ask the judge to give directives on the case.
  • The trial phase, which may last for weeks.
  • Appeals process, where losing parties can file appeals. 

Many lawsuits settle out of court before the beginning of a trial.

Why You May Want a Slip and Fall Attorney in Orlando

If your slip and fall claim gets denied, an attorney can help you in various ways, such as:

  1. Establishing the value of your insurance claim.
  2. Representing you in court, if needed.
  3. Proving bad faith practices.

Most injury attorneys operate on a contingency fee basis, meaning you don't have to pay upfront legal fees. In case your claim fails, you won't have to pay a dime.

When you suffer injuries from a slip and fall accident, a slip and fall attorney in Orlando can help you understand the complex Florida state laws. They have insights into statutory laws and common laws that apply to such cases. Slip and fall attorneys can help strengthen your case and increase your chance of success.

Although slip and fall cases may be complex, you deserve justice. Call a slip and fall attorney in Orlando today to evaluate your case if you or a loved one were injured in a slip and fall incident.

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