Getting injured from a slip and fall accident is something that rarely crosses our minds, but reports show that these types of accidents account for about 21% of Emergency Room visits in the U.S. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), one in five falls lead to severe injuries. Slip and fall accidents are often overlooked, but they are more common than most people think. Slipping on a wet floor at work or any other premises could result in a fall severely harms you.
When you slip and fall, it is easy to blame it on your clumsiness, but in most cases, these accidents are a result of the negligent or reckless actions of the property owner. That’s why you should never ignore the cause and seek legal advice. Our Hollywood slip and fall lawyers have vast experience in this field and will be able to help you determine whether you have a case and the party that should be held liable.
In Hollywood, all landlords and property owners owe their visitors and tenants a duty to ensure safe conditions within their premises. Failure to ascertain this puts people’s lives in danger and so, they can be held liable for any resulting accidents, including slips and falls. At Klotzman Law Firm, we have a team dedicated to protecting the rights of our clients. We will work to hold the parties at fault accountable and pursue the compensation you deserve. Call us today at 954-915-7405 to get started.
What are the Most Common Slip & Fall Accidents?
Most of the slip and fall accidents can be prevented, but all too often individuals and businesses do not take the right precautions to ensure their premises are safe for tenants, customers, employees, and visitors. A majority of these accidents are caused by:
Wet and slippery floors- Floors can become wet and slippery because of a spill, leaky pipe, snow, or rain. The surface may also be naturally slippery with glass and polished stone floors being great examples.
Uneven or unstable surfaces- Buildings are expected to keep their walkways secure and safe for everyone, especially those that experience heavy traffic. Broken tiles, holes, and uneven concrete surfaces are examples of tripping hazards that can lead to falls and serious injuries.
Poorly lit, cluttered, or disorderly walkways and hallways. If a building doesn’t maintain a clean and orderly appearance, clutter accumulates in no time, creating a hazard where a person can easily trip and fall.
Dangerous stairs and ramps. Poorly maintained or structurally unfit ramps and staircases can create a tripping hazard.
Structural defects and poor maintenance such as potholes in parking lots and torn carpeting can result in slip/trip and fall accidents.
Failure to install gutters, storm drains, and anti-slip devices.
Failure to erect signs or limit access to places with any of the conditions mentioned above.
How Can a Slip and Fall Attorney Help With Your Claim?
After sustaining bodily harm from a slip and fall accident, you may want to make the claim on your own thinking it’s easy and you don’t have to pay legal fees. However, if you want the best chances of succeeding, that’s not the path you’ll want to take. Just like any other personal injury claim, you need to prove liability. This calls for concrete evidence showing that the property owner, business owner, or another party was negligent or careless and didn’t implement safe conditions, which led to your slip and fall accident.
With the many nuances that come into play, proving liability is never a walk in the park. With a lawyer by your side, however, the process becomes more streamlined and improves the chances of a successful claim. Some of the areas where a Hollywood slip and fall accident lawyer comes in handy include:
(i) Case Investigation
Your lawyer will conduct a comprehensive investigation of your incident and garner all the necessary evidence. This involves gaining access to security camera footage to ascertain the premise’s unsafe condition and whether or not the owner was aware. In addition, they will talk to any witnesses present at the scene and find out if there have been similar reports in the past. By doing this, they will ensure you have a solid claim against the building owner.
(ii) Claim Evaluation
There are many recoverable damages in slip and fall claims including medical expenses, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, emotional distress, pain, etc. Some are easy to calculate while others are not due to their subjective nature. Your attorney will assess your claim and come up with a number that will handle most of your hurdles and losses.
(iii) Dealing with Insurers
When it comes to personal injury claims, insurance providers are never your friend. They are in business and so, they will gravitate towards protecting their interests. This means employing strategies that nullify your claim or result in paying the least amount of compensation possible.
(iv) Act as Your Advocate
A competent slip and fall attorney will ensure that all due procedures and deadlines are met. They will also act as your advocate throughout the whole claims process. While most cases end during the negotiation stage, you may not reach a fair settlement agreement, meaning that you’ll have to go to court. Your lawyer will be instrumental in preparing the claim for trial and representing you accordingly.
What Should You Do After a Slip & Fall Accident?
Following a slip and fall accident on another party’s premises, you should be your best advocate and take the following steps:
Seek Medical Attention
If you get injured after a slip and fall accident, you should seek immediate medical attention. If it is an emergency, contact 911 for an ambulance dispatch. However, if it is a minor injury, you can visit your GP. Just ensure you do it as soon as possible to increase your chances of recovery and also tip the odds in your favor if you decide to make a claim.
Take Photos and Videos
If possible, record and take photos of your injuries and accident scene. This is crucial as it will help prove that the building’s condition actually led to the slip and fall. After all, it can be hard to deny something that has been caught on camera.
Report the Accident
If you have slipped and fallen at work, report it to your supervisor or employer. If the accident happened in a business establishment, report it to the manager before leaving. The report not only creates a record of the incident but also puts the building owners on notice about any claim you may file.
Collect Names and Contact Details of Witnesses
If there were any people who saw the accident, ensure you collect their names and contact details. Witnesses often prove to be invaluable when it comes to proving liability. In addition, they help protect your rights by solidifying your version of the story.
If Possible, See Whether the Problem Can be Addressed Immediately
To protect others from going down the same road as you, check to see whether the issues can be addressed immediately. However, only do this after taking photos and videos of the condition or scene.
Call a Slip & Fall Accident Attorney
Slip and fall accidents can be hard to prove and tend to be viewed as a means to scam business establishments. Given the slim chances of proving liability and getting compensated, it is in your best interest to hire a reputable slip and fall accident lawyer. They have the necessary skills and expertise to make a solid case on your behalf. They will also tell you whether you have a valid claim so that you do not waste your time and energy.
How is a Slip & Fall Accident Proved?
Property owners in Hollywood and other cities across Florida are obligated to keep their establishments on a safety level that’s reasonable and fix any existing dangerous conditions in a timely fashion. Unfortunately, when an accident occurs, proving that the property owner was liable can be tricky. They usually defend themselves by claiming that the victim had a role to play in the accident. In order to prove negligence, you are required to show that:
- The owner of the establishment knew about the dangerous condition or should have been aware of it.
- The owner of the establishment created the dangerous condition
- The owner of the establishment was aware of the situation but did not take the necessary steps to remedy or warn people about it.
- You were not aware of the dangerous situation, meaning there were no warning signs, or could not see it in time.
Keep in mind that each slip and fall accident case varies and there are different factors that may affect the outcome of your claim. Your lawyer will look into the specifics and advice you on the best way forward.
How is Liability Determined in a Hollywood Slip & Fall Claim?
It is important to note that you are not automatically entitled to compensation following a slip and fall injury at another party’s establishment. In order to be eligible for compensation, you need to show that one or more parties were directly responsible for the accident and the resulting injuries.
Determining liability can be complex and involves proving various elements of negligence. That’s why you need top-tier legal representation. The most important aspects of negligence include:
(i) Duty of Care
Property managers, owners, and occupiers owe their visitors, guests, and employees a duty of care while in their establishments. Fulfilling this duty of care entails keeping the premises free of dangers or conditions that may lead to injury. Business owners, for example, have a duty to keep their floors clean and well-maintained to keep their customers reasonably safe from slip and fall accidents.
(ii) Breach of Duty
The next element of proving negligence involves showing that the defendant indeed failed to fulfill their duty of care. An example is a grocery store owner failing to put up a sign indicating the floor is wet or slippery. If a customer comes in, falls, and sustains a severe injury, then they would have the legal grounds to file a personal injury claim.
Next, you need to prove that the defendant’s actions or lack thereof were the direct cause of the accident. Proving liability in a slip and fall accident involves presenting evidence that shows the party at-fault negligent acts are solely responsible for your injuries and losses.
Lastly, you need to show that you actually suffered harm. Even if the owner, occupier, or manager failed to fulfill their duty of care, filing a lawsuit against them will be fruitless if you did not experience physical, emotional, or financial harm from the accident. Your lawyer should be able to determine all the damages incurred in order to ensure you have a valid case.
Duty of Care in Slip & Fall Accident Claims
Slip and fall cases fall under the “premises liability” umbrella. These cases focus on whether the person in charge of the establishment breached their duty. The duty of a property owner, manager, or occupier is to protect against, repair, or warn about any known or reasonably foreseeable dangers.
As you file a slip and fall accident case, the legal team or insurance company representing the property owner, manager, or occupier may pose some questions in an attempt to absolve their client of the legal duty to ensure the safety of visitors, customers, or employees.
Some of the questions are:
- Did you have a valid reason to be on the property during the time of the slip and fall accident?
- Would a reasonably cautious person (not distracted by anything), who found themselves in the same situation have seen and avoided the dangerous or hazardous condition?
- Were you doing anything that may have contributed to the accident and the injuries as well?
- Did the property occupier, manager, or owner provide a warning regarding the condition that resulted in the slip and fall accident?
How Much is Your Slip and Fall Accident Claim in Hollywood Worth?
When it comes to making a claim, it is a no-brainer that the amount you are entitled to as a settlement is the most important thing you will want to figure out. Sadly, this is not always as easy or straightforward as all of us would like. Determining how much a slip and fall accident claim is worth depends on a vast array of factors. Each accident is unique, including its extent.
However, it is still advisable to seek a rough estimate of the claim to determine whether it is really worth pursuing. This is where an experienced personal injury lawyer becomes invaluable again. A seasoned legal representative will factor in elements like your medical bills, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, property damage, and out-of-pocket expenses resulting from the accident. They will also consider non-monetary losses like loss of companionship, loss of consortium, emotional trauma, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment in life, etc. This will help them come up with a figure that should not be too far from what you deserve
What is the Statute of Limits for Slip and Fall Claims in Florida?
In the state of Florida, you have a time limit of four years from the date of the accident to file a claim. Similar to other personal injury cases, going past this deadline strips you of the right to make a legal claim.
Four years may seem like more than adequate time to make a personal injury claim, but you do not want to wait. The longer you wait, the more your evidence will fade. Witnesses are also likely to forget the specific details of the accident and the party responsible is bound to come up with even trickier tactics to avoid compensation.
To avoid the tampering of evidence, involve your attorney as soon as possible. This allows you to build a strong case from the onset and recover from your injuries knowing that your attorney is handling all the necessary work.
Hire a Professional Hollywood Slip & Fall Accident Attorney Today!
Slip and fall accidents are responsible for a huge percentage of ER visits across the United States. An unexpected fall can lead to all kinds of injuries, some of which can affect your life permanently. If the accident was due to the negligent actions of another party, do not allow yourself to suffer. Florida has laws in place that holds property owners, occupiers, managers, and other parties accountable in case of such accidents.
Klotzman Law Firm firm has been helping slip and fall accident victims across Hollywood seek justice and pursue the compensation they deserve. Our team is adequately prepared to help throughout the entire claims process. We employ a tough and resilient approach in each case no matter the party we are against. Our results have won us a spot as one of the most reliable firms in Florida. We operate on a contingency basis, meaning you do not have to worry about legal fees. Call us today at 954-915-7405 to begin the journey toward justice.