What You Have to Prove in a Slip-and-Fall Claim
Each slip-and-fall case is unique and will have its own requirements and challenges. That said, there are some common elements to most slip-and-fall cases. These elements typically include establishing a duty, a breach of duty, a link between that breach and your injuries, and your injuries themselves. You’ll have to prove each element for a case to succeed.
That means that the defendant was obligated to protect you and keep you safe from harm on their premises. For example, a store owes a duty to customers to keep their floors safe from slipping hazards. If a jar falls and breaks, creating a hazard, the store owner has a duty to clean the spill quickly, for example.
An example of this would be if a store knows – or should have known – about a slipping hazard but does nothing to clean it up. They knew about a dangerous condition, and they did nothing to remedy it. When an individual or an organization creates or allows dangerous conditions, they may have breached their duty to you.
In short, you’ll need to show that the breach of duty resulted in your injury. For example, if you’re in a store and you slip on a spill that was unmarked, you may be able to show that the slippery floor caused your fall.
Witness statements, medical records, photographs of torn clothing, broken cell phones, and other evidence may support your claim. Injuries from a slip-and-fall can be severe and may need detailed medical documentation. You may also need to provide documentation of your lost wages and other losses you suffered due to the accident.
Tips for Protecting Your Rights After a Fall
After an accident, you may be unsure of what happened, or how you’ll recover. When you suffer injuries from a slip-and-fall, follow these tips to help you protect your rights:
While some injuries are serious and obviously require immediate emergency attention, others may seem less severe, and you may think you don’t need treatment. Regardless of whether you think your injuries are minor, you should contact a medical professional and get a full evaluation. Many injuries, such as those to soft tissue, may not show up for a while. A medical examination will catch problems and document them for you.
After an accident, tell the property owner or manager where and when the accident happened. Don’t get into the details of what happened, but do let them know an accident occurred. Notice to the property owner or manager is an important piece of a claim, so don’t neglect it.
They may be torn, stained, and unsuitable for use. However, they may provide important information for your case. Don’t wash them or repair them. Store them in a sealed container instead.
The condition of the accident site may change soon after you leave, so the more evidence you can gather at the time of the accident, the better. Pictures after an accident will provide your claim with evidence about why the accident happened, and who may be responsible. Remember that it’s always better to take too many photos than not enough.
They’re not gathering your statements because it’s good for you. They’re gathering them as part of their investigation in an effort to pay as little as possible on your claim. Any ambiguity or uncertainty in your statement could be used against you.
After medical treatment, do everything the doctors say you need for your care, and make sure you attend every medical appointment. When you care for yourself, you help your health and your claim.
A slip-and-fall attorney can manage your claim from day one, handle any discussions with insurance companies, and work tirelessly for the recovery that you deserve. A lawyer can also advise you on which actions to take, and how your case may develop.
Compensation After a Serious Fall
After a serious fall, you may require medical treatment. The cost of that treatment can add up fast to thousands and thousands of dollars. Slip-and-fall accidents can result in severe injuries including head injuries, broken bones, internal injuries, nerve damage, and many others. Your injuries may require immediate emergency treatment, and they may require therapy and other treatment in the future.
Because slip-and-fall injuries can result in such serious problems, you may have to miss work while you heal. A claim may include the wages and income you miss because of the accident. The claim may also seek compensation for lost wages your injury may cost you in the future.
You may be stuck with physical pain that can disrupt your life and harm your health. You may also face mental anguish due to the pain of the accident, and lingering problems such as disfigurement. These are serious injuries with lasting consequences, so it’s important to build a strong case that can support them. A lawyer can listen to you and help you understand what options for compensation may be available.
After a slip-and-fall, your clothing may be torn, stained, or damaged beyond repair. Your cell phone and other personal objects may have been damaged or destroyed too. A claim can seek compensation for your items that were damaged or destroyed due to the accident.
When a defendant’s actions were intentional or reckless, these additional damages may be available. A slip and fall attorney in Florida can review your case and help you understand if you may be entitled to punitive damages.
Common Causes of Slip-and-Fall Accidents in Florida
Slip-and-fall accidents are often preventable accidents. Some of the most common causes of these accidents include:
Flooring should be suitable for use by guests. For example, ramps should use a non-slip surface to prevent any accidents. If a business or individual fails to use an appropriate flooring type, they may be liable for accidents that occur.
Stairs and ramps are required to have handrails for people to hold on to. In some cases, the handrails are damaged and cannot bear a person’s weight. In other cases, handrails are absent altogether. When handrails fail or are missing, the owners may be liable.
Those managing a facility should keep it safe for visitors. If they fail to perform maintenance, hazardous conditions can arise.
At some properties, the owners may not clean the floors appropriately. They may not adequately clean up spills, or they may apply too much soap and wax, leading to dangerous conditions.
Adequate lighting can help guests identify and avoid danger. When the lighting is inadequate, accidents may result.