Slip and fall accidents can happen anywhere: in homes, stores, parking lots, restaurants, sidewalks, and other public spaces. Regardless of where you or your loved one fell, you may be entitled to compensation if the accident resulted from another party’s negligence.
Falls often result in severe injuries and expensive medical bills. South Florida property owners and operators are often responsible for the dangerous conditions that lead to these incidents. For help with your premises liability claim, contact a Fort Myers slip-and-fall injury lawyer today.
Why Do I Need a Lawyer to Help Me After My Fort Myers Slip and Fall Accident?
At first glance, slip-and-fall cases may appear simple and clear-cut: A person falls down, suffers injuries, and files an insurance claim against the property owner. However, challenges often arise when trying to prove your claim to an insurance company or a court to recover compensation.
Proving your Case
While it might seem like the insurance company is trying to help you, this could not be further from the truth. Unfortunately, insurance companies mainly care about protecting their bottom line.
Having a personal injury attorney who knows the tricks insurance carriers play to avoid paying a claim will work to your advantage. We are familiar with these tactics and how to defend against them.
However, before we file a claim on your behalf, we must determine who is liable for your injuries. Identifying the property owner as the liable party may require extra effort in some cases.
For instance, a large corporation in another state or country may own the property of the local business where your injury occurred. This situation could complicate things and prolong your case.
Our Fort Myers slip-and-fall injury attorneys have the research skills and resources to determine a property owner’s identity, regardless of location. When you hire us, we’ll get to work immediately, determining liability and gathering evidence against the at-fault party.
For a free legal consultation with a slip and fall accidents lawyer serving Fort Myers, 800-747-3733
Were You On the Property Lawfully?
Whether or not a property owner is responsible for injuries on the property also depends on what “category” the visitor falls into. Florida’s premises liability law holds property owners liable for injuries to an “invitee” (someone the owner invites onto the property) and a “licensee” (someone the owner permits on the property).
For instance, premises liability law would consider a shopper at a grocery store an invitee because that person plans to conduct business. The law considers a person the grocery store permits to enter the property to use the restroom but who has no intention of buying groceries a licensee.
If you were trespassing on the property at the time of your injury, recovering compensation will be difficult. Our Fort Myers team will work with you to determine your status at the time of the accident.
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What Do I Need To Prove To Hold the Property Owner Liable for My Injuries?
A person who falls is not automatically eligible for financial compensation. To recover damages for your slip-and-fall injuries, we must prove the following four elements of negligence:
Duty of Care
Business owners and operators have to keep their property reasonably safe for visitors. For instance, a grocery store has a legal obligation to maintain a safe environment for shoppers.
Breach of Duty
Property owners are required to keep their properties in a safe condition. However, they breach their duty of care when a safety issue occurs. This is especially true when they fail to remedy the situation or make visitors aware of the hazard so they can avoid injuring themselves.
For example, a retail store owner sees torn carpet in the middle of the store. If this individual does not replace or warn customers about it, they have breached their duty of care.
Surveillance video and eyewitness testimony will be especially helpful in establishing this element.
If owners fail to maintain their property or correct safety hazards they know or should have known about, and the hazards injure visitors, they may be held responsible for the visitors’ injuries.
The owner or operator might be liable if visitors suffered damages due to their injuries. For instance, if you tripped over a torn carpet and hit your head, you sustained damages by having to get medical treatment. You also lost your regular income if your injuries prevented you from working.
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What Type of Proof Do I Need To Provide for My Insurance Claim?
With slip-and-fall accidents, Florida’s negligence law requires injury victims to prove that the business where the accident occurred knew, or should have known, about a condition that placed visitors in danger but failed to remedy it.
This aspect of the case can be complicated for an injury victim seeking compensation alone. However, our law firm has multiple resources and legal strategies we can use to investigate injury claims.
For instance, our investigative team can show that a company or store had enough time to find out about hazardous conditions if it used reasonable care. We gather evidence such as:
- Federal and state safety complaints filed against the store or company
- Internal injury incident reports proving that other slip-and-fall accidents occurred
- Surveillance camera videos
- Photos from the accident scene
- Employee statements about the conditions
- Eyewitnesses statements
The type and amount of information and documentation we gather for your claim depends on the circumstances surrounding your slip-and-fall incident.
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What Are Some Common Injuries Sustained in Falls?
While minor injuries are common, slip-and-fall accidents can sometimes cause serious, life-altering injuries. These dangerous accidents can cause:
- Back and neck injuries
- Head injuries, including traumatic brain injuries
- Severe lacerations
- Permanent scarring
Severe injuries may require emergency medical care. Such costs can reach thousands of dollars. If you can’t work, medical costs and lost income will mount. Your injuries could also have devastating long-term effects, and you shouldn’t have to pay for someone else’s negligence.
In some cases, slip-and-falls lead to death. We extend our deepest condolences if you have recently lost a loved one in a fatal accident. While nothing can ever make up for your loss, you may be entitled to financial compensation for medical bills, funeral expenses, and the loss of companionship.
A wrongful death action allows surviving family members to pursue these damages after losing a loved one. Florida statutes allow the family to recover compensation only when their family member dies due to another’s negligent act or omission.
One of our Fort Myers wrongful death lawyers can explain your legal options and handle your case while you grieve. We want you to relax and focus on honoring your loved one’s memory.
What Type of Damages Can I Ask For After a Fort Myers Slip and Fall Accident?
Every case is different and will depend on various factors, such as the severity of your injuries. However, in a Florida slip and fall accident, you may seek compensation or damages for:
- Medical bills.
- Lost wages.
- Loss of earning capacity (if you cannot return to work or if you must take a lower-paying job).
- In-patient rehabilitation.
- Routine visits to medical specialists.
- Home health care.
- In-home medical supplies.
Compensation is also available for non-monetary or intangible damages, such as the physical and emotional pain and suffering you experienced due to your injuries.
When Should I File an Insurance Claim?
You should file an insurance claim as soon as possible. If you hire one of our personal injury lawyers, we will file your claim within the allowable time frame. We will also negotiate your claim with the liable party’s insurance company to get the most compensation under the law.
Lastly, we will take your case to court if we cannot reach an agreement with the insurer. Remember, time is of the essence in these cases. Under Florida personal injury law, you must file a personal injury lawsuit four years from your accident date.
This time limit is outlined in Florida Statutes§ 95.11. Because of this and other deadlines, it is best to contact a qualified personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Your lawyer can get things started and ensure you file on time.
Should I Accept the Settlement?
If you’ve been injured in an accident, chances are you’ll receive a settlement offer from the insurance company of the property owners. But if you settle for less than you deserve, you could lose out on future claims. Whether you accept a settlement depends on several factors.
First, you must determine whether the insurance company’s initial offer is fair. If it isn’t, there’s no reason to accept it. A personal injury lawyer can help you review the offer. It’s your attorney’s job to evaluate your claim, gather evidence, and build a solid case that the insurance company can’t ignore.
In general, victims of slip and fall injuries who have hired an accident attorney receive more compensation after paying fees than those who negotiate directly with the insurance company. Insurance settlements often fail to account for lost wages, pain and suffering, and future medical costs.
Call Our Fort Myers Personal Injury Lawyers for a Complimentary Case Review
At Anidjar & Levine, we are committed to assisting injured accident victims. We are here to protect your rights and help you recover physically and financially from your injuries. Our initial consultation is free; we only get paid when we win your case.
We use our extensive knowledge of Florida personal injury law to your advantage. Let us put our experience and resources to work in your personal injury or wrongful death case. Contact us today to speak to a slip-and-fall accident lawyer in Fort Myers.
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