Many people think of slip and fall incidents as minor accidents until they suffer serious injuries in one. Like any other accident with major injuries, medical bills can pile up quickly, especially if you miss work while in the hospital, in a rehabilitation center, or undergoing outpatient treatment.
In some cases, you have legal recourse against the property owner or business whose manager failed to keep you safe during your visit. If they knew about the hazard and failed to fix the issue, a slip and fall lawyer in North Miami at the Law Firm of Anidjar & Levine can usually collect evidence to show they acted negligently and are therefore legally liable for your damages. To learn more about this process or to schedule a free case evaluation, contact us today at 800-747-3733.
Did Someone Else Cause My Slip and Fall Accident?
While a number of hazardous conditions can cause a slip and fall, we see some situations more often than others. Some of the common causes of slip and fall injuries that we may be able to pursue a negligence claim based on include:
- Spills, tracked water, or other wet floors in a restaurant, business, or private home;
- Slippery surfaces due to tracked mud, cleaning supplies, spilled food, etc.;
- Uneven surfaces without appropriate marking, including ramps or inclines;
- Broken sidewalks, potholes, and other similar hazards;
- Unmarked trip hazards, such as curbs or steps;
- Steps without proper handrails; and
- Walkway hazards such as loose carpet, rolled rugs, and extension cords.
Some people assume their fall was their own fault, but property owners and occupiers have a responsibility to keep those who visit them safe from unreasonable hazards. In many of these cases, we can show the property was poorly maintained or the manager acted negligently in failing to prevent your fall.
When Can I Hold the Property Owner Liable?
Florida has premises liability laws in place that hold property owners and occupiers responsible for keeping their businesses and homes free from hazards that could cause injuries to visitors, customers, or others invited onto the property. These laws hold them to reasonable standards of keeping up with maintenance and warning visitors of unsafe situations. If a property owner knows about a hazard, they need to take immediate action to correct it or warn others about it.
The same standards apply if the property owner or business manager had the opportunity to discover the hazard, even if they did not know about it. For example, if a dropped item causes a tile in the floor to break and creates a trip hazard, it may take time for an employee to learn about it.
However, if it remains there for several days and no one takes any action to warn customers or repair it, the company is likely guilty of negligence. If they paid close attention to the maintenance and safety of their premises, they would see the broken tile and warn customers about the hazard until they could make repairs.
However, liability can be complex if the danger was “obvious”. For example, if it is obvious that a handrail is broken, the property owner might not be liable for your injuries.
Are There Any Situations When the Property Owner Is Not Liable for My Injuries?
There are limitations on who can hold the property owner or occupier liable after a slip and fall injury. Property owners do not have any duty to protect trespassers on their property, so only invitees or licensees can file a claim in most cases. This includes customers, hired contractors, guests, and others who visit with permission.
Another situation where the property owner may not be legally liable for your injuries occurs when your own actions contributed significantly to or directly caused your accident. This could happen because you:
- Ignored warning signs about the hazard;
- Broke clearly defined rules of conduct;
- Entered a “no admittance” area;
- Wore inappropriate shoes for the activity;
- Acted in an obviously dangerous way;
- Were not paying attention; or
- Were under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
It is important to note that many of these situations can severely limit your ability to collect compensation from the property owner, while others can reduce your maximum payout possible. We will help you value your claim based on your specific circumstances and mitigate the damage done by any of these or similar actions.
How Can You Prove the Property Owner Acted Negligently?
In order to recover the compensation you deserve, we need to provide evidence to show the property owner or occupier acted negligently. This means we need to demonstrate:
- You were an invitee or licensee, meaning the property owner had a duty to you;
- They failed to repair or warn you of a potentially hazardous condition;
- This condition caused you to fall;
- You suffered injuries in the fall, leading to medical bills, lost wages, and other damages.
Usually, the biggest hurdle in a slip and fall case is collecting pertinent evidence to show the hazard was either known to the property owner or was something a reasonable property owner would have known about in the same situation.
We have experience handling slip and fall cases and know how to provide documentation to meet the expected standard in these claims. With us on your side, this is not something you will need to worry about—we will collect all the evidence and fight to recover the compensation you deserve while you focus on your recovery.
Do I Need to Talk to a Slip and Fall Injury Lawyer About My Accident?
There is no reason to take on a property owner, occupier, or business on your own. Give us a call as soon as possible after your accident so we can get to work building your personal injury case by collecting evidence and interviewing witnesses before crucial documentation disappears. We can often obtain surveillance video, maintenance records, and other evidence you would be unable to collect without a lawyer.
We also have a team of experts who can help us identify the causes of your fall, whether or not a lack of maintenance played a role, and how much your ongoing medical care may cost you in the future.
When you have a knowledgeable lawyer on your side, the insurance company takes your claim more seriously. We can often negotiate a larger settlement for our clients than the insurance company would offer otherwise. If the insurance company refuses to give you a fair settlement, we can pursue a lawsuit or discuss other options.
How Can I Reach the Law Firm of Anidjar & Levine?
You need help from a skilled and aggressive attorney in North Miami to get the most money possible from your slip and fall case. Call the Law Firm of Anidjar & Levine today at 800-747-3733 to schedule a complimentary consultation and evaluation of your case.
We Can Help.