Slip and fall injuries are often more serious than many people believe. Broken bones, torn ligaments, or even a traumatic brain injury can occur after a fall, leaving victims with major injuries that require hospitalization, surgery, and rehabilitation. Suppose you fell after a property owner or manager ignored or overlooked a hazard. In that case, you may be eligible for compensation to pay your medical costs, cover your lost wages, and more.
The Port St. Lucie slip and fall injury lawyers at the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine can help you recover damages. We offer complimentary case evaluations so you can learn about working with our Port St. Lucie personal injury lawyers.
What Compensation Can I Receive After a Slip and Fall Injury in Port St. Lucie?
Your damages are based on what you have personally lost due to this fall. For many victims, that looks like compensation for:
- Past and future medical bills
- Rehabilitation expenses
- Mental health support and care
- Prescriptions and medical equipment
- Home and vehicle modifications
- Lost income
- Reduced earning ability
Falls can be especially costly. For example, traumatic brain injuries often result from falls, incurring costs that are typically higher than other injuries. Recovering from fall injuries can also force you to take time away from work, compounding the burden of medical bills with a loss of income.
At the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine, we don’t just focus on getting you damages for these stressful, short-term consequences but also for the challenging, long-term losses. Our team won’t leave any corner of your life unexplored for compensation potential.
Other Consequences of Slip and Fall Injuries
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one fall doubles the risk of another. Older adults are especially at risk and face more challenges in recovering, including being so afraid of falling again that they decrease their activity. Not only does this ironically increase the chance of another fall, but it can negatively impact the person’s quality of life.
These additional risks and consequences are part of why fall victims can pursue non-economic damages—compensation that covers the personal losses of suffering an injury. They include:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Diminished quality of life
Regardless of your age, you could be eligible for damages that cover the emotional and psychological toll of having suffered a slip and fall injury. If this accident caused distress, fear, anxiety, and changes to your life, you could pursue additional compensation.
What Role Does Negligence Play in a Slip and Fall Claim?
Any slip and fall claim hinges on proving negligence. To recover the compensation you need, we must collect the proper evidence to demonstrate that the property owner or occupier acted in a negligent manner and this caused your injuries. Proving negligence requires us to show a few factors.
The Property Owner or Occupier Had a Responsibility to Protect You
This is often the easiest aspect to prove in a slip and fall claim. We need to show that you were not trespassing and were on the property as an invited guest, a customer, or someone else who had reason and approval to be there.
They Failed to Keep You Safe
We will talk to witnesses, secure any video of your fall, and collect other evidence to prove the property owner or occupier knew there was a fall hazard and took no action to prevent your accident. In some cases, we must use surveillance video or other documentation to show how long a hazard existed or otherwise prove the owner should have known about the issue.
Their Action or Inaction Caused Your Injuries
Your medical records are the primary proof of your injuries, which is one reason it is paramount that you receive a prompt medical evaluation on the scene and go directly to the hospital after a fall. This is the best way to link your injuries to your accident. Eyewitness accounts and expert testimony may also play a role here, depending on the specifics of your case.
You Suffered Physical, Emotional, and Financial Damages
We use your medical bills, receipts, documentation from your employer, and testimony from expert witnesses to evaluate and prove your losses and expenses. By presenting evidence to show the full range of your damages, we can build a strong case for awarding you the maximum compensation available for your claim.
How Can Someone Else’s Negligence Cause a Slip and Fall?
There are a number of ways someone else’s negligence can cause a slip and fall accident and injuries. Many slip and fall claims name the property owner or occupier as the liable party. This is true even when an employee causes the hazard because of vicarious liability laws that hold the business responsible for the actions of its employees.
That being said, it is possible for more than one party to have contributed to your fall, such as:
- Property owners
- Other customers or visitors
- Product manufacturers
For example, if someone’s negligence caused you to fall, they could be responsible rather than a property owner. Likewise, defective equipment that causes a leak could make the manufacturer liable. The property owner could even share liable with a manufacturer if they failed to recognize and correct a problem that arose from faulty equipment.
We are familiar with how negligence leads to each of these and other types of incidents and can help you identify the liable party in your case.
What Counts as Negligence in a Slip and Fall?
Some of the most common ways slip and falls occur include:
- Spills of food, drinks, or other liquids on the floor
- Tracked liquids or other slick substances
- Leaks that cause water or other liquids to puddle
- Cracks or holes in sidewalks or pavement
- Broken tiles, torn carpet, and other trip hazards
- Uneven surfaces
- Unexpected steps or curbs without adequate warnings
- Items like extension cords in the walkway
- Missing, broken, or weak handrails
- Broken lights or poorly lit areas
Almost any reason you might fall could point back to poor maintenance or an unaddressed hazard. Even if your accident cause isn’t listed here, our team can determine if negligence contributed.
Once we evaluate the details of your accident and determine how the property owner or another party acted negligently, we can file your claim with their homeowner’s or business insurance provider. This begins the process of getting you the compensation you deserve.
How Do Premises Liability Laws Affect My Claim?
Florida premises liability laws play a central role in any slip and fall case. Any owner or occupier of a business or home must provide a reasonably safe environment for guests. They must ensure walkways are free of hazards and provide warnings of dangerous conditions they cannot address immediately.
Where we often see this law come into play is when owners or occupiers claim they were not aware of a spill or other hazard. This law sets a standard known as the reasonable person standard. This standard considers when a reasonable person would have known about the problem and taken action to protect guests.
If a reasonable person would not yet know about a leak when you slipped in the water, then it will be much harder for us to recover compensation for you. However, we usually find that owners and occupiers ignore hazards much longer than a reasonable person would.
How Can You Prove Someone Knew About a Hazard?
As you can imagine, some slip and fall cases can too easily devolve into “he said, she said” scenarios. In order to highlight that someone did or should have known about a hazard, we work to construct a strong case through evidence. That could include:
- Eyewitness testimony
- Security and bystander video
- Photos of the hazard
- Accident reconstruction
- Timeline of events
- Previous complaints
Constructing a timeline can be particularly effective, demonstrating how long it was between when a hazard arose and when you fell. Likewise, previous complaints about this or similar hazards can highlight a property owner’s pattern of not addressing risks.
By providing evidence like surveillance video and eyewitness testimony, we can show you fell because of their negligence.
Exceptions for Premises Liability
It is also important to note that these laws only protect you if you were not trespassing (Florida Statutes § 768.075). Property owners are immune from liability if someone was hurt on their premises while there without permission.
For instance, if you were shopping, eating in a restaurant, or visiting a friend’s house, the property owner has an obligation to protect you. However, if you sneak into a neighborhood pool after hours, slip on the wet floor, and hit your head, it is unlikely that you will be able to file for compensation. Property owners cannot deliberately cause harm to trespassers, but they have no obligation to protect them from fall hazards, either.
Do I Need to Call a Slip and Fall Attorney About My Injuries?
If you suffered injuries after a fall in Port St. Lucie, contact the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine as soon as possible. There is no reason to try to handle this on your own. Insurance companies often try to lowball this type of claim and may not take your injuries and other damages seriously. When you have a skilled attorney on your side, they cannot afford to ignore you.
We have experience with a wide variety of slip and fall claims and know what it takes to win these cases. We can collect the evidence necessary to prove your case while you work toward your physical recovery. We can even bring in specialists and experts to help us prove your claim and maximize your financial compensation.
Call us today. We offer complimentary case analysis and handle these claims on a contingency basis.
We Can Help.