You might be entitled to money damages if you got hurt from a slip and fall accident on someone else’s property in Melbourne, Florida. The Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine can help you go after damages for your losses so that you can focus your attention and energy on getting well.
A slip and fall lawyer who serves Melbourne, Florida can help with your injury claim.
Call our office at 1-800-747-3733 today for a free, no-obligation consultation.
When a Property Owner is Responsible for Injuries
Although they do not have to pay money every time someone gets hurt on their property, a landowner will have to bear responsibility for someone who sustained measurable damages because of the property owner’s negligence.
Florida law defines property owner negligence as:
- There was a hazardous condition on the premises
- The owner knew or should have known about the dangerous condition
- The landowner did not repair the hazard or post adequate warnings about it
We have to prove all three of these elements to succeed on your slip and fall claim in Melbourne, Florida.
Let’s say that you are visiting one of Melbourne’s many privately-owned attractions. The venue sells self-serve soft drinks. The area around the soda dispensers experiences frequent spills from people filling their drink cups. The color and pattern of the flooring in the beverage machine area makes it difficult for customers to see whether the floor is wet or dry.
The attraction owner is aware of the situation but does not provide a mat to absorb the puddling liquid. Also, the venue does not post warnings about the condition or require employees to mop up spills frequently.
This fact pattern satisfies all three elements of negligence for slip and fall. Puddles of soda were a hazardous condition on the premises. The attraction owner knew about the spills on the floor.
The owner failed to take reasonable measures to correct the problem and protect visitors from harm. If a patron slips in a beverage bottle and falls, the venue owner will be responsible, because the owner’s negligence will be the cause of the person’s injuries.
Things That Can Decrease the Value of Your Melbourne, FL Slip & Fall Claim
Sometimes people receive less compensation than they should for their slip and fall injuries. Here are some of the common pitfalls that can decrease the value of your accident claim:
Social media postings — When you have an injury that will be the subject of an insurance claim or lawsuit, you should not post a single word or photo about it on social media. Once you put something on the Internet, you lose control over it. The insurance company could use your words or pictures against you as an excuse to try to pay you less money than you deserve.
Settling too soon — We understand that it can be quite tempting to accept a settlement check from a claims adjuster early on in the process, particularly if your injuries keep you from going to work and your bills are piling up higher every day. You should not settle your injury claim until you have completed your medical treatment and healed up as much as you are going to. Only then do you know the true value of your injury claim.
Recorded statement — Claims adjusters love to contact injured people and ask them to give a recorded statement to the insurance company. The danger of these statements is that the adjuster can twist your words into something you did not mean to say, in an attempt to devalue your claim. When the adjuster calls and asks you to give a recorded statement, you should tell him to talk to your lawyer. Once you get a personal injury lawyer to handle your case, the insurance company is not supposed to contact you directly.
Waiting too long to talk to a slip and fall lawyer — Almost every type of case has a limited amount of time for you to bring an action for your losses. We can explain to you when your deadline is. Make sure that you do not wait too long before talking with a lawyer. Once the deadline passes, you will lose your legal remedies.
Five Things to Do After a Slip & Fall Accident in Melbourne, FL
Now that you know the pitfalls to avoid, here are some things you should do to protect your health and the value of your damages claim. Of course, every situation is different, and you should do what makes sense in light of the facts of your case.
1. Medical attention — Getting medical treatment right away gives you the best chance of an optimal recovery from your injuries. Also, we will use your medical records as proof of the extent of your injuries. You should not delay in getting a medical evaluation, because if you do so, the insurance company will likely claim that your injuries came from some other event, not the slip and fall accident.
2. Photographs of the scene — If possible, take photographs of the scene before the owner or employees have time to clean up the problem that caused the accident. It is much more compelling evidence to have actual photos rather than only a verbal description of the dangerous condition. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words.
3. Photographs of your injuries — If your injuries include visible harm, like bruising, it can be a good idea to take some photos before the bruising fades. Make sure that you write down the date on which you took the photos.
4. Get names and contact details of witnesses — It can be helpful to get the names and contact information of other people who were on the premises when you got hurt. They might have information that could help to build your case. For example, if multiple people testify that there was a dangerous condition, it is no longer a matter of your word against the word of the owner.
5. Talk to a slip and fall lawyer in Melbourne — When you have a slip and fall lawyer handling your legal matters, you no longer have a “David and Goliath” situation against a massive insurance corporation. Now you can focus on getting well because your attorney is taking care of your claim.
Damages in a Slip & Fall Claim
We cannot give a number for the amount of damages you are likely to receive for your slip and fall claim, because every case is unique. The amount that you can recover will depend on the facts of your case. Some of the categories of compensation that successful slip and fall plaintiffs can recover include medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, decreased earning capacity, and disability.
Getting Help for a Slip & Fall Claim in Melbourne, FL
A slip and fall attorney who serves Melbourne, Florida can help if you got hurt from a fall on someone else’s property. Call the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine today at 1-800-747-3733 to get a free consultation with a slip and fall lawyer in Melbourne, FL.