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What Are the Benefits of Hiring a Slip & Fall Lawyer?

Slip and fall accidents can result in serious injuries

Slip and fall accidents can result in serious injuries

According to the Center for Disease Control, there are more than 1 million injuries from slip and fall accidents in the U.S. each year. Additionally, Florida has the highest percentage of senior citizens in the nation, an age group leading the pack in terms of the frequency of severe injuries from slip and fall accidents.

The slip and fall attorneys at Osborne & Francis, PLLC, understand the impact a slip and fall injury can have. We are committed to uncovering the exact cause of your accident and ensuring the responsible party is held accountable.

Watch our video to learn what to do after a slip and fall accident.

Continue reading to learn how an attorney can help you with your injury case.

What Is Considered a Slip and Fall Accident?

Slip and fall cases are brought under premises liability law in Florida, where property owners must prevent unreasonable hazards for anyone entering their building or grounds. Although a property does not have to be perfectly safe, if the owner could have foreseen the danger in some way and did not act to prevent it, they may be held liable.

For instance:

  • Known Hazards: If a property owner knows of a danger, they have the responsibility to correct the problem or be held responsible for any slip and fall injury. Examples of known hazards are:
    • Loose floorboards
    • Worn carpeting
    • Protruding nails
    • Loose handrails
  • Unknown Hazards: If a reasonable inspection would have revealed the source of the problem, it may be considered negligence. Examples include:
    • Leaking pipes that cause a wet floor
    • Rotting flooring that is unstable
    • Stairwells that contain unseen objects
  • Duty of Repair and Maintenance: Ongoing maintenance of property must be considered as part of a property owner’s duty to visitors, including:
    • A constantly leaking roof
    • Poor cleaning habits of floors and stairways
    • Removal of trash or debris from walkways.

How Much Should I Settle For a Slip and Fall Case?

A fair settlement for a slip and fall case will depend on the damages suffered by the victim. Damages reflect how a person has been impacted by their injuries economically, non-economically, and punitively.

Economic damages are tangible and easy to assess after examining medical bills and lost income. Non-economic damages are intangible and usually require an experienced slip and fall attorney to assess mental anguish and pain accurately. Punitive damages differ in that they are awarded as punishment to deter similar behavior in the future.

A typical slip and fall claim may be entitled to the following:

  • Full reimbursement of medical expenses
  • Lost wages if you cannot work
  • Loss of future income
  • Pain and suffering damages
  • Loss of enjoyment of life damages
  • Emotional distress
  • Possible punitive damages

The amount collected in a slip and fall claim will vary depending on many factors, including the degree of injury, treatments required, as well as the skill of the attorney handling the case.

Slip and fall accidents can cause severe injuries and lead to disability. At Osborne & Francis, our slip and fall accident attorneys have an extensive track record of success.

How Are Slip and Fall Accidents Defined Under the Law?

Slip and fall accidents fall under the legal concept of premises liability. Generally, property owners are responsible for keeping any persons on their land, in their house, business, or other entity reasonably safe from danger.

Under Florida law, the above “responsibility” refers to the legal doctrine, duty of care. For example, suppose a customer enters a store and trips over a broken tile. The store owner would have a duty to keep the customer safe.

Conversely, if an intoxicated burglar breaks into the store after hours, stumbles, and falls, the store owner would be immune from liability. According to the trespasser statute, a property owner does not owe a duty of care to a trespasser if:

  • They are impaired by alcohol or chemical substance
  • The store owner has not committed an act of gross negligence
  • The store owner has not purposely injured the trespasser

In addition, the Florida statute asserts that if a person is injured in a slip and fall accident on property that is not their own, they may be entitled to recover damages, provided one or more of the following circumstances can be met:

  • The property owner or establishment had knowledge of the hazard that led to the victim’s injury
  • The danger existed long enough that the owner or establishment should have known of its existence
  • The hazard was a common occurrence and should have been foreseeable

All are extremely serious and can require extensive surgeries and rehabilitation for a full recovery. Our slip and fall attorneys present your claim for damages based on:

  • Medical costs
  • Home care, nursing or rehabilitation
  • Loss of income from time away from work

What Injuries Are Commonly Associated With Slip and Fall Cases?

Injuries commonly associated with slip and fall cases include:

  • Head injuries and concussion:
    • Severe head injuries can result in traumatic brain injuries, causing life-threatening hematomas, a cerebral hemorrhage, and permanent brain damage.
  • Hip and shoulder dislocation:
    • Hip and shoulder dislocations can be very serious. Hip dislocations, especially in the elderly, can result in chronic pain or an inability to walk. Shoulder dislocations can also tear ligaments and tendons. Dislocations often cause severe pain.
  • Broken bones:
    • Hip, wrist, and ankle bones are the most common types of broken bones. As a person ages, the likelihood of breaking bones increases.
  • Neck or spinal injuries:
    • Neck and spinal injuries are usually severe. Whenever the spinal cord is damaged, it affects communication between the brain and the rest of the body. This may result in lost mobility, reduced mobility, or nerve damage.
  • Fractures:
    • Bone fractures are dangerous injuries. 25% of fall-related deaths occur due to hip fractures alone. Fractures often cause complications, including damage to blood vessels, nerves, and can induce infection of the bone.
  • Soft tissue injuries:
    • Sprains and tears in the tendons and ligaments are common soft tissue injuries. Symptoms of soft tissue damage are often delayed for days or weeks.
  • Cuts and abrasions:
    • Cut and abrasions are usually the most visible. However, they are typically less severe than other injuries. Cuts and abrasions can indicate a more severe injury, like a concussion or fracture.
  • Knee injuries:
    • Knees are often injured when a person twists as they fall, damaging ligaments or dislocating the patella. In many cases, knee reconstruction will be needed.

Establishing the extent of your injuries through medical documentation is important to the success of your case.

How Prevalent Are Slip and Fall Accidents?

Slip and fall accidents are the leading cause of injury across the country and are responsible for an estimated 8 million emergency room visits per year. In Florida, slips and falls account for the most non-fatal injury hospital admissions every year.

An in-depth study into Florida’s slip and fall accidents revealed:

  • More than 62,500 residents have been hospitalized for injuries
  • 14% sustained a traumatic brain injury
  • Spinal fractures accounted for 9% of injuries
  • 32% of injury victims suffered a hip fracture

Hip fractures were also the cause of 25% of fall-related fatalities. Slip and fall accidents can lead to serious and devastating injuries.

Are Slip and Fall Cases Hard to Prove?

Slip and fall cases, a type of premises liability, are often challenging to prove. The success of a claim depends on an attorney’s ability to establish:

  • That an act of negligence by the responsible party directly caused your injuries
  • The responsible party knew or should have known about the potential danger

The most significant challenge to slip and fall cases is proving negligence. Under the legal definition of negligence, a person or entity can be held responsible for injuries sustained on their property if they failed to act in a reasonable manner.

A reasonable or unreasonable act is determined by what a person would do under similar circumstances. For example:

  • Suppose a grocery clerk has mopped up a spill on an aisle but failed to display a “wet floor” sign to warn others. If a customer slips and falls on the wet floor, it can be argued that the clerk failed to act in a reasonable manner.
  • However, suppose during winter a customer slips in ice on the walkway into the store. The grocery clerk took precautions to remove the ice and placed a melting agent on the walkway to prevent further icing. Despite the customer’s fall, it can be argued that the grocery clerk acted reasonably to address the icy walkway.

If you have been injured due to the negligence of a property owner, a slip and fall attorney can evaluate your claim and help establish liability and negligence by:

  • Conducting an in-depth investigation, including collecting video surveillance, police and accident reports, and witness statements
  • Gathering key evidence, including proof that the property owner knew about the hazard or should have known about the hazard that caused your injury
  • Assessing medical records to analyze the overall impact of the injury on your life and circumstance
  • Establishing that the property owner acted unreasonably regarding the hazard by constructing circumstantial evidence in lieu of direct observation

Circumstantial evidence is commonly used in slip and fall injury cases. Evidence that is used together to imply a fact is circumstantial evidence.

For instance, suppose a livestock veterinarian visits a farm and trips over a stack of old boards strewn down a walkway. To prove that the property owner was aware of the hazard, footprints around the area could be considered circumstantial evidence.

How Can a Slip and Fall Attorney Help Me With My Case?

Slip and fall accidents can cause severe injuries and lead to disability. At Osborne & Francis, our slip and fall accident attorneys have an extensive track record of success.

We offer our clients a boutique-style personal injury service while maintaining aggressive representation. We will meet with you personally and give you the individual attention you deserve.

Our lawyers are dedicated to your recovery. With over 50 years of combined experience, we will provide the legal guidance you need to see you through. Contact us at (561) 293-2600 or online to schedule a free initial consultation regarding your slip and fall claim.

Slip & Fall FAQs

Some common examples of slip and fall accidents involve:

  • Hazardous flooring, including loose boards or carpeting
  • Loose mats
  • Slick surfaces, including wet, waxed, or icy ground
  • Broken or ill-structured stairs
  • Poor lighting
  • Obstacles in walkways

Slip and falls are the leading cause of accidental injuries nationwide. An estimated 20.8% of all emergency room visits are due to a slip and fall accident.

A slip-and-fall lawsuit from start to finish can range from 3 months to years. Every accident is different. Many factors influence the length of a case, including:

  • The complexity of the victim’s injuries
  • The type of premises the accident occurred
  • The willingness of the defendant to settle
  • The length of the investigation

If you have been hurt in a slip and fall accident, it is best to consult an experienced personal injury attorney for a case evaluation.

Generally, property owners can be held liable for a slip and fall injury. Slip and fall accidents fall under premises liability. Premises liability is a legal doctrine that holds owners or agents responsible for negligent behavior that creates hazards or dangers on their property.

Some examples of who can be held liable for a slip and fall injury include:

  • Landlords
  • Leaseholders
  • Municipalities

A slip and fall attorney can help you with your case by:

  • Providing sound legal advice
  • Accurately valuing your damages
  • Negotiating a fair settlement on your behalf
  • Investigating the details of your case
  • Gathering key evidence
  • Establishing liability
  • Representing your best interests in court

Slip and fall claims can be complex. A slip and fall attorney can guide victims through the process and fight to recover the compensation they deserve. Contact Osborne & Francis today at (561) 293-2600 if you need legal representation for your claim.

Client Testimonials

“Dennis and the other Osborne Francis staff were amazing! Our case was HUGE and required tender loving care. Everyone on our case did their part by putting all the puzzle pieces together. We were given step by step updates and put at ease when our nerves got the best of us. For every inquiry we made we received a timely response.”
-E. Holland

“I couldn’t have asked for a better lawyer/law firm. Everything was did professionally, exactly how I wanted. Due to COVID my personal attorney Mr. Garcia was still able to make things work in a timely manner, and he never made me feel like he wasn’t working. Overall I’m happy with how my case turned out and I would recommend him and this law firm to anyone.”
- J. Davis

“‘Real Tough Lawyer’ that is exactly what my Attorney Ben Garcia is! Ben fought for me. Very professional and very humble. Ben and Jessica made sure they stayed in close communication with me about my case.“
- C. James

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