FORT LAUDERDALE SLIP AND FALL ACCIDENT LAWYER
Our experienced team at Accident Attorneys Fort Lauderdale regularly represent those injured as a result of slip and fall, as well as other premises liability claims throughout Fort Lauderdale, Broward County and all surrounding areas in the State of Florida.
Slip and fall claims are a type of premises liability claims. This a frequent cause of injury and is typically caused by the negligent maintenance or operation of a business location by the property owner; premises liability claims are widespread in Florida. Slip and fall claims are typically hard to prove. However, our knowledgeable premises liability attorneys have understood how to establish the premise to prevail and win.
One of the biggest mistakes that clients make, and what makes slip and fall cases more difficulty prove is that they delay in seeking legal help. It has been our experience that our potential clients should call us as soon as possible after suffering an accident – the time is of the essence. Conditions at a location may quickly change after a fall. For example, if someone trips over a defective sidewalk, it is often repaired within days of the fall. We rely heavily on demonstrative evidence, such as photographs, which depict the defect as it existed when the fall occurred. Similarly, when a severe car accident occurs, there may be skid marks, yaw marks, debris, and other physical evidence that, if photographed, may help prove liability and win a case.
Concerning slip and fall claims, many people believe if you are injured on someone else’s property automatically makes them responsible for your injuries. So they don’t think they need a lawyer or are in no hurry to retain one. Not hiring an attorney is a mistake. It’s not that simple. Typically, for a property owner to be held liable for injuries that incurred property, it has to be proved that the damage was a result of negligence or poor maintenance. Some negligent conduct is needed to prevail. Any delay in calling us increases the likelihood that the conditions that caused the injury have been repaired or altered. Accordingly, we, the lawyers of Accident Attorneys Fort Lauderdale, cannot stress the importance of acting quickly after a slip and fall accident. We believe that the longer you wait, the harder the claim will be to investigate, and the harder it will become for us to protect your legal rights.
A slip and fall is a type of premises liability. It is imperative to note what caused the fall. Was the cause of an uneven sidewalk or pothole?. Did liquid cause the slip and fall on the floor and where did this fluid originate. Was the area filthy and had it been smeared around by others walking thru through the location. Most importantly, if you are like most of us and carry a cell phone, WE URGE YOU TO TAKE PHOTOGRAPHS OF WHAT CAUSED YOU TO FALL AND THE SURROUNDING AREA.
Photographs of the area immediately following the injury are one of the best types of demonstrative evidence. The old saying that “a picture is worth a thousand words” is a very accurate statement. Photographs show a jury what you saw, how the area honestly appeared. Juries love looking at critical pictures of an accident scene, especially if liability is in dispute. With cellular technology always with us, it’s not hard to quickly snap a lot of photos or even take a quick video of the area where you were injured. This so important because once a fall or an accident occurs on a property, management will then quickly take steps to remedy the situation, all the more reason to photograph at the time of the injury. We also encourage our clients to collect the names and phone numbers of anyone that witnessed your accident. Do not assume that the property owner will perform an adequate investigation and gets the names and addresses of all witnesses to a slip and fall. An investigation is especially true when a witness does not support the landowner’s position. Witness names are somehow “never recorded and written down,” and if the injured client doesn’t get the witness names, it may be impossible to locate the witness. In our decades of experience, we’ve learned that property management cannot be relied upon to perform a thorough investigation and secure witness testimony or information. It is best to collect photographs and witness details yourself. Then call us to help you. We will contact the witnesses on your behalf and secure statements. We will try to obtain these statements before an insurance company can even contact them.
Irrespective of the type of case you may have, it is in our client’s best interests to contact our Fort Lauderdale law office immediately. It doesn’t matter if your accident happened after our regular business hours, weekend, or holiday. We’re always on standby to help you as we value every one of our clients and want to help them to the best of our ability. We can do that best the earlier you contact us.
Commonly, Jay Wasserman is contacted late at night to represent a family that has suffered wrongful death or catastrophic injury. In many of these cases, Jay will be at their bedside early the next morning, even if it requires him to board a plane to get there. For example, Jay flew to Jacksonville to represent a grieving family that had lost a father. A week or two later, he drove to the Orlando area to provide console to a client who had lost her mother. Jay immediately hired accident investigators to assist with the cause of these accidents. There can be no delays. The point is that Jay Wasserman and the team of lawyers at KWBR are always on call because accidents don’t regularly occur during regular business hours. Time is of the essence.
Property owners commonly claim that the fall or accident that incurred on their property was caused by, partially or entirely, by the injured. Our slip and fall attorneys will assess the liability and determine what caused the fall was and who needs to be held responsible. Such as the owner of the property, management, subcontractors, or maintenance companies. Premises liability claims are best dealt with by firms that truly understand the complexity of these claims and have the know-how to prove them. Our firm is just that; experienced and knowledgeable. If you have been injuries due to a slip and fall or at a premise, remember: Call Jay.
LET JAY HELP.
Katzman, Wasserman, Bernardini, and Rubinstein. We are liability accident attorneys, ready to help.
We have handled hundreds of premises liability, slip, and fall cases over our 30 years in service. We understand the uniqueness and complexity of each case. If you or a loved one are injured, contact us before speaking with the insurance company to preserve your rights. Call us today for your free consultation.
What are a Slip and Fall claims you may ask? “Slip and Fall” is the frequently used term for a personal injury claim that involves an individual slipping, tripping or falling, resulting in injury, on someone else’s property. Slip and Fall cases commonly fall into a broader category known as “premises liability” claims.
Accidents in which someone gets hurt or becomes injured are bound to happen; there is no way around that – regardless of how cautious a person lives. Some situations arise when people get hurt as a result of something that was entirely out of their control. When an injury occurs at no fault of their own, this leads to one wondering just what their legal options are.
The main issue in a Slip and Fall claim is nearly always liability; who will be held responsible? For your injury claim to be deemed valid, you need to be able to prove that someone other than yourself is held liable.
The main question in cases of liability is often: 1) Who are potentially liable parties? and 2.) Were the responsible parties negligent – did they cause the accident or did they fail to prevent one from becoming injured to a reasonable standard of care? Another critical point that the injured party needs to keep in mind is anticipating the defense. How will you prove your innocence when the argument says that the accident was due to your lack of caution or carelessness?
SLIP AND FALL, PREMISES LIABILITY THEORIES
A Slip and Fall accident that took place on the property of another, for your case to be deemed valid; the following must be able to be proven:
-That the property owner failed to maintain or address a dangerous condition on the premises; visible potholes, even sidewalk or walking surface, crack, etc. And, as a result, you were injured. The main question is whether a reasonable person would’ve identified the condition as dangerous or hazardous. Did the owner of the property had the opportunity to rectify the issue before you became injured.?
-OR, the property owner or an employee of the owner intentionally caused the hazard with the intent of hurting someone. For example: “It’s easy to see that if someone falls over this thing or obstacle, or slips in this mess, they could seriously hurt themselves, but I choose to ignore the hazardous area.”
PROVING NEGLIGENCE & LIABILITY;
In many stages of the litigation process, the term “reasonable” is frequently heard, especially in cases involving a slip and fall. “Reasonable” is understood to be found liable there has to unreasonable and negligent conduct. They failed to respond as a relatively prudent individual, or business would have in the same circumstances. Accordingly, a proper investigation of the liability for a slip and fall accident would focus on whether or not the defendant did or did not act appropriately. Factors that are commonly considered include, but are not limited to:
-Was there a policy in place that provided for regular scheduled routine checks of the property for potential dangers? If so, was the system exercised appropriately? How often was it applied? And, is there a log record of policy implementation.? Did the policy and procedures list what to do when and if there was a hazard found? When was the plan last exercised before the time of the accident?
-Is there any logical justification as to the creation of the risk or dangerous area? Does it serve a legitimate purpose? Could the defense argue that it was there for a good reason? When did the justification for the danger occur, before or after the accident causing injury?
-Was the dangerous area as safe as it possibly could have been? Were precautions taken? Was the hazardous condition preventable, and if not, been isolated with signage warning of the situation? Were appropriate caution signs used? Did the signage mark the specific hazard?
Could the condition be isolated to a more appropriate area? What was the environment.? Was it lighted well? What time of day did the accident occur? Was limited visibility a contributing factor?
Proving the accident or Slip and Fall was not due to fault of your own
The opposing party will commonly argue that the injured party or plaintiff is entirely or to some degree responsible for the injuries incurred. This back and forth is comparative fault or comparative negligence.
Each state varies in how they allow an injured party to receive compensation or recovery if there is shared blame for the premise’s liability accident.
Florida operates under the Pure Comparative Negligence standard. The doctrine of comparative negligence apportions negligence among the involved parties. Relative Negligence standard means that in the State of Florida, whatever amount you are found to be negligent, your recovery and compensation will be reduced by that amount. For example, if a jury determines that your actions or inactions led them to find you to be 40% negligent, then your awarded damages are automatically decreased by 40%. In other words, your award is 60% of the total award.
Important considerations that the jury, or the trier of fact, will consider in determining the respective fault of the plaintiff might include:
-Was the plaintiff distracted? Were they participating in an activity that prevented them from being aware of their surroundings? Were they on the phone? Texting? Digging through their purse? Looking for their wallet or keys? Would an undistracted person have noticed the hazard? Was the danger even noticeable?
-Was the injured party hurt in an area that was off-limits to the public? Were they permitted to be in the area in which the hazard was? Was the area blocked off? Was there a legitimate, valid reason for the plaintiff to be where they were on the property? Was the plaintiff trespassing?
-Was adequate signage posted? If so, was the signage warning of the hazard or dangers ignored? Were measures of precaution disregarded? If the defense’s legal team can prove that the plaintiff substantially caused the accident through their actions; negligence or omissions, the awarded compensation and recovery will decrease significantly.
If you or someone near you know you has experienced a Slip and Fall or suffered a striking injury from a falling object, Let Jay Help.
Our website does not qualify and is not intended to serve as legal advice, as its merely an outline of processes and what certain hypothetical situations may involve. Contact us today so we can meet with you for a free consultation — end disclaimer.
We can provide you with the legal help, advice, and counsel that you need. Call and set up at an appointment, at a time and place convenient to you, for your free consultation and case evaluation. We will advise you as to how you should proceed to will try to get you the compensation that you not only need but deserve.
Immediately following a Slip and Fall accident:
Accidents at a business, or other premises, also referred to as premises liability claims may involve Slip and Fall accidents or different types of accidents. These accidents commonly leave the injured person with substantial injuries, substantial medical bills, and loss of earnings or earnings capacity. If you’ve experienced a Slip and Fall injury or suffered another type of injury at a premise, document your claim and protect your legal rights. Failing to act appropriately and quickly may significantly damage the prospects of your case.
-Seek Medical Attention: Obtaining prompt and proper medical treatment for your injuries anytime that you suffer injury as your health and well-being are of the utmost importance. Proper medical attention also documents and the damages you have incurred. Many clients that have been injured often delay medical treatment, even though they are in pain. They hope that the injuries will subside and go away. Sometimes, this occurs. However, sometimes the injuries linger and worsen over time. The problem is that a delay in obtaining treatment may impact your health and prospects for recovery. They also fail to document your injuries until the date of your first medical treatment. This delay gives the defense an argument that the injuries have nothing to do with the injury. They may suggest it was the result of something else. Accordingly, we always counsel our clients to seek prompt medical attention, making sure that they tell their physicians what hurts them and what feels different. For example, a slip and fall may cause pain as well as numbness and tingling in an extremity. You must tell your physicians about the pain as well as the numbness and tingling. The more exact you are with your physician, the more complete the medical records will be and the higher the likelihood that your physicians can adequately treat you. If you do, in fact, quickly recover the claim doesn’t have to be made. However, we have found that many low-level injuries worsen over time, so getting early treatment is recommended.
-Investigate: If you’re physically able to do so, it is essential to inspect and photograph and take a video of the area where the accident took place. Pictures are critical when determining and proving the exact cause of your injuries and how things happened. If you fall or your injury was the result of the property owner’s negligence or omission, initial evidence taken at the scene is imperative. This documentation may serve as extremely compelling evidence to support and prove your claim. Witnesses: Speak to anyone who may have witnessed the accident, and ask them for their name and phone number so we can contact them to what they saw. Witness statements may serve as independent supporting evidence in situations of premises liability. Accounts can attest to conditions at that time of the incident; property condition of the area in which caused injury, and how the accident happened. Never assume that the property or business owner will take photos, especially if they suggest he was negligent. Also, do not believe the business owner will record the names of witnesses that support your claim.
-Photograph, everything: When you’re in an accident the rule of thumb is to document everything, especially with a Slip and Fall. Evidence of how the accident occurred are incredibly beneficial and may quickly change if the condition is remediated right after the incident. Taking photos and video of the area which caused injury is ideal, and assist us in proving your case. Pictures and videos must be taken immediately as the scene of the damage can quickly change when property management is made aware that someone was injured. Dangerous areas are rectified rapidly to avoid liability for your injuries and others.
-Let Jay Help,
Choose a lawyer that specializes and has extensive experience in handling slip and fall and premises liability claims. Contacting us is always the best course so we can advise and protect your legal rights. Never speak with the insurance company before seeking legal help; we’re here for you. Never sign anything unless we can review it first. Stated, Let Jay Help.
TOP COMMON CAUSES OF SLIP AND FALL OR PREMISES LIABILITY ACCIDENTS
There are many Slip & Fall scenarios, and many things that can cause the accident to happen. The kind of evidence needed to prove the case varies from case to case as no two are alike.
Frequent causes of slip and falls include, but are not limited to, the following:
-Wet, Slippery Floors: Floors wet from the weather and no signage warning of the danger. Floors soiled from a liquid mess without proper cleanup or signage. Recent waxing and no notice posted, floors recently mopped and not yet dry.
-Failure to Maintain: Uneven walking surface due to uneven or improperly installed floorboards, rips or tears in the carpet, loose carpeting or loose rugs; failure to provide appropriate backing. Leaking fluids from defective refrigeration systems or air conditioning systems.
-Clutter: Garbage, junk, or clutter littering walkways or areas are too narrow due to the amount of clutter or mess.
-Weather Induced Danger: Icy sidewalks; failure to salt or anti-ice within an appropriate, reasonable amount of time, unreasonable snow removal from common walk areas.
– Parking Lot Wear: Parking lot and or sidewalks damaged with deep cracks, ditches or potholes with no warning signage or attempt to rectify the situation.
-Inadequate Lighting: Unreasonable lighting or no lighting at all in areas such as parking lots, stairways, hallways, aisles, and, sidewalks.
Duty to Warn
A property owner owes a duty to all invitees of their businesses lawfully visiting their property of potential dangers. The warning should be appropriate based upon the circumstances. A spill on the floor should be cleaned up as soon as possible, with warning signs in place. A property owner certainly doesn’t want an invitee stumbling upon it and seriously injuring themselves. If the danger on the property is self-evident, and there is no signage or warning, the property owner could still be held responsible for specific circumstances. For example, evidence that the property owner took an unreasonable amount of time to rectify the issue or made no attempt to fix the problem at all may be instructive. Commercial and residential property owners can avoid liability for Slip & Fall or Premises Liability litigation by taking the time to place visible signage warning of potential dangers. If an injured party is harmed or injured in an area without permission or were trespassing. The property owner may have no legal obligation to have forewarned that person of potential danger because they weren’t permitted to be in that area.
Injuries Commonly Incurred from Slip & Fall Accidents include but aren’t limited to:
-Head or Brain Injury: When you slip, trip, or fall, you can sustain a significant blow to the head. This incident is a severe injury such as a TBI, traumatic brain injury. According to the CDC, Center for Disease Control, TBI’s vary significantly in their severity: it may cause a minor concussion from which the person may quickly recover. However, in some cases, more severe head injuries may cause seizures, changes in mood, changes in personality, and impairment of one’s cognitive functions. These are just a few examples of how a head or brain injury can seriously harm or alter one’s life. The Center for Disease Control also reported that upwards of 40% of all traumatic brain injuries are a result of falls. They require urgent care or even hospitalization. Severe traumatic brain injuries can also lead to death. Traumatic brain injuries as a result of falls are common in the elderly and pediatric populations.
-Hip Injury: The Center for Disease Control also reported upwards of 95% of broken hips are a result of a fall. One in five patients passes away within one year of hip replacement surgery. Morbidity is due to a lack of mobility. A fractured or broken hip requires invasive surgery and extended hospital stay as well as rehab. Hip injuries are common in the geriatric population.
-Spinal Cord, Neck, Back Injury: Slip and Fall accidents have also been known to cause herniated discs or slipped discs and may damage vertebrae. These injuries can cause a great deal of pain as well as varying degrees of limited mobility. Spinal cord injuries can result in paralysis, numbness, and loss of feeling.
-Sprains, Fractures, Breaks Slips, trips and falls commonly arise in the twisting or spraining of connective tissues at the knee, ankle or wrist. If the impact of the fall is substantial, bones can fracture or break. The CDC concluded that most bone fractures in the elderly. This a result of a fall, often seen in our aging population as their bones are more susceptible to breaks as they weaken with age. Natural osteoporosis may contribute to the severity of the fractures. Typical fractures due to a Slip and Fall include, but are not limited to: hip, leg, wrist, arm, and hand.