Slip and fall accidents are more common than you might think, with nearly one million occurring annually. While some result in minor injuries, others are considerably worse, resulting in broken bones and even death. Though they can happen anywhere from a simple trip to the grocery store to an extravagant cruise ship vacation, the sad fact is many slip and fall accidents are preventable. Let’s learn about the most common incidents and how you can avoid them.
Common Slip and Fall Accidents
Weather as the Culprit
Slip and fall accidents that occur as a result of weather are common. The truth is you can’t control the weather. Thunderstorms, tornadoes, and even hurricanes can wreak havoc in and around property often resulting in hazards that turn in to accident sites. Businesses, including restaurants, shops, hotels, and more are responsible for sidewalks, parking areas, entryways, and interiors free of debris and water which can create slip and fall hazards. If you find yourself out and about before, during, or after a storm, be cautious as you go from place to place and avoid areas that might cause issues. Of course, you can’t always see slippery spots and falls with injuries do occur. Should you sustain an injury as a result of a weather-related slip and fall as a result of negligence on the part of a business, help is available for you.
Wet, Uneven Surfaces – With or Without Weather Issues
More than 50 percent of all slip and fall accidents are caused by wet or uneven surfaces. While some of these are the result of weather conditions, others are not. Slip and fall accidents from wet or uneven surfaces can happen anywhere – homes, commercial businesses, hotels, restaurants, theme parks, cruise ships, industrial locations, and other public places. In business environments, housekeeping and maintenance are responsible for seeing that surfaces are safe. When problems arise which could cause injuries, they should be posted for the public and fixed quickly. These issues could be the result of loose flooring, torn carpets, damaged sidewalks, mopped floors, cluttered hallways, poor construction, spills, water from pools, moisture from gyms, and other factors. Like slip and falls due to weather, slip and fall injuries due to wet or damaged surfaces often indicate negligence on the part of the business owner.
Improper Training – Failure to Clean and Maintain Property Properly
In some cases, slip and fall accidents are a result of the improperly trained staff of businesses. For example, one common type of a slip and fall injury comes when damage surfaces such as broken tiles, loose flooring, or remodeling clutter and debris results in simply not repairing the issue or completing the project in the first place. Any area which is unsafe for clients, customers, or guests, should always be marked for safety until it can be taken care of properly. Another common issue is improper cleaning and maintenance procedures. Slip and fall injuries can result from freshly mopped areas, over-polished flooring, spills which aren’t cleaned up quickly, or water tracked about by guests and not addressed promptly. In any case, business owners are responsible for the proper training of employees in both the cleaning and maintenance of their property.
Don’t Walk It Off! Five Tips Slip and Fall Lawyers Want You to Know
- Seek Medical Help Immediately – The first thing you should always do in slip and fall cases is to seek medical attention. Even if your injury feels minor, head straight to the hospital without delay. Also, the sooner you go to the hospital, the stronger your case will be in a claims court.
- Revisit the Site to Confirm What Went Wrong – You may think you know what happened, but you should always go back to confirm what it was that caused slip and fall accidents. Whatever the cause, go back and re-trace your steps. Don’t forget to take plenty of photographs. All of this will help you remember things more clearly when you’re in court.
- Be as Discreet as Possible – Once you feel ready to make a claim and get the compensation you deserve, keep it to yourself. Lack of discretion costs money in slip and fall cases. Don’t give a statement to an insurance company until you’ve spoken to an attorney. Make sure not to place blame on anybody in public.
- Document Everything – Any document related to your slip and fall may prove useful. This includes medical bills, correspondence with the place where you had the accident, and even taxi receipts from the day.
- Find Slip and Fall Lawyers – Explain exactly what happened and they will be more than happy to walk you through the process and fight for you to get the payment you need.
Everything You Need to Know About a Slip and Fall Accidents
You’ll Need to Fill out an Accident Report
Immediately after your fall, you’ll probably be asked to fill out an accident report by the owner of the property where you fell. It’s important to fill this out correctly, noting down all important details. For example, if you fell because of wet flooring or a loose cable, you should be sure to include this in your report.
Since an accident report is so crucial when it comes to seeking compensation, you should always report falls to the property owner or appropriate person as soon as they happen – or you won’t have a report to fill in.
You Could Be Eligible for Compensation
Slip and fall accidents can affect your life in a variety of ways, so the type of compensation you fight for will vary from case to case.
For most injuries, you’ll be able to claim for medical bills, pain and suffering, and out-of-pocket expenses incurred as a result of your injury. If you had to take time off work because of your injury, you could also claim for lost wages.
Be sure to speak with an experienced attorney to ensure you get everything you’re entitled to.
Liability Usually Rests With the Property Owner
In most slip and fall cases, liability for your injuries rests with the property owner or manager. Property owners have a legal obligation to maintain a safe environment, so if you fall because something was wrong with the building or property, you’re entitled to compensation.
If there’s no clear sign that the owner of the property was negligent, it will be harder to seek compensation. In cases like this, your lawyer will be able to advise the best course of action.
Collecting Evidence Increases Your Chance of Winning
The more evidence you have, the more likely you are to win compensation in a slip and fall accident case.
At a minimum, you should have an accident report, and all medical documents relating to your injuries. If possible, you might also photograph the place where you fell, collect witness statements, and gather CCTV footage from the property.
Slip and Fall Personal Injury Lawyer in Hollywood, Florida
A slip and fall accident in Florida falls under the state’s premises liability laws. These incidents are a daily occurrence throughout the state, and not every case warrants legal action.
Florida Premises Liability Laws
Premises liability laws in Florida govern the liability of property owners should they fail to safely and reasonably care for the customers invited onto their properties. These regulations overlap with common-law duty of care standards in the state, which stipulate that a business owner must provide reasonable care to prevent foreseeable harm to others.
To win a slip and fall claim, you will need to demonstrate that the defendant breached this duty of care. This can be established through witness testimony and showing whether the establishment took steps to keep customers safe from a foreseeable hazard (such as posting “wet floor” signs or using salt for the sidewalks during freezing weather).
How David Singer & Associates, P.A. Handle Slip and Fall Cases
An accidental fall can cause major injuries and is more common than you could imagine. In fact, in 2015 over 33,000 deaths occurred as a result of unintentional falls. If you or someone you care about suffered a slip and fall accident, receiving legal compensation for the injuries is a possibility.
A slip and fall lawsuit boils down to proving damages and liability. An attorney knows which details of your case affect both aspects of a lawsuit. Keep reading to learn how an attorney can help with slip and fall cases.
The Bottom Line
There are a lot of legal details, laws, and negotiations involved in slip and fall cases. You could keep all your settlement money by going it alone, but you could end up settling for a lot less, or even nothing, in the end. A professional slip and fall injury lawyer will make sure you get all the money you have coming and that all the details get addressed in the proper manner.
Need help or have more questions about a slip and fall lawsuit? Contact us and we’d be happy to help.