“Slips and fall” accidents commonly refer to situations in which someone inadvertently slips or trips on another’s property. Slip and falls can happen just about anywhere – in the grocery store, at a hotel, in a mall, on the sidewalk, and more. While many people fail to appreciate the seriousness of a slip and fall accident, victims of falls know that these incidents can result in serious injuries and extensive losses.
If a business or property owner caused your slip and fall, you may have the right to file a premises liability claim against them to seek compensation for your losses. The law firm of Sibley Dolman assists clients in the Aventura area who have suffered injuries from slip and fall accidents. Please call us today if you would like to discuss your rights.
Slip and Fall Basics
Slip & fall injuries are often serious – more serious than you may expect. You should always understand the possible causes of slip and fall accidents, both to prevent falls and to protect your rights after an accident. Some common causes of slip and falls include:
- Wet or slippery floor (even a dry floor can be slippery, from dust, particles, powder or granules)
- Uneven flooring
- Damaged steps, stairways or railings
- Poor weather conditions (e.g., mist, fog or rain)
- Poor visibility or inadequate lighting
- Torn carpeting
- Rain, snow, ice, or pothole on sidewalks
- Other debris on the floor or sidewalk (including leaves or mud)
- Cracked walkway
- Uneven pavement
- Objects, clutter, or obstructions interfering with walking (for example, a plywood cover on the sidewalk, cables, or extension cords)
Aside from physical environmental causes, personal factors can cause or increase the risk and severity of slip & fall accidents. These include:
- Poor eyesight
- Stress, depression, anxiety, or other emotional illness
- Effects of alcohol, medicine, or drugs (including over-the-counter and prescription drugs)
It is important to remember that just because personal factors may have increased the risk of a fall or the severity of injuries, it does not mean that you have no rights to financial recovery.
Instead, you should always consult with an experienced personal injury attorney to discuss what happened in your specific situation.
Slip and Fall Statistics
According to the National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI), slips and falls result in over 8 million hospital visits annually. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports over 800,000 are hospitalized each year for serious injuries such as broken hips or head injuries. Older persons (over age 65) are particularly at risk: the CDC estimates that 25 percent of the elderly fall each year. Hospital visits and workmen’s compensation claims average over at least $40,000 each. In the home, half of all deaths result from falls — usually at the same elevation. In the workplace, slips and falls are a primary cause of missing work and a main cause of workers’ compensation claims (NFSI).
Slips and falls are serious and can result in injuries that require extensive medical treatment, permanent disability, or even death. Costs to an employer, the victim, and others are often substantial.
Qualifying the Slip and Fall Case
Just because someone slips and falls doesn’t necessarily mean someone is “at fault”. Accidents do happen. For slip and fall cases, it is important to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney for guidance regarding your legal rights. Your lawyer should undertake an initial analysis and investigation, which includes determining:
- Did a “dangerous condition” cause the accident?
- Did the property owner (or manager) know about the dangerous condition? should they have known?
- What are your injuries? how severe?
- How will your injuries affect your employment?
- How will your injuries affect your ability to enjoy life activities?
- Will your injury be long-term or permanent?
- What medical expenses will you incur?
- Did you cause or contribute to the accident?
A good attorney will not automatically take on a slip and fall case without first evaluating the merits of the claim. We will examine many factors and the circumstances of your slip and fall accident to determine whether you may have a viable case.
Next Steps of a Slip and Fall Case
Assuming your attorney agrees to take on your case, what happens next? You and your legal counsel will discuss attorney fees and sign a fee agreement. At that point, you and your lawyer are teammates, working and communicating together. Typical steps include:
- Coordinate with doctors and other medical professionals
- Receive and review your medical records and reports
- Receive regular updates about your treatment
- Gather together your bills, receipts, and invoices for medical expenses
- Put responsible parties on notice (including insurance companies)
- Try to resolve your claim and negotiate a settlement without going to court
- File suit, if your case cannot be resolved pre-trial
- After a suit is filed, conduct “discovery” through written questions (interrogatories) or orally under oath (depositions)
- Making another attempt to resolve your case without going to trial, through an alternative dispute resolution process (such as mediation or arbitration)
- Proceed to trial (with or without a jury)
Although your lawyer may give you a general idea of what your case is worth, remember that no lawyer can guarantee the outcome or the amount of compensation you will receive. Each client’s damages are unique. Similarly, nobody can predict with certainty how long your case will take, which depends upon many factors, often outside of your and your attorney’s control. However, it is worth it to pursue the compensation you deserve to cover your losses.
Were You Hurt in a Slip and Fall Accident? Call an Experienced Aventura, Florida Personal Injury Attorney Today for Help
If you or someone you know was hurt in a slip & fall accident, don’t delay. You may be entitled to substantial compensation for your injuries. Your case and injuries require skilled lawyers. Trust the experienced Aventura injury lawyers at Sibley Dolman Accident Injury Lawyers, LLP, representing clients throughout South Florida. Call us right away at 954-302-7068 or contact us online. We will protect you, preserve your rights, and ensure you are treated fairly. We understand slip and falls, and know how to best present your case. Let our seasoned team help you.
Sibley Dolman Accident Injury Lawyers, LLP
PERSONAL INJURY LAWYERS
20807 Biscayne Boulevard Suite 100,
Aventura, FL 33180
What Our Clients Have to Say:
“So happy I chose Sibley Dolman!!! My experience with the law firm right from the start was fast, friendly and understanding. I started treatment for my injury right away, and while I was focusing on getting better the firm was fighting for me. Incredibly happy with the outcome, thank you to Brent and the team for all the hard work and updates.”
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