Trip and fall accidents may seem innocuous. Yet contrary to popular belief, they can cause severe—sometimes even permanent—injuries, and they are often not the victim’s fault. When victims are injured by a slip, trip, or fall, they may have the legal right to compensation for their financial losses. Florida law obligates the party who is legally responsible for causing the accident to pay for the damage that the negligence caused.
Learn more about your legal rights by consulting with an experienced Florida trip and fall injury attorney. At the Dolman Law Group, our highly skilled attorneys have decades of experience in securing compensation for victims of trip and fall accidents. We will defend your legal rights so that you can focus on recovering from your injuries.
Injuries Commonly Caused by a Trip and Fall
A trip and fall accident can result in severe injuries. Even injuries that seem minor at first can later develop into serious medical conditions, so it is therefore important to seek medical attention after any type of accident. The many types of serious injuries that can result from a trip and fall accident include:
- Brain injuries: Brain injuries can occur when a slip, trip, or fall causes the victim to land on the neck or skull. Even falls that seem to have little force can result in tiny, microscopic bleeding in the brain—called subdural hematomas—which only qualified medical professional can detect and diagnose. Falls that generate more force—such as down a staircase or from a significant height—can cause more severe brain damage. In some cases, this damage is permanent.
- Spinal cord injuries: The spinal cord is one of the most delicate areas of the body. It is also among the longest. For this reason, a slip and fall injury can result in spinal cord damage if the victim lands on the neck, upper back, lower back, or even buttocks. Some minor spinal cord injuries—such as bruising—are merely painful, and can heal during time. Others are more serious and can require surgery, as well as years of rehabilitation, to repair function of the extremities. The most serious spinal cord injuries can result in lifelong paralysis.
- Degenerative diseases: Trip and fall injuries can cause—or worsen—degenerative diseases such as arthritis. It can be difficult to establish the extent of degenerative damage when pursuing a personal injury claim, because this degeneration can take many years to develop. In such a case, it’s impossible to overstate the importance of a skilled personal injury attorney and persuasive medical expert witnesses. A trip and fall injury that deepens an existing degenerative disease is also a compensable loss. The complication in such a case is determining which portion of the damage already existed, and which portion the new injury caused. The defendant is only legally obligated to pay compensation for that portion of damage that his negligence caused.
- Other secondary illnesses: Trip and fall injuries can cause other secondary illnesses and injuries as well. This is particularly common among elderly fall victims. An elderly victim who falls is statistically more likely to experience another. This can subject a victim to pneumonia, bed sores, and other diseases. It can also make a victim prone to hospital-borne pathogens and illnesses. All of these secondary illnesses, while not occurring at the time of the fall, are nonetheless a legal result of the fall. They are, therefore, subject to compensation as part of a slip and fall personal injury claim.
How Can I Receive Compensation for My Injuries?
A severe trip and fall injury can necessitate many different types of medical treatments and rehabilitative services. The specific facts of your accident will identify the person who is legally responsible for your injuries and compensation. If, for example, your injuries were incurred during a workplace accident, you are likely eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. If your injuries occurred while you were a guest in a friend’s home or a customer at a business, the property owner may be obligated to compensate you. A business or commercial property owner commonly is responsible for paying for your trip and fall accident.
Once negligent parties have been identified and found legally responsible, they are obligated to compensate the victim for all medical and rehabilitative treatment necessitated by the injury. This can include hospitalization, surgery, consultations with specialists, and follow-up appointments. It can also include rehabilitative services such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, and pain management.
An experienced personal injury attorney can protect your right to compensation by identifying all liable parties and sources of insurance coverage, and proving the extent of your financial losses (your “legal damages”). This may require expert testimony from medical personnel. It can also include projections for future medical expenses, impaired future earnings potential, and other complicated calculations. An attorney will help find the right documentation and expert witnesses to present your case effectively. An attorney will also provide an opinion about whether a settlement offer is fair, or whether you should litigate the claim to secure fair compensation.
Consult With a Florida Trip and Fall Attorney for Free Today
Trip and fall accidents can happen when you least expect them and can seriously disrupt your life. Dealing with injuries is stressful enough—you do not need to navigate the confusing processes of insurance or personal injury claims. When you call Dolman Law Group, you can trust that we will take every step necessary to obtain the full compensation you deserve while we let you focus on your physical recovery from your injuries. Call (727) 451-6900 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation with a Florida personal injury attorney today.