Across Miami, there is certainly no shortage of amazing shops and restaurants to visit, as well as adventures to be had indoors and out. However, nearly any place you visit in Miami—whether it is public, commercial, or private—can be the site of a serious injury if the property owner fails to repair features that could cause a slip and fall accident. While this type of accident is often the brunt of jokes, the injuries that can be incurred through a slip and fall can be life-changing or even life-ending. If you were injured in a Miami slip and fall accident, you may pursue compensation for your injuries. A Miami slip and fall attorney from Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA can help you understand this process. Contact us today for more information.
About Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
Individuals who have sustained injuries in preventable accidents, including slip and fall accidents, in Miami can trust the legal team at Sibley Dolman Gipe to protect their rights and represent their best interests both in court and at the negotiating table. At Sibley Dolman Gipe, we focus our practice on personal injury law, and we have the resources and experience necessary to build a strong legal argument that seeks maximum compensation on behalf of our clients. Our award-winning attorneys offer free consultations, during which you can explain the details of your accident, determine your eligibility to file a claim, and ask questions about your next steps. Sibley Dolman Gipe has offices conveniently located on both Florida coasts, and we accept clients who have sustained injuries in all types of accidents, including slip and falls. We have won cases at trial, successfully negotiated favorable settlements, and litigated cases against some of the nation’s largest companies. We use our experience and legal knowledge in every case that we handle, and we always strive to seek maximum compensation on our clients’ behalf. Contact Sibley Dolman Gipe today to schedule your free consultation.
Our Past Slip and Fall Accident Case Results
At Sibley Dolman Gipe, we have litigated and negotiated Miami slip and fall accident claims in the past with success. We approach slip and fall accident cases with the same winning strategy that we do all personal injury claims, and our past results demonstrate our record of success. For example, we recovered $300,000 for a client who sustained injuries in a slip and fall accident in a restaurant parking lot caused by improper maintenance. The defendant initially denied liability entirely, but we fought back and negotiated a favorable settlement on our client’s behalf. We also recovered $82,000 for a client who sustained a shoulder injury in a slip and fall accident. The at-fault party initially offered a $35,000 settlement, but we used our legal skills and knowledge of the law to significantly increase that amount.
Slip and Fall Accident Locations in Miami
Slip and fall accidents can happen all over Miami. As a global city, Miami has countless restaurants, bars, nightclubs, and other business establishments that guests frequent and could potentially sustain a slip and fall injury. If the business fails to maintain its premises in a safe condition, the business may face liability for a slip and fall accident that results in injuries. Some of Miami’s popular tourist destinations, including the American Airlines Arena, Hard Rock Stadium, and the Florida Grand Opera, could serve as potential sites for slip and fall accidents, as well as the surrounding businesses. We’re not afraid to face any of them in negotiations or, if necessary, trial, when they injure one of our clients. Slip and fall accidents can happen just about anywhere, so if you sustain injuries in such an accident in Miami, contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible.
What Is a Slip and Fall Accident?
Premises liability involves the failure of a commercial or residential property owner or the agency tasked with managing a public property to keep the property free from hazards that could harm guests. Slip and fall accidents are the most common type of premises liability claim filed. Slip and fall is a term used to describe a type of accident in which a guest to a property sustains an injury after slipping or tripping on a hazardous property feature. However, the amount of liability that the property owner may have for your accident depends on the type of guest you are, as well as other factors. In Florida, visitors generally fall within four categories:
- Invitees: Invitees are guests that the property owner has either directly or indirectly invited onto the property to do business. Common examples of this type of guest would include customers of a store or restaurant, or a cable repairman who has been invited to a property to install or maintain service. Invitees are owed the highest duty of care of all Florida guests. The duty of care refers to the way a reasonable person would react in the same circumstances. Property owners are required to protect this type of guest by regularly inspecting the property for hazards and promptly repairing those hazards or placing a prominent warning where guests can see.
- Licensees: Licensees are social guests to a public, commercial, or private property. This category can include a friend who comes to visit you at your home, or guests at a birthday party you held. Property owners are required to make a reasonable effort to keep their property safe for licensees, including fixing unsafe conditions that are known to them as well as warning guests of known hazards.
- Trespassers: Trespassers are guests who were not invited to your property and have accessed your property without your permission or knowledge. Florida property owners do not owe a duty of care to adult trespassers, except to avoid deliberately setting a trap to harm the trespasser.
- Children: Property owners in Miami owe a special duty of care for children, even if the child is a trespasser. The state courts recognize the natural curiosity of a child, and how that could cause a child to be attracted to a hazardous property feature. This, combined with their lack of understanding about property laws, affords children a special duty of care in premises liability cases. Property owners are required to protect child trespassers by ensuring that certain features that would draw the child’s curiosity are kept reasonably locked away to prevent injury. This is known as the “attractive nuisance” doctrine.
How Slip and Fall Accidents Happen
Slip and fall accidents occur when an individual slips or trips over a property hazard and sustains an injury. Some common property hazards that could lead to a slip and fall accident include:
- Cluttered walkways.
- Loose floorboards or tiles.
- Damage to sidewalks or parking lots.
- Improperly constructed staircases or broken or missing handrails.
- Torn carpeting.
- Recently mopped or waxed floors.
- Water or debris on the floor.
- Inadequate lighting, particularly in stairwells.
The Injuries Caused by a Slip and Fall Accident
According to the National Floor Safety Institute, hip fractures are among the most serious injuries to be experienced in a slip and fall accident, particularly if the accident involves an elderly person. Of all the deaths associated with falls, 60 percent involve an individual who is 75 or older. Falls are the second-leading cause of death for this age group and the leading cause of death related to an injury. Half of all elderly adults who sustain a hip fracture in a fall cannot live independently after the injury. Other common and serious injuries that could result from a slip and fall accident include:
- Traumatic brain injuries resulting from the individual hitting his or her head during the fall.
- Spinal cord injuries.
- Bone fractures. The bones of the arms and wrist are often injured in slip and fall accidents due to an individual’s instinctive reaction of putting his or her arms out to break the fall.
- Muscle strains, and other soft tissue injuries.
- Neck and shoulder injuries resulting from the fall.
Obtaining Compensation for Your Miami Slip and Fall Accident
If you were injured in a slip and fall accident in Miami, you may file a lawsuit against the at-fault party within four years of the date the accident occurred. To have a chance at a successful outcome to your claim, you must prove that the property owner was liable for the accident that caused your injuries and also demonstrate the financial and quality-of-life impacts that you have incurred as a result of the injury. When evaluating a slip and fall claim, courts will often consider these factors when determining liability:
- How was the visitor using the property? Were you invited to purchase items at a store when you slipped and fell? Were you visiting the private home of a friend when the accident occurred? Were you trespassing? The level of responsibility that the property owner may have for your injury depends on the reason you were at the property in the first place.
- Was the accident foreseeable? Could the property owner have prevented your injury by mitigating the hazard that caused you to slip and fall?
- Did the property owner warn you of a known condition?
Contact the attorneys at Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA today to get started.
How to Prove a Miami Slip and Fall Case
To help prove liability in your slip and fall case, you must establish:
- The at-fault party was a property owner who owed you a duty of care to ensure that the property was free from hazards that could cause an accidental injury, and that you should have been properly warned of any known hazards.
- There was a breach in the duty of care that the property owner owed to you. There was a hazard on the property that the owner knew or reasonably should have known about but failed to mitigate or warn you about.
- The breach caused the accident that resulted in your injury and subsequent expenses and life impacts.
For help with your case, contact Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA today.
The Damages You Could Recover in a Miami Slip and Fall Accident Claim
Falls account for more than 8 million emergency department visits in the United States each year. About 12 percent (or one million) of these visits involve individuals who were injured in a slip and fall accident. If you have been injured in a slip and fall, we do not need to tell you how serious or expensive these injuries can be. In Florida, injured individuals are permitted to use the court process to seek compensation for the financial and emotional impacts of a slip and fall accident. This is referred to as “recovering damages.” Damages is a legal term that refers to a payment that is made in compensation for harm. Economic damages are a payment made in compensation for the expenses you have incurred as a result of your injury. Commonly included in economic damages claims are expenses such as:
- The cost of medical treatment for the injury, including transport to the hospital, emergency treatment at the scene or in the emergency department, laboratory or diagnostic testing, physician and surgical services, hospitalization, prescription medication, physical therapy, and rehabilitation.
- Wage loss resulting from being too injured to work or missing work to attend an injury-related appointment.
- Loss of future earning capacity if the injury causes a permanent disability and the victim can no longer work or earn in the same capacity as they did before the accident.
- The cost of repairing or replacing personal property that was damaged in the slip and fall accident. For example, if someone slipped and dropped their phone as they were falling, they could claim the expense of repairing or replacing the phone.
Not all injuries incurred in a slip and fall accident are physical. Serious injury can lead to a negative psychological response such as post-traumatic stress disorder or general anxiety disorder. Non-economic damages refer to a payment made in compensation for how your injury has impacted your quality of life. Some common impacts that have been included in slip and fall non-economic damage claims are:
- Physical pain and suffering as a result of the injury or even the painful procedures someone has had to undergo to treat the injury.
- Emotional distress.
- Loss of the enjoyment of life if the slip and fall injuries prevent further participation in activities that the victim enjoyed before the accident.
How to Calculate Miami Slip and Fall Damages
One of the important services that a Miami slip and fall attorney could provide for you is a valuation of your case. This is the amount of compensation you should pursue to help fully recover your damages. To assign a value to your case, your attorney will:
- Add together all of the expenses you have incurred through the economic damage categories. This will provide a total amount of economic damages.
- The total amount of your economic damages is then multiplied by a number between 1.5 and 5. The more severe your injuries are, the higher the multiplier that is used. This new figure represents your total amount of non-economic damages.
- The totals of your economic and non-economic damages are added together to make up your case’s approximate value.
Possible Defenses to a Miami Slip and Fall Claim
Slip and fall cases are often difficult to prove, as it requires you to show that the property owner either knew or had reason to know that the hazard existed. One of the most common defenses that at-fault parties offer in this type of case is that they did not know. Other common defenses to a slip and fall claim include:
- The hazard was open and obvious. Many at-fault parties will argue that they are not liable for the accident because the hazard was in the open and obvious to the casual passerby, and a reasonable person would have taken precautions to avoid it.
- The plaintiff was solely or partially responsible for the accident. Common arguments in this vein include arguing that the plaintiff was wearing the wrong shoes for the property or was distracted by his or her phone and not watching where he or she was going.
- The property was not under the control of the defendant. An example of this would be if your slip and fall accident occurred in a store where a property owner leased it to someone else and had no access or control over the day-to-day operations. While the store’s management might bear liability, you might not hold the actual property owner liable unless the hazardous feature was structural, the owner had previous knowledge of the danger, and failed to repair the hazard.
Let Our Miami Slip and Fall Attorneys Help You
Slip and fall accidents can lead to serious, life-changing injuries. If you retain an attorney to handle your personal injury claim, you can focus on your recovery while your attorney handles the legal complexities of your case. At Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, we understand the seriousness of slip and fall accidents and how difficult it can be to obtain compensation for injuries caused in this manner. While we cannot guarantee a favorable result in your case, the legal team at Sibley Dolman Gipe knows how to win slip and fall accident cases and we can promise to use our resources and knowledge to help recover maximum compensation on your behalf. If you or a loved one has sustained injuries in a Miami slip and fall accident, our Miami personal injury attorneys are ready to learn more about your accident and provide answers to your legal questions. With offices across both Florida coasts, you can easily reach Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA at 833-552-7274 (833-55-CRASH) or by contacting us online. Contact us today to learn more about your legal options.
“AMAZING and understanding attorneys! Did great on my case and I highly recommend Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA for anyone that has been injured in an accident!” Rating: 5/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Koralis R. Jan 2020 Read more reviews on Google!