It goes without saying that striking the ground with a large degree of force can cause serious injuries. Such is the case with North Miami Beach slip and fall accidents. In a slip and fall accident, the negligent party is usually the owner or occupier of the property where the fall took place. These cases can sometimes be difficult to prove because the owner or manager of the property must have had timely notice of the defect on the property and must have had ample time to correct it.
Consequently, the insurance companies oftentimes deny liability—or fault—in these cases. They may even allege that the injured accident victim contributed to the accident by wearing old or improper footwear, or by not taking heed of warning signs or placards in the vicinity of a spill.
If you or a loved one was injured in a North Miami Beach slip and fall accident, you may be able to make a claim against the owner or occupier of the property. Keep in mind that you ordinarily have only four years from the date of the accident during which you can file a personal injury claim or lawsuit for damages. If you fail to file a claim or lawsuit within that four-year time period, you will most likely be barred from pursuing monetary compensation for your injuries and damages. Moreover, if one of the potential at-fault parties in your slip and fall accident case is a governmental entity, such as Dade County or the city of North Miami Beach, the notice period may be even shorter.
The experienced North Miami Beach slip and fall attorneys at Sibley Dolman are aware of these limitations and notice deadlines and can take the necessary legal actions on your behalf—and within the necessary time periods. Our North Miami Beach Slip & Fall Injury Lawyers can also make sure that all potentially responsible parties are brought into your personal injury case.
Slip and Fall Accident Locations
North Miami Beach is unique in that it provides ample opportunities for boating and other water activities. However, with water activities comes the potential for slip and fall injuries, including on boats, docks, and boat decks. Slip and falls can also occur on sidewalks and staircases, and in grocery stores, restaurants, bars, parking lots, and parking garages. A North Miami Beach slip and fall accident attorney can examine the facts and circumstances of your individual case and determine whether or not there is a legal basis to make a claim.
Common Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents
Slip and fall accidents can be particularly dangerous since they can potentially occur in almost any location. However, there are a number of factors that can be addressed in order to significantly reduce the chance of a slip and fall accident occurring. It is usually the failure to address these slip and fall accident factors that cause these accidents to occur and leads certain parties to be considered liable in slip and fall accident claims. Some of these slip and fall accident contributing factors caused by negligence include:
- Spilled liquids
- Loose floorboardsDebris left on the floors
- Parking lot potholes
- Uneven sidewalks
- Torn or loose carpeting
- Poorly constructed staircases
- Recently waxed or mopped floors
- Loose mats
- A lack of handrails and similar barriers
Common Injuries Caused by Slip and Fall Accidents
Traumatic Brain Injuries – traumatic brain injuries are when someone’s brain suffers damage because of a powerful force that acts upon the skull. This force can take the form of blunt force trauma or even violent shaking of the head although in the case of slip and fall accidents this is less likely to ever be the cause. Among the most common traumatic brain injuries to befall slip and fall victims include, concussions and brain contusions caused by direct blunt force trauma.
Fractured/Broken Bones – broken bones have the potential to be severely damaging depending on which bones are broken and where. People can suffer from a massive loss of mobility for a long period of time because of this injury and have to suffer the consequences.
Spinal cord Injuries – when someone suffers a spinal cord injury, there is a chance that they will suffer permanent damage and even paralysis as a consequence. Spinal cord injuries affect the nervous system and interfere with your body’s ability to send and receive information from other organs in your body. This means loss of sensation in your limbs, incontinence, and a decrease in motor function abilities.
Internal Injuries – There are some instances where a person slips and falls in a way that causes injury to internal organs. This can occur usually when someone slips and falls onto an object that can pierce tissue and enters the body or the object is positioned in a way that inflicts trauma to internal organs. Internal injuries are commonly linked to other injuries like broken bones such as a rib that can puncture a lung or a broken hip that damages an intestine. Internal injuries are dangerous since they can disrupt a number of organ functions and leak bodily fluids into other parts of the body where they cause damage.
Owners and Occupiers of Property
Owners of restaurants, homes, boats, docks, and other locations where slip and fall accidents take place can be liable for the injuries and damages sustained by accident victims. Those damages may include compensation for all related medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, emotional distress, permanency, loss of use, and loss of enjoyment of life.
The key to determining the extent of the owner’s liability lies with the slip and fall accident victim’s status on the property. In many cases, the accident victim is a business invitee. An invitee is an individual who visits the owner’s premises at the owner’s invitation—and for the purpose of financially benefiting the owner. The classic example of a business invitee is a restaurant patron or a shopper in a store, mall, or another place of business. A business invitee is usually owed the highest duty of care. A licensee, on the other hand, is not on the premises for purposes of benefitting the owner. The classic example of a licensee is a visitor to someone’s home or boat (that is, a social guest). Generally speaking, an owner owes an invitee or a licensee a duty to maintain the subject premises in a reasonably safe condition and to take the necessary measures to warn or otherwise correct any known property defects promptly. Particularly in the case of a business invitee, property owners are usually required to inspect the premises on a regular basis and to search for any hidden latent defects. Trespassers are those individuals who are present on the premises without the property owner’s permission or consent. They are generally owed no duty of care, with the possible exception of known trespassers who are children.
Once the owner’s duty has been established in a North Miami Beach slip and fall case, the next question becomes whether or not the property owner or occupier acted appropriately—or reasonably—under the circumstances. This question turns on whether the owner was provided timely notice of the defect (that is, by discovering the defect himself of by someone else pointing out the defect to him or her), and if so, whether the owner took prompt action to correct the defect. Correcting the defect on the premises may involve:
Posting warning signs or placards to notify visitors of inherent dangers on the property
Taking the necessary actions to repair or correct the defect, so that visitors to the property do not slip, fall, or injure themselves.
If the property owner did not have timely notice of the defect on the premises, then he or she may not be considered liable for the slip and fall accident or the resulting injuries.
Finally, the injured accident victim must show that the property owner’s negligence directly resulted in the slip and fall accident, along with the injuries sustained. Slips and falls that occur on hard surfaces, such as floors or concrete sidewalks, can result in serious injuries, including fractures, traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), spinal cord injuries, and other long-standing and potentially permanent impairments. A North Miami Beach slip and fall attorney can help you prove all of the legal elements of your slip and fall case.
North Miami Beach Slip and Fall Frequently asked Questions
If you suffered injuries in a North Miami Beach slip and fall accident, you may have substantial questions about the compensation you can recover for your injuries. Take a look at the FAQ below, or contact Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers to learn more about your right to compensation.
1. Who bears liability in a North Miami Beach slip and fall accident?
You suffered serious injuries in a North Miami Beach slip and fall accident, and now, finding out who bears liability tops your list. Once you identify the liable party, you can move forward with a premises liability claim—but without that vital identification, you may struggle to pursue the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
Slip and fall accident injuries usually occur as a result of negligence on the part of the property owner. For example, you might suffer injuries at a North Miami Beach hotel because the property owner failed to maintain the wooden stairs or ramp going down to the beach, which may degrade over time due to their heavy exposure to saltwater and high winds.
Likewise, if you visit a North Miami Beach restaurant and slip and fall in a huge puddle that the staff made no effort to block off or mark so that you could avoid it, the restaurant may bear liability for your injuries.
At Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, we will investigate the circumstances that led to your slip and fall accident to determine who may bear or share liability for your slip and fall accident injuries. Liable parties may include the owner of the property, when the owner’s negligence leads to a serious accident; a business operating on the property, when a business owner fails to properly maintain the property or warn guests about potential slip and fall hazards; or a third party using that property when that third party’s negligence causes dangerous circumstances that lead to an accident.
We help investigate all potentially liable parties to identify liability, assess the compensation you deserve, and hold the liable party accountable.
2. I slipped and fell at a North Miami Beach business due to negligence on the part of a business owner, but I did not suffer injuries. Do I still have grounds for a personal injury claim?
For a North Miami Beach slip and fall accident claim, you will need to show three clear elements.
First, you will need to show that the liable party bore a duty of care to you at the time of the accident. That includes, for example, a business owner whose premises you had the right to enter and where you chose to do business.
Next, your attorney will establish that the liable party violated that duty of care to you in some way: through poor maintenance of the area, through failure to clearly label a fall hazard, or because the liable party created a hazard in some way that led to your fall.
Finally, and most critically, a personal injury claim will establish that you suffered injuries in some way due to that act of negligence. Slip and fall accidents can lead to a variety of injuries, including broken hips, broken bones in the hands and arms, and even traumatic brain injury. If you walked away from your slip and fall accident unscathed, you do not have grounds for a personal injury claim.
Before assuming that your slip and fall accident did not result in serious injury, however, make sure you visit a medical care facility. North Miami Beach has many options, including Jackson North Medical Center, North Miami Beach Hospital, and Mount Sinai Skylake, all of which can offer a full evaluation of any injuries you may have sustained in your slip and fall accident.
Sometimes, you may not immediately realize that you did sustain severe injuries in your fall. Many victims walk around even with broken bones or, in some cases, more serious injuries, without realizing that they have suffered more than a few bruises. Back and neck injuries, in particular, often hide until you have a full medical evaluation. If you had a bad fall, always have a medical care professional evaluate you.
3. What should I do to protect myself if I slipped and fell at a North Miami Beach business?
You suffered serious injuries in a North Miami Beach slip and fall accident. You may know as soon as you hit the ground that you have done serious damage, or you might discover the extent of your injuries as you start to stand up and move around.
Regardless of whether you immediately realize that you have sustained serious injuries, however, make sure you:
- Report the accident. As soon as you realize that you have suffered injuries, report the accident to the facility owner. Your report can help establish when your accident took place, which may prove critical to later recovering compensation for your injuries.
- Seek medical care. Many people, after a slip and fall accident, try to just “walk it off.” If you have come to North Miami Beach for vacation, you do not want to have to spend valuable vacation time sitting in a hospital, waiting for someone to let you know whether you sustained severe injuries. Any time you think you might have suffered injuries, however, seek medical attention immediately—especially if you believe that the negligent actions of another party, including a business owner, may leave that party liable for your injuries.
- Contact a North Miami Beach slip and fall accident attorney at Sibley Dolman Gipe. If you suffered serious injuries in a slip and fall, an attorney can serve as your advocate and the best assistance you may receive as you try to pursue compensation for your injuries. Do not try to handle your claim on your own. Instead, get in touch with a North Miami Beach slip and fall attorney as soon as possible.
4. Can I file a slip and fall accident claim if I suffered injuries in a slip and fall on private property in North Miami Beach?
Private property owners, like business owners, bear a strong duty of care to visitors to their properties. They need to provide a safe environment where you can count on navigating without suffering serious injury.
If you slipped and fell on private property in North Miami Beach, you may move forward with a personal injury claim if:
- You legally had the right to enter the property (you did not trespass, for example)
- The property owner’s negligence led to your injuries.
You might, for example, have the right to move forward with a personal injury claim if you fell down a flight of stairs because the owner did not adequately secure the handrail, or if you suffered broken bones in a slip and fall because the property owner did not warn you about a dangerous hole on the property as you explored it with him.
5. The liable party’s insurance company offered me a settlement for my North Miami Beach slip and fall accident injuries. Should I take it?
Before taking any settlement offer issued by the liable party’s insurance company, consult with a North Miami Beach slip and fall accident attorney. Often, insurance companies will try to take advantage of the victims of serious accidents, especially those who sustained injuries that may require substantial payouts.
A common tactic starts with contacting you soon after the accident. You may not know the full extent of your injuries at that time. You may also have no idea what your recovery will ultimately cost or how much compensation you actually deserve for your slip and fall accident injuries. The insurance company will try to convince you that you have received a high settlement offer. You may even hear that you need to accept that offer fast or that it might disappear.
In reality, however, that offer may include only a small percentage of the compensation you really deserve following your North Miami Beach slip and fall accident, especially if you sustained severe injuries that may require ongoing medical care.
Before accepting any offer, consult an attorney. An attorney can help go over the compensation you really deserve, which may help you make an informed decision about whether to accept an offer or to continue to negotiate.
6. Will I have to go to court to settle my North Miami Beach slip and fall accident claim?
For some victims of serious accidents, going to court to settle a slip and fall accident claim sounds like an incredibly stressful proposition. You do not want to have to tell your story again, nor do you want the added legal expense that goes along with going to court. Luckily, most insurance companies do not want the added expense of taking a claim to court, either.
Generally, North Miami Beach premises liability claims, including slip and fall accident claims, settle out of court. Some claims, however, may need to go to court for you to obtain the compensation you really deserve. Working with an experienced North Miami Beach slip and fall accident attorney can make it easier for you to face all the potential challenges ahead, including taking your claim to court if needed.
You may find yourself more likely to end up in court to settle your claim if:
- The property owner tries to dispute liability. Sometimes, the property owner may try to claim that you did not look for signs that might have indicated a potential hazard or that you entered an area of the property you did not have the legal right to enter, which could leave you partially or fully liable for the injuries you sustained in your accident. If the property owner continues to dispute liability, you may have a higher chance of going to court.
- You need to ask for substantial compensation for injuries sustained in a slip and fall accident. The worse your injuries, the higher your medical bills may grow. In some cases, those severe injuries may increase the odds that you will have to go to court, since the liable party may try harder to reduce the compensation you receive.
- You cannot reach an agreement regarding the compensation you deserve. You may struggle to reach an agreement if, for example, the insurance company that covers the liable party tries to claim that your injuries do not pose the limitations you claim, or that you did not really need some of the medical treatments your doctor deemed necessary as you recovered from your injuries.
7. How long do I have to file a North Miami Beach slip and fall accident claim?
In Florida, you must file a slip and fall claim before the statute of limitations runs out. However, by working with an attorney, you may identify some exceptions to the statute of limitations that will extend the time you have to move forward with your claim.
Contact an attorney as soon after your accident as possible. If you wait a long time to start your claim, it can prove more difficult for an attorney to collect evidence related to your accident and your injuries.
Witnesses may have more trouble recalling exactly what happened during the accident, or video footage may disappear. By starting your investigation soon after the accident, you may find it easier to pursue the full compensation you deserve.
Even if some time has passed since your accident, however, you may still have the right to compensation. A North Miami Beach slip and fall accident lawyer can help you get a better idea of how long you may have to move forward with your claim.
Contact a North Miami Beach Slip and Fall Accident Attorney Today for a Free Case Evaluation and Consultation
Slip and fall accidents can create liability for multiple potential defendants. It is important that every potential defendant is named in a claim or lawsuit that is filed so that you will have ample sources of recovery. If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident that came about from a property owner or manager’s negligence, the lawyers at Sibley Dolman may be able to pursue your case and help you recover compensation. To schedule a free consultation and case evaluation with a North Miami Beach slip and fall accident attorney, please call us at (305)-676-8154 today or contact us online.
Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
1820 NE 163rd St #306,
North Miami Beach, FL 33162