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 attorneys 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.
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.
1820 NE 163rd St #306,
North Miami Beach, FL 33162