It goes without saying that striking the ground with a large degree of force can cause serious injuries. In North Miami Beach slip and fall accidents, 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 if you need to show the owner or manager of the property had notice of the defect on the property and the time to correct it. That's when an experienced North Miami Beach slip and fall lawyer at Dolman Law Group can be your greatest ally.
In slip-and-fall cases, insurance companies often deny liability—or fault—on the part of their policyholders. They may even allege that the injured accident victim contributed to the accident by wearing old or improper footwear or by not paying attention to warning signs in the vicinity of a spill.
Can You Bring a Florida Slip & Fall Claim?
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 two years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury lawsuit for damages. If you fail to file a claim or lawsuit within that two-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 filing period may be even shorter.
The experienced North Miami Beach slip and fall attorneys at Dolman Law Group are aware of these limitations and deadlines and can take the necessary legal actions on your behalf—and within the necessary time periods. Ourtalented North Miami Beach personal injury lawyers can also make sure that all potentially responsible parties are included in your legal case so we can recoup the maximum amount of compensation possible.
What are the Most Common 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. 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 accident factors that cause falls to occur and makes certain parties liable in slip and fall accident claims.
Some of the slip and fall accident contributing factors caused by negligence include:
- Spilled liquids
- Loose floorboards
- Debris 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 Our North Miami Beach Slip and Fall Accident Lawyers Help Resolve
Traumatic Brain Injuries - traumatic brain injuries occur when someone's brain suffers damage because of a powerful force acting 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, shaking is less likely. Among the most common traumatic brain injuries suffered by slip and fall victims include concussions and brain contusions caused by direct, blunt-force trauma.
Fractured/Broken Bones - broken bones may be severe depending on which bones are broken and where. Fall victims can suffer from a massive loss of mobility for a long period of time because of this injury and have to face related consequences, including time off work.
Spinal Cord Injuries - when someone suffers a spinal cord injury, there is a chance that they will experience 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 when someone lands on an object that enters the body or inflicts trauma to internal organs. Internal injuries are commonly linked to other injuries like broken bones. For example, a broken rib can puncture a lung or a broken hip can damage 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 further damage.
Owners and Occupiers of Property May be Liable for Your Losses
Owners of restaurants, homes, boats, docks, and other locations where slip and fall accidents take place can be liable for the injuries and losses, known as legal damages, sustained by accident victims. Those damages may include compensation for:
- Related medical bills, both current and future expected costs
- Lost income and wages
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Permanent life changes
- Loss of use of limbs or other bodily systems and
- Loss of enjoyment of life
The key to determining the extent of the owner's liability depends on the accident victim's status on the property. In many cases, the accident victim is a business invitee who visits the owner's premises at the owner's invitation, usually 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, such as a social guest. Generally speaking, an owner owes an invitee or a licensee a duty to maintain the 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 or latent defects.
Lastly, 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.
What is the Owner's Responsibility After Discovering a Dangerous Condition?
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 reasonably under the circumstances. This question turns on whether the owner had notice of the defect (that is, by discovering the defect themself or by someone else pointing out the defect) and, if so, whether the owner took prompt action to correct the defect.
Correcting a defect on the premises may involve posting warnings on the property or repairing the dangerous condition. Property owners must take 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 they 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. A North Miami Beach slip and fall attorney at Dolman Law Group can help you prove all of the legal elements of your slip and fall case and pursue compensation from the responsible party on your behalf.
North Miami Beach Slip and Fall Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
If you suffered injuries in a slip and fall accident, you may have questions about the compensation you can recover for your injuries. Take a look at the FAQs below, and contact Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers to learn more about your specific right to compensation.
1. Where do North Miami Beach slip and fall accidents commonly occur?
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 Dolman Law Group 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 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 the property when that third party's negligence causes dangerous circumstances that lead to an accident.
We help investigate all potentially responsible parties to determine liability, assess the compensation you deserve, and hold the liable party accountable.
2. I slipped and fell 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 slip and fall accident claim, we will need to show three legal elements.
First, we must 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 warn about a fall hazard, or because the liable party created a hazard in some way that led to your fall.
Finally, and most critically, we must establish that you suffered injuries in some way due to the at-fault party's negligence. 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, 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 were injured in your fall. Many victims suffer broken bones or, in some cases, more serious injuries without realizing it. Back and neck injuries, in particular, may hide until you have a full medical evaluation. If you experience a bad fall, always have a medical care professional evaluate you to ensure you receive the best future care.
3. What can I do to protect my rights if I slipped and fell at a North Miami Beach business?
After a fall, and regardless of whether you immediately realize that you have sustained serious injuries, there are steps you can take to protect a potential legal claim. It's important that 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. After a slip and fall accident, many people 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 make that party liable for your injuries.
- Contact a North Miami Beach slip and fall accident attorney at Dolman Law Group. If you suffered serious injuries in a slip and fall, our attorneys can serve as your advocate to pursue compensation for your injuries. Do not try to handle your claim on your own. Instead, partner with a North Miami Beach slip and fall attorney as soon as possible.
4. Can I file an 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 were not a trespasser) and
- The property owner's negligence led to your injuries.
You might, for example, have the right to bring 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 them.
5. The liable party's insurance company offered a settlement for my North Miami Beach slip and fall accident injuries. Should I take it?
Before accepting any settlement offer from the liable party's insurance company, consult with a North Miami Beach slip and fall accident lawyer. Often, insurance companies will try to take advantage of the victims of serious accidents, especially those who sustained injuries that may require substantial payments.
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 it is making a high settlement offer. You may even hear that you need to accept that offer fast, or it might disappear.
In reality, however, that offer may include only a small percentage of the compensation you really deserve, especially if you sustained severe injuries that may require ongoing medical care. Before accepting any offer, consult an attorney. A dedicated personal injury attorney at Dolman Law Group can help go over the compensation you really deserve to 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 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 be more likely to end up in court to resolve your claim if:
- The property owner tries to dispute liability. If the property owner claims 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, they might claim you were partially or fully liable for the injuries you sustained in your accident.
- You have incurred 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. The insurance company that insures the liable party may claim that your injuries do not create 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 too long to start your claim, it can prove more difficult for an attorney to collect evidence related to your accident and your injuries. For example, witnesses may have more trouble recalling exactly what happened during the accident, or video footage may disappear. By starting an investigation soon after the accident, your injury lawyer 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 explain 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 Consultation and Case Evaluation
Slip and fall accidents can be caused by multiple potential defendants. It is important that every potentially responsible defendant is named in a claim or lawsuit 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 dedicated injury lawyers at Dolman Law Group 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.
Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
1820 NE 163rd St #306,
North Miami Beach, FL 33162