There is no shortage of entertainment venues and historical places in Spring Hill that can stoke the imagination, stir interest, and provide an enjoyable adventure for tourists and residents alike. Many of these places contain property hazards that can injure a visitor. The most common type of accident resulting in injuries from a property defect is a slip and fall accident, which occurs when someone slips or trips on a property hazard and falls.
Slip and fall injuries are commonly regarded as frivolous claims or minor mishaps. But these injuries can significantly impact the sufferer’s life, including extensive and unplanned expenses, wage loss from being too injured to work, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and even permanent injuries that will result in future loss of earning capacity.
If a slip and fall accident injured you due to a property owner’s negligent maintenance of a Spring Hill property, Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, can help you seek compensation. Our Spring Hill slip and fall attorneys can help you learn more about Florida’s personal injury claims process, the type of compensation you’re eligible to receive, and the services they can provide to assist you as you seek compensation for your injury.
- Why Should You Trust Dolman Law Group With Your Slip and Fall Claim?
- What Causes Slip and Fall Accidents in Spring Hill?
- Seeking Compensation After a Spring Hill Slip and Fall Accident
- Frequently Asked Questions About Spring Hill Slip and Fall Claims
- If You Were Injured in a Spring Hill Slip and Fall Accident, We Can Help
Why Should You Trust Dolman Law Group With Your Slip and Fall Claim?
The personal injury claims process features several obstacles that can prevent claimants from obtaining the compensation they need. The at-fault party’s insurer will likely seek reasons to deny the claim. The legal process has several requirements that, if not met, can also spell doom for slip and fall claims, not the least of which is a statutory deadline for filing the claim.
For the claim to succeed, the claimant must provide evidence and testimony to prove that the property owner’s negligence in maintaining their property caused the injury and provide documentation to justify their claim’s value.
The legal professionals at Dolman Law Group have assisted the injured throughout Florida for many years in obtaining the compensation they need. While other personal injury lawyers focus on settling as many cases as possible and only taking cases they believe they can win, the experienced Spring Hill personal injury lawyers at Dolman Law Group takes on even the hardest of cases. We’re fearless in fighting for our clients to receive the most compensation available for their claims, even if it means going to court.
Finding Us Is Easy—We Have an Office in Spring Hill
While any legal team can say they are here for you, Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, is based here in Spring Hill. Our Spring Hill injury clients can easily access quality legal services through our local office at 10485 Heley Street, between Mariner Boulevard and Lamson Avenue.
What Causes Slip and Fall Accidents in Spring Hill?
According to the National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI), slip and fall accidents cause around one million injuries yearly that are serious enough to require medical treatment.
Some of the most common causes of slip and fall accidents include:
- Damaged floors or flooring materials, such as torn carpeting, tiles, or loose floorboards
- Water or other liquid spilled on the floor
- Damaged staircases, defective handrails, and poor lighting in stairwells
- Cluttered walkways
- Potholes in parking lots and pits, cracks, and other damage on sidewalks
Spring Hill Locations that Pose a High Risk of Slip and Fall Injuries
Several locations in Spring Hill contain hazards that increase the risk of a slip and fall accident, such as:
- The Hernando County YMCA, located at 1300 Mariner Blvd, where there is a public swimming pool. Areas around swimming pools are frequent locations for slip and fall accidents due to water being splashed on the floor.
- Bars and nightclubs in downtown Spring Hill pose a high risk for slip and fall accidents due to the tendency of alcoholic beverages to be dripped or dropped on the floor and the low lighting that is common in bars and nightclubs.
- The Greyhound Bus Station, located at 14314 Spring Hill Dr. Common carriers, such as the providers of bus services, are required to protect their customers from hazards that can cause slip and fall accidents both in the bus station and on the bus itself. Stations and buses are often locations where individuals place bags and other objects in walkways, which can cause others to trip. This bus station is actually in the parking lot of a Circle K gas station. Parking lots can also provide several hazards that can result in slip and fall accidents, including potholes.
Impacts of Slip and Fall Accident
NFSI reports that a broken hip is one of the most serious injuries incurred in a slip and fall accident. The risk of this injury is exceptionally high for older individuals. According to the United States Census Bureau, nearly a quarter of the residents of Spring Hill are over 65.
Other injuries that can occur as a result of a slip and fall include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Broken bones
- Soft tissue injuries, such as damage to the muscles, tendons, and ligaments
The financial and psychological impacts of a slip and fall injury can be significant and include expenses such as the cost of medical treatment. For example, the cost of treating a hip fracture can cost between $13,000 and $40,000, in addition to costs for the surgeon, hospitalization, diagnostic imaging tests, ambulance transport, physical therapy, and rehabilitation. Older adults with broken hips are at a high risk of being unable to live independently again after the accident, and many wind up in long-term nursing facilities. The Florida Health Care Association notes that a private room in a nursing home in the state costs more than $100,000 a year, while a semi-private room will cost slightly less.
Individuals injured in accidents often miss work while recovering, which adds wage loss to their list of financial woes. In cases where the accident resulted in a catastrophic injury such as a traumatic brain injury or a spinal cord injury, the sufferer faces a risk of losing future earning capacity due to their inability to work with the disabilities stemming from the injury.
Being injured profoundly impacts the sufferer’s quality of life, limiting their ability to participate in activities they enjoy while subjecting them to frequent—and often painful—medical treatments.
Seeking Compensation After a Spring Hill Slip and Fall Accident
Property owners and managers in Spring Hill—including those who own or manage residential, commercial, or even public properties—have a legal responsibility to ensure that their property is free from hazards that could cause injuries to guests.
They must maintain their property not only regularly but also regularly inspect it for hazards. If they find hazards, they must mitigate the hazard promptly. If they cannot repair the hazard promptly, the owner or manager must warn guests through barricades, prominent warning signs, and other measures so they know to avoid the area where the hazard is located.
When property owners fail to inspect and maintain their property, they are generally liable for the financial and psychological costs that the injured party incurs due to a slip and fall accident. The injured party has the right to seek compensation for their injury through a personal injury claim filed against a relevant insurance policy, such as a homeowners or property policy providing liability coverage.
If the at-fault party’s insurance company fails to pay the claim or provide a settlement agreement, the victim can file a personal injury lawsuit in civil court. Then, a judge or jury will hear the case and decide whether the claimant is owed compensation.
The Elements Needed to Prove Liability in a Slip and Fall Claim
To have a successful outcome to a Spring Hill slip and fall claim, you must be able to show that the owner or manager of the property was liable for the condition that caused your injury.
This involves showing:
- The at-fault party was legally bound to the property through a title, lease, operating agreement, or another type of legal contract that establishes their control over the property.
- The at-fault property owner or manager was negligent in their maintenance and care of the property.
- You were injured at the property.
- Your injury was the result of the property owner’s negligence.
How an Attorney Can Help You With Your Claim
The legal process of seeking compensation for your injuries is often difficult and overwhelming for claimants who attempt to navigate this process independently. Insurance companies do not want to pay out on claims for their insured’s liability and frequently engage in tactics to reduce or eliminate the claim’s value.
One common tactic they use is offering a meager settlement with an arbitrary deadline and indicating that if the claimant doesn’t accept the offer, there will be no compensation. They may also try convincing the claimant to authorize the release of their medical history to evaluate the claim when looking for a reason to reduce the claim’s value, as they don’t need to pay for pre-existing conditions.
An attorney brings experience to the claim. They can help a slip and fall claimant determine the source of liability and the insurance resources available to compensate for the claim. They can also value the claim, including non-economic damages, which involve compensation for the quality-of-life impacts of the injury and often make up a large portion of a slip and fall claim’s value.
They can manage communication with the insurance provider to protect the claim’s value from falling victim to insurance company tactics and negotiate a settlement that fairly compensates the victim for their injuries.
In Florida, slip and fall accident lawsuits must generally be filed within four years of the date of the injury for the claimant to have the right to use the court process when seeking compensation for their injury. Without the ability to sue, the claimant usually will not find the insurance provider willing to settle the claim either, as they are not required to compensate claims after the statute of limitations expires.
An experienced Spring Hill slip and fall attorney from Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, can manage the timing of the claim to keep all of their client’s legal options for seeking compensation open and prepare the case for trial. An attorney can present the case in court if a settlement agreement is not in place by the trial date.
Whether the claim is resolved by a settlement or court award, the attorney can assist the claimant in receiving the compensation that is owed to them.
Frequently Asked Questions About Spring Hill Slip and Fall Claims
With pleasant weather most of the time, low crime rates, and an affordable cost of living, there are many things to love about Spring Hill. What isn’t to love, however, is the number of hazards throughout the city that can result in an injury.
An accident can occur when a property owner in Spring Hill fails to maintain their property properly. A slip and fall is one of the most common types of accidents resulting from a property hazard. Here are answers to the most frequently asked questions about slip and fall accident claims.
What type of evidence can be used to prove a slip and fall claim?
Slip and fall claims are often hard to prove because you have to show that a property hazard existed and that the property owner knew or had reason to know about the hazard and failed to take reasonable actions to avoid others being harmed by it.
The evidence that can b prove your slip and fall claim include:
- Photos of the hazard that caused you to slip, trip, and fall. It is important to photograph the hazard and any warning signs posted in the area that could have alerted you to avoid the hazard.
- Video surveillance footage from a business where the slip and fall accident occurred or from neighboring businesses or residences.
- An accident report that you made to the property owner or manager about the hazard.
- Medical records showing the types of treatment you received, as well as bills for your medical treatment, wage loss information from your employer, and other documents that provide a clearer picture of the cost of your injury.
- Journals in which you detail the type of treatments you’ve received for your injury, the frequency of medical appointments, and other day-to-day impacts of your injury.
What is the statute of limitations on Spring Hill slip and fall claims, and why does it matter?
In Florida, plaintiffs must generally file slip and fall accident injury claims within four years of the accident. This is known as the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations refers to the time the claimant has to file a premises liability lawsuit to have a judge or jury determine liability and compensation. This is an option available if the property owner or manager’s insurance company fails to compensate the claim fairly.
Failing to file your lawsuit before the deadline usually results in losing the ability to use the court process to seek compensation for the injuries you incurred in a Spring Hill slip and fall. It will also usually cause the at-fault party’s insurance company to deny the claim, as they’re not required to compensate claims once the statute of limitations has expired.
I sustained a spinal cord injury in a slip and fall accident. What compensation is available for me?
Spinal cord injuries are a type of catastrophic injury. A catastrophic injury refers to an injury that—simply due to where on the body it occurred—has a high likelihood of causing permanent physical disabilities that will impair the claimant’s future ability to earn an income. These types of injuries also frequently result in the inability of the sufferer to accomplish daily living tasks independently and commonly result in complications and the need for additional treatment throughout life.
Catastrophic injury claims tend to be more highly valued than other claims because they include damages available through all personal injury claims, such as compensation for medical expenses, wage loss, property damage, pain and suffering, and emotional distress. You can also receive compensation for future financial impacts created by the claimant’s lost earning capacity and estimated future medical expenses.
Is compensation available for my claim if I was injured in a slip and fall while trespassing?
While many people believe that trespassers in Florida cannot seek compensation for injuries incurred while on someone else’s property without permission.
In many cases, the trespasser may seek compensation, provided:
- They were not intoxicated when they trespassed, and a slip and fall accident occurred.
- They did not enter the property to commit a felony.
When a trespasser suffers a slip and fall accident while on someone’s property without permission, they cannot file a claim for the owner or manager’s failure to warn them of the hazard. Unlike guests and customers, the trespasser is not covered under a duty to warn unless the property owner or manager knows they’re trespassing.
Trespassers can have a valid slip and fall claim when:
- They can prove that they believed when entering the property that they had permission to be there.
- They were an undiscovered trespasser, and the property owner deliberately injured them upon discovering their presence on the property.
- You were a discovered trespasser, meaning the property owner knew you were there but did not warn you of known property hazards or attempt to repair those hazards.
If you were injured while trespassing, a Spring Hill slip and fall lawyer can evaluate the circumstances of your injury and help you determine if you are able to seek compensation through the personal injury claims process.
I slipped and fell at a friend’s house. I don’t want to sue them. What should I do?
Suffering an injury as a result of the failure of a friend to maintain their property properly can be a distressing situation.
While we can’t tell you what to do, we can offer three points to help you understand your situation.
- Provided your friend has a homeowners or renters policy that provides liability coverage, you aren’t filing a claim against them but against their insurance policy.
- Your friend will not be the focus of the personal injury claims process. Evaluating and compensating the claim is up to their insurance provider. While they will be asked what happened and be required in some cases to provide additional information when their insurance provider investigates the claim, the claims process is pretty impersonal, which—in this case—is okay.
- Most civil claims, including slip and fall claims—are resolved through the settlement process instead of through court. The likelihood of you and your friend facing each other in court is relatively slim.
A slip and fall accident injured my child. Can she seek compensation?
If your child is over 18, they can seek compensation for the expenses and impacts of a slip and fall injury through the personal injury claims process, just as any adult can. However, children who have yet to reach the age of majority (18) are not permitted to enter legal contracts, such as a contingent fee agreement with their attorney or a settlement agreement with the at-fault property owner or manager’s insurance provider.
Instead, the parents or legal guardians of the child are permitted to seek compensation on their child’s behalf. The claims process is the same for child injury and adult claims. However, settlement agreements involving child claims must be approved by the court.
If the value of the settlement exceeds $15,000, a guardian ad litem must be appointed to ensure that the settlement represents the child’s best interest. Proceeds from a child injury settlement or court award that are not allocated to a specific expense, such as medical bills, must generally be kept in a trust for those funds to be made available when the child reaches the age of majority.
The child also has the option to wait until they turn 18 and pursue compensation themselves at that time. The four year statute of limitations for the slip and fall action would start to run on the child’s 18th birthday.
Are there any legal defenses to slip and fall claims?
Yes, there are several ways a property owner or manager and their insurance provider can defend themselves against a slip and fall claim, including:
- The open and obvious doctrine, which posits that the hazard that resulted in a Spring Hill slip and fall accident was out in the open and so obvious that the claimant should have known to avoid it.
- Assertions that the claimant suffered a slip and fall due to their actions, such as not paying attention to where they’re going or wearing the wrong shoes.
- Arguing that the property owner or manager did not know and had no reason to know that the hazard existed. One type of claim where this defense is often used is when a slip and fall accident occurred as the result of water that was spilled on the floor very shortly before the accident, and the property owner, manager, or staff had no time to discover the hazard during a regular inspection or take measures to mitigate this hazard.
What can I do to protect my right to compensation for injuries I sustained in a Spring Hill slip and fall?
If a slip and fall accident in Spring Hill injured you, you can protect your claim’s value even before you have filed the claim by:
- Gathering evidence, such as photos, videos, and a copy of your accident report
- Following your doctor’s treatment plan to support a meaningful recovery and create the documentation needed to justify the value of your claim
- Journaling the medical treatments you have received for your injury, how frequently those treatments occurred, and other impacts the injury has caused on your quality of life
- Gathering wage loss information from your employer
I can’t afford an attorney. Can I handle the claims process on my own?
No. As anyone who has suffered a broken hip, a spinal cord injury, a traumatic brain injury, soft tissue damage, or bone fractures in a slip and fall can tell you, these accidents can be severe and result in genuine consequences. These consequences include thousands of dollars of medical expenses, missed time from work while recovering from the injury, and profound psychological impacts, such as physical pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of the enjoyment of life.
Personal injury claimants who attempt to navigate the claims process independently often end up needing help with the process at some point. They may feel unable to face insurance companies who want to reduce or eliminate the claim. Still, they will engage in tactics designed to exploit the claimant’s lack of understanding about the process, the difficulty of knowing the types of evidence needed to prove the claim and justify its value and how to obtain that evidence, and court formalities and deadlines that can derail a claim.
An experienced Spring Hill slip and fall attorney from Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, can provide several services to help ease the pressure points of the claims process.
- Determine liability and insurance resources
- Assign a value to the claim that includes compensation for the financial and psychological costs of the injury.
- File the claim with the at-fault property owner or manager’s insurance provider and maintain communication with the provider’s claims adjuster to negotiate a settlement and protect the value of the client’s claim from insurance company tactics.
- File a personal injury lawsuit within the four-year statute of limitations that generally applies to this claim.
- Gather the evidence and witness testimony needed to prove the claim.
- Present the claimant’s story to a judge or jury so they can understand the expenses and impacts you incurred due to the property owner or manager’s negligent care of the property.
- Help the claimant to receive the compensation awarded through a settlement or verdict.
Luckily, the Spring Hill slip and fall accident lawyers from Dolman Law Group will not charge you for their services unless they recover compensation for your claim. They will evaluate your claim for free, allowing you quality legal assistance without an upfront investment.
For your free case evaluation, contact Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, today.
If You Were Injured in a Spring Hill Slip and Fall Accident, We Can Help
Slip and fall accidents can result in severe injuries, unexpected expenses, and unwanted psychological impacts. It is important to have a legal team with the network and resources to fight for your ability to receive the compensation you need for your injuries.
If you were injured in a Spring Hill slip and fall accident, an attorney from Dolman Law Group can evaluate your claim for free and provide information about the claims process. We can also tell you about the type of services our legal team can provide to assist you in obtaining the most compensation available for your claim. To take advantage of this offer, contact us online or by calling (352) 612-3437.