It’s a common myth that slip and fall accidents are harmless. The truth is that, according to the CDC, over 17,000 people die every year in the US from slip and fall accident injuries. A fair number of these injuries are job-related, and they account for up to 15 percent of all workers’ compensation claims.
Many people are unaware of the fact that slip and fall accidents fall under personal injury law. If your injury is due to negligence by another party, whether it’s your workplace or a public area, you can get compensation for your medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost wages.
One of the best ways to find out if you have a case is to get in touch with Brian D. Guralnik Injury Lawyers. Our experienced slip and fall attorneys have handled many Jupiter cases. Let our team help you defend your rights and get the compensation you deserve. Schedule a no-obligation consultation today.
Common Slip and Fall Accident Claims
In Florida, it’s the responsibility of the property owner or tenant to ensure their premises are safe. The same is true for employers who have a responsibility to ensure that the workplace is safe for everybody working there, as well as for customers or visitors.
These responsibilities include making sure that there aren’t any hazards that can lead to a slip and fall incident. The main factor in many slip and fall cases is negligence and poor maintenance that results in:
- Cracked or slippery steps
- Loose or missing handrails
- Waxed floors that aren’t marked as slippery
- Unmaintained floor surfaces
- Spills or puddles of water on floors
- Malfunctioning elevators or escalators
Accidents caused by these conditions are not the fault of the victim. Instead, they allow victims to seek compensation from the property owners or tenants for their injuries. The injuries from a slip and fall accident can have a devastating impact on your life, and can even prevent you from working again.
The CDC estimates that 20 to 30 percent of people who have a slip and fall will suffer moderate to severe injuries that can impact mobility and independent living. Slip and fall accidents can also cause traumatic brain injuries, which are often difficult to argue in court, as they tend to show up several days to weeks after the incident.
These accidents can happen anywhere. However, in general, these are the locations where they happen most often:
- Department stores and malls: Typically, mall accidents happen at the building entrance, the foot of the escalators, and in restrooms.
- Pharmacies, grocery, and convenience stores: Accidents in stores most frequently happen by the refrigerated section, due to condensed water on the floor.
- Parking lots or garages: Many parking lots have worn pavement that can cause falls. Parking garages are also often poorly lit, which can contribute to slip and fall accidents.
- Privately owned parks: Poorly maintained parks can have uneven pavement, weeds, and slippery surfaces, all of which contribute to slips and falls.
- Private residences: Slip and fall claims aren’t limited to public spaces. If you visit a private residence as a guest and suffer a slip and fall due to negligence, you can hold the owner of the house responsible.
- Workplaces: Many slip and fall accidents happen in the workplace. Even ‘safe’ workspaces like offices can present hazards, including waxed floors, loose handrails, and pooled water from leaks.
How Long Do You Have to File a Slip and Fall Injury Claim?
One thing you need to keep in mind when filing a personal injury lawsuit is the Florida statute of limitations. This statute places a time limit on how long you have after your accident to file a claim.
According to Florida Statute section 95.11(3)(a), you have up to four years from the time of the accident to file a lawsuit. If you’re filing a wrongful death on behalf of a deceased loved one who died in a slip and fall accident, you only have two years after the death to file.
While two to four years can feel like a long time, it’s still vital that you get in touch with a Jupiter slip and fall attorney as soon as possible. Preparing a personal injury lawsuit takes time, and you don’t want to miss your deadline to get your just compensation.
The more time your Jupiter slip and fall lawyer has to work on the case, the better your chances of success. That’s why we always strongly recommend getting in touch with an attorney immediately after your accident.
Why It is Critical to Conduct a Thorough Investigation
In most cases, businesses and insurance companies will do everything they can to prevent you from getting fair compensation. To justify your claim and win your case, you need to provide ample evidence that the third party was at fault.
The first step in compiling evidence is to do a thorough investigation. Our law firm works with a team of investigators that will comb through surveillance video, accident reports, and other sources of information. They’ll speak to witnesses and everyone involved as well.
We will only file a claim if we’re confident that we have enough evidence to win. Once we’ve done a thorough investigation and have a clear picture of what happened, we’ll file the suit and take on the relevant parties to get the compensation you deserve.
What Should You Do If You Are Injured in a Fall?
Having a severe slip and fall can be very confusing, and it can be extremely challenging to keep track of what you should do. However, the first steps you take after you’ve sustained injuries in a slip and fall are critical. By following our recommended steps, you’ll help protect your rights to claim damages.
The first thing you should do after a slip and fall is seeking medical attention, regardless of whether you think you’re hurt or not. The symptoms of a traumatic brain injury (TBI) tend to show up days after the accident, so you need to prove the connection between the TBI and the accident.
Once you’ve received medical attention, make sure to follow any recommendations from your healthcare practitioner. Doing so will help strengthen your case and avoid accusations that you made the injuries worse by not following medical advice. Also, be sure to keep all your medical records and bills from the accident in a safe place.
One of the most common ways that property owners get out of paying fair compensation is to argue that the defendant was at fault for the fall. For example, they may suggest that your shoes were slippery, and that’s why you fell.
To prevent this argument from having an impact, try to keep all the clothes you were wearing during the accident in a safe space. Doing so can allow a good lawyer to prove that your clothes didn’t contribute to the slip and fall.
If possible, get the contact details and information of any witnesses at the scene of the accident. If you sustained injuries in the workplace, follow the recommended policies and procedures for reporting the slip and fall. If the accident occurred in another public space, make sure to report it to management or the building owners. Try not to leave the premises without a copy of this report.
Get in touch with an experienced slip and fall lawyer as soon as you can. Many building owners and their insurance companies will try to lessen your chances of securing a fair settlement. Avoid speaking to representatives from insurance companies or the building tenants or owners alone.
Whatever you do, don’t accept responsibility for the accident. Many people feel like they should at least shoulder some of the blame, but this can negatively impact your chances for a fair claim. Never discuss the accident on social media or with your friends until the case is resolved, and you’ve received your damages.
Hiring an attorney as soon as possible can help you avoid some of these pitfalls and ensure your rights are protected. Make sure your attorney is present during any communication with insurance firms or lawyers. An experienced attorney will always make sure that you’re acting in your best long-term interests, and they’ll help you develop a strategy on moving forward with your life.
Schedule a Free Consultation for Your Slip and Fall Accident Today
Slip and fall accidents can have a significant impact on your life. By working with our law firm, you can rest assured that we’re going above and beyond to get you a fair settlement. All you need to do is focus on your recovery and getting your life back on track.
If you have been injured in a Palm Beach County slip and fall accident, I encourage you to contact me, Brian D. Guralnick, personally to discuss your legal rights. To learn how the injury team at Brian D. Guralnick Injury Lawyers can help you Demand More® for your injuries, call (561) 983-4395 now.