Plantation Slip and Fall Accident Lawyer
A slip and fall case is like every other personal injury claim. The basis of your claim is that someone else was responsible for your injury, which is also known as negligence, and it is the basis of your case. Not every accident is someone else’s fault. Sometimes, accidents just happen. Just because you were injured does not automatically make it someone else’s legal responsibility. Instead, you must show that someone else’s carelessness was the cause of your accident, A skilled Plantation slip and fall accident lawyer can assist you with that.
Table of Contents
- How to Prove a Slip and Fall Case
- Filing A Slip & Fall Accident Claim
- How to Prove Your Slip and Fall Claim
- Defendants in Your Slip and Fall Case
- Your First Consultation With Your Slip and Fall Attorney
- What Insurance Companies Do in Your Claim
- How an Insurance Company Looks at Your Slip and Fall Claim
- Damages in Your Slip and Fall Case
- Call Our Plantation Slip and Fall Attorneys Today
- Plantation Slip and Fall FAQs
- Contact A Plantation Trip & Fall Accident Lawyer Today
How to Prove a Slip and Fall Case
The basis of negligence is that someone did something they should not do or did not do something they should have.
Every negligence test must prove:
- The other party owed you a duty of care.
- They breached the duty of care by acting unreasonably under the circumstances.
- You suffered an injury.
- You would not have suffered injuries had it not been for the actions of the other party.
In a slip and fall case, unreasonable actions are knowing about the dangerous conditions and doing nothing about them in a reasonable amount of time.
Filing A Slip & Fall Accident Claim
When you file a slip and fall case, you probably must overcome the defenses that the other party may use to avoid paying for your injuries, such as:
- Your injuries were from something else and not your fall.
- The property owner did not know about the dangerous condition, nor could it have known.
- Your carelessness caused your own injuries.
- The dangerous condition that caused your fall was open and obvious, and you should have known of it (if the condition is open and obvious, the owner does not have a duty to warn about it).
One thing working in your favor is that every property owner has a duty to reasonably inspect their property which prevents them from using the “ostrich defense,” where they pretend to put their head in the sand and not know of the condition that caused your accident.
Much of whether you receive compensation depends on the character of the defect that caused your fall. Usually, it cannot be a minor condition responsible for your injury. For example, if there were just a drop or two of water on the floor or a minor crack in the pavement, it may not be severe enough for the owner to be judged negligent.
You can hold a property owner liable for a slip and fall injury if:
- The owner created the dangerous condition themselves (for example, by putting the danger there or improperly constructing a sidewalk).
- The owner had actual notice of the dangerous condition because they saw it themselves.
- The owner should have known of the condition because it was there for a certain time, and a reasonable owner would have seen it.
Owners should know about a recurring condition on their property. For example, if water comes up from the floor every so often, the owner could be legally responsible when someone slips because they should have known to fix it or warn the public.
How to Prove Your Slip and Fall Claim
Proving a slip and fall case is not always easy. Often, there are no witnesses to your fall who can give their own account of what happened, meaning that it is just your word describing what happened to you. Of course, the business will almost always dispute your account because, otherwise, it means that they need to pay for your injuries.
What you need for your claim is some documentary proof of what happened or the conditions in the general area before your injury. The strongest form of evidence is someone who saw you fall. They can testify what happened and give support for your arguments that the owner was negligent. After that, you could have someone who was in the area before you fell describe what you may have encountered yourself.
After this, photos are the next best form of evidence. It is not always easy to get pictures yourself after you have fallen and were hurt. After all, if you have a sprain or fracture, it is difficult to move around to get the pictures yourself. Try to have someone else take pictures and send them to you. Other than that, you should hire a lawyer immediately after your accident so they can gather as much proof as they can of the conditions that caused your fall. Even still, this is not easy because the property owner can clean up the condition right after the accident to erase the
Other evidence that your attorney could use to help prove your case includes:
- Maintenance logs from the store or property
- Video camera footage of the area before your accident
- Deposition testimony from employees who worked there
- Some slip and fall cases are complicated and could involve things like building codes (these may require an expert witness)
You need to move quickly to preserve the evidence needed to prove your claim. There is nothing to say that the responsible party may not try to erase the evidence before you can get it. They only must keep it once your attorney has sent them a letter directing them to.
Defendants in Your Slip and Fall Case
You are best off suing the person or company that directly caused your injury. In most cases, the liability for your injury only applies to the ownership of the property. However, when a store owner rents the property from the landlord, they are the ones who are legally responsible.
If the owner has turned over complete control to a tenant, it will be the tenant who is responsible for the dangerous condition. If your injury occurs in a common area not under the control of a tenant, the landlord will be responsible for the injury. Finding the right defendant is something that your lawyer will investigate.
One entity that may not be a defendant in your slip and fall case is your employer. If your injuries happened in a workplace fall, you would most likely have to file a workers’ compensation claim. At Feingold & Posner Accident Injury Lawyers, we are experienced workers’ compensation attorneys, and we can help with that. First, we would review the facts of your case to see if there is a third party that could potentially be responsible because you could recover more in a personal injury lawsuit than you would in a workers’ compensation claim.
These lawyers are not only very efficient, but caring as well. I would not hesitate to refer them to anyone.
Your First Consultation With Your Slip and Fall Attorney
When we meet or speak to you for the first time, we will likely ask you a bunch of questions about your accident.
These questions will include:
- Can you please describe in detail what happened in your accident?
- What was the time of day and the conditions at the time?
- What were you doing at the time that you fell?
- Did you get any photographs of the scene?
- Has an insurance company called you yet?
- Did you notice any surveillance equipment on the premises?
We also want to know that you have a strong case before we represent you. These questions will also tell us what evidence we would need to get to make your case stronger. We are diligent and prepared lawyers, and we want to know the most effective way to fight for you early.
What Insurance Companies Do in Your Claim
Insurance companies play a large role in slip and fall cases. Every property owner will have an insurance policy, and the company may be afraid of potential liability. They may even start the process by calling you to get your statement. We cannot say it strongly enough: Do not do anything without talking to a lawyer. The insurance company is going to pepper you with questions, and if they can get you on the record saying one thing that could indicate that you were careless, it could mean the end of your claim.
In addition, the insurance company will also play a role when it comes time to talk settlement. Naturally, they are looking to pay as little as they can to get you to sign away your legal rights in a settlement. They may tell you that your claim is worth very little, and you are lucky to receive what they are offering.
At Feingold & Posner Accident Injury Lawyers, we will not let you fall for that hustle. We know what your claim is worth because we help slip and fall accident victims all the time. We will make sure that the insurer does not con you into settling your case for far less than its value.
How an Insurance Company Looks at Your Slip and Fall Claim
The insurance company will first sit back and take a “prove it” attitude towards your claim. They know that you have the burden of proof and that these claims are not always easy to prove. They will want to see what evidence that you have. Their persona may change when they realize that you have enough to show that you deserve compensation. Then, they may go into overdrive to protect their shareholders at your expense.
You can count on an insurance company questioning everything in your claim within the confines of not acting in bad faith. If they have any argument to make about either the evidence or your damages, count on them raising it.
In the end, the insurance company knows that slip and fall cases are not necessarily easy in court. They are trying to get you to walk away, accepting less. Even if you have a valid claim, they will try to push you around. That is why you hire an attorney to fight for you. Without one, you may be an easy target for the far more sophisticated insurance company.
Damages in Your Slip and Fall Case
One of the first questions that potential clients ask us is how much the average slip and fall case is worth. Two people can suffer the same injury, and their case could be worth completely different amounts. When you are dealing with unique injuries, there is no such thing as average.
The common principle is that you must receive money to put you in the same position as if the accident never happened. You can receive reimbursement for any money that you lost. You can also be paid back for everything that you have endured and will continue to for the rest of your life. For example, if you develop a permanent neck or back condition because of your fall, you can be paid for the pain you will experience decades from now.
Elements of the damages that you can seek in a slip and fall claim include:
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Medical bills
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Wrongful death (if someone died in your accident)
Your medical bills can be substantial after your slip and fall injury. Neck and back injuries can be especially costly to treat. You may need complicated surgery, and the costs can run into the tens of thousands of dollars, not to mention all of the time that you will miss from work while you recover.
Slip and fall injuries are usually the type that may also require rehabilitation and physical therapy to regain as much function as possible. You may need therapy for an extended time. Since your claim must cover future medical bills, you must take into account the care that you will need years down the line.
When settling your slip and fall claim, you must also think of the future. For example, the injury may prevent you from returning to work for some time, and you might never perform the same type of labor that you did before. It is tempting to take a quick check to get some money, but you will not get a second bite at the apple to settle your claim.
Call Our Plantation Slip and Fall Attorneys Today
There can be a lot at stake in your slip and fall claim, so you should not wait to consult a Plantation slip and fall accident lawyer from Feingold & Posner Accident Injury Lawyers.
We can help you. Let our Plantation personal injury lawyers see if you have a good claim, and if so, allow us to show you how we plan to pursue it for you—despite the objections, obfuscations, and even outright lies of the insurance companies that fight hard to avoid paying legitimate claims.
We fight even harder.
Plantation Slip and Fall FAQs
In a slip and fall, your medical injuries are the entire basis for your claim, which is why it is crucial to see a doctor immediately following the incident. The physician would give you a full examination, make a diagnosis, and document it in your medical files. Doing so will let the insurance company know how bad your injuries are. You cannot make a demand for compensation without knowing how much compensation you need since you cannot file a claim and leave blanks to fill in later.
Waiting to see a doctor could open your claim up to a denial, and it gives the insurance company an avenue to challenge your claim. For example, they might say that the fall did not cause your injuries. Instead, you may have had a preexisting condition or suffered another injury. The quicker you seek medical attention following the accident, the better the chance that you can tie the injury to the fall.
Liability is a legal term of art. You may think that someone was responsible for your slip and fall, but it is something that you need to prove. The legal standard is that they must have acted unreasonably.
Essentially, there are two things that you need:
1.) Evidence that shows what the conditions were like before your fall
2.) The opportunity to fit the facts into the law to show that someone else was negligent
After your injury, you will contact a slip and fall lawyer who will gather and review the available evidence. They will speak to witnesses and obtain other possible proof in the form of pictures and video footage, which may show how bad the condition was at the time that you fell.
For example, if the problem looked like it has been there for a while and the owner knew or should have known about it, this would be one factor in favor of liability. Your lawyer may also examine the premises to see if there was a way that the owner could have warned the public about a dangerous condition. These cases are all about the facts.
Not without your lawyer’s permission and participation. There is no upside in talking to an insurance adjuster alone. They are not here to help you. They are here to help their own employer, the insurance company. The adjuster is looking for ways to possibly undercut your claim and cost you money. When you have a lawyer, you could simply refer them to your attorney, and you do not have to speak with them. The insurance adjuster wants to have an extensive conversation with you because they could get the information they can use against you. They may look for a way to prove:
— You were at fault for your accident.
— You should have known of the danger.
— Your damages are not what you claim because your life is better than you represent on paper.
Do not make it easy for the adjuster by willingly giving up information. Instead, let your lawyer handle it because that is why they are here. In many cases, your claim speaks for itself without any further conversation needed. If the adjuster is calling and you do not have a lawyer yet, you should get one as soon as you can.
There are several things of which you will need proof in your slip and fall claim:
— That you suffered an injury
— The nature of your injuries
— The conditions at the time that you were hurt
— That you were not careless
Slip and fall claims will usually not succeed when it is your word against the defendant. Instead, you need some proof to show that they were negligent. The burden of proof is on you. Evidence demonstrating that the owner acted unreasonably includes:
— Witness testimony from someone who either saw the accident or the conditions at the scene before your fell
— Pictures of the scene either before or after you fell
— Video camera footage of the area at the time of your accident
— Evidence of the general conditions in the area
— A police report (this could help with an insurance claim, but it may not be used as proof in court, although it will be a record of the general conditions at the time you fell)
The key is to gather this evidence either at the scene or as soon as possible after the incident, so it is not lost.
Not a minute more than you have to. The evidence that we described above can be lost very quickly. There is no incentive for the defendant to keep evidence that could prove their own liability. The only way to ensure that the defendant does not destroy evidence is for an attorney to send them a spoliation letter. In addition, witnesses become harder to contact, and their recollections may fade. You will need this evidence.
The legal process takes some time to work through. Slip and fall cases could take a year or more to settle. The longer you wait to call an attorney, the more you will have to wait for your check. Besides, you will want the peace of mind that comes from knowing that you have begun the legal process with an experienced lawyer working to maximize your recovery. Delaying your case will only weaken it. Even if the case takes months to years, you control when you begin the claims process.
Like any personal injury case, your slip and fall damages pay you for the money that you lost and for how your injury affected your life. Your damages aim to put you in the same position as if the accident never happened at all. You may be wondering how that is possible after the irrevocable damage to your health. The insurer puts a dollar value on your injuries and pays you for them. Your damages could include:
— Lost wages for the time that you missed and will miss from work
— All of your past and future medical bills
— Past and future pain and suffering
— Emotional distress
— Loss of enjoyment of life
Your lawyer knows how each of these elements of your claim should be valued.
The insurance company has many ways to deny slip and fall claims. The most common reason is that they may argue that you were careless. They might say that you were on your phone or were not looking where you were going. Another argument they may use is that the danger was open and obvious, and you should have seen it, which is why witness testimony and other evidence are critically important in your case. It gives you something to back up your side of the story, so it is not just your word against the word of the insurance company.
Another way that they may try to deny your claim is by saying that you already had the injuries or were injured in another way. Even if your fall aggravated an existing injury, you are still entitled to compensation for it. You still would not have been hurt had it not been for the carelessness of the defendant, regardless of whether you had a prior condition. Nonetheless, this is why it is important to get medical care immediately following your injury.
Yes. While the city is immune from lawsuits in some cases, slip and fall cases are not among them. The City of Plantation can be negligent just like any other defendant, and parties can sue the city for it. The city must keep the sidewalks and streets in a reasonable condition, though there is not an expectation to fix every crack and defect the second it happens.
Nonetheless, they can be legally responsible for sidewalks in poor condition when they knew or should have known about it and delayed in fixing them. There are some different rules for filing a lawsuit against the government, so you should check with your lawyer. The main difference is that the statute of limitations for a lawsuit against Plantation is shorter, which is why you need to act quickly when you suffer injuries on a city sidewalk.
In most cases, the answer is no. Work injuries fall under the workers’ compensation system, the exclusive way of being paid for injuries on the job. In exchange for providing workers’ compensation insurance for their workers, companies generally have a release from liability for work injuries. There are very few exceptions to this rule.
The law tries to protect employers from lawsuits, and there would have to be some pretty bad facts to change that. The good news is that, under the workers’ compensation system, it does not matter whether the employee was at fault for their own injury. They receive compensation regardless, as workers’ compensation is a no-fault system.
You should still consult a personal injury lawyer to see if there is any possible third-party defendant that you could sue. For example, if you fell on a construction site, it could be a third-party contractor that was to blame. You are generally eligible for more compensation in a personal injury lawsuit because you could receive pain and suffering damages, so this is why you should always first explore a court case.
No. An attorney only receives payment if you win. They want to spend their time wisely. When they agree to take your case, they are committing to see it all the way through to the end. An attorney will want to know that you have a case that has a reasonable chance of them winning before they agree to represent you.
You need to prepare for your first meeting with the lawyer. Take some time to go over the facts of the case and gather your documentation together. The attorney will probably ask you a lot of questions about your case, so get comfortable talking about it. Ultimately, both you and the attorney are deciding whether you want to work with each other. You will need a strong advocate who you can trust, and your lawyer wants to know that you have a solid case.
You do not need to let money worries get in the way of hiring the lawyer that you need for your slip and fall case. Personal injury attorneys are paid differently from most other lawyers. You are probably familiar with lawyers who bill by the hour and wonder how you can afford an attorney for your claim. We do not bill by the hour, nor do we ask you for any retainer upfront.
Instead, when you hire a slip and fall attorney, you sign a representation agreement at the start of your case that specifies how your attorney will receive fees. While your attorney does not work for free, they only get a payment if you receive a settlement or jury award. Then, we receive a percentage of your financial recovery directly from the proceeds. You do not need to write us a check. We get nothing unless you win, which is why lawyers will want to learn your case well before they commit to representing you.
Contact A Plantation Trip & Fall Accident Lawyer Today
“These lawyers are not only very efficient, but caring as well. I would not hesitate to refer them to anyone.”
MATTHEW T. / FORMER CLIENT