It seems like when people think about personal injury lawyers, they think about slip and fall cases. We can just imagine someone walking through the grocery store and falling into a case of grapefruits. But most slip and fall cases are nothing like this. They happen in all sorts of business and buildings. They can happen to anyone at any time. So, before you laugh at that video of someone falling into a deep pothole, remember it could happen to you. And, when it does, you’ll need to call a Fort Lauderdale slip and fall lawyer.
Most slip and fall cases are based on something called negligence. Negligence just means someone didn’t do what they should have. When this happens and you get hurt as a result, you’re entitled to compensation. In order to prove negligence, your slip and fall attorney in Fort Lauderdale must prove the following:
- he property owner was required to maintain safe conditions
- He failed to do so
- You were injured
- Your injuries were caused by your fall
You have to prove that, were it not for the property owner’s breach, you would never have fallen. Thankfully, your personal injury lawyer in Fort Lauderdale knows how to do ust that.
What if You’re Partially at Fault?
If you slip and fall on someone’s property, they’ll say it was your fault. They’ll claim that their premises were perfectly safe and you were just clumsy or irresponsible. Now, there are times when a plaintiff is partially responsible for their fall. However, if the defendant maintained unsafe conditions, he’ll be held liable.
And, it’s okay if you’re partially at fault. Very rarely is one party 100% responsible for a slip and fall accident anyway.
Here’s an example of how you could be partially at fault:
You’re out doing some shopping for your upcoming vacation. You’re wearing your new high heel shoes so you can break them in for your trip. As you’re walking through the parking lot into your favorite store, you fall in a large pothole. You break your ankle and smash your head into the asphalt. You need stitches on your head and surgery on your ankle.
The defendant claims that you fell because of your shoes. He says that his pothole had nothing to do with your fall.
Florida has something called comparative negligence. In Florida, if you’re partly at fault for your slip and fall accident, your judgment will be reduced by your percentage of fault. So, in the above example, a jury may find that you were 10% at fault. So, instead of getting $200,000 in damages, you may only get $180,000.
What Parties Are Named in Your Fort Lauderdale Slip and Fall Case?
Chances are, your lawyer will have to name several parties in your lawsuit. These may include:
- The owner of the store or business where you fell
- Their insurance company
- The property management company
- The company who maintains their floors
It really depends on the details of your case. You may be dealing with a small mom and shop operation. They don’t pay a management company. They handle all of their repairs themselves. So, in this case, you’d file suit against the store owner and their insurance company.
Make sure you name all possible parties in your slip and fall lawsuit. You can’t go back and add parties later on. You also want to make sure you file your lawsuit in time. Every state has something called a statute of limitation. These are the laws that dictate how long you have to file suit.
The statute of limitations for slip and falls in Florida is four (4) years. Don’t wait until the last minute to call a slip and fall lawyer in Fort Lauderdale. He’ll need time to prepare your case and try to negotiate a settlement with the defendant’s insurance company.
What Damages Will Your Attorney Demand in Your Suit?
The whole point of filing a lawsuit is to get compensation for your injuries. When your lawyer files suit, he’ll demand that certain damages be paid. These damages include:
- Medical Bills – You’re entitled to the bills you’ve already accrued and those you’ll encounter in the future. If your doctor think you’ll need long-term care, the defendant will be held responsible for these.
- Lost Wages – If you’re out of work for a while, you’ll be entitled to recover lost wages. Your lawyer can present time sheets to show how much time you missed.
- Pain and Suffering – If your injuries are serious or extraordinarily painful, you may be entitled to pain and suffering. These damages are based on the mental and physical anguish you suffer as a result of your accident.
Keep in mind – most slip and fall cases settle. So, you may not get as much as you asked for in your lawsuit. However, your attorney will make sure the amount he agrees on is fair. He’ll also make sure you are okay with the settlement before he accepts it.
Contact a Fort Lauderdale Slip and Fall Accident Attorney Today
If you slip and fall on someone else’s property, you should contact a Florida slip and fall accident lawyer. Your lawyer can try to negotiate a settlement with the insurance adjuster. He’ll also file suit if need be.
Call and schedule a free consultation with a Fort Lauderdale slip and fall lawyer today. You can ask any questions you may have. Your attorney can also review your case and let you know what it may be worth. The consultation is free and you pay nothing until your case settles.
The defendant will have lawyers working for him and you should too. Let an experienced slip and fall lawyer help you get the compensation you deserve.