When we see people slip and fall on YouTube videos, we laugh. Admit it. We all do it. But when we’re the person who’s falling, it’s not so funny. People fall all the time. It could happen in a parking lot or movie theater. You could be grocery shopping and slip and fall in the frozen food department. Miami slip and fall lawyers are aware of this. In fact, slip and fall cases are some of the most common types of cases they handle.
You could fall anywhere that has hazardous conditions. This could include a wet floor or a floor that wasn’t waxed properly. No matter how or why you fall, your slip and fall attorney in Miami can get you justice.
Slip and fall cases are just like most personal injury cases. They’re based on something called negligence. Negligence just means that someone didn’t behave the way they should have and you got hurt. To show negligence, your Miami personal injury lawyer will have to show 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
Basically, you have to show that you wouldn’t have fallen if it weren’t for dangerous conditions. And you have to show that the defendant was responsible for these dangerous conditions.
Your slip and fall lawyer in Miami will handle this for you.
The Defendant Will Claim You Were Responsible for Your Slip and Fall Injuries
In a perfect world, a business owner would automatically pay for your slip and fall injuries. But it doesn’t work this way. He will almost always claim that the fall was your own fault. In some case, he may be partly right.
Very rarely is one party 100% responsible for slip and fall accidents. You may have contributed to your fall.
Consider an example:
You go out for the night with some friends. You’re drinking for about 4-5 hours when you decide to walk home. You stop at a pizza place on the way for something to eat. You’re clearly stumbling. On the way to the counter, you end up tripping on a rug and fall. You split your head open and hurt your back. You end up needing surgery and are out of work for 4 months. You sue for damages.
In this case, the defendant will claim that you only fell because you were drunk. Your attorney will argue that you wouldn’t have fallen if the rug wasn’t defective.
In Florida, there is something called comparative negligence. This rule says that your award will be reduced by your percentage of fault. So, in the above example, you may be 30% at fault. This means your jury award will be reduced by 30%.
Who Will You Name in Your Slip and Fall Accident Lawsuit?
Slip and fall cases aren’t always as simple as you may think. You usually have to file suit against more than one party. Some of the parties responsible for your injuries include:
- The owner of the store or business where you fell
- Their insurance company
- The property management company
- The company who maintains their floors
Who you sue depends on the circumstances of your fall. For instance, if you fall on a wet floor in the grocery store, you may only sue the owner of the business and his insurance company. On the other hand, if you fall at a hotel, you may need to sue the owner, the management company and the company who waxes their floors.
It’s important that you name all of these parties in your original complaint. You won’t be able to add new companies in later on. It’s also important that you file suit within the statute of limitations.
The statute of limitations for slip and falls in Florida is four (4) years. But this doesn’t mean you should wait four years to file suit. Your Miami slip and fall lawyer needs time to prepare your case. Don’t wait until the last minute.
What Damages Will Your Attorney Demand in Your Suit?
When you file your complaint, you have to state your damages. You can only recover for the damages specified in your lawsuit. For slip and fall cases, most attorneys demand the following damages:
- 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.
Your attorney will work hard to settle your case. You’re much better off settling than taking your case to trial. Nobody wants to go to trial. They’re expensive and time consuming. Most slip and fall cases do settle long before trial.
Contact a Miami Slip and Fall Accident Attorney Today
If you fall and get hurt at a business, you need to contact a Florida slip and fall accident lawyer. Your attorney will deal with the insurance adjuster. He’ll appeal your claim if it’s denied. If this doesn’t work, he’ll have no choice but to file suit.
Your slip and fall lawyer will file a claim against all the responsible parties. He’ll work hard to settle your claim so you don’t have to go to court.
Call and schedule a free consultation with a Miami slip and fall attorney 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 attorneys working for him and you should too. Let an experienced slip and fall lawyer help you get the compensation you deserve.