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The Overview of Florida Slip and Fall Settlements 2019
Eight million Americans each year end up in an emergency room because of a slip and fall. This type of personal injury accounts for 12 percent of all ER visits. The most vulnerable demographic for a slip and fall accident are elderly Americans, with a majority of the accidents happening at home.
However, there remains a large number of slip and fall victims that suffered injuries that could have been avoided. Negligence contributes to a large number of slip and fall accidents, and at Morgan & Morgan, our team of personal injury attorneys works hard to get our clients the compensation they deserve.
Review the number of slip and fall settlements since 2019 that we have won for our clients.
Where Do Slip and Falls Happen the Most?
You can slip and fall just about anywhere. However, there are several locations where this type of accident occurs more often than other locations.
- Grocery and convenience stores
- Theme parks
- Shopping malls
- Public restrooms
- Construction sites
Slip and Falls at Grocery and Convenience Stores
Grocery and convenience store operators spend millions in legal fees each year because of slip and fall accidents. The floor smooth surfaces at grocery and convenience stores can cause a slip and fall, without any moisture covering the floor. Wet floor surfaces dramatically increase the likelihood of a slip and fall occurring at grocery and convenience stores.
Many of the Florida slip and falls in 2019 that we handled occurred at grocery and convenience stores.
Slip and Falls at Florida Theme Parks
Florida is the king of theme parks in the United States, which means the state is also the king of slip and fall accidents at theme parks. Although theme park rides are typically considered safe, there lurks a slick surface or a stationary object around every corner that can cause a slip and fall. Negligence is the number one cause of slip and fall accidents at Florida theme parks. If you suffered injuries from a slip and fall accident at a Florida theme park, you should act with a sense of urgency by contacting the personal injury specialists at Morgan & Morgan
What Are the Common Causes of Slip and Falls
The Florida slip and fall settlements in 2019 that we won for our clients required our team of personal injury lawyers to determine the cause of the accidents. The accidents vary in severity from minor cuts to severe brain trauma. Knowing the most common causes of slip and falls can help you build a strong case for a civil lawsuit.
Wet surfaces account for more than half of all slip and fall incidents. At grocery and convenience stores, spilled beverages such as beer, milk, and soda can cause an accident. The moisture left behind by a damp mop can also cause a customer to fall. Slip and falls increase in number during the colder months of the year when moisture begins to freeze near the entrance of a business.
A floor does not have to be wet to cause a slip and fall, although the term should be “trip” and fall. Loose floorboards, defective sidewalks, and bunched-up carpeting all contribute to tripping accidents. Many of the tripping cases that we handle have involved some form of negligence.
Slip and falls occur in the workplace, with most of the accidents happening at construction sites. The National Institute for Occupational Safety has created a guide that helps businesses prevent slip and fall accidents. Training plays the most important role in ensuring businesses follow safety standards, but far too many employers take shortcuts when it comes to safety training for their workers.
We want to remind prospective clients that negligence does not cause all slip and fall incidents. Sometimes, the victim has to shoulder most, if not all of the blame. For example, improper footwear such as high heels can lead to a slip and fall accident.
What Are the Most Common Injuries from Slip and Falls
At the heart of our 2019 slip and fall settlements in Florida was helping our clients recover the money lost because of diagnosing, treating, and rehabilitating injuries. Slip and fall accidents produce a wide variety of injuries, some of which turn life-threatening.
Here are the most common injuries that are caused by slip and fall incidents:
- Damage to internal organs
- Deep lacerations
- Brain trauma
- Damage to the spinal cord
How Do You Prove Negligence?
Proving negligence can be difficult to do? Every case presents unique legal characteristics that ultimately determine whether the business owner acted reasonably to prevent an accident. To prove your insurance claim and to win a lawsuit, you have to demonstrate the business was at fault for causing the accident.
Unlike other types of personal injury cases such as car accidents, a member of a law enforcement agency will not come to the scene of the accident to write a report. The report writing responsibilities are up to you, and the first thing to do is collect persuasive evidence.
Photographs of the accident scene might give your attorney proof the business owners did not act in a reasonable manner to prevent the accident. For example, you take photos of the accident scene that clearly shows a slick floor. Another key piece of evidence is the security camera footage shot during the time of the incident. Your personal injury lawyer can help you obtain the security camera footage
Speak to Witnesses
The 2019 Florida slip and fall settlements we litigated included several cases that involved the accounts of witnesses. Evidence establishes the proof you need to get a favorable settlement. Witnesses provide supporting information that strengthens your case. If you feel up to it after a slip and fall accident, at least write down the contact information for every witness, including the contact information of any employees that saw what happened and/or know why the accident happened.
To receive the financial assistance that you deserve, you have to organize copies of every healthcare bill. Most of the monetary damages for a slip and fall accident cover the costs of medical bills. If you missed time from work to recuperate from your injuries, submitting time-keeping records and copies of your bank statements can help you recover lost income.
What Is the Slip and Fall Statute of Limitations in Florida?
Every state has established a deadline for plaintiffs to file a claim for monetary damages. In Florida, you have four years from the date of the accident to file a claim. The same four-year deadline applies for lost income, property damage, and medical expenses. If a slip and fall incident caused a wrongful death, the family of the loved one has two years to file a civil lawsuit to recover monetary damages, as well as punitive damages and damages for pain and suffering. The statute of limitations differs for government-owned property. Typically, state governments set a shorter statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim against the government.
Consult with one of the attorneys at Morgan & Morgan to learn more.
What Are the Damages I Can Win?
Florida operates on a legal principle called “pure comparative negligence,” which is a fancy way of saying the amount of your settlement depends on the percentage of the fault assigned to you for causing a slip and fall accident. For example, if the judge awards you $20,000 and the court rules that you should assume 20 percent of the blame, your settlement decreases to $16,000.
Here is what monetary damages can cover in Florida:
- Emergency room care
- Diagnostic tests
- Rehabilitation services
- Assistive devices
- Lost wages
You can also receive punitive damages with your settlement, which the defendant pays because of gross negligence. Pain and suffering is another possible type of compensation that addresses mental and emotional distress issues.
How to Win a Slip and Fall Settlement?
We mentioned gross negligence in the previous section. Simple negligence means the defendant should have known about an issue that caused a slip and fall, but didn’t. Gross negligence means the defendant purposely allowed conditions to deteriorate to the point that you became highly vulnerable to sustaining injuries.
Winning a slip and fall settlement for any type of negligence requires the services of a Florida licensed personal injury attorney.
How Do I Find the Right Personal Injury Lawyer?
Now that you know about the importance of hiring an accomplished slip and fall attorney, the next question is how do you find the right one to handle your case.
Experience matters, but only if an attorney on your shortlist has experience litigating personal injury cases. Even better, you should search for a lawyer who specializes in handling slip and fall cases.
Referrals remain the most effective way to find the right personal injury lawyer. Ask friends, family members, and professional peers for a recommendation. If you know an attorney, ask the lawyer for a recommendation for a personal injury specialist.
Florida Bar Association
The Florida Bar Association manages a vast database of attorneys that are eligible to practice in the state. You download the list of personal injury lawyers, and then review each one to determine the level of experience, and whether the state has imposed any disciplinary action.
Online reviews should not be the sole criterion you use for selecting the right Florida personal injury attorney. Instead, reviews left on sites such as Facebook and Google should provide supporting information that seals the deal.
Contact Morgan & Morgan
Four years seems like plenty of time to file a personal injury claim. With medical bills mounting and no income coming in, you should move as quickly as possible to get a resolution to your slip and fall claim. With decades of experience litigating slip and fall cases, the team of personal injury attorneys at Morgan & Morgan can help you receive just compensation. The 2019 Florida slip and fall settlements that we won for our clients are a strong indicator of our success.
Schedule a free case evaluation today to get the ball rolling on your claim.