Slip and Fall Attorney in Fort Lauderdale8151 Peters Road, Suite 4000
Plantation, FL 33324
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Fort Lauderdale Slip and Fall Lawyer
Suppose you've been injured because of a slip, trip, or fall accident in the Fort Lauderdale area. In that case, you have legal options if the accident resulted from a property owner's negligence. They may be liable to pay for your medical costs, lost income, and other financial and personal losses. Morgan and Morgan is here to help in your time of hardship.
We've been a figurehead in the Florida law community for over 35 years, with more than 900 lawyers and thousands of support staff. We understand how much a serious accident can impact your life and believe you shouldn't have to face the consequences alone. Regarding something as far-reaching as your future, you need the expert guidance of our battle-tested slip and fall lawyers in Fort Lauderdale, FL.
Through our efforts, our clients have been able to collect more than $15 billion in compensation during the course of our history. When we take you on as a client, our number one priority is ensuring you get fair and meaningful reimbursement for medical costs, pain and suffering, and more.
Contact us today for a free, no-obligation case evaluation to get started.
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What Are the Liability Requirements for a Slip and Fall in Florida?
To make a successful claim for injuries that resulted from a slip and fall accident on someone else's property, you must prove negligence was a factor. Many people assume that the property owner is automatically liable if they are injured while at a store or business. That's simply not true. There are many scenarios where a property owner would not know that a hazardous condition existed. They also must be given a reasonable amount of time to fix the issue.
For example, suppose you're out shopping in the evening at a little neighborhood boutique store when a freak lightning storm erupts, knocking out the power. Other shoppers are fumbling around, and one knocks over some items from a display case. You immediately get ready to leave because you're concerned about getting stuck in traffic. Still, you can't see that there is hazardous debris on the floor. You trip and fall down, spraining your knee badly. While the incident is unfortunate, the property owner neither created the condition nor had time to react by turning on a backup generator or bringing out a flashlight. Had the items been on the floor before the blackout occurred, you might have had a case for negligence.
Under Florida law, owners or people in possession of a property have a duty to ensure the property is safe. People who own businesses such as hotels, restaurants, and stores have a higher degree of responsibility because they open their property to the public. When you visit a business, you're considered an "invitee," as such, you're entitled to assume the area is hazard free and would not anticipate coming to harm simply by being there. When a business owner knows about a dangerous condition and doesn't fix it or warn visitors about it, they have breached their duty of care.
A property owner can also breach their duty of care by not discovering an issue in a reasonable amount of time. For example, property owners (or their employees) should perform regular maintenance checks. If, for instance, water had accumulated because of a leaking roof, it's reasonable to assume the property owner knew or should have known their roof was leaking by doing a routine inspection. Generally, businesses like grocery stores and restaurants should be aware that spills are going to happen frequently. As such, employees should be mindful of this probability, and there would be protocols for continual scanning to detect issues and address them promptly.
Showing that the property owner's negligence is the cause of your injuries is the next requirement, which is generally pretty straightforward. There may have been witnesses, or you immediately reported the accident to someone in charge. In case of severe injury, you may need assistance to get to the hospital, or an ambulance may be called. However, if your injury aggravated a pre-existing injury, causation may be called into question.
For example, let's use the earlier trip and fall scenario of someone hurting their knee at the neighborhood shop during a power blackout. Suppose the individual had damaged their knee in another previous accident. In that case, the property owner's insurance company might argue that the policyholder is only partially responsible for the injuries. Pre-existing injuries always complicate these cases, so you may need the help of our slip and fall lawyers in Fort Lauderdale to sort it out. We may need one of our medical experts to explain to a jury the effects and extent of the new injury.
Finally, liability will hinge on the damages that resulted from the slip and fall. If you have an accident on someone else's property but fortunately don't sustain any injuries or losses, you don't have a case. Damages are the legal remedy a plaintiff requests the court to award to make them whole. If you lost nothing, then there's nothing to be gained. Still, when you suffer losses, you can claim a wide variety of damages, which must be demonstrated to the court.
What Damages Can Be Recovered in a Fort Lauderdale Slip and Fall Case?
Whether you slipped and fell at the Winn-Dixie, the Harbor Shops, or the Hilton Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort, you can seek compensation if the property owner is responsible. Here is an example of damages that might be recoverable:
Medical expenses - All medical testing and treatment necessary to care for your injuries related to the accident might be covered, including surgery, hospitalization, therapy, and medication.
Lost income - If your injuries cause you to miss work or income-related opportunities, you may be able to recover the lost income, including bonuses, overtime, and benefits that may have accrued while you were on the mend.
Lost income capacity - Many people need to realize how injuries can force them to accept a lower-paying job. For example, suppose you're a general contractor, but you sustained a substantial back injury when you slipped and fell. In that case, you may be unable to continue your trade and have to switch to a lower-paying job at a call center. You should be compensated for the difference in income capacity.
Additional accident-related expenses - You're entitled to claim all the costs related to the accident, including expenses for travel to attend doctor's appointments, housekeeping services if you're incapacitated, and home modifications to accommodate a disability.
Pain and suffering - It goes without saying that pain and suffering can be a substantial part of your case. Dealing with painful injuries takes a massive toll. You may not be able to sleep or enjoy life as you once did while you recover. Awards for pain and suffering can be considerable since they are typically calculated by multiplying financial losses by a factor ranging from 1 to 5. Having a lawyer who can identify and determine the actual cost of your losses is crucial.
What Damages Can Be Recovered in a Wrongful Death Caused by a Slip and Fall Accident?
Suppose you lost a spouse or other loved one because some other party was negligent in the upkeep of their property. In that case, you have the right to pursue them for damages. These can include the following:
- Funeral, burial, or cremation expenses
- Loss of consortium (the deprivation of love, companionship, assistance, and support)
- Loss of income
- Loss of inheritance
- Your family member's pain and suffering before death related to the accident
- Your pain and suffering from the date of the injury
- Medical bills associated with the treatment of injuries sustained in the slip and fall before death
When a loved one dies, we understand you need time to grieve and process your loss. Our compassionate lawyers can ensure you are relieved of the additional burden of handling complicated legal issues while you mourn the passing of our family member.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for a Slip and Fall in Florida?
The statute of limitations is a deadline by which to initiate legal proceedings. Like all personal injury matters in Florida, you have four years from the date of the incident to file a lawsuit. Wrongful death cases require legal action within two years of death. If you miss this deadline, you will have no recourse to get compensation through the court system. Likewise, it would be extremely difficult to convince an insurer to pay on a claim because of the time-lapse. Whenever someone else's negligence harms you, taking swift action is crucial to protect your rights. Our slip and fall lawyers in Fort Lauderdale can help you get started.
Can Tenants Sue Landlords for a Falling on Their Property?
While many slip and fall cases involve businesses open to the public, private property landlords in Fort Lauderdale are also responsible for maintaining their property and common areas to ensure tenants and guests aren't hurt.
Likewise, a landlord could be held responsible for an accident inside someone's rental if they rented the property with a known dangerous condition that could end up causing someone injury. This would be something like torn carpeting, broken tiles, broken or missing staircase handrails, or a leaky appliance. A landlord has a duty to fix or warn of hazards on their property and must adhere to safety laws. The consequences of failing in this duty might be a liability in the case of injury.
Landlords must also abide by health and safety codes according to Florida laws. If they don't follow the rules, it's a straightforward negligence case because a law was violated. However, suppose you erect a structure on the premises, such as a tool shed. In that case, the landlord is not responsible for maintaining it. Similarly, if you or an invited guest create a dangerous condition, like tracking in water after a summer storm, and you end up slipping and hurting yourself, the landlord would not be liable.
You should be aware that landlords have a variety of defenses they can use. For example, if the conditions were obviously dangerous, like an open fire pit in the middle of the yard. In that case, you might be in a comparative negligence dispute.
Comparative negligence is the notion that multiple parties can be responsible in the case of an accident. We all have a responsibility to pay attention and take reasonable measures to avoid dangers. If the fire pit were a feature of the property where you had enjoyed sitting around and talking with your friends, it would make it appear that you knew it was an obvious danger. Suppose you walk across the property, trip, and fall in the fire pit anyway. The landlord could have some liability, but you would share in the blame. Any award you receive would be decreased according to the percentage of blame you share.
Still, every case is unique, so we urge you to reach out to Morgan and Morgan. We can review the facts of your case to see if you have a valid claim. Never assume you don't have a case based on your own research. Leave it to the professionals to interpret the law.
Working With Morgan and Morgan
Our slip and fall lawyers in Fort Lauderdale are committed to helping clients recover compensation when someone else's negligent actions are the cause of their injuries. We will take the time to understand the details of your case to determine the best strategy forward. You can be assured that our team members have extensive experience in these issues and know how to overcome defenses to negligence. Our track record proves it.
We understand this is a stressful time, both financially and emotionally. As such, you don't have to worry about any upfront payment for our services because we only collect when we win. We will provide the support and guidance you need to get your life back on track. Contact us today for a free case evaluation regarding your Fort Lauderdale slip and fall accident.