Slip And Fall Attorney in St. Augustine2601 North Ponce De Leon Blvd.,
St. Augustine, FL 32084
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St. Augustine Premises Liability
Slip and fall accidents are no laughing matter. They can cause serious injuries with long-term, life-altering consequences for the victim. As reported by the National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI), slip and falls account for more than 1 million hospital emergency room visits every year.
Property owners have a duty to exercise reasonable care to maintain the property in a safe condition. In Florida, however, the level of the property owner’s duty depends on a visitor’s reason for being on the property. Some types of visitors are owed a higher duty of care than others.
If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident on someone else’s property, you may need to file a claim to recover compensation. Legislation enacted in 2010 has made it more difficult for victims to recover damages in slip and fall accident cases. For the best chance of a successful outcome, you will need an experienced personal injury attorney to handle every detail of your claim.
Our premises liability lawyers at Morgan & Morgan understand the legal issues involved in slip and fall claims. We have the experience, knowledge, and resources to address these issues, and a successful track record in premises liability claims, including slip and fall accidents, for our clients. If you would like to know more, fill out our free case review form.
Common Injuries in Slip and Fall Accidents
Falls are a leading cause of injury in the U.S., and serious injuries common in slips and falls. Serious injuries frequently sustained in slip and fall accidents include:
- Head and brain injuries: Victims can suffer traumatic brain injury (TBI) when the head hits the ground or floor. Severe TBI often has devastating, long-term consequences, including impairments.
- Neck, back, and spinal injuries: The force of a fall can injure the neck and back and lead to chronic pain, limited mobility, disability, and the need for surgeries.
- Broken hips or pelvis: A broken hip or pelvis in an elderly victim can result in hip replacement surgery and an extended recovery period.
- Torn ligaments and tendons: Tears in the tendons or ligaments of the wrists, knees, or feet can be extremely painful, take months to heal, and may require physical therapy, or surgical intervention.
Slip and Fall Accident Lawsuits
For a slip and fall accident case to succeed, your attorney must prove several facts, including:
- Your accident was caused by a dangerous condition that existed on the property.
- The dangerous condition presented an unreasonable risk of harm to people who were present on the property.
- The dangerous condition was one that a reasonable person would not have anticipated.
- The property owner knew about the dangerous condition, or should have known, and failed to warn against it, or resolve it.
Under Florida law, to prove that the property owner was aware of the dangerous condition, your slip and fall accident lawyer must establish:
- The property owner created the hazardous condition;
- The owner knew about the dangerous condition and was negligent in failing to correct it; or
- The hazardous condition existed for long enough that a reasonable property owner should have discovered and corrected it before your accident occurred.
Your attorney must also prove that it was foreseeable that the property owner’s negligence in failing to detect and correct the condition would create a hazard.
Premises Liability/ Slip and Fall Attorney in St. Augustine
Slip and fall accident claims are more difficult to prove since the 2010 Florida legislation. If you have sustained serious injuries and need to recover compensation, your best course of action is to consult with an experienced premises liability lawyer as soon as possible.
At Morgan & Morgan, we are committed to representing people – not insurance companies or corporations. Our seasoned trial lawyers have recovered many multi-million dollar settlements and verdicts for our clients. Contact our St. Augustine office using our online form for a free case evaluation.
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What Is a Slip and Fall?
Slip and fall liability doesn’t cover just any fall. Under premises liability, a slip and fall accident occurs when someone slips or trips on someone else’s property and falls, sustaining an injury. In most cases, they’re caused by a hazardous condition on the property created by the property owner’s negligence or failure to maintain their premises.
Here are a few common reasons for slip and fall accidents.
- Loose debris or cables in hallways and walking zones
- Unattended grease, oil, water, or other liquid spills
- Poorly constructed walkways
- Neglected hazards, like broken staircases
- Failure to maintain the property, like waiting too long to de-ice after a storm
If you suspect negligence played a role in your fall, you should start your search for slip and fall lawyers sooner rather than later. The steps you take in the first few days following your accident are vital to the success of your future lawsuit, so make sure to speak with an experienced attorney to understand you’re taking the right steps.
What Should I Do After a Slip and Fall Accident?
Everyone’s accident is different, but here are a few steps to follow after a slip and fall accident:
- Check for Damage - Perform a “self-check,” then move to safety if you’re able.
- If injured: Seek medical attention as soon as possible. Waiting too long can put you at risk for future pain, so make sure to visit a doctor or the emergency room if necessary.
- Collect Evidence - Evidence is crucial to proving your claim. Take pictures, record videos, and document eyewitness testimony of anyone who witnessed the accident.
- File an Incident Claim - Speak with the property manager or supervisor and request to file an incident claim about your fall. This step is important in proving that the fall happened during the legal process.
- Call an Attorney - Once you know that you’ll take legal action, it’s time to call some car accident lawyers in St. Augustine and explore your options.
- Check for Damage - Perform a “self-check,” then move to safety if you’re able.
What’s the Average Payout for a Slip and Fall in Florida?
Slip and fall compensation ranges from $25,000 to 800,000+ depending on the level of damages and the situation surrounding the accident. Under Florida law, you can seek specific economic and non-economic damages from the at-fault party through legal action, such as:
- Medical expenses (past and future
- Lost wages
- Diminished or total loss of earning capacity benefits
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Diminished or loss of enjoyment of life
Other damages apply to specific cases. You’re also allowed to sue for punitive damages if the at-fault party acted grossly negligent, careless, or recklessly leading up to the accident, but this type of compensation is rarely awarded.
How Long Does It Take to Settle a Slip and Fall Case in Florida?
Clear-cut cases can be opened and shut within a few weeks, but more complex cases can take years to conclude. If the opposing party files an appeal, it can take even longer to finalize the settlement or verdict. However, with an experienced slip and fall lawyer by your side, you can move at the utmost speed and reach the finish line as fast as possible.
The highest payout for a slip and fall accident can easily exceed $10+ million in the most severe of cases. It all depends on rightful value. If you deserve more, then your compensation should reflect that—plain and simple.
At Morgan and Morgan, we have a proven track record of success, with cases where we’ve negotiated pre-trial offers of $80,000 into $2.2 million. We understand that a lowball compensation offer can change someone’s life forever, so we ensure that you’re provided the most elite legal representation at all times throughout the process. There’s no insurance company or negligent organization we’re afraid of, and if you need a slip and fall lawyer, you can trust that anyone at our St. Augustine office can help you reach the finish line successfully.
How Do You Win a Slip and Fall Case in Florida?
There are a few things you’ll need to establish to win a slip and fall case.
- The property owner had a duty of care over the premises
- Their careless action or negligent lack of action created a hazard
- They failed to respond within a reasonable amount of time
- The hazard was directly responsible for your injury
Negligence is difficult to prove in any personal liability case. For one, you’ll need to prove that the property owner knew of the hazard and failed to respond in a “reasonable amount of time,” which changes from case to case. This, alongside proving that your injury was a direct result of the hazard, will require evidence to prove—and a lot of it.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for Slip and Falls in Florida?
You have to file a claim for your slip and fall within 4 years of the accident, although it’s recommended to take action sooner rather than later. Collecting evidence to prove your claim is much easier in the days following the accident than it is months or years down the line. Once you’re serious about taking legal action for your fall, contact a firm with experienced slip and fall lawyers to better understand your next steps.
What Types of Injuries Result From Slip and Fall Accidents?
Falls are a unique type of accident. You can’t always catch yourself or brace for the fall, and you could collide with other objects in the area and further injure yourself. That’s not to mention the possibilities associated with “twisting the wrong way” or other types of strange injuries, which are usually more painful than you’d expect.
There are hundreds of different injuries that can result from a slip and fall, but here are some of the most common.
- Broken bones
- Herniated discs
- Brain damage
- Neck injuries
- Spinal damage
- Torn muscles
- Joint sprains
- Ankle/knee injuries
Back injuries are among the most painful and tough to deal with. As the old saying goes, “You don’t know how much you use your back until you can’t.” Many people find themselves with significantly limited mobility or discomfort for years after the accident itself. In some cases, it won’t present itself right away, either.
Remember: Seeking medical attention is crucial to prevent further pain and discomfort. You can identify warning signs of future conditions before they start affecting you, which gives you a leg up on seeking treatment. Even if you think you can “tough it out,” it’s probably worth it to get checked out, so make sure to seek medical attention as soon as you can after your accident.