If you are in an accident in a public place in South Florida, there are steps required to ensure you are not stuck paying for injuries that could have and should have been prevented. You will likely require guidance from a Florida Personal Injury Attorney, but there are some basics that can help you in the meantime.
Florida Statutes section 95.11(3)(a), which applies to almost all personal injury cases brought in Florida’s civil courts, is a statute requiring that a claim must be filed with the property or business owner within four (4) years of the incident. The most important three major areas that must be addressed (and ultimately proven) in order to file, and possibly win, the case are as follows:
- Liability – The defendant had a duty of care and was negligent in performing their duty of care.
- Negligence – The defendant breached that duty and the plaintiff were harmed.
- Responsibility/Fault – The breach of duty, or negligence on the part of the defendant, was a major factor in causing the plaintiff’s injuries.
Although the term “Slip and Fall” is generally used, the phrase can refer to many types of accidents that can occur on private property, public property, or a business.
These can include (but are not limited to):
- Not having adequate lighting in a given area
- Wire or chords across traffic areas
- Cracks or holes in flooring
- Slippery surfaces due to natural or accidental causes
- Tears or pulls in carpeting
- Uneven flooring
- Debris or objects in the way
A property or business owner has a responsibility to repair these defects or warn customers (or any visitors or patrons) of their location. If appropriate warnings, repair, or cleanup of these areas are not instituted, then the owner of the property or business should be held liable for any injuries that are related to it.
In most cases, a Slip and Fall Attorney in your geographical area can usually determine the validity of the Plaintiff’s case. If you believe one of these issues caused you harm, you should contact a Slip and Fall Injury Lawyer.
Property and business owners have a responsibility to make their premises safe for all and need to address any condition that may cause injury. Also, they are required to post the proper warnings, and there are factors that they must adhere to for the repair of dangerous conditions. Including:
- Prevention: Could the owner have done anything to reasonably prevent the accident?
- Acting Appropriately: Did they take the appropriate actions to fix the hazard and have a follow-up inspection?
- Timing: Did the owner have reasonable time to repair or correct the hazardous condition?
Am I Eligible for Compensation for a Slip and Fall Injury in South Florida
Due to the many facets of the law that affect each individual case, it is probably best to get the services of a reputable South Florida attorney. Furthermore, keep in mind that the conditions and examples given in the previous sections are certainly not all of the accidents or issues that could occur.
The Law also looks at the reason the person was at this location, as it helps to provide context for the situation and a better understanding of liability in the case of an accident. Why and how the person was invited to the property may have a direct impact on the filing of the victim’s case. Persons who are victims are divided into three types: Invitee, licensee, or trespasser.
An Invitee is someone invited onto a private piece of land, a private hospital, etc. They may or may not have been asked to be there but are in a public space. A public park is a good example of this type of Invitee. A business Invitee is the most common of the victims in a Slip and Fall injury. Most injuries are in businesses, which may include theme parks, retail stores, hotels, and many more places of business.
A Licensee may not have been asked to be at the site of the accident and this designation has a few categories. They can be licensed by invitation (a friend to a party), or an unlicensed licensee (kids in the woods of a property owner). Your slip and fall attorney will be able to determine which category is appropriate and why the victim might be entitled to compensation.
A Trespasser really has no right to be on the property and is usually treated like an unlicensed Licensee. This category of the victim is complicated, and the details need to be examined by a skilled attorney.
As a victim, you can see that many questions, conditions, and legal access rules apply as to whether the victim can and should seek compensation.
A Slip & Fall Lawyer in Miami, or in the victim's general geographical South Florida area, can help in many ways here. They will likely know the specific places, history, and general background of the location where the accident occurred and if hazardous conditions may have existed there previously.
You may have to meet with your Attorney numerous times, so the location of their office is important, and their understanding of the local area is vital. If your slip and fall attorney is in South Florida they can serve you best and they know the area and possibly conditions in that general geographical location.
What Do You Do After a Slip-And-Fall Accident?
Slip and Fall Accidents can cause serious injury. The victim may have suffered trauma to the head, cuts, scrapes, bruises or broken bones, and even fractures. These injuries can affect work, quality of life, and relationships, and have an overall severe impact on your well-being.
Even if you do not feel that you’re seriously hurt, you should seek medical help as soon as possible. Some injuries will be immediate, some are unseen, and some manifest themselves after days or weeks. Seeking medical help and advice is important.
In some cases, the victim may not be able to respond, or document details of the accident for themselves. In that case, advise your friends and relatives that they should document as much as they can about the incident.
In the event of an accident, if the victim is able, they should: Take photographs of the scene documenting the area and especially the site and reason for the accident.
If there are witnesses, ask for their names and numbers and if they would consent to be contacted by you, or your attorney, at a later date. The information you gather will be invaluable in your Slip and Fall case, and may very well help determine the outcome and compensation you may be awarded.
A South Florida Slip and Fall lawyer well-skilled at seeking compensation for the injured should then be contacted. You will find that many, but not all, will review your case for free and be able to evaluate it, answer more detailed questions, and generally improve the outcome for you.
Remember a Slip and Fall accident can affect the rest of your life, so a known, proven Slip and Fall lawyer is vital.