Slip and Falls
Learn How a Tallahassee Slip and Fall Lawyer Can Help You Recover Your Losses
Whether you, your spouse, your aging parent, or your child was injured, coping with the effects of a serious slip and fall accident can be a life-changing experience. The financial costs can add up quickly, and the non-financial effects – the pain and suffering, the post-traumatic stress, and the loss of enjoyment of life – can seem like too much to bear. Recovering financial compensation is important, and the first step toward asserting your legal rights is to put an experienced Tallahassee slip and fall lawyer on your side.
At Searcy Denney Scarola Barnhart & Shipley PA, we help our clients recover just compensation for serious injuries sustained in slip and fall accidents. We have been fighting for Florida residents and families for more than 40 years, and we have recovered millions of dollars in compensation for our client’s losses. When you hire our firm to represent you, you will work directly with an experienced lawyer throughout your slip and fall case, and our team will work diligently to secure maximum compensation for your losses as quickly as possible.
How Do I Know if I’m Eligible for a Slip and Fall Claim?
You slipped and fell on someone else’s property. So, does this mean that you have a slip and fall claim? While slip and fall accidents are usually fairly straightforward, determining if you have a claim for financial compensation can be a challenge. Here are three questions you can ask yourself to decide if you should speak with a Tallahassee slip and fall lawyer:
1. Where Did You Fall?
If you slipped and fell in your own home, you do not have a premises liability claim (although you could potentially have a claim for a product defect or negligent construction). However, if you fell anywhere else – including a store, office, government building, public park or neighbor’s home – then you could potentially have a slip and fall claim.
2. Why Were You There?
On the road, all drivers owe the same duty of care to all other motorists. But, when it comes to premises liability, this is not the case. In Florida, property owners and tenants owe varying duties of care depending on why someone else is on their property:
- If you were shopping at a store, visiting a professional or medical office, or patronizing any other type of business, then you were on the property as an “invitee.”
- If you were visiting someone else’s home (with their consent), then you were on the property as a “licensee.” Licensees are not owed the same duty of care as invitees, but property owners and tenants still have a duty to avoid “willful” or “wanton” conduct that causes licensees avoidable harm.
- If you were on the property without permission or consent, then you were a “trespasser” for purposes of the law of premises liability. Trespassers are afforded the least protection in Florida, but they can still have claims for compensation in some circumstances.
3. Why Did You Fall?
Finally, why did you fall? If you were being reckless or if you ignored an obvious risk, then your injury might be on you. But, if you fell as a result of almost any other issue, then there is a good chance that you are entitled to financial compensation. For example, common grounds for pursuing premises liability claims in Georgia include:
- Failure to clean up spills and other slip hazards
- Failure to repair damaged premises
- Failure to warn of (or prevent access to) areas with potential injury risks
These are not the only questions you need to answer, but they are among the most important. For a comprehensive assessment of your legal rights after a slip and fall accident in Albany, schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced slip and fall attorneys.
The Most Common Injuries from a Slip and Fall
Most slip and fall accidents result in minor injuries. Some can result in serious injuries that can leave you unable to work or take care of your family.
- Broken bones
- Torn ligaments and tendons
- Facial fractures
- Lacerations and contusions
- Joint sprains
It’s important to note that some injuries may not manifest themselves right away. Even if you felt okay immediately after your accident, you may begin experiencing symptoms in the days that follow. As a result, you should get a thorough medical exam if you are experiencing any lingering pain, stiffness, or soreness. If you were previously treated, listen to your body – schedule a follow-up examination, if you do not seem to be healing or your condition, is deteriorating.
If You Are Injured, A Tallahassee Slip and Fall Lawyer Can Help
If you suffer a severe injury related to a slip and fall, you should speak with an experienced Tallahassee slip and fall lawyer as soon as possible. They can help you document your claim so that you can focus on your recovery. Your lawyer can help with the following:
- Collecting the evidence you need to demonstrate that the property owner was negligent
- Compiling your medical records and bills to document your injuries
- Calculating your lost wages
- Estimating your total losses so that you can pursue fair compensation.
Your slip and fall attorney can speak with the insurance company, your doctor, and other related parties on your behalf. They can negotiate a fair settlement of your claim or pursue legal action if the other party refuses to accept responsibility for your injury.
Fall Accidents Can Be Especially Serious for the Elderly
Slip and fall accidents can be especially dangerous for the elderly. Statistics show that older adults are more likely to slip and fall than younger people and are also much more likely to suffer severe injuries.
Mobility issues, poor balance, poor eyesight, and other common factors among the elderly all contribute to the possibility of a fall for older people. Also, they are more likely to suffer serious injuries such as broken bones or brain injuries. Finally, older people take longer to heal and are more likely to require more extensive medical treatment than younger people. Slip and fall accidents for an older adult can result in permanent disability and even death.
Property owners whose premises are frequented by the elderly arguably have a higher duty to ensure that their property is safe:
- Nursing homes and assisted living centers
- Doctors’ offices
- Retirement communities and facilities
If you or a loved one has been injured in a slip and fall accident, the facts in your case are critical. An experienced Tallahassee slip and fall lawyer can review the facts surrounding your accident and help you understand your options. If the accident was due to the property owner’s negligence, you may be entitled to be compensated for your injuries and any economic losses you have suffered.
FAQs: Understanding Your Tallahassee Slip and Fall Claim
Is the Property Owner Liable for Your Losses?
In many cases, property owners and business owners will be liable for injuries sustained in slip and fall accidents. This is because property and business owners owe a “duty of care” to maintain their premises reasonably free from slip and fall risks. If you or a member of your family was injured on anyone else’s property, you should speak with a Tallahassee slip and fall lawyer about your legal rights.
How Much are You Entitled to Recover after a Trip and Fall?
The amount of compensation available depends on the severity of the injuries sustained in the accident. In Florida, slip and fall accident victims are entitled to just compensation for all of their financial and non-financial losses. This includes:
- Medical bills
- Prescription costs and other out-of-pocket expenses
- Loss of earnings
- Pain and suffering
- Other financial and non-financial losses
How Long Will Your Case Take?
The amount of time it takes to recover just compensation for a slip and fall depends on a number of different factors as well. In many cases, it is possible to secure a favorable settlement in a matter of months. But, some cases go to trial, and the trial process can easily take a year or longer.
Do You Need to Hire a Tallahassee Slip and Fall Attorney?
Yes, without question. Premises liability cases are complicated, and property and business owners (and their insurance companies) will fight vigorously to avoid liability. If you want to make sure you receive just compensation for your (or your loved one’s) injuries, you need to hire an experienced slip and fall lawyer to represent you.
Who Is Responsible for Slip and Fall Accidents?
Local Governments Are Responsible for Keeping Sidewalks Safe
If you have experienced a slip and fall injury on the sidewalk, it is possible that the local government and/or the property owner could be liable for your injuries. Local governments are often tasked with maintaining the safety of public walkways. This includes ensuring that sidewalks open to the public are free of obstructions and trip-hazards, like uneven pavement or tree roots buckling the pavement up.
Property owners will also often have a duty to ensure that their property does not encroach upon the sidewalk and cause the risk of harm. To determine what laws apply to your injury, your slip and fall attorney will review the facts of the accident or incident that led to your injury and apply their legal experience accordingly.
The Shopping Mall and Grocery Store are Common Slip and Fall Locations
When a retail location is open to the general shopping public, the property owner has a duty to keep the premises safe and proactively warn about any potential risks. For example, if you were walking through the mall between stores and slipped on a patch of excess floor wax, you’d likely have a personal injury claim.
For example, if you were walking through the same mall, walked into yellow caution tape warning of a spill many feet away, then continued to walk over the spill surrounded by orange cones and fell, making a claim will be more difficult as the hazard was both guarded and warned against.
Sports and Concert Venues Have a Heightened Responsibility to Keep The Premises Safe
Recent injuries and even mass casualty events at music shows and sporting events have highlighted the importance of effectively managing the safety of attendees at sporting events and concerts. Whether the venue is indoor or outdoor, there are laws and regulations in place to govern how many people are allowed and what safety measures must be taken to ensure their safety. If you have been injured in a slip and fall or other accident or incident at a game or concert, you may have a claim to recover all associated costs and damages through a slip and fall claim.
Swimming Pools and Gyms Must Keep Members Safe From Unreasonable Risks and Slips
Whether a swimming pool or gymnasium is open to the general public or is members-only, the property owner has a duty to keep the premises safe. While running around a swimming pool is known to lead to the risk of a slip and fall, when one happens when simply walking around a pool or gym, then the property owner may be held liable. To make your case, you’ll have to collect evidence concerning the circumstances surrounding your injury. Was the area around the pool cleaned recently enough to ensure it was not unduly slippery? Did the gym recently wax the floor and fail to warn clients about it? Your Tallahassee slip and fall lawyer will gather the evidence you need to win your claim.
Discuss Your Case with a Tallahassee Slip and Fall Lawyer at Searcy Denney
If you would like more information about seeking financial compensation for a trip and fall accident in Tallahassee, please contact us to schedule a free initial consultation. Call 800-780-8607 to schedule an appointment, or tell us what happened and we will be in touch as soon as possible.