Injured on a Hazardous Property? Michles & Booth Won't Let You Be a Victim Twice

Florida Slip & Fall Lawyers

Helping You Recover Fair Compensation

Under premises liability law, property owners are liable for the conditions of their property (within reason). When a property owner or manager knows of—or reasonably should have known of—a dangerous condition but fails to take the necessary steps to fix or address it, those injured due to the dangerous condition can take action.

Slip-and-fall accidents are one of the most common types of premises liability claims. These claims involve accidents in which a person slips, trips, and/or falls and becomes injured due to dangerous property conditions, such as spilled liquids, uneven flooring, or defective sidewalks.

If you were injured in a slip-and-fall accident and you believe a property owner’s negligence is to blame, reach out to the Florida slip-and-fall lawyers at Michles & Booth. We can investigate your claim and determine who is liable for your injuries, medical bills, and other damages. Our attorneys are committed to fighting for the full, fair compensation you deserve.

For a free consultation, call us at (800) 848-6168 or contact us online today.

Compensation in Slip & Fall Cases

The media often unfairly portrays slip-and-fall victims in a negative light. The truth of the matter is that you can sustain serious, even life-threatening injuries as a result of a slip-and-fall.

In fact, some of the common injuries we have seen in slip-and-fall cases include:

  • Serious cuts, abrasions, and bruises
  • Broken bones and multiple fractures
  • Head injuries and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Dislocations, strains, and sprains
  • Muscle tears
  • Nerve damage

If you suffered injuries and damages as a result of a slip and fall accident, you may be entitled to compensation. You will need to prove that 1.) You were lawfully on another person’s property (public or private) when the incident occurred; 2.) The accident happened as a result of the property owner’s (or another liable party’s) negligence and; 3.) You suffered damages as a result.

“Damages” can vary widely, but may include:

  • Medical expenses related to treatment for your injuries
  • Lost income/wages (including future earnings)
  • Lost or reduced earning capacity (disability)
  • Pain and suffering

Do I Have Grounds for a Slip and Fall Lawsuit?

In Florida, a landowner or property owner has a duty to maintain the premises in a reasonably safe condition, or, in other words, make sure the place is safe. They also have a duty to warn you about “concealed perils,” or hidden dangers. While these two theories of liability may sometimes overlap, they are separate and distinct from one and other.

So, do you have a case? The first question that has to be answered is whether or not you had permission to be on the property in the first place.

Are You an Invitee, Licensee, or Trespasser?

Florida law separates visitors into three different categories: invitees, licensees, and trespassers. Florida Standard Jury Instruction 401.16 helps define each of these categories.

Someone who is invited on to the premises is an invitee or licensee. Under Florida law, these two categories are treated nearly the same. You can be invited onto the premises either expressly (“Hey, come on in!”), or impliedly (a gas station with an “open” sign in the window). So long as you use the premises in a reasonable manner, or in a way that the owner would expect, you will be considered an invitee or licensee as long as you are there.

This means that you are legally allowed to be there, and because you are legally allowed to be there, the owner of the premises has a duty to make sure that the place is safe and to warn you about potential dangers. If you are trespassing – meaning you do not have the right to be where you are – the law does not provide you the same protections as someone who was invited in, but the law does not completely abandon you.

What Duties Are Owed to You By the Owner?

So, assuming that you are legally allowed to be on the property, what duties does the owner of the premises owe you?

As mentioned above, the first obligation an owner has is to make sure the place is safe. This obligation comes in all shapes and sizes, whether it is proper lighting in a parking lot or stairwell, making sure store displays are secured, the possibilities are vast.

The second duty you are owed is for the owner to put you on notice of hidden dangers that they are more likely to be aware of than you are. Think of this as the leaking roof that gets the floor wet, or the spilled milk in the aisle of the grocery store (Florida Statute 768.0755).

There are also other situations where people have a duty to protect you while you are on the property. For example, your landlord has an obligation to inspect the property for safety before turning it over to you, and to repair dangers once you let them know they are there (Florida Statute 83.51).

As you can tell, figuring out whether or not you have a “premises liability” claim can get complicated, which is why it is always a good idea to contact an attorney who knows this area of the law.

What to Do After a Slip and Fall

If you slip and fall on commercial property and suffer an injury, you may have a claim for damages. In order to bring a claim, there must be some degree of negligence on the part of the owner of the premises, or the persons responsible for maintaining the premises.

There are several things you can do immediately after the accident to help preserve your claim:

  • Complete an incident report. Ask to speak to a manager and document the fall by completing an incident report. If the first employee you speak to is unable to help you with a report, ask to speak to a supervisor. While a fall in a public place can be an emotional experience, don’t leave the store without making sure there is a record of the event. Try to obtain a copy of the report if possible.
  • Gather witness information. If anyone saw the fall, ask for their name and contact information. A neutral, unbiased witness can be the key to establishing liability against the store, and it is often difficult or impossible to obtain witness contact information at a later date.
  • Seek medical care immediately. You should seek medical attention as soon as possible. Even if the injuries appear relatively “minor” in the adrenaline-filled moments after the fall, it is important to document your symptoms with a medical professional. Often, the true severity of the injury and pain is not appreciated until days after the accident, and the doctors examining you immediately after the fall will be able to provide important medical opinions on your case.
  • Consult with an attorney. There are several important steps an attorney can take in the days immediately following your accident that can be of great benefit to your claim. Many facilities have video surveillance that may show the fall and the events leading up to the incident. These videotapes are often destroyed after a brief period of time unless a proper written request to preserve the evidence is sent to the store and their insurance carrier. Additionally, it is best to consult with an experienced attorney prior to speaking with the insurance company handling the claim.

Put Our Award-Winning Team on Your Side

At Michles & Booth, we work with our team of in-house investigators, our on-staff medical doctor, and other experts to build a solid case on your behalf. We believe that no one should have to suffer the consequences of someone else’s negligence on their own. As such, our Florida slip-and-fall attorneys are prepared to do everything possible to secure a favorable outcome on your behalf.

Don’t be a victim twice; contact Michles & Booth online or call (800) 848-6168 for a no-cost, no-obligation consultation.

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