It’s essential to consult an attorney as early as possible in the case so that you start right. Going against such defendants on your own is not a good idea because insurers are likely to take advantage of your minimal knowledge of the law.
A slip-and-fall lawyer will take away the stress of gathering evidence, keeping up with deadlines, preparing reports, and negotiating with insurance companies, among other burdens that come with filing a claim.
An insurance company may give one or more reasons for denying your claim, including lack of sufficient evidence supporting fault or your injuries, administrative errors when filing, the expired statute of limitations, asking for too much, and so on. A slip-and-fall lawyer can help you appeal this decision so that you’re not a victim twice.
You can still file a lawsuit even if you were partially at fault. According to the state’s comparative negligence laws, victims who are somehow responsible for their injuries can receive compensation that’s less than the percentage of fault contributed. Even so, your lawyer will still focus on maximizing the settlement you’re due.
Miami Slip-and-Fall Lawyer
If a slip-and-fall accident was due to another person’s negligence, you must hold them accountable. Your recovery, including health and finances, depends on whether you understand your rights and what legal action you should take in that situation. Filing a slip-and-fall lawsuit and pursuing a settlement for all resulting damages is the only way to get justice after an injury.
Unfortunately, the path to compensation does not favor the injured, starting with insurance companies who are not so keen on what you’re going through as they are on saving money by offering lowball settlements. The lack of experience navigating something like this and minimal knowledge of the law also puts you at a disadvantage.
Start your case prepared and improve the chances of restoration by consulting a Miami slip-and-fall lawyer with Fischer Redavid PLLC before taking legal action. Not only will they explain what you’re getting into, but an attorney will also be by your side, representing your best interests throughout the path to justice.
What Can I Do to Support My Case after a Slip-and-Fall?
The first thing you should do after a slip-and-fall is to check for injuries and get a medical evaluation from a doctor. By doing so, you’ll be ensuring your health and well-being as well as protecting your chances of compensation. Insurance companies are quick to deny claims whose victims failed to get medical help, alleging that the injuries were not serious.
If your injuries are mild and you’re not in pain, consider gathering evidence before you leave the scene to support your claim. This includes taking photographs, collecting eyewitness details, writing short notes of the accounts, and so on.
Next, notify the person in charge of where you fell by filing an official report. Some business premises require an official report to be filed before proceeding with a lawsuit.
Most importantly, find legal advice and guidance from a Miami slip-and-fall attorney as soon as possible. The last thing you want after suffering such damages is to miss out on a settlement because of an error that an attorney can help you avoid.
How to Tell Who’s Responsible for My Slip-and-Fall Injuries
Slip-and-fall accidents can happen anywhere from malls, private residences, business establishments, retail stores, restaurants, events, and nursing homes. Finding out what caused the accident and who’s liable for your suffering involves tracing back through documents, video footage, eyewitness accounts of events, and other evidence.
This is work that can be overwhelming for you, especially when you’re just recovering from the injuries. When you have a Miami slip-and-fall lawyer, they’ll start by finding out the property owner or person in charge and send a letter to the insurance company.
If you were hurt in a private building the owner’s property insurance pays for your damages. Slips and falls that happen in private homes are compensated by homeowners insurance if the owner has a cover. Sometimes your attorney must study property leases to determine where liability falls.
A construction company may also be liable if the fall was caused by a design flaw or a violation of zoning and building codes. In such instances, we consult experts to get more information and to testify in court when necessary.
Am I Eligible for a Slip-and-Fall Lawsuit?
Eligibility for compensation for your slip-and-fall injuries and other damages depends on whether you can prove negligence as the cause. Premise liability claims are distinct from other injury claims because of the elements you need to prove. When determining whether you’re eligible for a slip-and-fall lawsuit, consider the following:
- Duty of Care – Liability owed depends on your visitor status. You can be an invitee, licensee, or trespasser on a property. Invitees demand the most care because they’ve been invited by the host and include a customer or house guest. A licensee might not be invited but have a legal right to be on the premises. A trespasser has no right nor is the owner liable for their injuries.
- Breaching a Duty of Care – The existence of a dangerous condition that caused the fall is not enough to prove fault. The owner must have been aware of the situation and chose to take little to no action. Pieces of evidence like previous complaints, registered injuries, CCTV footage, and cleaning records will come in handy when proving this.
- The Slip-and-Fall Caused Your Injuries – Your eligibility also depends on whether the fall was the sole source of your injuries. Medical reports, clinical records, and a doctor’s testimony will offer valuable evidence.
- Proof of Damages – What do you have to prove that the accident devastated your life? It may include receipts to show expenses, hospital bills, property repair costs, an employer letter showing how long you missed work, and accounts from friends to prove your life has changed, among others.
Why You Should Let a Lawyer Handle the Insurance Company
Insurance adjusters are smart and focused on profits. They will contact you as soon as possible to push you to sign a release form and settle for far less than you’re owed.
They know that you’re in dire need of the money. They also know that you probably don’t understand the full value of your claim, especially if the accident just happened. Sometimes they’ll call hoping your tongue slips so they can find a way to use your words and pin some or all the fault on you.
To protect yourself, let a Miami slip-and-fall attorney handle the insurance company from receiving calls, negotiating, and settling.
Miami Slip-and-Fall Lawsuit Deadlines to Keep in Mind
Deadlines are crucial in legal matters. Missing even one day when filing court documents, sending notices, or filing reports can cost you the settlement.
The statute of limitations refers to the period you have as the plaintiff to bring a claim against the parties responsible for your injuries. In Miami, you have only four years from when the accident happened to file a lawsuit. However, if you’re suing a government agency, you must send a notice of intent first and wait to hear back before taking any other legal action.
The timeline for seeking medical attention is not clearly defined, but you must do this as soon as possible. What’s the ideal and reasonable time you would get treatment for that kind of injury you claim to have been caused by the slip-and-fall?
It’s also crucial to report the incident to the person, business, or department in charge of the location lest they use your delay as a defense against your claims. Act as soon as possible by partnering with a slip-and-fall attorney to take care of the legal responsibilities, as you and your loved ones recover from this devastating event.
What Kind of Recovery Do I Get from a Slip-and-Fall Lawsuit?
The physics of a trip and fall involves being caught unawares. This impact is likely to be serious and will leave severe injuries, possibly including a fatality, because you don’t have time to stop your fall. The amount of damages you can recover by filing a lawsuit will depend on how much your life has changed and those of your loved ones.
When you slip and fall, chances are that you’ll suffer serious injuries like broken bones, back injuries, herniated discs, permanent disability, and more. But these are not the only damages and pain you’ll be left wallowing in after the accident.
There’s also the mental anguish caused by everything you have to deal with, not to mention your loved ones who are also likely to be affected. Slip-and-fall damages can either be economic or non-economic.
Economic damages compensate for all financial expenses caused by the fall, including current and future treatment costs, replacing damaged property, wages lost when healing, rehabilitative therapy costs, assistive medical devices, cost of hiring help for household services, among others.
Non-economic damages are intangible but equally debilitating. They include pain and suffering, inability to enjoy life, and mental anguish. A judge may also demand the defendant pays punitive damages which serve as a punishment and a driver for deterrence.
Consult a Slip-and-Fall Lawyer in Miami
Slip-and-fall accidents happen so fast that it’s often challenging to determine what caused it and who’s responsible. Instead of grappling with all these worries about your recovery, let an experienced Miami slip-and-fall attorney from Fischer Redavid PLLC take over your case.
By doing so, you’ll be getting legal representation and peace of mind from working with professionals who’re also focused on your experience throughout the journey.
Schedule your free consultation by calling (954) 800-2155 or filling out our online contact form below.
You can always expect the parties responsible for your injuries to fight back, especially if the settlement amount involved is large. Some of the defenses that can affect your case include any of the following.
Partial or Full Fault on the Defendant
Defendants are always quick to apply Florida’s comparative fault doctrine to avoid or reduce liability for slip-and-fall damages. The laws state that if you, as the plaintiff, are found to be partly responsible for the accident, you’ll receive a compensation amount that’s less your percentage of fault.
To counter this defense, your attorney will present evidence to show the defendant’s extent of the fault.
The Danger Was Visible and Obvious
The defendant might also argue that while you slipped and fell on their property, the risk was open and obvious for an average person to see and avoid. For example, you may have slipped on a floor spill that was openly visible on a store aisle.
However, you can still counter this defense if the visible danger is due to some wrongdoing such as violating building codes. Sometimes simply knowing that a risk exists is not enough to prevent injuries and the liable party still has to compensate you.
The Defendant Was Not Aware of the Danger
For someone to be liable for your slip-and-fall injuries, they must have known about the danger and done nothing to eliminate it. The defendant may claim that they were not aware or notified of the risk.
The burden of proof here is to show that the defendant had been notified either through constructive or actual notice.
The Defendant Took Reasonable Preventive Measures
Another common defense in slip-and-fall lawsuits is the defendant claiming that they took necessary measures to prevent an incident.
While this could be true, an accident happening due to the same danger implies that the property owner did not do enough and could still be liable.