Commercial and residential property owners have a duty of care to those who have the legal right to be on their premises. That means they are responsible for taking the necessary steps to fix and prevent potentially dangerous conditions on their properties. When owners of businesses and private residences fail to maintain safe premises, slip and fall injuries can and do occur. These incidents lead to over one million emergency hospital visits each year in the United States.
To get compensation in a slip and fall case in Florida, you will need to be able to prove that your injuries resulted from the property owner’s negligence, meaning that he or she knew or should have been aware of the condition that caused the slip and fall.
A personal injury lawyer can help you gather and preserve evidence crucial to proving liability in these cases by taking photographs of the scene as promptly as possible. Your attorney may also be able to locate and subpoena video footage of the area where you fell if it was covered by surveillance cameras. You should also make sure all of the clothing worn at the time of the accident is preserved, especially shoes. This could help prove that the clothes you were wearing didn’t contribute to the slip and fall.
Slip and fall victims can also maintain journals that record their recovery progress. In these journals, you can provide details about the specifics of your injury, the amount of pain experienced on a daily basis, how your injuries have impacted your daily life, and how they have affected your relationships with friends and family. This information may help you seek compensation for nonmonetary damages such as physical pain and emotional distress.
Insurance adjusters often try to talk injury victims into accepting an early settlement, before injured parties retain counsel, but their offers rarely cover the full extent of the victim’s injuries. They are in the business of saving their clients money, not protecting your interests. Adjusters will try to have victims sign a release once they’ve agreed not to consult with an attorney. It’s important to avoid signing any such release, as you could be releasing the property owner, insurer or other parties from any liability. And that means you won’t be able to sue the property owner even if you have sustained permanent injuries or other types of damages.
An experienced slip and fall attorney who knows how to properly value claims can ensure that any settlement offer you receive is fair. And if not, the lawyer can press for the compensation you deserve through a personal injury suit.
Frank Charles Miranda, P.A. represents clients in slip and fall cases as well as other personal injury matters. Call our Tampa office today at 813-254-2637 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.