Florida Slip and Fall: Rights, Liabilities, Damages, and Settlements
Have you been affected by a slip and fall accident? Learn the slip and fall rights in Florida, your rights, and case if you choose to pursue compensation?
Slip and fall claims make up 16% of workman’s comp claims in the country. If you get hurt on the job, it is the company or the property owner’s responsibility to compensate you. This includes any losses you may incur during the time you are recovering.
Sometimes it is best to quickly file a claim with the owner’s insurance, while other times you have to take things to court. The best course of action is going to depend on Florida statutes and laws. Florida’s shared fault laws may get in the way of receiving the full amount.
Either way, you deserve some type of justice if you were hurt on the job. This guide will explain how you proceed if you’ve fallen and hurt yourself.
Slip and Fall Overview
You don’t have to slip to fall and you don’t have to necessarily fall to slip. Slip and fall accidents are those that take place on another’s property. If you hurt yourself from a loss of balance and gravity injures you, that’s a slip-and-fall case.
For example, tripping over an obstacle, uneven ground, or loose gravel. Steps that are too steep or structurally unstable can also cause you to slip and fall. Any surface that is too slick or covered in a slippery substance will fall into this category as well.
Never chalk up a fall to a preventable misstep on your part. If there aren’t precautions taken by the property owner to prevent falls, it’s not your fault.
An owner or business must keep their property in a sensibly protected condition for clients or visitors. In the event that the owner or supervisor knows or should realize that some piece of the property isn’t safe, the issue must get fixed.
In the event that the issue isn’t fixed and an individual falls and is harmed, the owner or management of the property will be liable for damages. This is called carelessness, and the injured party will probably sue.
Proving a Slip and Fall Case
In a Florida slip-and-fall case, a harmed individual needs to demonstrate three things to the court:
- The owner or business is obligated to warn the harmed individual and failed to do so.
- There was negligence in properly maintaining or securing the property.
- You couldn’t prevent yourself from getting hurt on the property as a result of this negligence.
Arguments in proving your case don’t necessarily need to prove every point beyond a reasonable doubt. The first line can get muddied with hearsay, while the second and third points are easier to prove.
Statute of Limitations in Florida
The next step in setting up a slip and fall case is suing at the right time. There is a deadline that you have in order to file a slip and fall lawsuit. There are no extensions under normal circumstances.
For most cases, there is a maximum of four years to file your claim. This is the standard in Florida for personal injury cases. An attorney can help maximize your claim by building your case as much as possible within the statute of limitations.
Any property damage caused as a result of your fall will also fall under this statute. Use this time wisely and get professional assessments of both medical and property damage. There’s no real difference between filing a claim the day after or a year after.
Don’t assume that because you have a strong case that you won’t need the extra time either. Some companies may try to fight it in court, so you need time to help build your case. A lot of time may pass during settlement talks, as well.
These aspects of a Florida slip and fall case can get very complicated. That’s why you should never go at it alone. You need an experienced team behind you to prevent settling for less.
What you deserve and what you think you deserve may look completely different from the defense’s lawyers.
The At-Fault Parties
Another reason why these lawsuits get tricky without proper legal counsel is going after at-fault parties. You need to know exactly who is responsible for a slip and fall accident. You can’t assume the owner of the property is the same person operating it.
In fact, many businesses have multiple owners, so to win the full amount, you need to know this. A judgment could rule in your favor, but leave money on the table because of the incomplete filing. Florida law dictates that even if you successfully sue and win, the owners are only required to pay their percentage of ownership.
Make sure you get all at-fault parties in the room at the same time to get the proper settlement, too. The property owners could try to pull a fast one and have only one or partial representation of members sign a settlement. That means they could have the document nullified if they choose.
This is especially true if the court decides there is comparative negligence in play. That ruling decides if you are at-fault more than the property owners. This is decided even in the fact that there was a dangerous situation on the property.
Getting the Justice You Deserve
If you get hurt on the job or in someone’s business, at no fault to your own, you deserve compensation. This comes in the form of medical and wage reimbursement, disability claims, and emotional damages. You will need to prove that your slip and fall by hiring a team of experts.
Without the help of an attorney, their experience, and the tools to prove your case (expert witnesses, investigators, etc.), it’s hard to win. If you’re going up against corporations with unlimited legal funds, it can get intimidating. Don’t let anyone push you around, contact Dawson Law Firm and let us fight for your rights.
At Dawson Law Firm, we won’t rest until you get the justice that you deserve.