Slip and fall accidents occur daily in Florida. Some are purely accidental, while others happen out of the negligence of one or more parties.
If you or someone you love has been the victim of a slip and fall caused by someone else’s negligent behavior, you have the right to hold that person accountable for the accident. Our experienced Sarasota slip and fall lawyers at Winters and Yonker are ready to help.
At Winters and Yonker, we believe that all our clients deserve hands-on service from us. If we could undo the accident and take away your suffering, we would. However, we can guide you in taking the necessary steps to hold the at-fault party accountable for their negligence. Contact our personal injury attorneys at (888) 373-7770 and get a no-risk review of your case, free of charge!
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How Can a Sarasota Slip and Fall Lawyer Help With My Case?
A Sarasota slip and fall attorney will do the following things to help with your case:
- Collect the required evidence to prove you deserve compensation
- Interview witnesses
- Help determine negligence and liability for your slip and fall injuries
- Review all related reports, including the incident report, the police report, and the accident report
- Review your medical information related to the accident.
What Steps Can Claimants Take to Strengthen Their Slip & Fall Case?
After a slip and fall accident in Sarasota, Florida, claimants should do the following to have a stronger claim:
Report the incident to the manager
Obtain a copy of the incident report from the property owner or manager. Remember to get one for your lawyer too.
Takedown names & contact info of witnesses
Get the names, contact information, and any written statements from employees, customers, passers-by, or any other witnesses to your slip and fall accident.
Take photos of the scene and make sure to get photographs of the hazardous condition that caused you to slip and fall. If you are unable to take pictures or videos, ask for the day’s surveillance footage.
Get medical attention and document injuries
See a doctor after your slip and fall accident. The doctor will:
- Assess and treat you for injuries
- Give you medical proof to determine that you indeed had an accident and sustained injuries.
How Can a Slip and Fall Accident Be Proven?
To establish a legal case after a slip and fall accident, your attorney will have to establish if:
- The property owner had knowledge of dangerous conditions. If the defendant knew of the hazard and ignored their duty of care by failing to act, then you may have a viable case.
- An injured person was not warned or aware of the hazardous conditions: You have a legal case if the defendant breached their duty of care and failed to warn you of a hazard on their premises.
- The plaintiff’s injuries resulted directly from the defendant’s breach of duty.
- The plaintiff’s injury resulted from a fall that occurred in the hazardous/unsafe premises.
How Is Liability Determined for Slip & Fall Injury Cases in Florida?
There are several factors that go into whether a defendant is liable for your injuries:
Florida is a comparative fault state. This means that fault for the accident or liability can be shared and the claimant can still recover compensation for injuries. If you are found to be partially responsible for the accident, your compensation will be reduced in proportion to your degree of liability.
Property owners or their employees can be held liable if they knew about a hazardous or dangerous situation at their premises and did nothing to prevent slip and fall injuries to people on the property. Even when property owners do not know about an existing hazard, they can still be liable because of a reasonable expectation that they should know.
Property owners are required to warn people of any hazards in their premises by putting wet floor signs or cones. The property owner can be held liable for negligence in a slip and fall case if they fail to warn people of dangerous situations on their premises.
To prove negligence on the defendant’s part, you must be able to answer the following questions:
Did you have a good reason to be on the property at the time of the accident? The degree to which a property owner owes you the duty of care depends on the reasons you are on the premises. The property owner might be negligent if you had a good reason to be on the property at the time of your accident.
Would a person of sound and reasonable caution (if he or she was not distracted in any way) in the same situation have spotted and avoided the hazardous conditions? The owner of the property is not negligent if an obvious danger caused your injuries and cannot be liable unless the owner anticipated danger.
Did the property owner/manager give a warning of dangerous conditions? For the property owner to be negligent, he/she has to have breached their duty of care by not taking the necessary steps to warn or make you aware of the hazard.
Were you partaking in any activities that contributed to your slip/trip and fall accident? The property owner could not be negligent if you were engaging in other activities contributing to your slip and fall accident.
How Much Is My Slip and Fall Case Worth In Florida?
Once negligence has been determined, more factors can influence the worth of your potential settlement. They include:
The extent of your damages
The value of your case is determined by economic damages such as your medical expenses, loss of earnings, future medical costs and loss of earning capacity, and non-economic damages such as pain and suffering.
Whether you had some degree of fault
Your case’s worth is also influenced by your contribution to the accident – if any.
If you are found to have had any fault, any damages you are awarded will be reduced according to your percentage of fault/responsibility for the accident. For instance, if you are 35% at fault for the accident, then you would receive 75% compensation for your damages.
Are There Time Limits For Filing A Slip & Fall Lawsuit?
Florida has a statute of limitations for slip and fall accidents. You have four years from the injury date to file a lawsuit. Failure to file a claim before the deadline will result in your lawsuit being rejected.
While it may seem like you have a lot of time, you should file your claim as soon as possible to make it easier to prove your case.
Contact Winters & Yonker Today
At Winters & Yonker, we understand that a slip and fall accident can be traumatic, especially if you suffered severe injuries.
Luckily, you don’t have to pursue compensation on your own in Sarasota. A slip and fall attorney from Winters & Yonker may be able to fight for your settlement as you focus on your recovery and well-being.