A fall can often lead to long-term injury. Unfortunately, many people living in Tampa Bay are not aware of their legal rights. Often a Tampa slip and fall attorney can help them get compensation for the injuries they suffer after a slip and fall. If you have sustained head and brain injuries due to a slip and fall accident that was not your fault at all, you need to contact a personal injury lawyer in Tampa that has experience with slip and fall accidents as soon as possible.
Florida has specific laws that pertain to falls and slips, and if you want to get the right compensation for your injuries, it is important to speak to a lawyer. You need to understand that there is a statute of limitations in place in Florida and that is why if you intend to take legal action against the party that caused you harm, you need to do it quickly as time is of the essence. You are free to settle the case yourself, but in most cases, the amount of compensation you will receive will be much less than if you use a lawyer to represent you. Fill out a contact form or call today to schedule a free consultation and learn how the attorneys at Winters & Yonker can help your injury claim.
Table of Contents
How is Negligence Determined in a Slip and Fall Claim?
In Florida, slip and fall accidents are placed under the category of ‘premise liability.’ What this means is that the property owner or the business where you slipped or fell will be held liable if they failed to exercise an appropriate degree of care towards employees, customers or others who come on to the property. The problem is that we might perceive slip and fall injuries to be minor, but the fact is that these injuries can often be very serious and can lead to injury to the bone, muscles, and tendons. Sometimes a lower back injury can also occur which can cause long-term disability. Talk to an injury lawyer to find out your legal rights if you have sustained injuries due to a slip and fall accident.
You need to remember that to establish a legal case after a slip and fall accident your attorney will have to establish three things:
- That the business owner or employer was aware of the hazards on the premises. For example, if an oil spill occurred two days ago, the owner should have known that the potential for a fall and slip was likely. They should have taken preventive measures, and if they didn’t and if somebody slips or falls and gets hurt, the owner and/or employer will be held accountable for their actions. Speak to a lawyer in this regard.
- That the individual who slipped and fell was not aware of the hazard or its seriousness. In this case, it is the duty of the owner or the employer to make people aware of a potential hazard. For example, if an oil spill occurred two days ago, then the owner should have placed warning signs, cordoned off the area or cleaned the oil spill, but he did not elect to do anything. If they don’t and if somebody slips or falls, the owner or the employer will be held liable. Your lawyer can provide you more information in this regard.
- That the victim exercised caution and still slipped or fell because they had no information regarding the hazard. Discuss this with your personal injury lawyer.
How do I know if I’m Eligible to File a Slip and Fall Claim?
In Florida, businesses and homeowners are responsible for ensuring that preventive measures are in place and that warning signs have been put up to prevent any slip and fall accidents. Businesses and homeowners owe this:
- To individuals or employees who work on-site
- To all individuals, whether they are customers, salespeople or invitees to the business.
For example, a car repair shop must make sure that there are no hazards in the area where the customers walk or arrive. If there are any oil spills, appropriate signs must be placed warning all who enter the premises. Further, the garage owner is also responsible for the safety of any sales or delivery people. The only time the business owner is not responsible for a slip and fall is if the individual was trespassing on to the property, slipped and injured himself.
What are Common Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents in Tampa?
Slips and falls can occur from many causes some of which include the following:
- Poorly lit corridor or stairwell
- Sidewalk with large holes that have not been repaired for a long time
- A footpath that is uneven or has unstable bricks
- A footpath or the sidewalk that is littered with debris which makes it unsafe for walking
- A large collection of water puddles
- Built-up of ice and snow which has not been cleared for several days
- Spillage of liquids like oils, grease
- Recently waxed or polished floors with no warning signs informing people that there is a risk of slipping.
The point is that all responsible individuals in Tampa Bay, Florida need to exercise basic caution and need to ensure the safety of other people. This applies to business owners, homeowners, and tenants. Whether its clients, customers, neighbors or just random people walking on the street and crossing through their area, these people must make sure that they remove any potential hazards and if they are unable to remove them, they should put up warning signs so that other people become aware of those hazards. If owners/ businesses are aware of potential hazards but fail to take any preventive measures, they may face legal charges from the victim.
If you had a slip and fall accident and suffered injuries because of the negligence of a third party, talk to an injury lawyer immediately. However, keep in mind that you will only receive compensation if your lawyer can prove that the third party was actually responsible for your injuries and that they were aware of the hazard but failed to inform you of it. This is applicable in case of ice, debris, fence, oil spillage, broken stairs, uneven floors or any other similar hazard situation. Talk to an injury lawyer in this regard.
What Should I do If I Suffer a Slip and Fall Injury?
If you live near Tampa and if you had a slip and fall accident, you should contact a lawyer as soon as possible. Also, you should:
- Note the time, place and date of the slip and fall accident. This information can be used by your accident lawyer.
- Get names and addresses of any witnesses as their testimony can be used by your lawyer to establish the fact that you had the accident due to the negligence of a third party.
- If you have a camera, take pictures of the area where you fell as well as the surrounding area. Remember if there was water, snow, ice, oil, or loose bricks. These photographs could really help your attorney lawyer to prove that your injuries were caused by a third party.
- Make note if the owner had removed the ice or applied salt to melt the ice. Check to see if any warning signs were posted. If these measures were taken, you need to tell your slip and fall lawyer as the owner may not be liable if they had made an effort to make people aware of any potential hazards.
- Note the dimensions of the hazard. Obviously, nobody expects to fall so you might not have the necessary measuring tools to do so, but you could make some kind of estimation using your palms or maybe a marker or pen that you may have in your car or your pocket. Use anything that you can to measure the area.
- Keep the footwear that you were wearing as evidence and then do not wear them again. The other side may say that your shoes were already slippery. But if you leave the shoes you were wearing untouched, your slip and fall accident lawyer can show images to prove otherwise.
- If you fell at a private home, you should get the name of the owner, the home address and images of the home. This information can be effectively utilized by your slip and fall lawyer.
- Go to the doctor on the same day as the accident. This serves two purposes. First, you can get yourself checked out for any injuries, and you can start treatment if required. Second, you can have medical proof that you had an accident and you sustained injuries that required medical attention.
- If you get called by an insurance agent, do not speak to them without first speaking to your slip and fall lawyer.
How can a Tampa Slip and Fall Attorney Help My Claim?
Remember that just because one has a slip and a fall in a grocery store or on the sidewalk of a neighbor’s home doesn’t automatically mean that you have a case for any injury. While the homeowner or employer is responsible for preventing the slip and fall, the burden is also on the public to exercise reasonable caution. For example, if there has been ice on the ground for several days and you decide to run or play ice hockey in the neighbor’s yard, you are also at fault for being negligent. In such situations, you should not be running on ice.
The point is that simply pointing the finger at a third party and claiming they made you fall is not going to get you any compensation. You will need to sit down with a lawyer, and you will need to honestly evaluate whether it was your negligence that resulted in the slip and fall accident or whether it was the negligence of another person that caused the accident. Without proving negligence, you cannot get any compensation.
How Much Compensation Can a Tampa Slip and Fall Attorney Help Me Get After a Fall Related Injury?
The amount of compensation one can receive after a slip and fall accident is dependent on the type and severity of the injury. The best way to know if you have a case is to contact a lawyer. At Winters and Yonker, we have a team of lawyers who have the necessary skill and experience to fight for your rights. Your initial consultation with our lawyer will be completely free, and you can ask any questions you want. At the same time, our personal injury lawyer will determine if you have a solid case. The important thing is that you don’t waste time, especially if you have sustained serious injuries and if you were not at all responsible for what happened. We understand that such an injury can be painful and the recovery time can be difficult to handle, especially if you miss work and lose your wages. Talk to our aggressive attorneys, and they will help you get the compensation you deserve.
Remember, you don’t pay us anything unless we collect for you. We believe that is the only fair way to do things as it is important for accident victims to get some form of financial support so that they can pay their medical bills and manage their everyday expenses without stressing over how they would make ends meet. As it is, physical injury is an important consequence of a slip and fall accident. The last thing you need is the added tension of dealing with insurance companies, lawyers, and the legal system. Let our Tampa slip and fall attorney at Winters & Yonker handle this for you while you focus on your recovery. Call our firm to schedule a free consultation today.