Last Updated: October 2nd, 2019 at 1:13 pm
Read Time: 6 Minutes
After a slip and fall accident, victims often find themselves embarrassed, confused, and without a clear pathway for what to do next. The last report by the Florida Department of Health's Injury Prevention Program accounted for 62,541 non-fatal, unintentional slip and fall accidents in the state, which generated over $3.6 billion in admission charges for victims.Slip and fall accidents are extremely common. About 32% of non-fatal slip and fall accidents result in a hip fracture, while 61% of fatal accidents are caused by a traumatic brain injury suffered during impact. In fact, in the United States, an older adult dies from a fall every 20 minutes.Whether you or someone you know has been involved in a slip and fall accident in South Florida. Understanding your rights and knowing what to do after an accident can be the difference between claiming your rights or being left with an injury and thousands of dollars in medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses. Keep reading to learn what do after a slip and fall accident in South Florida.
Understanding Slip and Fall AccidentsSlip and fall injuries come from many accidents. Generally speaking, a slip and fall injury is any time a person loses their stability, falls, and sustains injuries on another person’s property. Slip and fall accidents can be distinguished as:
- Trip & Fall – when a person falls due to an uneven surface or an object in the path
- Step & Fall – when a person falls by a low spot in the path that is not identified
- Slip & Fall – when a slippery object, liquid, or surface causes the fall
5 Things to Do After a Slip & Fall Accident in South FloridaIf you or someone you know has been in a slip and fall accident in South Florida, following the steps below will ensure they have everything they need to claim their rights. Gathering this information can help your case and get the process started to pursue your claim.
#1 – Seek Medical HelpIf you are involved in a serious slip and fall accident, call 911 immediately. If you believe you don’t need to visit a doctor immediately, do so within 48 hours. You may still have an injury that is not obvious to you. To file a claim, you need proof that a doctor examined your injuries.
#2 – Document the SceneDuring slip and fall accidents, a lot is happening at once. Most likely, the last thing on your mind is to document the scene, but this simple act can be the difference in your case. While waiting for medical attention, take pictures of the scene. Make sure you can see the conditions of the area where you fell.
#3 – Report the AccidentLook for the owner or property manager and let them know you fell and were injured and would like to file a formal report. Some businesses have specific policies and procedures to follow after a slip and fall accident. File a report to document the accident and request a copy of it. If the police responded to your accident, make sure you request a copy of these reports as well.
#4 – Gather InformationIf anyone saw you fall, ask them to help you by providing you with his or her contact information. Write down the information of friends and family members that witnessed the fall. Try your best to get their statement as soon as possible; you need to make sure their memory is fresh so they can provide all the details. Gather the property owner or manager’s information as well.
#5 – Contact a Personal Injury Attorney in South FloridaLast, but not least, you need to understand your legal options after a slip and fall accident in South Florida. Talk to knowledgeable premises liability and slip and fall lawyers. Contact LJ Law Group, and one of our experienced attorneys will help you understand your legal rights.
Who Is Responsible in Slip & Fall Accidents?Finding who is responsible for slip and fall accidents can be difficult. Stores may be owned and operated by the same person, while shopping malls have multiple owners, as well as numerous businesses. This means that several parties often share responsibility in slip and fall accidents.Under Florida law, each defendant is required to respond for its share of the injury, in the case you suffer an injury in a shopping mall, for example.Likewise, the state of Florida operates under a standard known as pure comparative negligence. In this case, if a judge or jury decides that you shared fault, then your compensation is decreased by that amount. So, even if a victim was negligent in a slip and fall, but say the grounds were still not cared for properly, the victim can be found 40% negligent and the business would still need to compensate the victim for 60% of their damages.Even if you were partially at fault for your slip and fall accident, you should still file a claim, as you may still be entitled to compensation.
Slip & Fall Law Changes in FloridaAnother essential aspect to consider related to slip and fall accidents are the changes in Florida law. Since June of 2016, injured people in slip and fall accidents must establish that the business or landowner knew or ought to have known about the possible hazard and failed to correct it, thus leading to the slip and fall accident. Now, injured parties have to prove that the company’s or landowner’s negligence went beyond carelessness.
What Can Be Done?Following the five steps mentioned earlier can help injured people build a solid case that will help them fight for the compensation they deserve. Now, dealing with slip and fall cases has become more difficult, which is why it’s more important than ever to hire an experienced attorney to advocate for you and protect your rights. What Are Your Rights in a Florida Slip & Fall Case?Injured parties that are arguing a slip and fall case in Florida are at the mercy of the court to decide if they are compensated for their injuries. That is why having the right representation fighting for your legal rights is so important. In most cases, these cases are fighting for compensation for damages such as:
- Medical costs
- Lost wages
- Emotional distress
- Permanent disability
- Other injury-related expenses