Business owners have a responsibility to maintain properties and businesses in order to prevent potential accidents. This may include wet floors, improperly maintained parking lots, poorly lit stairs or other areas where danger might lurk. In order for a property owner to be held negligent in a slip and fall accident, there are certain steps that must be taken to provide proof. A personal injury law firm in Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale or West Palm Beach can assist you in compiling proof of your claim in Florida.
In a slip and fall accident, the injured individual must be able to prove that the owner knew about a dangerous situation on the property and did not take steps to correct the problem. According to Florida Statutes, the danger must have existed long enough for the owner to have known about it or that a hazardous condition was repeated on a regular basis and so the owner should have known to correct the problem in a timely manner. Hazardous conditions may be due to worn spots in carpeting, tears, spills, loose electrical cords or other conditions that an individual would not expect.
Can an Injured Person Be Considered at Fault?
Comparative negligence means that an individual may be partially at fault for an accident. The best way to find out is to ask an attorney; however, you can ask yourself some questions. Were you in an area that the owner should have realized was hazardous and did you have a reason to be there? Were you distracted or moving in an other than normal manner such as running or talking on your cell phone? Were there cautionary warnings placed about the area where you slipped or fell? A personal injury law firm can advise you whether you were partially at fault for the accident or if it was negligence by the business owner alone that caused your accident. Even if a slip and fall accident in Florida is partially the fault of the individual who was injured, he or she can still receive compensation.
Proving a Slip and Fall
In order to have a slip and fall case, an individual must have slipped and/or fallen and suffered an injury as a result. Being able to prove that this occurred can be accomplished in several ways. Taking photographs of the hazard that caused the accident, such as a wet spot on the floor that lacks a cautionary sign, is one type of proof. If witnesses saw the accident, getting names and contact information from those individuals is a good idea. Some stores have an accident report form that you may be asked to fill out, and doing this can be helpful. However, make sure that you ask for a copy of the report to take with you, and be sure to fill it out as accurately as possible. If the injury occurred on public property, such as a poorly maintained curb, city street or park, contacting the city to report the accident is advisable.
Seeking Medical Treatment
If you suffered an injury, go to a physician or hospital to seek treatment. Although you may be tempted to put off a trip to see a physician, this may be used against you later by the insurance company saying that your injury must not have been severe or you would have had it checked right away. At the hospital or doctor’s office, you will be asked how your injury occurred, which will indicate that you were injured in a slip and fall accident. Be as accurate as possible. If you have scheduled return visits to your physician, make sure that you keep those appointments because missing them may appear as though you are not as injured as severely as you have stated.
Hearing from the Insurance Company
In some cases of injury, the insurance company adjuster may contact you or visit you and ask for a recorded statement that describes your accident and injuries. You do not have to do this, and it is not advisable to do so unless you have an attorney. Otherwise, if you have no attorney, do not agree to tape-record the details of your accident.
A Personal Injury Law Firm Can Help
An individual who suffers a slip and fall accident may have medical bills, lost time at work and have a long recovery period. Consulting with Kaiser-Romanello can be beneficial to understand what your rights are, have your questions answered and be advised on whether your expenses could be covered by a personal injury case. If the business owner or city is found to be at fault, our experienced attorneys can help you receive compensation to cover current and future expenses associated with your accident. Contact us for a free case evaluation.