At Englander Peebles, we know that slip and falls are serious accidents. They often lead to injuries that do more than merely disrupt victims’ lives – they change them forever. If you recently suffered a severe injury in a slip and fall accident in Fort Lauderdale, we will pursue all compensation that you are due.
Florida law gives the victims of property owners’ negligence the right to recover compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain, suffering, and more. We will thoroughly investigate your case and pursue the maximum amount of compensation available to you. Our Fort Lauderdale slip and fall lawyers know how those funds can play an important role in your future.
We are selective in the slip and fall cases we take. We want to ensure that we commit our talent and resources to seeing complex claims through to verdict, if necessary. We also want to give full attention to each one of our clients. When you work with us, we will handle all aspects of your case from start-to-finish and make sure that you know what is happening in your case at all times. Client service is our top priority.
Contact us today and learn more about how we can help you after a slip and fall accident. Our Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyers will provide a free and confidential review of your case.
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Where Do Slip and Fall Accidents Most Commonly Occur in Fort Lauderdale?
Slip and falls can – and do – happen everywhere in Fort Lauderdale. Through the years, we have seen accidents occur on commercial, residential and government property. No matter where your accident occurred, you need to take a hard look at whether the property owner’s negligence caused it. If so, you may be eligible to hold the owner liable for your injuries.
Our attorneys at Englander Peebles have experience with handling such cases as:
- Walmart Slip and Falls
- Wawa Slip and Falls
- Publix Slip and Falls
- Lowe’s Slip and Falls
- Marina Slip and Falls
- Home Depot Slip and Falls
- Apartment Complex Slip and Falls
- Sunrise Apartment Complex Slip and Falls
- Lauderhill Apartment Complex Slip and Falls
- Margate Apartment Complex Slip and Falls.
We have also worked with victims of slip and falls at private residences in Florida. Our lawyers understand how some people are reluctant to take legal action in those cases. They don’t want to financially hurt a friend or neighbor who is the property owner. Just keep in mind: Homeowners’ insurance – not a property owner’s personal assets – typically covers damages in these accidents. Your attorney from Englander Peebles can explain more about how the slip and fall claims process works during your initial consultation.
Why Do Fort Lauderdale Slip and Fall Accidents Happen?
Slips and falls often happen due to unusually slick surfaces or objects that are in unexpected places. Victims frequently slip on wet floors or trip over items because property owners failed to address the dangerous condition (even when they knew about it). For instance, someone may spill a soda in a store aisle. It sits there for hours, and no employee cleans it up. A customer may unwittingly walk through the puddle of liquid, slip, and suffer serious injury.
People can slip, fall, and sustain serious harm in a number of other situations. Some of the other common causes of slip and fall accidents include:
- Defects in pavement
- Torn or loose carpeting
- Cracked or uneven flooring
- Torn floor mats
- Broken handrails
- Loose floorboards
- Poor lighting in hallways and other common areas
- Poor stairway design
- Weather-related hazards.
If a business owner knows (or reasonably should know) about a hazardous condition on their property, they should at least warn visitors about the risk. When they fail to do so, people get hurt. At Englander Peebles, our goal is to pursue maximum compensation for those victims and to hold property owners fully accountable for their negligence.
What Are Some Common Injuries Experienced in Slip and Fall Accidents?
The types of injuries that victims suffer in slip and fall accidents vary widely. It depends on the circumstances of the fall and, to an extent, on factors such as their physical condition before the fall occurred. People who fall a great distance or fall onto other objects, for example, are more likely to suffer catastrophic injuries. An elderly person who is in a fragile condition may suffer a hip injury or worse. Some slip and falls prove to be fatal.
The most common injuries that slip and fall accident victims suffer include:
- Fractures (broken bones)
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Spinal cord injuries (SCI)
- Internal organ damage
- Soft tissue injuries
- Torn tendons or ligaments
- Pulled muscles
- Head or neck injuries
- Herniated or slipped discs.
Victims who suffer these or other injuries can face overwhelming medical expenses. Treatment may involve weeks, months or even years of intensive rehabilitation. Additionally, many people injured in slip and fall accidents are unable to return to work for lengthy periods of time. Some people are left permanently unable to work again in any capacity.
How Do You Prove Negligence in a Slip and Fall Case?
To recover damages in a Florida slip and fall lawsuit, you must establish the four elements of negligence. In other words, you must show:
- The property owner owed a duty of care to you.
- The property owner breached that duty.
- The breach of duty caused your slip and fall accident and injuries.
- You suffered actual damages.
The duty element will depend on your status as a visitor at the time of your slip and fall injury. In Florida premises liability cases, visitors fall into three categories:
People who are invited onto the property for business dealings or for the reason why the property is opened to the public. Customers at a store are examples. The owner owes invitees a duty to keep the property in a reasonably safe condition and to warn visitors about concealed dangers that the owner knows or reasonably should know about.
People who enter a property for their own purposes and without invitation. Social guests are a type of licensee. A person who goes into a store just to use the restroom is another example. The owner owes licensees a duty to warn about dangers that the owner knows about and to refrain from intentionally exposing them to danger.
People who enter property without the owner’s invitation or consent. Generally speaking, the owner owes no duty to trespassers other than to avoid willfully or wantonly injuring them.
Additionally, if you slipped and fell on a transitory foreign substance in a business establishment such as a store, Florida Statute: 768.0755 would apply to your case. Florida law defines a “transitory foreign substance” as “any liquid or solid substance, item or object located where it does not belong.” Under the law, you would need to prove that the business establishment:
- Had actual or constructive knowledge of the dangerous condition, and
- Should have taken action to remedy it.
Actual knowledge is direct knowledge. For instance, your attorney at Englander Peebles may find proof that an employee caused or at least saw a puddle of liquid in a store aisle which you later slipped on. Constructive knowledge, on the other hand, is knowledge that people can infer from the circumstances. As Florida Statute: 768.0755 states, you can prove constructive knowledge by showing that:
- The dangerous condition existed for such a length of time that, in the exercise of ordinary care, the business establishment should have known of the condition; or
- The condition occurred with regularity and, so, it was foreseeable.
At Englander Peebles, we know how property owners and their insurance companies often try to escape from liability by arguing that a visitor slipped and fell due to an “open and obvious” hazard that the visitor could have avoided. We will aggressively challenge any unfounded attempt by the property owner in your case to shift the blame for your accident to you. We believe it is important to work with a lawyer who will fight for you at every stage in your case.
What Types of Damages Can You Recover in a Slip and Fall Claim?
If you suffer injury in a slip and fall in Fort Lauderdale due to the property owner’s negligence, you may be eligible to recover compensatory damages. Those damages include:
These are losses with specific dollar amounts clearly attached to them. Past and future medical bills, lost income, rehabilitation costs and other slip and fall accident-related expenses are examples.
These damages are more subjective. They can be difficult to calculate. Pain and suffering are the most common type of non-economic damages claimed in a slip and fall lawsuit. Other types of damages in this category include disfigurement, loss of normal life, loss of society and emotional anguish.
Florida law also allows slip and fall victims to seek punitive damages in exceptional circumstances. To recover these damages, you must provide clear and convincing evidence that the property owner acted with “intentional misconduct or gross negligence,” which is a high standard. Florida law caps punitive damages at three times the amount awarded in compensatory damages or $500,000, whichever is greater.
What Should You Do If You Have Been Injured in a Trip and Fall Accident?
The attorneys of Englander Peebles will handle all aspects of your slip and fall claim from start to finish. We will investigate your case, deal with the insurance companies, calculate your damages and, ultimately, fight for every cent you deserve in settlement negotiations or, if necessary, at trial.
However, you can also take some steps on your own to protect your rights and your ability to recover full and fair compensation for your slip and fall injuries. Those steps include:
Get Immediate Medical Attention
If you are not taken to an emergency room, then you should see a doctor as soon as possible. A timely diagnosis of your injuries is important for your health as well as for your slip and fall claim.
Report the Accident
If your slip and fall occurred at a store, restaurant or other business, you should report it to the owner, preferably in writing. Some businesses provide accident report forms that you can fill out. You should keep a copy of your report.
You should hold on to the clothes that you wore when the slip and fall happened, any photos that you took of the accident scene and/or your injuries and any contact information that you have for eyewitnesses. Additionally, keep copies of your medical bills and the receipts from all other accident-related costs.
Talk With a Lawyer
Before you give a recorded statement to an insurer or accept a settlement offer, you should seek honest advice from a lawyer who will be focused on protecting your rights and interests.
Our Fort Lauderdale Slip and Fall Lawyers Are Ready to Help You
If you have never been hurt in an accident before such as a slip and fall, you may have many questions about protecting your rights, filing an insurance claim and taking other steps to pursue compensation that you deserve.
At Englander Peebles, we have earned a reputation for standing up to large insurance companies that try to bully and ignore the rights of slip and fall victims. Insurance companies know that when our attorneys are on the case, we won’t back down. We can and will go to court if that’s what it takes to pursue full and fair compensation for our clients.
Call or contact us online today to talk about your case with a slip and fall attorney who is ready to listen to your story and help you. We can meet with you in our office in Fort Lauderdale, Miami Gardens, or Boca Raton, or we can meet at your home or in the hospital, wherever is most convenient for you. Our goal is to make the process as smooth as possible and to seek the maximum amount for you.