Slip/trip and falls can happen no matter how careful you are. Property owners are responsible for maintaining their homes and businesses in a safe manner, and if you are injured due to dangerous conditions on their premises, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. In order to establish premises liability, the claimant must show:
- a legal duty owed by the property owner to the claimant,
- a breach of that duty by the property owner,
- injury to the claimant caused by the property owner’s breach of duty, and
- damages caused by the injury.
In Florida, property owners owe a legal duty to
- use reasonable care in maintaining the premises in a reasonably safe condition, and
- to warn invitees of concealed perils that are or should be known to the landowner.
Do I Need a Personal Injury Lawyer for a Slip and Fall Accident?
Not every slip and fall case is the fault of the property owner. In these kinds of premises liability cases, the injured party needs to prove there was a dangerous condition on the property and that the landowner had notice of it. Proving notice can be very tricky and we recommend that you, or any injured party, retain counsel in order to do this properly. Preserving evidence, speaking to witnesses, obtaining surveillance and photographs are just a few of the things our law firm can assist with. In slip/trip and fall cases, liability isn’t often clear at the outset, and property owners will not accept responsibility up front. An expert witness such as a building engineer may need to be hired in order to assist with establishing liability. Property owners may also deny the severity of the injuries. There are numerous issues in premises liability cases and the injured party should always seek counsel immediately.
When one does have have a fall accident there may be many causes such as:
- Lack of handrails
- Slippery and unsafe floors
- Broken stairs
- Torn or loose carpet
- Snow or ice
- Uneven sidewalks, ground, or floors
- Spills of floors
- Building code violations
A personal injury attorney will represent you and guide you through this process from the initial claim process through litigation, depositions, mediation, trial, and settlement. They will investigate how the injury occurred and prove what losses stemmed from the accident including past and future medical expenses, loss of income, loss of earning capacity, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and more.
How do you prove emotional distress from a slip and fall?
In addition to physical injuries, fall victims may suffer from emotional distress due the accident and the overall severity of the injuries sustained. This could be related to a head injury or bodily injuries that was sustained. Emotional injuries may be subjective, and may be difficult to prove unlike physical injuries. It is important that the injured party seeks psychological and neurological evaluations if they are suffering from emotional harm due to a fall accident. Many symptoms may include the following:
- Sleep loss
- Weight gain/loss
- Memory problems
If you are suffering from emotional injuries, it is very important that you seek treatment and document it consistently. Without medical documentation, it will be difficult to prove your injuries to a judge, jury, defense attorney, and insurance carrier. In addition to seeking professional treatment, we recommend the injured party keep a journal or log to document their experiences and symptoms.
What Should I Do After a Slip and Fall Accident?
In the event that you have a fall accident, you should immediately get medical attention. Call for help and get evaluated for injuries. Notify the property owner and collect any evidence you can including video, photos, reports, and witness contact information. Most importantly, you should contact our law firm for immediate guidance. You can call Eric Mausner Law, PA at 305-800-8678 if you’ve been involved in a slip/trip and fall accident in Florida