Property owners in Port Richey have a legal obligation to keep their land safe. If someone sustains an injury because of a dangerous condition (such as a puddle), a landowner can be held legally responsible for these injuries. That means that they have a legal obligation to compensate the injury victim for financial losses, which is something known as premises liability.
Premises liability claims often involve slip and fall accidents. The victim might slip on crumbling stairs, in a poorly lit hallway, or on fallen produce in the grocery store that staff failed to clean up promptly. However, many other accidents can occur due to property hazards that an owner should have addressed.
Many situations can result in premises liability to the property owner. If a slip and fall accident has left you injured, you have legal rights that you want to protect. The experienced Port Richey personal injury lawyers at Nicoletti Walker Accident Injury Lawyers are here to help.
All landowners have a legal duty of care, meaning that they cannot allow dangerous conditions to remain on their property. If a property owner violates this duty of care, and someone suffers an injury as a result, the landowner can be held legally responsible (liable) for compensating the victim for these injuries. This is why most homeowners insurance policies carry important liability coverage.
But what does this duty of care actually mean? What must the property owner specifically do? The answer depends on the status of both the landowner and the injury victim.
Private homeowners owe a duty of care to everyone who is on their property. For invited guests, they must warn of any hidden dangers that are known to the homeowner but not apparent to the guest. If there is a trespasser, the homeowner’s only obligation is to avoid intentionally injuring them.
There is an exception to this rule for child trespassers. If the homeowner has an “attractive nuisance” on their property, such as a trampoline or swimming pool, they must take steps to discourage children from trespassing onto the property to see it. If the homeowner does not, and children sustain injuries as a result, the homeowner can be held liable under this attractive nuisance doctrine.
Store owners and other commercial property managers have a heightened duty of care to guests invited onto their property. This duty exists because the owner invites the public onto the property for the owner’s financial benefit. Under these circumstances, the law requires commercial property owners to keep the property safe for the unsuspecting public invited there to spend money. Commercial property owners must actively inspect their land and make it safe. The duty of care applies to retail stores, gyms, hotels, parking garages, malls, and other types of commercial properties, from the Port Richey Walmart Supercenter and the Gulf View Square Mall to the entertainment hotspots in the Waterfront Bayou Business District.
There are many injuries you can suffer in a slip and fall accident and the severity of your injuries and your pain and suffering determines the amount of compensation you receive. If your injuries are severe or aggravated by other medical complications, it will take more money to compensate you for your losses. Below are some of the most common injuries our accident lawyers come across in slip and fall cases.
In some cases, a broken bone requires a simple setting. You might not even need a cast to let your bone heal. But not all bone breaks are this simple. They can become complicated by nerve damage, broken blood vessels, or other internal damage caused by bone shards inside your body.
Some victims have underlying medical conditions that make it harder for a bone to heal. Osteoporosis, for example, affects many people as they age, especially women. This condition makes it difficult to regrow bone tissue. If an osteoporosis patient suffers a broken bone in a slip and fall accident, her bone may never heal properly. She could suffer lifelong pain and discomfort from her injuries, and a negligent property owner would have a legal obligation to compensate her for these losses.
It is very common to suffer a sprain or strain in a slip and fall accident. These injuries affect muscles, ligaments, tendons, and other non-bony tissue in your body. They can also be difficult to prove. A sprain does not show up on an x-ray or lab results. Usually, doctors diagnose these injuries only on a patient’s reports of pain and discomfort. Insurance companies try to take advantage of this fact to pay less on injury claims involving soft tissue injuries.
A claims adjuster might tell you that your injuries weren’t really “that bad,” or that a jury will think you are exaggerating your pain, or that they are only allowed to pay limited compensation if you have no broken bones. These things simply are not true.
You have the right to be compensated for all of your pain and suffering, regardless of the types of injuries you have suffered. If the insurance company does not make a fair settlement offer, you have the right to take your case to trial and let a jury hear about how your injuries have affected you. They will then get to decide what your pain and suffering is truly worth.
Slip and fall injuries are not always minor. In some cases, a victim suffers a permanent injury or even disabled. These are costly injuries that require a lifetime of medical treatment and care. They also leave the victim with pain and suffering that also lasts for the rest of their life. Certain parts of the body are more sensitive and thus more likely to result in permanent injuries. For example, the brain controls the entire body.
Damage to the brain can result in physical and mental disabilities that seriously decrease the victim’s quality of life. They may never return to work or think as they did before. In very serious cases, the victim might never speak or communicate in other ways.
The spinal cord is another delicate body part. Injuries can leave the victim with poor motor control or impaired sensation. Very serious spinal cord injuries can result in paralysis or even death. You might think that a slip and fall accident could not possibly be this serious. It is, however, possible. Imagine that a victim took a bad fall down a flight of stairs. Or what if a poorly-maintained roof collapsed on the victim?
These are serious cases or premises liability that could result in a serious spinal cord injury. In these cases, the victim should receive compensation for all medical treatment and in-home care required for the rest of their life. They should also receive compensation for lost wages and pain and suffering. These costs can become staggering during the course of a lifetime. Many paralysis cases become multi-million dollar settlements.
You might think that a simple slip and fall accident couldn’t really do that much damage. But the reality is that you could suffer many financial losses as a result of a slip, trip, or fall. These losses could continue for years or, in some cases, for the rest of your life. It is important to work with an experienced injury lawyer who understands how to prove all the financial and emotional losses you will suffer as a result of a slip and fall accident.
Your medical bills might not only represent the immediate cost of an ambulance, emergency room visit, surgery, or follow up appointments. You might require ongoing rehabilitation. Additional costs could stem from physical therapy, chiropractic care, or pain management. Some injury victims participate in these treatments for years to try to manage their pain.
If you have complicated injuries, you might need to consult with specialists or go through more testing to better understand your injuries. This process takes time and, even once it is complete, you might have to try several different treatments to find the one that is right for you.
Treatment can be a costly process for many accident victims. Many injury victims continue accruing medical bills for years after an accident occurs, making it clear why it is so important to work with an experienced injury lawyer who knows how to prove the projected future medical expenses you will incur due to the defendant’s negligence.
Most slip and fall victims end up missing some time from work. If you miss only a few hours right after the accident occurs, it is easy to calculate your lost wages by multiplying the hours you missed by your hourly wage. But what if you cannot go back to work full-time? What if you have to take on a lighter workload at a reduced rate of pay? What if you are no longer eligible for bonuses, overtime, or commissions due to your reduced workload or hours? All of these situations result in a decrease in your future earning capacity.
Defendants have a legal obligation to compensate you for all your lost wages, including any lost income in your future earnings. Injury lawyers know how to project these costs by working with expert witnesses. An economist can calculate the difference in your wages before and after an accident, apply that to the number of years between the accident and your expected retirement, then adjust the total for inflation. The economist might also add lost benefits, such as an employer’s contributions to health insurance premiums or retirement accounts.
The physical pain and discomfort caused by your injuries will not magically go away after a certain amount of time has passed. It could take weeks or even months to feel like yourself. If you must have surgery, it could take even longer, and the healing process could be more painful. Some injuries, especially nerve and muscle injuries, can cause residual pain that never goes away entirely, meaning that you could experience pain, discomfort, or other physical effects for decades to come.
This physical pain is in addition to the emotional suffering associated with an injury, such as the loss of pride that comes with the inability to work or the decreased enjoyment of life that comes with no longer engaging in a beloved hobby. These, too, are very real losses, and you deserve compensation for them.
At Nicoletti Walker Accident Injury Lawyers, our Port Richey premises liability lawyers do not require you to pay a fee upfront. We work on a contingency instead, meaning that we will receive an agreed-upon portion of your settlement or jury award. If our attorneys do not get the compensation for you, they do not get paid. Such an agreement makes them a financial partner in your Port Richey premises liability claim.
If an attorney must file a lawsuit on your behalf, the amount of work involved in your case increases dramatically. This increase is why some Port Richey premises liability lawyers may require a higher percentage of your award if they file a lawsuit or proceed through the litigation process.
Filing a lawsuit also incurs other fees, such as court costs, expert witness fees, and other litigation expenses. These, too, must be paid out of any settlement or jury award that your attorney obtains on your behalf. A written representation agreement will clearly state the terms of a contingency fee agreement. Be sure to ask your lawyer if you have any questions about their fees.
In the end, you pay nothing out of your own pocket and are more likely to recover more in damages than if you tried to negotiate on your own—even after your lawyer takes his or her fee. You have nothing to lose by calling us as (727) 845-5972.
The experienced premises liability lawyers at Nicoletti Walker Accident Injury Lawyers have experience handling all types of injury cases across Southern Florida. We have helped many accident victims get the compensation they deserve, and we will fight hard to protect your legal rights, too. Call (727) 845-5972 or contact us online for your free consultation. The sooner you have an experienced accident lawyer fighting on your side, the better protected your legal rights will be.
“The Nicoletti Law firm is by far the best law firm for your needs. The entire firm treats you as family and are there for you when needed the most. Above all else they will give you straight honest answers and guide you to the best outcome for your case. Highly recommend this firm.”
Rating: 5/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐