A slip and fall accident can leave you with permanent injuries that can change the course of your life. Fortunately, injury victims can often obtain compensation for injuries they sustain in a slip, trip, or fall that occurred due to dangerous conditions on a landowner’s property. Protect your rights after an accident by consulting with a Zephyrhills slip and fall attorney as soon as possible after your accident. The experienced Zephyrhills personal injury lawyers at the Nicoletti Walker Accident Injury Lawyers are here to help.
In many cases, a person who caused your injuries also has a legal duty to compensate you for them. This fact is why insurance companies often begin a claims investigation by determining who was at fault for an accident.
In general, slip and fall claims are premises liability, a legal rule that holds property owners accountable for correcting dangerous conditions on their land to ensure it is safe for those invited to enter onto that property. What follows are some common scenarios in a slip and fall case.
Slip and fall accidents are common at hospitals, nursing homes, and other medical facilities because many patients have limited mobility. Whether the poor mobility is due to age, recent surgery, or a medical condition (such as a broken bone), the medical center has a duty to ensure that its facilities are safe for patients to move around.
These facilities have a higher duty of care than other property owners because their “customers” pay them for specific, necessary care, including safe mobility. It is important to hold medical facilities liable for slip and fall accidents that occur on their premises. Doing so deters negligence in the future and reduces the risk of future injury to patients.
Slip and falls in hospitals and nursing homes can happen for different reasons. Some occur because of hazards on the floor that cause patients to slip. This can lead to a premises liability claim.
However, some patients may also need assistance when they are out of bed due to a high risk of falling. Hospital or nursing home staff should always be ready to help these patients when needed to prevent slip and falls. When patients don’t have the proper help, and they slip and fall, they might file a claim for neglect to recover compensation for their losses from the facility.
As short-term rentals become more and more popular, injuries are occurring more frequently. Premises liability has become a more pressing issue for hosts of Airbnbs (and properties offered on other short-term rental sites). Canyon News recently examined some of these questions.
The defining legal question is whether the host was negligent in causing the accident. If the host knew (or should have known) about a dangerous condition and failed to correct it, they could be held liable for slip and fall injuries. If, on the other hand, they were not aware of the danger, no one could reasonably expect them to make the property safe.
These are just some of many examples of how a guest could injure themselves in a short-term rental property. Because this is a developing area of the law, consult a slip and fall lawyer about your particular case if your injury occurred at a short-term rental property.
Many people work in locations where lip and falls might happen, including construction sites, large retail stores, or office buildings. When you slip and fall at work, your source of financial recovery might be workers’ compensation instead of a premises liability claim. This type of coverage provides medical benefits, as well as a percentage of your lost wages.
A personal injury claim can provide more compensation than workers’ compensation, so always get a Zephyrhills slip and fall lawyer to review whether you might have a third-party claim. For instance, if you visited a client’s workplace for a job-related meeting, and you fell there, you might qualify for both workers’ compensation benefits and a third-party injury claim against the negligent party that allowed the slip and fall hazard at that workplace.
Slip and falls do not sound like very serious accidents. After all, many of us might slip and fall and get right back up, often dusting ourselves off and moving on with our days. However, many other people are not so lucky.
Statistics show that about one million people visit emergency rooms or other healthcare providers for injuries in slips and falls, and they can cause surprisingly serious injuries.
Some common injuries include:
Always seek medical attention for any possible injuries, then discuss your rights with a Zephyrhills slip and fall lawyer.
Injury victims can receive compensation for their financial losses that happened due to a negligent defendant, which are called damages. Damages are specific to each victim and each individual case, so consult a slip and fall lawyer about your right to compensation. What follows are some of the most common areas of compensation in a slip and fall case.
A negligent property owner must pay for all medical bills related to a slip and fall caused by their negligence, including initial ambulance and emergency department bills, surgery or inpatient care, follow up visits with your primary care doctor or any specialists, and ongoing rehabilitative care (such as chiropractic services or physical therapy).
Many injury victims miss time from work due to their injuries. A negligent defendant is also obligated to compensate you for these lost wages. In some cases with simple injuries, you might miss just a day or two from work. But if your injuries are complicated, you could miss weeks or months. Some permanent injuries prevent a victim from ever returning to work. All of these circumstances result in the injury victim losing wages. Whatever your lost wages are due to your injuries, a negligent defendant has an obligation to compensate you for them.
You can receive compensation for your intangible losses, which the law refers to collectively as pain and suffering. Pain and suffering includes the physical pain of your injuries, as well as the emotional suffering you endure as a result of the accident. Imagine an injury victim who suffers permanent nerve damage in her arms and can no longer hold her children ever again. It is not easy to put a dollar amount on such a loss, but it is very real, and the law requires compensation for it.
In fact, pain and suffering is often the largest component of a Zephyrhills slip and fall award. It is also the most subjective and difficult to prove with a specific dollar amount. Because of the challenge in proving it, insurance companies will frequently attack the value of your pain and suffering. It might claim that pain and suffering was less on similar claims it has paid out. Such an assertion is irrelevant because you must receive compensation for your unique losses.
The insurance company might claim that a jury will not award you very much or look favorably on your pain and suffering. Only your own injury lawyer can give you this legal advice. It might try to say that you are exaggerating your injuries. All of these are common tactics in these cases, and the experienced Zephyrhills slip and fall lawyers at Nicoletti Walker Accident Injury Lawyers know how to handle them. The bottom line is that you can receive fair compensation for your individual pain and suffering in your unique situation.
Usually, you must file a premises liability claim within two years of the date of your accident. Some have even shorter deadlines, so be sure to consult with a slip and fall injury lawyer as soon as possible since you may not know the exact value of all your losses when you file your claim. After all, permanent injuries can require a lifetime of medical care.
You may continue losing wages for months (or even years) to come, and your pain and suffering certainly is not magically going to end by a set legal deadline. These losses will continue, potentially for the rest of your life. You can still receive compensation for them, even if the losses have not yet happened when you file your case.
So how can your slip and fall lawyer prove the value of these future losses? Experienced injury attorneys know how to work with expert witnesses to make accurate predictions about the value of your future losses.
A life care planner is a certified expert who can project the value of your future medical expenses and other care costs (such as in-home nursing care). A vocational expert might prove that you can never return to any employment and that your lost wages will be permanent. An economist can then calculate the value of your lost wages from the date of the accident to the time of your expected retirement age, adjusting for inflation and employment benefits (such as health insurance premiums and retirement contributions).
These are just a few of the most common examples. Whatever your future losses are, an experienced injury lawyer will know how to find the right experts to make a strong case for the fair value of compensation you deserve.
Sadly, not all slip and fall victims survive their injuries. You might think such fatalities are uncommon, but the fact is that some injuries can be very serious if left untreated. Brain injuries, internal bleeding, and other injuries can quickly become life-threatening if doctors don’t properly diagnose and treat them right away, which is why you must seek immediate medical attention after any injury, even if you do not think you were hurt.
When a victim dies due to a slip and fall injury, surviving family members (or legal heirs) have the right to file a claim for wrongful death, an important step toward holding property owners accountable for injuries that occur on their premises.
Slip and fall accidents occur in many places. Often, they lead to serious injuries. These injuries can lead to permanent disabilities that prevent a person from returning to work, engaging in hobbies, or even walking and talking. The law requires slip and fall victims to be compensated for their losses by the negligent property owners who are responsible for their injuries. An experienced Zephyrhills slip and fall lawyer can help you protect this important legal right.
It can be difficult to know what to do and what to expect after an accident. Our Zephyrhills slip and fall lawyers at Nicoletti Walker Accident Injury Lawyers have prepared this guide of common questions to help prepare you for the process.
Because our Zephyrhills slip and fall attorneys cannot answer every question here, nor can we give you information that is specific to your case, schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced Zephyrhills trip and fall injury lawyers. In the meantime, what follows are some of the most common questions our lawyers field about slip and fall accidents.
After an accident, your top priority is your immediate health and safety. Call 911 and get an ambulance to the scene if you think you may need immediate medical attention. Even if you are unsure whether you need an ambulance, get medical advice. Emergency medical technicians also have the proper training to transport you without exacerbating your injuries. You should also consider your safety after an accident.
If, for example, you fell in a parking lot, get out of the way of traffic. Drivers might not see you, especially if you are low on the ground and below a driver’s sightline.
If you do not leave the scene in an ambulance, have a doctor evaluate your injuries as soon as possible. Find an urgent care facility or emergency department near your location. Even if you do not feel your injuries are serious, it is still absolutely critical that you get a clean bill of health from a qualified medical provider.
You also might have injuries that don’t show up right away. Internal bleeding, for example, might not become obvious until your blood pressure becomes dangerously low. At that point, it could be too late to stop the bleeding. Head injuries are another highly dangerous situation. You might initially feel fine, only to start showing symptoms of a concussion hours later.
Unfortunately, this is the exact situation that the actress Natasha Richardson went through. By the time she sought medical attention for her head injury, it was too late. Ms. Richardson died as a result of the damage to her brain.
Once you have taken care of all your medical needs, it is time to address your legal needs. Hire an injury lawyer as soon as possible. Your legal rights are in jeopardy as soon as an accident occurs. Even statements you make at the scene of the accident can impair your legal right to compensation.
As soon as the insurance company receives notification that you have an attorney, they can no longer contact you about the accident. Since you no longer must communicate with the company directly, you receive protection from not saying or doing anything that could jeopardize your right to fair compensation for your injuries and losses.
Most slip and fall cases result in a premises liability claim. Premises liability is a rule of law that requires property owners to take reasonable steps to maintain their land in a safe condition and prevent foreseeable injuries on their property. Slip and fall accidents often occur because the property owner has failed in this duty. But what “reasonable steps” must be taken?
That depends on the type of property. Owners of commercial establishments, such as retail stores, must regularly inspect the premises and make them safe for guests since they invite the public onto the land for the financial benefit of the property owner. In private residences, the standard is less strict because there is no financial benefit to the homeowner.
Private landowners need only warn their guests about hidden dangerous conditions. For a trespasser, the homeowner does not even have to do that. A private property owner’s only obligation toward trespassers is to avoid intentionally hurting them.
A premises liability claim is not the only potential legal claim you might have after a slip and fall accident. Work with an experienced injury lawyer who can pursue all potential claims so that you do not miss out on any compensation that you deserve.
For example, your slip and fall could result from a defective product. Suppose you were using a cane that collapsed. If the manufacturer is liable for injuries caused by its defective product, your lawyer could pursue a products liability claim.
Suppose you slipped in a parking lot, but then a negligent driver who did not see you on the ground struck you. In this case, you might have a premises liability claim against the parking lot owner, a liability claim against the negligent driver, or both. An experienced slip and fall injury lawyer will evaluate your unique situation to find all potential defendants with a legal obligation to compensate you for your injuries.
The most common claim in a slip and fall accident is one for premises liability against a property or business owner. If you slip at a retail store, for example, you could file a premises liability claim against the store that manages the property. If the business’s owner rents the property, you might sue the owner of the land that leased the property to the store as well.
If you were to slip and fall on a boat tour, you could likely sue the boat owner and the tour company that operates the boat. The key is to look for a defendant who has control over the land and has a legal responsibility to keep it safe.
If you slip and fall at a private residence, the homeowner, tenant, or possible landlord faces the premises liability claim. Unfortunately, filing such a claim can create awkward situations between friends and family members. Some victims would prefer not to offend their loved ones by filing any type of legal claim. You need to know what will happen with an injury claim and your legal rights before you make these decisions.
Filing an insurance claim is not the same as suing someone. You can file an injury claim against a person’s homeowner’s insurance without suing them. The purpose of homeowner’s insurance is to provide compensation for losses that occur on the property. In many circumstances, it helps to have an honest conversation with the homeowner.
Explain that you have accumulated medical bills and lost wages as a result of your injuries. Acknowledge that it is difficult to file a claim against their homeowner’s insurance but that your financial losses have been significant. Taking this step can help mitigate the damage to a relationship that might occur due to filing an injury claim.
Unfortunately, insurance companies do not always make a fair settlement offer. In this case, the victim’s choice is to either accept an unfair settlement offer or file a lawsuit against the homeowner. You will have the opportunity to discuss these options with your injury lawyer before choosing to file a lawsuit. You can even discuss this option with the homeowner.
Whatever you decide to do, remember that it is your legal rights at stake. You have the right to receive fair compensation for your injuries. Listen to your lawyer’s advice about the best way to protect this legal right.
Injury victims must receive fair compensation for all the losses they suffer, including all medical bills you accrue due to your injuries. It also includes compensation for your lost wages. You might only miss a few days of work if your injuries are mild, but the absence can extend to weeks or months if you require surgery or other invasive medical treatment.
You might never return to work. With a medical expert to prove that you can no longer work, you can receive compensation for all the wages you would have earned between the time of the accident and your expected retirement.
Injury victims also deserve compensation for their pain and suffering. Pain and suffering is one of the most subjective losses since, after all, each person experiences pain differently. It is also a significant cost and often the largest component of a Zephyrhills slip and fall settlement, making it frequently the subject of attack by insurance companies.
You need an experienced slip and fall lawyer who can prove what compensation is fair for pain and suffering in your particular case.
Pain and suffering is different in every case. Everyone experiences pain differently, and many circumstances can change your level of pain. A pregnancy might prevent a woman from taking a certain medication or getting chiropractic treatment due to the risk to her unborn child, for example, causing her pain and suffering to increase.
Or perhaps an elderly fall victim suffers from osteoporosis. It could take longer (and be more painful) for a broken bone to heal in that particular patient. In fact, the bone might never heal properly because of the underlying osteoporosis. This victim can receive additional compensation for the added pain and suffering that he endured.
So what is fair compensation for your pain and suffering? The insurance company will likely try to use a simple calculation based on your medical bills. Such a calculation does not, however, account for your unique situation. Your own injury attorney will explain what your case is fairly worth, based on what similar claims in your area have settled and what juries have awarded in similar cases. Be sure to take advice about your case’s value from your own attorney and not the defendant’s insurance company.
Many factors determine how long it will take to resolve your slip and fall case. If the insurance company will accept liability, meaning they admit their client was legally at fault for causing your injuries, such an admission can speed up the process enormously. If they do not, your Zephyrhills slip and fall attorney will have to file a lawsuit to let a jury decide who was at fault for the accident.
Another area of dispute is the value of your claim. If your attorney can negotiate a fair settlement offer from the insurance company, the case can be paid and closed very quickly. But if the insurance company refuses to make a fair offer, you are again forced to file a lawsuit to let a jury decide what your case is fairly worth.
If your Zephyrhills attorney advises you to file a lawsuit in civil court for any reason, it does not mean that your case will drag on endlessly. Sometimes the mere act of filing the lawsuit is enough to get a fair settlement offer from the insurance company. They may also choose to make a fair settlement offer after reviewing evidence they obtain in the discovery process. Settlement can, in fact, happen at any point, even on the day of trial.
The longest cases must go to trial and wait for a jury verdict, something that can take months or even a few years. While the wait is difficult, it is sometimes the only way to get the compensation you fairly deserve.
The best way to know you are taking the right path forward is to seek help from an experienced Zephyrhills slip and fall attorney from Nicoletti Walker Accident Injury Lawyers.
You don’t have to search all over the internet for the best slip and fall lawyers in Zephyrhills. At the Nicoletti Walker Accident Injury Lawyers, our experienced Zephyrhills slip and fall attorneys fight hard to protect your legal rights.
Injury victims across Florida trust our team to protect their legal rights and get them fair compensation for their injuries. You can receive fair compensation for all of your injuries and losses, past and future. Call (727) 845-5972 or write to us using our online contact page for your free consultation.
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