Slip and fall accidents and other injuries caused by premises liability issues can cause serious injuries, leaving victims stuck with significant medical expenses and losing income while they heal. If you find yourself in this situation, you can file a civil claim to recover financial compensation to reimburse you. Generally speaking, businesses and other property owners are responsible for keeping their premises safe for customers, employees, and other visitors. If you believe you were injured because an owner negligently failed to keep their premises safe, the West Palm Beach personal injury attorneys at GOLDLAW can help.
West Palm Beach Slip and Fall Resources
- Common Causes of Slip and Falls
- Determining Liability in Slip and Falls
- How Much Compensation is Available?
- Florida’s Modified Comparative Fault Rule
Why Choose GOLDLAW for Help With Your Claim?
After sustaining a slip and fall injury caused by the actions of another party, you need to turn to a legal team with extensive experience handling these claims. GOLDLAW is ready to step in and help.
- Our team has a track record of success securing major settlements and jury verdicts on behalf of injury victims throughout Florida.
- We remain in constant communication with our clients while their case is ongoing, so you will never be left with any questions or concerns related to your situation.
- Our team specializes in handling personal injury and premises liability claims, so we are well-positioned to help you recover compensation for your losses.
How a West Palm Beach Personal Injury Attorney Can Help Your Case
A skilled slip and fall accident lawyer will be an incredible asset when it comes to recovering compensation from an at-fault party. These claims can be challenging, particularly when insurance carriers and attorneys for the other party get involved.
When you have your own slip and fall lawyer, you will have an advocate ready to completely investigate the incident, handle all negotiations with other parties, and even prepare your claim for trial. An attorney will dig into the property owner’s history of injuries as well as their safety and training records. Ultimately, the goal is to recover compensation either through an insurance settlement or as a result of a personal injury jury verdict. An attorney will do everything they can to help their client recover maximum compensation from the insurance carriers, but they will not hesitate to bring the case to the courtroom if that is what it takes to ensure the client is treated fairly.
Common Causes of Slip and Fall Injuries in West Palm Beach
Slip and fall injuries can occur in a wide variety of ways in and around the West Palm Beach area. We have handled a significant number of these cases, and our team often finds that slip and fall injuries are caused by the following:
- Spills of drink or food that have not been cleaned up promptly
- A lack of warning signs about wet or unsafe floors
- Inadequate lighting in pedestrian walkway areas
- Condensation from appliances, leading to wet floors
- Obstacles such as electrical cords left in pedestrian pathways
- Loose flooring materials or gravel that becomes a slipping hazard
- No handrails on stairways or ramps
This is certainly not an exhaustive list of the causes of slip and fall injuries in and around West Palm Beach. If you have any questions about your particular claim and whether or not a personal injury lawsuit applies, we encourage you to reach out to a member of our team for a completely free consultation today.
Determining Liability for a Slip and Fall Claim
Determining liability after a slip and fall claim can be challenging and primarily revolves around obtaining as much evidence as possible. Some of the evidence used for a slip and fall claim can be gathered at the scene of the incident. It is not uncommon for individuals to use their phones or other types of recording devices to take photographs and video surveillance of the entire slip and fall area. This can include photographs and surveillance footage of injuries, causes of the fall, the surrounding area, weather conditions, and more.
Statements from eyewitnesses to the slip and fall incident can also prove to be invaluable, particularly if the names and contact information of the eyewitnesses get written down before these individuals have a chance to leave the scene.
In the days and weeks that follow a slip and fall incident, an attorney may work together additional types of evidence. This can include medical records showing the types of injuries that occurred, property owner training and safety manuals, additional surveillance footage from nearby cameras, and records of previous injuries that occurred on the property.
How Much Compensation is Available for These Claims?
There is no set amount of compensation paid to a slip and fall victim if their claim is successful. There are several factors that can influence the compensation amounts, including the severity of the injuries, how long it takes an individual to recover, whether or not there was any shared fault for the incident, and other factors. At GOLDLAW, our goal is to recover both economic and non-economic damages on behalf of slip and fall victims in West Palm Beach.
Economic damages revolve around various calculable expenses slip and fall victims will likely incur as a result of the incident. These expenses can be calculated by gathering receipts, invoices, estimates, and bills that come in in the days, weeks, and months that follow the incident. Some of the most common economic damages associated with these injuries include:
- Emergency medical bills
- All ongoing medical expenses
- Lost wages if a victim cannot work
- Various household out-of-pocket expenses
- Property damage expenses
Non-economic damages are not as easily calculable as the economic expenses just mentioned. These types of losses revolve around more immeasurable damages, including the physical pain and suffering a person endures along with their emotional and psychological trauma. Non-economic damages also seek to compensate individuals for their loss of enjoyment of life caused by the injuries and any disability.
How Florida’s Modified Comparative Fault Rule Affects Your Slip and Fall Claim
Shared fault can absolutely influence how much compensation a person receives after a slip and fall incident occurs. Previously, Florida operated under a “pure comparative negligence” system, where individuals could recover compensation even if they were up to 99% at fault for the incident. However, recent total reform laws changed Florida to a “modified comparative negligence” system. Under the system, individuals will not be able to recover compensation if they are 50% or more responsible for causing their own injuries. Individuals less than 50% responsible can still recover compensation, though at a reduced percentage depending on their level of fault.
For example, let us suppose that a slip and fall accident victim is slated to recover $100,000 worth of damages as a result of the incident. However, let us also suppose that a jury determines that the victim was 30% responsible for the incident. Under the modified comparative negligence rules, the individual will receive $70,000 instead of the full $100,000 to account for their 30% of fault.
If the individual was 51% responsible for the injury, they would not be able to recover compensation at all under the new law in Florida.
Steps to Take After a Slip and Fall Incident Occurs
Slip and fall accident victims in West Palm Beach must take certain steps in order to ensure their well-being and maintain the integrity of their claim:
- Medical care. The number one priority after a slip and fall injury occurs is medical treatment for the victim. Even if the injuries do not seem severe right away, the signs and symptoms of some slip and fall injuries may not appear until hours after the initial incident occurs. Slip and fall victims should go right to the hospital or their doctor for a complete evaluation. The doctor needs to know about the incident as well as any signs and symptoms of injury.
- Report the incident. The incident should be reported to the property owner or manager as soon as possible. In many cases, property owners have specific reporting requirements, which may include filling out an accident report. Injury victims should notify the property owners themselves or have someone do so on their behalf.
- Gather Evidence. It may be possible to gather evidence at the scene of a slip and fall incident. This can include using a phone to take photographs of possible causes of the slip and fall as well as any injuries and the surrounding area. Make note of any surveillance cameras that may have captured footage of the incident. If any eyewitnesses saw what happened, their names and contact information must be written down so they can be contacted later on.
- Call an attorney. A slip and fall accident lawyer in West Palm Beach can get involved quickly and begin their investigation into the incident. A West Palm Beach personal injury attorney will take over all communication with other parties so the injury victim can focus on recovering from their injuries.
- Stay off of socials. We encourage all slip and fall accident victims to stay off of social media, particularly when discussing their injuries from the incident. Anything put online will inevitably be noticed by other parties involved, and any deviation from the official version of events could be used as a reason to deny the claim. Even posting a photo of daily activities could jeopardize the claim, particularly if a person has claimed that their injuries have limited their ability to carry out day-to-day activities.
- Continue medical treatment. Slip and fall accident victims should continue all medical treatment recommended by their physician. If a victim discontinues care before a doctor recommends doing so, the insurance carrier could use this as justification to deny the claim or limit how much compensation they pay.
This is not a complete list of every step a slip and fall accident victim will need to take. We encourage victims to work closely with their attorney and follow their attorney’s instructions.
How Long Do You Have to File Your Claim?
Slip and fall accident victims in West Palm Beach must file their claims as promptly as possible. Under Florida personal injury law, which recently changed, individuals have two years from the date an injury occurs to file a civil lawsuit against the alleged negligent party. The time frame used to be four years, but that has been reduced to two. We encourage injury victims to work with their attorney to ensure their claim gets filed on time.
In addition to time frames for personal injury lawsuits, it is imperative to understand that insurance carriers will have their own deadlines. There are often insurance carriers involved in slip and fall claims, and they need to know about the incident relatively soon after the injuries occur. Your attorney can help you notify the insurance carriers involved in order to avoid any claim delay or denials.
Contact a West Palm Beach Slip and Fall Lawyer Today
If you or somebody you love has been injured in a slip and fall accident caused by the negligence of a property owner in the West Palm Beach area, our team is ready to step in and help. GOLDLAW has the resources and experience necessary to handle every aspect of your claim, and we want to get to work helping you today. When you need a West Palm Beach slip and fall attorney, please reach out for a free consultation today.