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Zephyrhills Slip and Fall Accident Lawyer

Many people slip and fall with no harm done to anything but their dignity. For others, a slip and fall accident causes serious, in some cases permanent, injury. Broken bones, head trauma, and spinal cord injuries are among the most severe injuries occurring in slip and fall accidents.

If you suffered a serious injury after a slip and fall because of a property owner’s negligence, you can file a personal injury lawsuit against those responsible. A Zephyrhills slip and fall accident lawyer at Kogan & DiSalvo will protect your rights while fighting for you to receive the maximum compensation you deserve for your injuries.

Where and How Slip and Fall Accidents Happen Matter

A yellow "Caution: Wet Floor" sign in a supermarket aisle

Slip and fall accidents can happen anywhere, at any time. However, you may be wondering if where your slip and fall accident occurred qualifies as a place where someone else can be held at fault. Common sites that qualify include:

  • Supermarkets
  • Restaurants
  • Bars
  • Hotels and motels
  • Malls
  • Medical facilities
  • Nursing homes
  • Offices
  • Parking lots

This list does not include all qualifying establishments/locations— if the location is owned by a business or property manager, you may be able to hold the responsible party liable for their negligence.

However, the specifics of your case matter, and not every case qualifies for a personal injury lawsuit. The accident victim must be able to prove that a property owner or manager was negligent, and that negligence resulted in the slip and fall and subsequent injury. Typically, an accident victim’s best chance at proving fault and holding those responsible accountable is through the help of a seasoned slip and fall lawyer.

Common Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents

Cracked and broken cement stairs in front of a house

Some of the most common causes of slip and fall accidents include:

  • Wet floors
  • Broken stairs or missing stair rails
  • Inadequate lighting
  • Debris in walkways
  • Loose cords or cables
  • Loose floorboards
  • Missing or broken floor tiles
  • Torn carpeting

Property Owners Have a Legal Responsibility to Keep the Premise Safe

Man after slipping and falling inside of an apartment with a wet floor sign in the foreground

By law, Florida property owners must keep their properties in a safe condition for visitors. If unsafe conditions, of which they are aware of, are not remedied promptly and someone gets hurt as a result, they may be held liable.

A classic example of this situation is someone slipping and falling on a wet supermarket floor. If the manager knows of the situation, they should block off the area as soon as possible and post hazard warning signs. However, if the slip and fall occurred immediately after a spillage in an aisle, the supermarket may not be held responsible since there wasn’t enough time for them to be informed and take action.

If your slip and fall occurs on a commercial property, you can submit a claim to the owners’ commercial liability insurance carrier. When the accident takes place on a homeowner’s property, the claim will be filed with the property owner’s homeowner’s insurance company. Never agree to a settlement with any insurance company before obtaining legal counsel.

Important Steps to Take After a Slip and Fall Accident

Person laying in the street partially out of frame after a slip and fall accident

Document the scene. This is critical! If you can, make sure to take pictures and videos of the scene. We’ll discuss this in more detail below.

Report the accident to the property owner or manager. If the fall took place in a retail store, the establishment may have a form to fill out and submit.

Collect witness information. If there are any eyewitnesses to your slip and fall, obtain their names and contact information.

Seek prompt medical attention after a slip and fall accident. Failing to do so will severely harm your claim. The property owner’s insurance company will allege that your injuries were not serious or that some other event caused them.

Either go to the emergency room or visit an urgent care provider as soon as possible. That holds true even if you do not initially think you were badly injured. Many injuries are not apparent right away.

Document your injuries. Keep a journal describing your injuries, treatment, and how the accident affects your life. Describe in detail your pain levels, difficulties with ordinary tasks, and the physical, psychological, and emotional effects of your situation.

Keep all receipts. Retain all receipts related to your injury and treatment. That includes any medications and transportation costs to and from healthcare providers.

Keep the clothes and footwear you were wearing at the time of the accident. Do not have garments or footwear cleaned or repaired. They may serve as evidence. If any property damage occurred, such as a broken laptop or jewelry item, photograph it and describe the damage.

Documenting the Scene

An employee placing a wet floor sign in the entryway of a business

The success of a slip and fall case depends on strong evidence. That is why documenting the scene immediately is so critical. If you have fallen and seriously hurt yourself, taking photos or videos of the scene is probably not the first thing on your mind. However, unless you are so badly injured that taking photos proves impossible, try to have the presence of mind to document every element.

Slip and fall claims are tricky because it is often easy for the property owner to erase evidence. If someone slips and falls because debris was left in a walkway, removing the trip hazard takes literally seconds. If a person slipped and fell because there was no lighting in a dark stairwell, simply putting in new bulbs remedies the situation.

That is why immediate documentation is crucial. You must have evidence that the trip hazard existed at the time of your fall. If you are physically unable to take photos, ask someone in the area to take pictures and forward them to you.

Try to write down or record what happened straight away while the incident is still fresh in your mind. If you can’t, if there is an eyewitness around, request that they document evidence for you and then get their information.

Establishing Who is At-Fault

A person writing on a form labeled "Slip and Fall Incident Report"

There are four key elements to establish in a Florida negligence claim.

  1. The first is that the property owner owed a duty of care to keep their premises in a safe condition.
  2. The second is that this duty of care was breached because the premises were not maintained in a safe condition.
  3. You must then prove that the breach of the duty of care directly resulted in your injuries.
  4. You must have suffered physical or emotional injuries or financial loss due to that breach for which you might receive damages.

Proving Negligence

An injured woman who fell down the stairs

A slip-and-fall lawyer at Kogan & DiSalvo investigates every aspect of your claim. To prove that a property owner was negligent, we will work to obtain any surveillance video of the accident. That is a critical reason to contact an attorney as soon as possible. Many businesses and municipalities keep surveillance videos for a limited time, sometimes as little as 7 days.

Your attorney will review your medical records, and any police reports, and interviews witnesses. We may hire expert medical witnesses to testify about the extent of your injuries, treatment, and long-term outcomes.

What Compensation can Slip and Fall Victims Recover?

A nurse with an IV bag standing in an operating room with medical equipment

Compensation, or damages, for slip and fall victims may include:

  • Medical expenses, current and future
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of future earnings
  • Property damage
  • Pain and suffering

The amount of compensation for slip and fall victims depends on the circumstances of their case. The severity and duration of the injury and the individual’s prognosis play a substantial role. Other factors taken into consideration for slip and fall damages include the victim’s age and occupation. 

In slip and fall cases, defendants usually argue that the plaintiff is at least partly responsible for the accident. For instance, their attorney might allege that the victim was paying more attention to their phone than where they were walking. They may claim the victim’s footwear was inappropriate for the location and caused or contributed to the fall.

Even if a judge or jury determines that you were partially at fault for the slip and fall accident, you may still receive compensation. When it comes to liability, Florida operates under a modified comparative negligence standard. As long as the plaintiff is less than 49% responsible for the accident, they may still receive compensation.

However, that compensation is reduced by the plaintiff’s percentage of fault, as decided by the judge or jury. For instance, if it is determined that the plaintiff was 25% responsible for the slip and fall, a $100,000 award is reduced to $75,000.

Statute of Limitations for Filing a Claim

A doctor reviewing an xray of a patient's chest and spinal cord

In Florida, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim is two years from the date of the accident. After that deadline, your claim usually cannot go forward. In a worst-case scenario, the accident victim dies from their injuries. The personal representative of their estate, acting on behalf of surviving family members, may file a wrongful death lawsuit within two years of the death date.

Do not wait until the deadline is approaching before consulting a Zephyrhills slip and fall attorney. Waiting too long means that evidence that may prove your claim could disappear.

Kogan & DiSalvo are Ready to Help

Two people sitting at a desk with a computer reviewing a legal document

If you or someone you know was seriously injured in a slip and fall accident due to property owner negligence, you need the services of an experienced Zephyrhills personal injury attorney at Kogan & DiSalvo. Schedule a free, no-obligation consultation today.

Since we work on a contingency basis, there is no fee unless you receive compensation. While most slip and fall claims are settled, we will take your case to trial if necessary. We serve all of Pasco County.

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