If you’ve been hurt in a slip and fall accident, it’s only natural to think of what your potential legal options may be. It’s very likely you’ve never been in this type of situation before, and you’re wondering what to expect. It’s important to know that you must make sure your rights are protected at all times. That means hiring an experienced attorney who can uncover the evidence needed to prove the negligence of another party led to the accident that caused your injury.
Jones Law Group attorneys have that experience. We have a long track record of success representing people hurt in slip and fall accidents that were no fault of their own. Our attorneys will work to hold those responsible for your suffering accountable, and help you obtain the compensation you deserve for everything you’ve gone through.
Common Causes of a Slip and Fall Accident
If you can think of a reason that someone could slip and fall, then it’s probably happened – there are that many potential causes. In many cases, a fall occurs due to an uneven or wet surface, such as the aisle of a grocery store due to a spill that was negligently ignored. Workplace accidents will oftentimes include slips, due to a desk drawer being left open, electrical cords that haven’t been safely put away, or some sort of obstruction that a worker tripped over because someone else failed to pick it up.
Unfortunately, nursing home residents suffer slip and fall injuries far too often – most of the time this due to negligence on the part of staff members. For example, a caregiver may forget to make sure a resident has a walker, or doesn’t clean up a spill as soon as it happens.
Even parking lots can be places where slip and fall accidents occur. A lack of lighting or sidewalks, broken asphalt, puddles and other issues linked to improper maintenance can lead to severe injuries.
We’ve also seen several cases where business owners ignored occupancy requirements, and people were hurt as a result. In an environment such as a crowded restaurant or a bar, someone could easily bump into someone else and suffer a painful fall.
Florida Law on Slips and Falls
Florida law makes it clear that the burden of proof falls on the victim in a slip and fall case. In order to be able to pursue compensation, you’ll need evidence that shows the business either knew, or should have known, that a potentially dangerous situation existed. You may, for example, need to show that this situation was a regular occurrence, and the business owner could have foreseen that an accident would be likely to occur.
How is a Slip and Fall Case Filed in Tampa Bay, Florida?
In order to have the best possible chance of winning a slip and fall case, you’re going to have to prove three things – responsibility, liability and negligence. If you can prove that the proprietor of the establishment where you were hurt knew about the dangerous conditions, and could have fixed them but didn’t, then there’s a good chance you will be able to obtain compensation.
These are a few of the components of a successful slip and fall case.
Proof of Injury/Negligence
This is the bedrock of any sort of personal injury case. If you can’t provide proof of the fault of the negligent party, you’ll have no chance of winning. When it comes to a slip and fall accident, there are four steps that must be followed in order to show proof that:
- The defendant must have owed a “duty of care” to the plaintiff (the injury victim). In the case of a slip and fall, you have to prove the owner of the business was responsible for keeping customers safe.
- The defendant breached that duty. You have to prove that the defendant breached that duty.
- This breach of duty directly led to your injury.
- You have to have claimable damages, such as medical bills or lost wages.
Witnesses to Slip and Fall Scene
The more evidence you have, the stronger your proof will be. If possible, talk to anyone who not only saw you fall, but also saw the conditions that led to the fall. For instance, try to talk to any customers who were near you in the grocery store when you slipped due to a spill that wasn’t cleaned up soon enough. Get their names and contact information if you can.
Notice of Hazard
It will also be extremely important to report the accident as soon as possible to the owner of the business, or another responsible party – the highest-ranking person who’s available if the owner isn’t available. If you don’t notify the right people about the accident, then an insurance company (or a judge or jury if the matter goes to trial) might question the legitimacy of your claim. While immediate notification is best, you should never wait more than a day after the accident.
Why Hire a Tampa Slip and Fall Attorney?
You should hire an attorney as soon as possible. Hiring legal representation will provide you with the best chance of winning your case. An attorney can gather the evidence to strengthen your claim, and can also deal with the insurance companies as well. Never talk to any insurance company representative, and never sign any sort of document. Doing either could result in you getting far less than what you deserve, or could lead to your case being thrown out entirely.
Find Legal Help in Tampa Bay, Florida
The experts with Jones Law Group are ready to provide the legal assistance you need. We’ll work passionately on your behalf to help ensure you get the compensation that’s coming to you. Schedule a free case review as soon as you can by using our online form or by calling 727-571-1333.