Slip-and-fall accidents represent one of the leading causes of death and severe injury in the country. In cases where a fall resulted from the negligent actions of someone else, the victim may wish to take legal action to obtain the compensation needed to cover resulting financial responsibilities. However, the lawsuit has to meet certain standards to be successful. Those considering legal action should first examine these four factors that can determine whether their claim is accepted or dismissed.
The Nature of the Hazard
The owners and managers of private or public property have what is known as a “duty of care” when it comes to protecting guests, customers or other visitors from physical harm. Hazards that may cause a severe fall can include:
- Slippery floors
- Walkways with broken steps and tiles
- Debris that has not been cleared away
- Construction projects that are not properly labeled
- Faulty elevators that may trap people inside
- An excessive pest problem
In addition to proving that a hazard existed, the party seeking damages must show that the property owner or manager knew or at least should have known that the condition presented a risk to others.
In cases where the threat was recognized, management has to take several steps to warn others in order to reduce the risk. Legal proceedings take into account the length of time that the danger was present and what management did about the situation.
The Status of the Victim
The issue of liability may depend upon whether the victim was legally on the property. Those who have such legal rights include customers of a business, tenants of an apartment building, and licensees, who may be friends or relatives of the property owners or tenants. Trespassers are not considered legal visitors and would generally not be eligible for damages if injured. However, property owners are still not allowed to harm trespassers, except in cases of self-defense, depending on state law.
The Cause of the Injury
To ensure a successful case, a victim will have to prove that his or her injuries were directly related to the negligent actions of the property owner or manager. This link can be established during the treatment of the injury, although it will require a careful recording of vital medical information by the attending physician.
The Consequences of the Injury
A lawsuit will include a determination of the financial cost of the injury regarding medical expenses, lost wages and related hardships. However, this process can be lengthy and complicated, necessitating legal intervention. Victims of slip-and-fall accidents should seek the services of a personal injury attorney to ensure they receive proper redress.
Filing a Personal Injury Claim in Fort Lauderdale
While it is possible to file a personal injury claim without legal counsel, it is highly unfavorable. To help ensure that you recover as much compensation possible for your slip-and-fall accident, secure the legal services of a seasoned personal injury lawyer.
The Fort Lauderdale slip-and-fall lawyers at Salpeter Gitkin, LLP have a thorough understanding of Florida’s premises liability laws. We can analyze the facts of your case, explain your legal options, and serve as your legal representation throughout the claims process. Contact us today at (954) 467-8622 for a free case evaluation.