Hallandale Beach Slip and Fall Attorney
Slip and fall accidents can happen anywhere at any time and often cause severe injuries. After you slip or trip and fall, you should seek medical attention, even if you think your injuries are minor—especially if you hit your head when you fell. You could have a mild concussion, which is a traumatic brain injury, and not even realize it.
If you suffered injuries because of a trip or slip and fall, contact a Hallandale Beach slip and fall attorney for a free case evaluation. Contact the Law Offices of Jared Spingarn today.
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Most people rarely think of tripping and slipping and falling unless they are on uneven terrain or out hiking. But these accidents are common everywhere—in your friend’s house, at work, at a store, in a restaurant, on the beach, or even walking down a paved street or sidewalk. Debris in an aisle, wet floors, a carpet with a lifted corner, a cracked sidewalk, or even a pothole could cause you to slip or trip and fall. While it is not usually a problem in Florida, icy sidewalks and streets could also cause a slip and fall.
Many trip or slip and fall injuries are minor, but in some cases, you could sustain severe injuries, including:
- Cuts, scrapes, scratches, bumps, and bruises.
- Face and eye injuries.
- Head, neck, and shoulder injuries.
- Simple and compound fractures.
- Traumatic brain injuries, including mild concussions.
- Back and spinal cord injuries.
Depending on how you fall or what you fall on, you could also sustain internal injuries and penetrating brain injuries. Additionally, if you try to catch yourself when you fall, you could sustain strains, sprains, pulled muscles, torn muscles, and other soft tissue injuries.
Some of these injuries could lead to long-term or permanent disabilities. You might have to take medications for the rest of your life or use ambulatory aids for the rest of your life. In extreme cases, you could become paralyzed. Total or partial paralysis depends on the amount of damage to your spinal cord.
Depending on the location of the injury, you could suffer from:
- Monoplegia, which affects one limb.
- Hemiplegia, which affects the left or right side of the body.
- Diplegia, which affects both sides of the body, but the areas are the same. For example, both arms.
- Paraplegia, which affects both legs. It could also affect part of the trunk.
- Quadriplegia, which affects both legs and arms. It could also affect your entire body from your neck down. If you suffer a neck or shoulder injury that causes quadriplegia, your organs, including your lungs and heart, could be affected.
Traumatic brain injuries could also cause long-term or permanent disabilities. In some cases, diseases, such as chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), do not show up for several years. CTE is a chronic disease usually found in athletes who suffer from more than one concussion, subconcussive impacts, and even hard hits to the head that do not cause concussions. Doctors do not know much about this disease except for the symptoms, which are similar to Alzheimer’s disease. They can only positively diagnose it after your death.
While a property owner has a duty to prevent you from sustaining injuries while on his or her property, it can sometimes be difficult to prove liability. Documentation of a trip and slip and fall accident is pertinent, especially if the property owner removes the cause. For example, if you slip on a wet grocery store floor, employees could clean up the mess before someone else gets hurt.
To prove liability, you must show:
- That the property owner or the property owner’s employees knew about the dangerous condition that caused you to trip or slip and fall.
- That the property owner or the property owner’s employees did not fix the dangerous condition.
- That the property owner or the property owner’s employees should have known that the condition was dangerous because a reasonable person would recognize the situation as a danger.
- That the property owner or the property owner’s employees did not notify you and others of the dangerous condition.
Taking photos of the dangerous condition and speaking to witnesses can help you prove these elements. During the investigation, your attorney could also review security footage if it is available.
As soon as possible after a trip or slip and fall accident, you should write down the circumstances of the accident. Make a note of rolled carpet edges, lifted sidewalks, cracks in sidewalks, potholes, wet floors (including the substance on the floor, if identifiable), debris in aisles, or anything else that caused you to trip or slip and fall. Your notes and photos could help your case, especially if the evidence of your fall has been cleaned up or repaired.
How a Hallandale Beach Slip and Fall Lawyer Can Help
At the Law Offices of Jared Spingarn, we can help explain the laws to you and help protect your rights. An attorney can help you recover the compensation you deserve for medical expenses and other damages.
To recover damages in a trip or slip and fall accident, you have to show that the property owner or property owner’s employees were negligent in their actions or inactions. The evidence that you and investigators collect after your accident can help prove the property owner’s negligence.
Determining economic damages is easy enough if your doctors expect you to recover from your injuries within a few weeks. However, calculating future medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages are not as easy. A slip and fall lawyer in Hallandale Beach can help determine a fair and reasonable settlement. Contact the Law Offices of Jared Spingarn today to get started.
Negotiating With the Insurance Company or Defendant
Because insurance companies are in business to make a profit, it can be difficult and frustrating to conduct settlement negotiations. You know what your medical expenses are and how much time you lost from work, but insurance companies may try to place the blame on you to deny your claim or offer you a pittance.
Insurance companies could use tricks to deny your claim, including twisting your words to reassign liability to you. You might notify an insurance company that you slipped and fell and that you are going to file a claim, but let your attorney give the statement on your behalf. Attorneys are used to dealing with insurance companies, so it is much less likely for the insurance company to pull the same tricks.
In some cases, the insurance company refuses to make a fair and reasonable offer. You have a choice: you can accept the lowball offer, which is not usually recommended, or you can litigate your case.
In some cases, once you file a lawsuit, the insurance company all of a sudden wants to settle. This is because it will have to prepare for a trial, just as you do—and there is always a chance that the jury will recommend an amount higher than you might have settled for. Going to trial can put a big dent in an insurance company’s bottom line—more so than settling. Not only must the insurance company pay its own lawyers, but your settlement or trial award usually includes attorneys’ fees and costs for your attorney.
Additionally, deciphering the law for filing a slip and fall lawsuit is often difficult for the layperson. Your attorney knows the law, making it harder for the insurance company to take advantage of you. You also do not have to worry about filing certain documents on time, formatting them properly, and other administrative actions that could get your case dismissed.
In Florida, you can recover two types of damages. Compensatory damages consist of special damages and general damages. The court orders both in an attempt to make you whole again. While money does not remove your pain and suffering or bring back a loved one, it does reduce the financial stress you suffer if your injuries preclude you from working and supporting your family.
You could also collect punitive damages if you prove that the defendant’s actions or inactions were grossly negligent. While obtaining punitive damages takes extra steps—the trial is bifurcated, or in two parts—it can bring in substantially more money for those who sustained injuries that doctors expect to cause long-term or permanent disabilities.
Sometimes called economic damages, special damages have a monetary value and can include:
- Past and current medical expenses for those incurred because of your slip and fall injuries before a settlement or a trial award.
- Future medical expenses for those you expect to incur after a settlement or a trial award. Future medical expenses could include additional surgeries, follow-up appointments, new medical equipment, upgrades to your vehicle and home, such as hand controls and ramps, and various therapies that you might need.
- Past lost wages for those you lost from the time of the trip or slip and fall accident through the settlement or a trial award.
- Future lost wages if doctors expect your injuries to cause long-term or permanent disabilities that preclude you from working. You could also recover partial future lost wages if you can work but cannot make the same salary or hourly rate you did before the accident.
- Replacement of destroyed personal property, including clothing.
In some cases, a trip or slip and fall accident could cause injuries so severe that the fall takes your life either immediately during the fall or days, weeks, or months later. In those cases, not only could your loved one recover medical expenses and loss of earning capacity, but he or she could recover funeral, burial, and/or cremation expenses.
Sometimes called non-economic damages, general damages do not have a monetary value and may include:
- Pain and suffering, including emotional distress.
- Loss of quality of life if you have to use ambulatory aids, take medications, or see doctors for the rest of your life because your slip and fall injuries caused long-term or permanent disabilities.
- Loss of companionship if your injuries do not allow you to enjoy time with your family.
- Loss of consortium if your injuries prevent you from having a physical relationship with your spouse.
- Loss of use of a body part, such as a hand or afoot.
- Loss of use of a bodily function, such as your eyesight.
- Inconvenience if you have to hire someone to do the chores you usually do, such as lawn maintenance, house cleaning, home repair and maintenance, and grocery shopping.
- Excessive scarring and/or disfigurement.
- Amputation, if doctors cannot save a digit or limb, or if you develop gangrene and need an amputation.
Recovering Damages from More Than One Person or Entity
In some cases, more than one person could share liability for your injuries. For example, if a tenant rents a business space, and the tenant and the property owner know of a dangerous condition, you could recover from the business tenant and the property owner.
Recovering from an Underinsured or Uninsured Person or Entity
If the person or entity that caused your injuries through negligence does not have enough insurance or does not have insurance, your health insurance would pay for your medical expenses. However, to collect damages, you will have to sue the person or entity for the balance of the money you deserve.
At the Law Offices of Jared Spingarn, when we start investigating your case, one of the items we check into is the defendant’s insurance policies. We also check to see if another person or entity could share in the responsibility for your injuries.
After suffering a trip or slip and fall accident, contact a slip and fall attorney as soon as possible. Even if you are still in the hospital, you can contact the Law Offices of Jared Spingarn at (866) HIRE-JARED—we will come to you or set up a phone or video call for your free case evaluation.
If your loved one suffered injuries in a slip and fall and cannot contact us, or if you lost a loved one because of injuries sustained in a slip and fall accident, contact us for a free case evaluation. In the case of wrongful death, the personal representative must file the lawsuit on behalf of the estate. If you are not the personal representative, contact us and let us know who is so that we can work with him or her and the probate court to get your wrongful death case moving.
“What a great team. Took care of my accident case and got me a very great settlement. Thank you so much to the team for their great efforts and always being transparent with all the information they provided. Highly recommend they will take care of you like family.”
800 SE 4th Avenue, Suite 806
Hallandale Beach, FL 33009