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.
Hallandale Beach Slip and Fall FAQ
No matter where your day takes you in Hallandale Beach—from shopping centers at the western end of Hallandale Beach Boulevard, to homes in the canal-front neighborhoods of Golden Isles, to condos and hotels along S. Ocean Drive—there is a danger of slipping or tripping, falling, and getting hurt. Dangerous conditions on residential, commercial, and public properties make falls a frequent occurrence.
Often, however, these falls are preventable, had someone taken reasonable care with their property. You should not have to bear the expenses of a fall that someone else caused. If you fell and got hurt on a property you do not own, you may be entitled to compensation under Florida law from the property owner and anyone else who could and should have taken reasonable steps to keep you safe.
Victims of unintentional falls in Hallandale Beach tend to have many questions about their right to pursue compensation. The following piece answers some of the more common questions. For answers to questions about a specific Hallandale Beach slip and fall accident that harmed you or a loved one, contact a skilled slip and fall attorney today.
I didn’t slip, but I did fall and get hurt. Can a slip and fall lawyer help me?
The phrase “slip and fall” can sometimes lead to confusion. Lawyers use it to refer to any incident in which a person falls—usually by slipping or tripping—and gets hurt on property they do not own. Many of those falls happen because someone falls on a slippery surface, like a wet or sandy tile floor—hence, “slip and fall”.
But you do not need to have slipped to have a slip and fall case. You only need to have fallen and gotten hurt because of a dangerous property condition that someone should have fixed or warned you about.
For example, lawyers would say you have a slip and fall case if you fell because of:
- A loose railing on a balcony;
- A malfunctioning elevator or escalator;
- A poorly lighted stairway;
- Cracked or broken pavement on a walkway or in a parking lot;
- An unmarked hole in the ground, like an open manhole cover or sinkhole;
- Uneven flooring or an unmarked change in floor level;
- Debris or obstructions underfoot; and
- Of course, any unreasonably dangerous, slippery surface.
In short, if you fell and got hurt because of a dangerous condition at a Hallandale Beach property you do not own, you may have a slip and fall case and should talk to a lawyer right away.
What kind of compensation can I get in a Hallandale Beach slip and fall claim?
It all depends on exactly what happened to you. No two slip and fall cases are identical.
Generally speaking, however, in a lawsuit for damages arising out of a slip and fall, victims can seek compensation for:
- Medical expenses incurred in connection with treating the fall-related injury, such as for emergency care, hospitalization, physical therapy, and medication (whether prescription or over-the-counter);
- Other expenses a victim would not have incurred had they not fallen and gotten hurt, such as the cost of hiring help around the house while healing;
- Lost wages and income resulting from the fall-related injury, such as when missing work while healing, or in cases where the fall-related injury leaves a victim disabled and out of work long-term;
- Physical pain, emotional suffering, and the decline in quality of life resulting from the fall-related injury, which may include any disruption to personal relationships or the challenges of living with the fall-related injury.
Victims might also be able to obtain additional damages known as punitive damages if the conditions that led to the fall resulted from intentional misconduct or gross negligence.
An experienced Hallandale Beach slip and fall lawyer can advise you about the potential types and ranges of compensation you may be eligible to recover.
I fell and got hurt at a Hallandale Beach hotel/restaurant/store where I was a guest. Who owes me money for my slip and fall injuries?
While every case differs, if you fell and got hurt as a customer or guest of a Hallandale Beach business establishment, and your fall occurred because of an unreasonably dangerous condition on that property, the owner, legal occupant, and/or management of that property are the likely parties to owe you damages.
Generally speaking, under Florida law, Hallandale Beach property owners and others in control of a property have a legal obligation to fix or warn visitors about known, potentially harmful hazards on the premises. Failure to meet this basic, reasonable standard of care to keep visitors safe may create legal liability if any visitors suffer injury as a result.
Other parties may share legal liability with a property owner/occupant/manager. For example, if a fall results from a defect in a fixture or equipment at a Hallandale Beach property (such as a railing or a type of flooring material), the manufacturer of that product might also owe you damages.
Experienced Hallandale Beach slip and fall lawyers investigate their clients’ cases to identify all parties who may be responsible for fall-related injuries. Speak with an attorney today to learn who you may hold accountable for the harm you or a loved one suffered.
I fell and got hurt at work in Hallandale Beach. Can I sue for a slip and fall?
As an employee of a Hallandale Beach business, your right to compensation may differ from those of a non-employee property visitor. In some cases, you may not have the right to sue the owner, occupant, or manager of the property where you suffered your fall-related injury, particularly if that party is also your employer. Instead, you may have the right to seek compensation by pursuing a workers’ compensation insurance claim.
In Florida, most employers must purchase workers’ compensation insurance that covers their employees for work-related injuries and illnesses. Workers’ comp is a form of no-fault insurance. Hallandale Beach workers generally have the right to workers’ compensation benefits regardless of what or who caused their injury, so long as the injury occurred in the course of their employment. Workers’ comp benefits typically include coverage for all reasonable costs of medical care for an injury and wage-replacement benefits for the time an injury keeps the worker sidelined from their job.
Sometimes, in addition to pursuing a workers’ comp claim, a Hallandale Beach worker can sue for damages, particularly if someone other than their employer was at fault for the dangerous property condition that caused their fall. For instance, if the employer hired a subcontractor to do work at the job site and the subcontractor acted negligently, leading to the slip and fall accident, the victim might be able to sue the subcontractor.
A skilled Hallandale Beach slip and fall lawyer can assist injured workers both in seeking full workers’ compensation benefits and in exploring other avenues for obtaining compensation for a fall-related injury.
I fell and got hurt at my neighbor’s house in Hallandale Beach. What are my rights?
Your rights are the same as those you would have if you had fallen and suffered injuries at a Hallandale Beach business establishment. Homeowners, like any other property owner, have basic duties to keep visitors to their properties safe from unreasonable hazards. If your neighbor could have and reasonably should have fixed or warned you about a dangerous property condition that led to your fall, then you might have a slip and fall case against them.
People sometimes worry about the implications of pursuing a slip and fall claim against a neighbor or friend. That is understandable. No one wants a fall to lead to a lost friendship if possible. And, oftentimes, it can. Speak with an experienced Hallandale Beach slip and fall lawyer about ways to protect your rights to compensation while managing your relationship with your neighbor or friend. Your neighbor or friend should carry homeowner’s insurance that covers fall accidents. An experienced attorney can represent you in pursuing a claim against that insurance policy so that you do not have to sue your neighbor or friend for their assets.
Can I sue if I fell and got hurt on a sidewalk owned by the City of Hallandale Beach?
While it is possible, special rules apply to suing a municipality under Florida law that make it especially important for you to speak with a skilled Hallandale Beach slip and fall lawyer right away.
In Florida, municipalities can owe damages for personal injuries, like slips and falls, similar to private citizens. But taking legal action against a city requires following a strict set of procedures, and meeting a tighter deadline to notify the city of your claim. Speak with an attorney immediately if you fell and suffered injuries because of a dangerous condition on any public property, be it a cracked sidewalk, a sinkhole in a public park, or any other hazard at land, buildings, or facilities owned by the City of Hallandale Beach.
My loved one died from fall-related injuries in Hallandale Beach. What are my rights?
Under Florida’s Wrongful Death Act, you and your loved one’s other surviving family members may have the right to direct a personal representative of your loved one’s estate to take legal action against the parties at fault, just as your loved one would have had they not died from the fall-related injuries.
In a wrongful death lawsuit, certain family members of the decedent may recover damages that include payment for:
- Loss of the decedent’s earnings/financial support;
- Loss of the decedent’s spousal or parental companionship, support, and guidance;
- A surviving spouse’s or child’s mental pain and suffering;
- Medical expenses incurred in treating the decedent’s injury that ultimately resulted in death; and
- Funeral and burial expenses.
Speak with a skilled Hallandale Beach slip and fall attorney today if your loved one died from fall-related injuries to determine what damages you may be able to recover.
How much does a Hallandale Beach slip and fall lawyer cost?
A slip and fall lawyer in Hallandale Beach generally will not charge you anything upfront to take your case. To begin, slip and fall lawyers routinely offer free consultations to anyone who wants to learn about the process of obtaining compensation for slip and fall injuries. Next, lawyers who take slip and fall cases almost always agree to represent their clients on a contingent-fee basis.
This fee arrangement means the lawyer starts work on the case without requiring any up-front payments or any legal fees as the case moves along. Instead, the attorney collects a fee if and only if they succeed in recovering compensation on their client’s behalf, with the fee consisting of a percentage of any money secured on the client’s behalf. This fee arrangement makes seeking legal representation in a Hallandale Beach slip and fall case affordable.
What should I do if I fell and got hurt? What shouldn’t I do?
As for what you should do, first and foremost, seek immediate medical attention. Do not try to “walk it off” or wait for an injury to start hurting before seeing a doctor. A fall can cause a wide range of serious injuries, many of which do not necessarily exhibit symptoms right away (such as brain trauma and spinal injuries).
It is always better to be safe than sorry—if you fell, see a doctor immediately to get checked out. Not only will this protect your health and wellbeing, it will also ensure that medical records document the connection between the fall and your injury, which can constitute an important piece of evidence in your slip and fall claim.
In addition to getting medical attention, victims should:
- Notify the property owner, occupant, or manager of the fall accident as soon as possible after it happens.
- Take pictures or videos of any dangerous property condition that contributed to the fall.
- Save all documentation from anyone (doctors, insurance companies, etc.) related to the fall and injuries.
- Save any personal property involved in the fall—for example, a cane you were using, the shoes you were wearing, the phone you were carrying, any personal items that broke when you fell, etc.
As for what you shouldn’t do, in general:
- Do not accept a free stay, free meal, or other in-kind favor or payment from the business where you fell, even if it seems like it is a good-faith gesture. Taking such benefits could jeopardize your rights.
- Stay off of social media entirely if possible, and never post or write anything about your accident or injuries. The insurance company can use whatever you put on the internet to fight your claim.
- Don’t discuss who was at fault for your fall with any representative from an insurance company. Leave communications with insurers to your lawyer as much as possible.
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.
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