A slip and fall accident can lead to a disabling injury that hampers your ability to do your job, resulting in a loss of income, and a severe accident could mean substantial medical bills that you cannot afford to pay. You should not have to bear the financial nor the physical and emotional impacts of an injury if the accident was not your fault.
In such a situation, you may have a financial claim against the landlord or business owner responsible for the accident. They will be held accountable for any financial responsibilities or loss of quality of life that might arise from the injuries you sustained.
Filing a Lawsuit Due to Injuries Sustained in a Slip and Fall Accident
Slip and fall injuries are among the most common reasons for filing a civil lawsuit in Miami. With a single night’s stay at a hospital costing anywhere between $1,600 and $2,250, medical bills can escalate quickly. Therefore, you have a legal right to file a suit against the offending party responsible for your accident. According to the Florida Department of Public Health, slip and fall accidents are the leading cause of death among seniors in the state, as well as the leading cause of non-fatal hospital admissions.
Florida state law stipulates that landlords and property owners have a legal obligation to keep their premises free from accident hazards. If your lawyer proves the defendant was negligent in their duties to maintain the property, you will have grounds for a personal injury case.
Identify the Legal Status of Your Slip and Fall
A slip and fall claim is subject to the “open and obvious” doctrine. This legislation means that if the victim experienced injury as a result of a readily identifiable and avoidable hazard, the property owner might not be held liable.
This doctrine does not apply to small children or the mentally disabled, as they cannot recognize obvious and apparent hazards.
Is Your Injury a Result of a Property Hazard?
It’s best to consult with a personal injury lawyer in Miami to establish the grounds for filing a lawsuit if your slip and fall was the result of a property hazard. Your lawyer will need to prove that the hazard was responsible for the accident and your injuries.
A skilled accident attorney will prove the fall-injury connection depending on the circumstances surrounding your accident. Recovering this proof requires your attorney to review the accident site, as well as interview eyewitnesses and investigate maintenance contracts with the property owner.
Proving Negligence on the Part of the Property Owner
The most significant challenge facing your slip and fall attorney in Miami is proving negligence on behalf of the property owner. Your attorney will need to show that the property owner knew about the hazard beforehand and did nothing to fix the issue. State legislation recognizes that landlords require a reasonable timeframe to assess their property and remedy any hazards found onsite. However, there are no specific guidelines for this “reasonable timeframe.”
If the property owner or manager were aware of the hazard, they would need to prove that they took reasonable measures to identify and correct the problem. It should be easy to identify the measures through warning signs and safety notices in the immediate area. Unfortunately, there are no clear guidelines as to what constitutes “fair warning.”
Who is Liable for Your Slip and Fall?
Sustaining an injury on someone else’s property does not automatically qualify you as a candidate for a personal injury lawsuit against the property owner. If you were behaving carelessly or recklessly around the accident site, this could affect the outcome of your claim and final settlement figure.
However, even if you are partially responsible for your accident, you may still have a partial claim against the property owner. Florida personal injury law has a policy of “pure comparative fault.” In this doctrine, both parties in an accident bear a portion of the blame. The final settlement figure awarded by the courts will reflect the level of accountability. For example, if the court deems you equally liable for an injury due to horseplay around a construction site, you may only receive 50% of the original settlement figure.
Why It’s Critical to Hire a Qualified Injury Attorney
Filing a personal injury claim by yourself is possible. However, utilizing this strategy could result in your lawsuit being thrown out by the court. Hiring a Miami personal injury attorney who is qualified and experienced in handling these types of cases will ensure your best chances of a fair settlement.
We handle a variety of cases, so call us now if you have any questions.
View more contact information here: Miami Slip and Fall Lawyer.