You never expect to slip and fall when carrying out mundane tasks like shopping in a grocery store, eating in a restaurant, or working at your job. However, slip-and-fall injuries are the leading cause of emergency room visits and account for over 8 million visits annually.
Slip-and-fall injuries are serious and can cause significant disruption to your life. You may be experiencing a complex set of emotions due to the sudden challenges caused by your accident. Many slip-and-fall accidents result in broken bones and head injuries, substantial medical expenses, and lost wages. It may feel like you’ll never get the life you had back.
However, not all hope is lost. It’s important to remember that Florida permits injured victims to recover compensation from those who negligently failed to maintain their property. A Sarasota slip-and-fall lawyer is there to help you get back on your feet and onto the road to recovery.
Common Causes of Slip-and-Fall Accidents
Slip and falls are a common type of premises liability claim, and they can occur in all kinds of settings. However, the most common causes include the following:
- Wet or uneven floors;
- Unsafe ladders or stairs;
- Loose flooring, rugs, or mats;
- Not providing adequate notice of wet or slippery conditions;
- Bulging or broken carpeting;
- Unsalted icy surfaces;
- Spilled substances;
- Potholes in parking lots;
- Inadequate signage for curbs or other trip hazards; and
- Loose wires or cables.
Because each slip and fall is unique, a Sarasota slip-and-fall attorney will look at the facts and circumstances of your accident to help identify its cause. Slips, trips, and falls are the most common causes of injuries in retail stores. You may slip when the floor is wet at a grocery store or fall after getting your feet tangled in wires at a local clothing boutique.
However, not all slip and fall accidents lead to compensatory relief. To receive compensation, you must prove the property owner or operator is legally liable for your injury.
How Do I Prove My Slip-and-Fall Case in Sarasota?
To prevail in a slip-and-fall case, your Sarasota slip-and-fall injury attorney must establish the owner or operator of the property was negligent. Proving negligence requires a showing of four elements.
The defendant must have owed you a duty of care. For example, if you go grocery shopping, the store has a legal obligation to promptly clean up any unsafe conditions to avoid injury.
Your attorney must show the defendant breached that duty of care. For example, if you slipped on juice while shopping in a grocery store, your attorney’s investigation might show the spill was left for hours and not cleaned up. If the spill just occurred and you slipped, it may be harder to prove this duty was breached.
The breach of the duty of care must have caused your injuries. For example, if you slipped and fell due to spilled water and suffered a broken hip, the defendant’s failure to mop up the spill likely caused you to slip and break your hip.
Any losses directly attributable to your injuries are recoverable from the at-fault party.
Florida is a comparative negligence state. Comparative negligence means you can still recover damages even if the court determines you were partially at fault for your injuries. Your percentage of fault simply reduces your compensatory award. For example, if you suffered $100,000 in damages and were 10% at fault for the accident, you can still recover $90,000.
What Damages Are Available to Slip-and-Fall Victims?
With assistance from a Sarasota slip and fall lawyer, victims may receive compensation for their injuries. Florida divides compensatory damages into economic and noneconomic damages. Neither category of damages have any “caps” or limitations on recovery. Economic damages are direct financial losses related to your injury and include the following:
- Past and future medical expenses,
- Lost wages, and
- Loss of future earning capacity.
Economic damages can be calculated by looking at evidence like invoices, bills, and pay stubs.
Noneconomic damages refer to the subjective losses caused by injuries such as emotional or psychological harm. These damages include the following:
- Pain and suffering,
- Loss of enjoyment of life,
- Emotional distress, and
- Permanent disfigurement or disability.
Unlike economic damages, noneconomic damages do not have an objective dollar amount attached to them. An experienced Sarasota slip-and-fall injury attorney knows how to show your noneconomic damages in negotiations and at trial to help you get the compensation you deserve.
Without the assistance of an attorney, it’s challenging to recover noneconomic damages. Despite their subjective nature, noneconomic damages are no less real than your financial losses and can be the most devastating losses caused by your injury.
Is There a Statute of Limitations for Slip-and-Fall Accidents?
If you slipped and fell in an accident, seek medical attention and contact an attorney to determine your next steps. In Florida, the statute of limitations for filing a slip-and-fall accident lawsuit is four years from the date of the incident. Four years may seem like plenty of time to consider your options, but this time comes and goes quickly. A failure to file your lawsuit within the mandated period bars you from filing a claim at a later date. Speak to a lawyer for slip and falls in Sarasota so that you never miss your day in court.
At James Horne Law PA, we focus on providing the highest caliber legal representation to personal injury clients. Our primary commitment is to our clients. We know that our clients are dealing with one of the most challenging times of their lives. That’s why we work tirelessly to help you get the best outcome possible.
At James Horne Law, you are never just a case file number. We treat all of our clients with the compassion and attention they deserve. Our legal team is skilled in negotiations and has extensive experience representing clients from case inception through trial.
If you suffered injuries in a slip-and-fall accident because of another person’s negligence, you might be eligible to receive compensation for your losses. Let us investigate your case to determine your best path forward. Contact our office today for a free case evaluation and find out how we can help you.