Slip-and-Fall Attorney in Sarasota, FL
If you’ve been injured in a slip-and-fall accident due to another party’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact our Sarasota slip-and-fall lawyers by calling 941-210-6000 today.
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, which means they had a responsibility to ensure your safety in the given situation. This duty extends to various settings, such as businesses, public spaces, or even private properties, where the owner or manager must take reasonable measures to prevent any potential hazards. For instance, in a workplace, employers are required to maintain a safe environment for employees to prevent slip and fall accidents. This duty underscores the importance of vigilance in minimizing risks and protecting individuals from avoidable harm.
Your attorney must show the defendant breached that duty of care, indicating that they failed to meet the expected standards of ensuring safety. To establish a breach, your legal representative will gather evidence that highlights the defendant’s negligence or inaction. For instance, in the case of a slip and fall incident caused by a spilled substance in a store, your attorney might demonstrate that the hazard was present for an extended period without any effort to address it, indicating a clear lapse in fulfilling the duty of care. However, if the spill occurred moments before your accident, proving a breach becomes more challenging as the timeline between the incident and the negligence narrows. This underscores the significance of timely intervention and responsible maintenance in preventing avoidable accidents.
The breach of the duty of care must have directly led to your injuries, establishing a clear link between the defendant’s negligence and the harm you suffered. To establish causation, your attorney will demonstrate that the hazardous condition created by the defendant’s breach was the primary factor that resulted in your injuries. For instance, if you experienced a slip and fall incident due to a wet floor and subsequently suffered a broken hip, your legal team would aim to establish that the defendant’s failure to address the wet floor directly caused you to slip and consequently break your hip. This direct cause-and-effect relationship underscores the critical role of the defendant’s negligence in leading to your specific injuries.
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 non-economic 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,
- Cost of prescription medication,
- Lifestyle changes due to the injury, and
- Loss of future earning capacity.
Economic damages can be calculated by looking at evidence like invoices, bills, and pay stubs.
Non-economic 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, non-economic 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 non-economic 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.
Are There Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations?
In Florida, the statute of limitations typically sets a specific time frame within which a person must file a lawsuit after an injury occurs. However, there might be certain exceptions that could extend or alter the standard statute of limitations for slip and fall personal injury cases. Some potential exceptions could include:
- Discovery of Injury: If the injury from the slip and fall is not immediately apparent, the statute of limitations might start from the date the injury was discovered or reasonably should have been discovered. This is particularly relevant in cases where injuries manifest themselves over time.
- Minors: If the injured party is a minor (under 18 years of age), the statute of limitations might be extended. The clock might start ticking when the minor reaches the age of majority (18), giving them additional time to file a lawsuit.
- Incapacity: If the injured person is deemed legally incapacitated due to mental illness, disability, or other factors, the statute of limitations might be tolled (paused) until they regain capacity.
- Fraud or Concealment: If the defendant engaged in fraudulent or deceptive actions to hide their liability for the slip and fall incident, the statute of limitations might be extended to allow the injured party more time to file a lawsuit once the fraud or concealment is discovered.
- Government Entities: If the slip and fall occurred on government-owned property, there might be specific notice requirements and timelines to follow before filing a lawsuit against a government entity.
It’s important to note that these exceptions can be complex and are subject to interpretation. If you believe you have a slip and fall personal injury case in Florida, it’s advisable to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney who can provide guidance based on the specific details of your situation. They can help you understand how the statute of limitations and any potential exceptions might apply to your case.
Contact a Sarasota Slip-and-Fall Attorney
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.