A slip and fall never seems like a very serious accident. There are plenty of hilarious videos of people falling down sprinkled all over the internet. A few scrapes and bruises, but we get up and continue on our way; or, rather, we do most of the time.
But a slip and fall accident can actually be a very serious incident. The human body is somehow incredibly durable and incredibly fragile at the same time. There are recorded instances of people falling out of planes without parachutes and surviving, yet we can slip on ice and break a hip just by landing wrong.
In many cases, there’s nothing that can be done. But there can be a chance to recover the damages you suffered due to your slip and fall accident when the accident brushes against the category of premises liability. To understand more, we’ll first look at slip and fall accidents in more detail. Then we’ll look at how to determine liability for a slip and fall case in Miami, as well as how a slip and fall attorney could help you.
What Is a Slip and Fall Accident?
A slip and fall accident is a type of premises liability accident. This is a subsection of personal injury law that deals with injuries that happen on somebody else’s property. This makes sense when you consider the fact that if the accident happened on your own property, then you were likely the one to blame. This may not be true in personal injury cases across the board, but it tends to hold true for premises liability cases.
When a place is open to the public, say a mall or a grocery store, there are certain responsibilities that the owners and caretakers of that premise must be sure to live up to. Perhaps the biggest responsibility is to adequately tend to the premises to make sure they are safe for the public. If there is an issue that is not safe then it is their duty to clearly warn about the hazard. For example, a board in the floor starts to come up and it creates an uneven surface. The owner would clearly put up a sign to warn about the hazard until such time as they can repair it.
Common causes of a slip and fall accident include:
- Uneven surfaces
- Poor lighting
- Uneven steps
Again, accidents of this nature don’t immediately seem like that big of a deal. We’ve all fallen before. But how many times have you driven a car before? Have you ever been in an accident? They were never that big of a deal until the day they were. A slip and fall is not a big deal, until that one incident which changes everything.
Injuries that could be suffered from a slip and fall accident include:
- Neck injuries
- Broken bones
- Soft tissue injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Wrongful death
How Do You Determine Liability in a Slip and Fall Case in Miami?
Determining liability in a slip and fall case, or a premises liability case, means first figuring out who is at fault. If there is no individual at fault, or if you yourself were fully responsible, then there is no liability to concern ourselves with.
To determine who is at fault, it is up to the victim and their attorney to prove a chain of related points. Fault is determined by showing that:
- An accident occurred due to the business owner or owner of the property in question failing to maintain their property to a reasonable standard of care. This individual knew, or should have known, that conditions on the premises were not entirely safe. Therefore, it was this individual’s responsibility to warn those on the premises about the potential risk.
- That individual’s failure to warn about the dangerous condition led to the accident in question. This failure represents their negligence, or their carelessness, as to their responsibilities as the owner or manager of the premises.
- As a direct result of the accident, the victim suffered damages such as medical bills and loss of future income. This would mean that these damages were suffered due to the negligence of the premises owner in maintaining their premise.
The most contentious part of this is often the first due to the fact that it requires the victim to prove that the owner knew, or should have known, about the dangerous condition.
What Does a Slip and Fall Attorney Do?
A slip and fall attorney works to help you to create the best possible case by gathering evidence and strengthening your argument.
In order to achieve this result, they represent your interests in a number of ways:
- Investigating the accident to identify and locate critical evidence, as well as working to preserve evidence by such means as contacting businesses with video surveillance equipment of the space where the accident happened
- Handling the hassle of dealing with insurance companies and ensuring you don’t settle for any kind of low-ball offer
- Helping with medical care issues by connecting victims to resources that can be used not only to aid in recovery but also to strengthen the overall case
- Determining who is at fault and building a solid argument that will hopefully convince the court of their guilt
- Helping to calculate your losses to best maximize the value of your case
- Representing you in the courtroom with fearless litigation skills and ruthless efficiency
Should I Contact an Attorney?
If you are considering contacting an attorney then the answer is yes. The worst-case scenario is that you have a consultation with an attorney and they inform you that the specifics of your case don’t lend themselves to a lawsuit.
But if your case does sound like it requires the assistance of an attorney, then you’ll be set. The more time an attorney has to work with you on your case, and the closer you start to the date of the accident itself, the better your chances. It always pays to invest more time into investigating than you would think, so contact an attorney today to determine what steps you should take next.