Property owners need to take reasonable steps to protect those visiting their property from harm. When they neglect this responsibility, slip and fall accidents can happen, as well as numerous other potential incidents. If you or a loved one has been injured in a slip and fall accident in Miami Fl, contact Elstein Legal for a free consultation. We will help build your case and claim financial compensation for your injuries.
Miami property owners and/or managers have a responsibility to ensure hazards don’t threaten the safety or lives of people on their property. This is the basis of premises liability. Millions of Americans incur injuries every year due to property owners failing to take this responsibility seriously. The consequences of such injuries can range from minor medical bills to substantial changes to one’s quality of life. In some instances, these accidents can even result in death.
Slip and fall accidents can cause serious injuries that require expensive life-long medical treatment, such as spinal cord or traumatic brain injuries. So it’s essential for slip and fall accident victims in Miami to explore all options for recovery under Florida law to ensure they get the compensation they need.
Miami slip and fall lawyer Brian L. Elstein, Esq., can help if you have injuries after a slip and fall accident due to an unsafe condition on a property. At Elstein Legal, we are passionate about providing personalized and high-quality legal representation for all accident victims in Miami.
Premises Liability in Slip and Fall Cases: What You Need to Know
There are a number of ways you could potentially injure yourself at a store, restaurant, hotel, or any other property in Miami if those responsible for keeping it safe neglect their responsibility. That said, slip and fall accidents account for most of these cases. The following are just a few reasons you may be involved in such an accident:
Examples of Slip and Fall Accidents
Several types of accidents may qualify for compensation, including:
- Spills including water and other substances
- Uneven sidewalks or flooring
- Water left on the floor from mopping
- Debris left on the ground
- Items left in a walkway like products in a store
- Branches crossing a walkway
- Railings and guardrails that are broken or inadequate
- Poor building design that causes a fall
- Rips in carpet
- Too many people present in a location with poor lighting
- Furniture or displays crowded in an area that causes people to trip
A slip and fall may occur from an even surface or an elevated height. Legal liability arises from the failure of the property owner to take adequate measures to maintain their property in a safe condition.
What to Do After a Miami Slip and Fall Accident
Winning a slip and fall case is much easier if you not only choose the right premises liability law firm in Miami, FL, but also take the proper steps immediately after the incident. They include:
Documenting the Scene
If you’ve sustained serious injuries that require immediate medical attention, it’s important to address these first. Your health is your top priority. However, if you can justify documenting the scene first, you may want to do so, as property owners will often try to address a hazard after slip and fall accidents to weaken a victim’s case. Take pictures and video of the scene and your injuries.
File a Report
You need an official report of the incident to more effectively pursue compensation later. Thus, you should file such a report with property management right away.
Talk to Witnesses
Identify any witnesses and get their contact information. If you can, interview them at the scene as well, and ask if you can record these interviews. You want to get their statements when the incident is still fresh in their memories. You should also draft your own narrative of what happened as soon as possible.
Get Medical Attention
Unless your injuries are severe enough to require immediate medical care, you should seek out medical attention after documenting the scene, filing a report, and talking to witnesses. Keep in mind it’s important to see a doctor even if you don’t believe your injuries are very severe. What may appear to be a minor injury can develop into something much worse if left unaddressed. Additionally, medical records will typically be used as evidence in these types of cases.
Save Your Shoes
This may sound like an odd tip, but it’s actually quite important. The shoes you wore will be important evidence in your case. For example, if you continue wearing your shoes for a long time before the case starts moving forward, by the time they become evidence, they could be worn down to such a degree that a property owner might argue you slipped because you didn’t wear shoes with proper traction. As soon as possible, remove your shoes, store them safely in a bag, and don’t wear them again.
Keep in mind that establishing liability in these cases is often a complex process. This is one of the main reasons it helps to work with an experienced slip and fall attorney in Miami, FL. They understand what steps are necessary to determine who is at fault for your injuries, and to prove that your injuries were a direct result of their negligence. An attorney will also understand how to calculate the total damages you deserve. If you try to work directly with an insurance company, you likely won’t get what you are owed. After all, insurance companies are prepared to defend themselves in these types of cases. It’s difficult to counter their defenses when you don’t have the proper legal experience.
What To Consider if You’ve Been Injured in a Slip and Fall Accident
Consulting with a qualified slip and fall lawyer in Miami offers many benefits. Understanding whether you have a strong case is one of them. There are instances when a property owner may not actually be liable for your injuries. Factors to consider include the following:
A property owner in Miami must take reasonable action to protect those on their property from hazards. An example of this may involve a store owner putting up signs letting customers know when a floor is wet. Thus, if the property owner took the necessary action, but a customer injured themselves anyway because they ignored the signs, the property owner may not be liable.
Where the Accident Happened
Sometimes, the victim of a Miami slip and fall accident sustains injuries in an area of a property that was clearly marked as off-limits. This is another instance in which finding a property owner liable could be difficult.
While it is a property owner’s responsibility to address hazards, it’s important to remember that they’re only human, and can’t necessarily address a hazard the exact moment it arises. For example, if you injured yourself because you tripped over an item the very moment it fell onto the floor, the property owner could reasonably argue that they didn’t have an opportunity to remove the hazard before the accident occurred.
The Nature of the Hazard
There are also cases when a property owner may not be liable if the injured party was involved in an accident because they ignored what should have been an obvious hazard (and may thus not have genuinely qualified as a hazard at all). For instance, in one case, a woman tried to sue a grocery store after tripping over a concrete wheel stop in the parking lot. However, the complaint was eventually dismissed because the defendants successfully argued that the wheel stop was too obvious to reasonably overlook, and it didn’t pose any inherent danger.
This isn’t to suggest you shouldn’t consider taking legal action after a slip and fall injury. On the contrary, it’s smart to work with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Miami, Florida, in order to better determine if legal action is justified.
Working With a Slip and Fall Attorney in Miami
If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident in Miami, you may be responsible for costly medical bills, lost income if your injuries prevent you from working, and other damages that do not have a clear monetary value, such as pain and suffering.
You can seek compensation for those losses if the accident resulted from someone else’s negligence. Florida’s premises liability laws require property owners to take reasonable steps to prevent hazards from causing accidents on their properties.
Elstein Legal was founded on the idea that every person should have the dedicated, professional legal representation they deserve. We can represent you in your Miami slip and fall case, and pursue compensation on your behalf. We offer full-service legal representation and will advocate for you in court.
Slip and Fall Lawsuit FAQs
A slip and fall settlement is an agreement for compensation to resolve a fall lawsuit. The parties agree on an amount that is fair to resolve the claim. Compensation may include economic and non-economic damages.
It’s up to you whether to accept a settlement for a slip and fall claim. However, if you don’t feel that the other party is offering you a fair amount, you may want to seek legal advice. The slip and fall lawyers at Elstein Legal can give you honest advice about whether you should accept a settlement or continue to pursue your case.
Florida law 768.0755 is the slip and fall law that applies to accidents in Miami, addressing premises liability for transitory foreign substances in a business establishment. The victim must prove that the business had actual or constructive knowledge of the dangerous condition and should have taken action to remedy it.
The victim may prove their case by showing that the substance was there for enough time that the business should have discovered it and cleaned it up. Alternatively, they may prove that the danger was regular or foreseeable. Florida law Chapter 768 addresses negligence topics that may apply for slip and fall compensation claims.
You have four years to report a slip and fall case and ask for financial compensation by starting a lawsuit in court. Florida law 95.11 creates a four-year limit for individuals to initiate a slip and fall case by filing a summons and complaint in court.
Insurance companies may try to stall your claim in the hope that you get frustrated, evidence gets destroyed, and witnesses forget what happened. You must formally start a lawsuit even if you’re already talking to the insurance company. Florida law 95.11 allows the defense to move to dismiss the claim if you don’t have it filed in court within the four-year time frame.
The average payout for a slip and fall accident is $15,000-$75,000. However, each case is handled individually under the law. Your injuries may be more or less serious than those in other cases. A person who has suffered $15,000 in damages is no less deserving of fair compensation than a person who has endured severe injuries. The law recognizes the suffering of each victim.
Our slip and fall attorneys in Miami can help you understand the possible range of the value of your case. In addition, we can help you understand what steps to take to receive a fair amount of compensation that represents your total damages.
Yes, comparative negligence may be a defense to slip and fall in Florida. Comparative negligence reduces but does not eliminate a victim’s financial compensation for an accident. Examples of comparative negligence include improper footwear, distraction, trespassing, or an open and obvious danger.
It may take several weeks to more than a year to settle a slip and fall case in Florida. The timeline depends on the severity of the injuries, the complexity of the case, the time it takes to build evidence, and the timeline of pursuing the case in court.
When the case is strong for the victim and the legal fault is apparent, it becomes easier to negotiate a fair resolution. Brian L. Elstein has the experience necessary to work on your claim as efficiently as possible. As a result, Elstein Legal can balance the goal of resolving the case quickly with the goal of maximizing compensation.
Why Choose Elstein Legal to Represent your Case?
Since opening Elstein Legal in 2018, Miami personal injury attorney Brian L. Elstein has recovered millions on behalf of his deserving clients. A cum laude graduate of Nova Southeastern University, Brian Elstein honed his skills early as a member of the Nova Trial Association.
Today, he is recognized by The National Trial Lawyers as a Top 40 Under 40 Lawyer in Florida and has been selected to the 2022-2023 Florida Rising Stars list by Super Lawyers Magazine – a distinction given to only 2.5% of attorneys in Florida, and named 2022 Best Litigation Attorney by Expertise.com.
Contact Us for a Free Consultation
If you have injuries due to someone else’s negligent behavior, you deserve compensation to help recover from your injuries. At Elstein Legal, we can help you with all aspects of your claim, including going to trial if necessary to ensure you get what you need.
Call us at (305) 299-2835 or contact us today for a free consultation to discuss your case. There is no fee unless we win your case.