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 (dog bites, exposure to hazardous substances, elevator accidents, etc.)
Premises Liability Lawyer in Miami
Miami property owners and/or managers have a responsibility to ensure hazards don’t threaten the safety of others on their property, such as customers or other such guests. This is the basis of premises liability. Despite this, millions of Americans incur injuries every year due to property owners failing to take this responsibility as seriously as necessary. 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.
Have you or a loved one in the Miami area been injured on someone else’s property due to their negligence? If so, you should consult with a premises liability lawyer in Miami to determine if filing a lawsuit is the proper course of action.
At Elstein Legal, Miami slip and fall attorney Brian L. Elstein will gladly review your case. Should you decide to move forward with a lawsuit, he’ll also provide the representation you need to secure the best possible outcome.
Miami Premises Liability and 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:
- Slippery surfaces
- Uneven surfaces
- Loose materials or floorboards
- Ice-covered surfaces
- Substantially broken pavement
- Unreasonably cluttered surfaces
- Areas without proper safety measures in place, such as stairs with missing railings (or railings that have not been properly maintained)
- Various weather conditions, such as rain creating wet surfaces, or strong winds scattering debris over surfaces
- Workplace hazards, which may include insufficient training, lack of proper safety equipment, etc.
In many instances the property owner or manager should address these hazards before they put anyone else on the property at risk. When they fail to do so, and a slip and fall accident occurs, the victim may sustain one or more of these common slip and fall injuries:
- Broken bones
- Brain injury, which can have a substantial long-term impact on someone’s life by, for instance, interfering with their cognitive functioning
- Spinal injury, which may lead to such problems as paralysis
- Bulging and/or herniated disc injury
- Lumbar injury
- Soft tissue injury
Be aware that those are merely some of the most common examples of slip and fall injuries in Miami. Depending on a wide range of factors and conditions, other types of injuries may be possible. Regardless of the nature of an injury, if you’ve been harmed in a slip and fall accident, you should contact a Miami, Florida slip and fall lawyer to hold the liable parties accountable.
Premises Liability: What To Consider If Working In a Slip and Fall Law Firm in Miami, FL
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.
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.
Other Premises Liability Accident Examples
Also, while this guide has generally covered slip and fall accidents in Miami, there are other types of premises liability incidents that can give you reason to seek assistance from a personal injury law firm in Miami, Florida. Examples include:
- Dog bites
- Exposure to toxic substances
- Swimming pool accidents
- Accidents involving elevators or escalators
- Accidents at amusement parks
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.
Why Choose Elstein Legal as Your Miami, FL Premises Liability Lawyer?
You probably understand that virtually any sip and fall lawyer in Miami will promise they have the expertise necessary to provide you with unbeatable representation. Quite simply, they want your business.
Fortunately, when you choose Elstein Legal as your Miami, FL premises liability law firm, you won’t have to simply assume you can trust your attorney to make good on their promises. You can instead review Brian L. Elstein’s track record to understand why he deserves your confidence.
Attorney Elstein has secured millions of dollars for former clients. He also has extensive experience litigating personal injury claims. Thus, he knows exactly how insurance companies and self-insured corporations defend themselves. Understanding such defense tactics is key to presenting the strongest case you can.