What You Need to Know About Orlando Slip and Fall Lawsuits & How to Find the Right Lawyer for Your Case
Louis Berk was born in Caracas, Venezuela, where he lived with his parents and younger sister. In the summer of 1994, his parents made the life-changing decision to relocate to the United States.
National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI) states that slips and falls account for over 1 million hospital emergency visits. In the United States, slips and falls are the leading cause of worker's compensation claims and the leading cause of occupational injury for people aged 55 years and older. Another curious fact is that the incidence of a fall increases with each decade of life. Last year, as reported by the NFSI, falls accounted for 87% of all fractures among people over 65 and are the second leading cause of spinal cord injuries and brain injury symptoms.
What is a slip-and-fall claim?
When a person suffers a slip-and-fall accident on someone else's property, to be considered a claim, he/she must prove that a "dangerous/hazardous condition" caused the accident and that the owner/possessor of the property had previous knowledge of the danger. Thus, you or your lawyer must prove negligence. The case must show one of these options is true:
1. The owner/possessor created the condition.
2. The owner/possessor knew the condition existed and failed to correct it.
3. The conditions previously existed for such a length of time the owner/possessor should have discovered and corrected it before the slip and fall incident.
4. The injury caused the victim harm.
These are known as the components of negligence in a slip and fall case.
What is a "dangerous condition"?
In legal terms, a dangerous condition represents an unreasonable risk to a person on the property, and it must be a condition the injured party could not have anticipated.
There are many types of hazardous conditions, such as:
● Wet floors
● Uneven flooring or loose flooring material
● Bulging carpeting
● Spills that have not been cleaned.
● Debris or trash on the floor
● Cords in walkways
● Poor lighting
For a lawyer to successfully pursue a slip and fall claim, they must be sure they can prove the property owner or possessor is accountable for the accident and that they are liable. Legally this means the responsibility for what happened to you in the slip-and-fall accident falls on the property owner or possessor.
During the slip and fall claim, your lawyer must prove that one of these two things occurred:
a. The property owner/possessor should have recognized the dangerous condition and removed or repaired it. Would a reasonable person have identified the condition? Did they have ample time to remedy the situation before the accident?
b. The property owner/possessor caused the condition that caused the accident, and it was foreseeable that a slip and fall accident could take place.
Some situations that could lead to a slip-and-fall claim are:
Slipping or tripping on stairs. Staircases can be unsafe when certain factors are present, such as a foreign substance on the stairs, poorly designed or missing handrails, the height of each step being the wrong height or each rise varying from the other, when the steps that are too shallow, or when the stairs have fraying or unsafe carpets or rugs. If the property owner created these issues or knew about them and did nothing to address them, he is liable if people suffer any accidents.
Slipping or tripping on rugs, carpets, or defective flooring can be the cause of a slip-and-fall accident when there are area rugs without a proper grip pad underneath or when visitors trip over carpets with holes in them, or carpets with frayed edges; also when the tiles or any flooring material is broken or improperly laid, or just dangerously slippery, especially when wet or freshly waxed.
Types of premises for slip and fall accidents
The place where a slip-and-fall accident occurs can be classified into different types of premises, depending on their purpose, which directly relates to how liability is determined for each of them because it was the owner/possessor's negligence that created the hazardous conditions.
● Commercial property - to be liable in a slip and fall case, the owner/possessor of a business, like a store or a restaurant, had to cause the spill, worn or torn spot, or other slippery or dangerous surface or item. He/She must have known about the dangerous surface and did nothing about it, or he/she should have known of the danger because a "reasonable" person who took care of the property would have discovered and removed or repaired it. The law determines liability if the owner/possessor did not take reasonable steps to keep the property safe.
● Residential property - Landlords may be held liable for slip and fall injuries on a rental property; tenants must show that the landlord had control over the condition that caused the accident; repairing the condition was not unreasonably expensive or difficult; the foreseeable consequence of not fixing the condition is a serious injury; and the landlord failed to take reasonable steps to avoid an accident that caused the injury.
What should a lawyer do on a slip and fall accident claim?
In case you suffer a slip-and-fall accident resulting in a personal injury, you must prepare to contact an Orlando slip and fall lawyer with enough expertise to follow the steps to determine if your case has all the elements necessary to reach a fair settlement or go to trial if needed.
A personal injury lawyer should investigate how the accident happened, what you were doing if you tripped, whether you were holding the handrail, and many other similar things. Then he has to build his strategy by putting together the different elements that will help him prove the defendant is legally responsible by asking questions like:
● Did you slip on some substance or defect on the step?
● Did you trip over your coat, a bag strap, or something else?
● Did each step have varying heights which might have caused you to lose your balance and fall?
This liability investigation must include applicable state, federal, and local laws to determine if the property's condition violates any statute or regulation. Your attorney should also consult and retain experts to strengthen your claim.
Finally, to determine the value of your claim, your lawyer needs to obtain and organize all medical records and bills, and any other document that would substantiate your pain and suffering. All this so that when the time is appropriate, he can present his argument in the best possible way to get you the best and fairest compensation you deserve.
As you can see, slip-and-fall claims are not as easy as many people seem to think, and having the right lawyer backing you can make all the difference in the world. Imagine if you had an attorney that also spoke your language. That is one of the advantages of bringing your slip-and-fall case to Louis Berk Law. You will have the best Spanish speaking personal injury attorneys in Florida fighting for you.