We’ve all taken a tumble once or twice. Usually, it’s a result of our clumsiness. While our egos may be slightly bruised, we pick ourselves back up and walk away embarrassed, hoping that no one was a witness to our fall. However, when we slip and fall due to the negligence of someone in a public place and are seriously injured, this is an entirely different story. Whose responsibility is it to pay for our mounting medical bills and cover our loss of income?
Sunshine State residents who’ve suffered an injury from a slip and fall accident in a public venue should seek advice from a Florida injury law firm. During a free consultation, a compassionate and knowledgeable lawyer can help you to seek accountability and compensation.
Premises Liability and Accidents
Suppose you’ve fallen or otherwise injured at a public venue. In that case, it most likely falls under the umbrella of a premises liability claim, whether it be a shopping mall, movie theater, or any other public space you’re legally allowed to enter. A premises liability case occurs when a property owner or manager fails to protect it from potential hazards. If a general public member is harmed due to their negligence, they’ll be responsible for the victim’s damages. Examples of premises liability can include:
Slip and fall incidents
Property managers and owners could be found negligent by not ensuring that public space is free of hazards. If a person with every legal right to be on the premises is harmed in some way by a careless action or inaction, it’s grounds for a personal injury lawsuit. Some of the culprits of an inadequately managed property could include:
- Failure to remove snow, ice, or slippery substances from the floor or sidewalk
- Inadequate lighting
- Failure to fix broken floor tiles, stairwell steps, or handrails
- Loose mats or floor coverings
- Failure to properly alert the public to potential tripping factors
Construction site injuries
Construction site injuries aren’t limited to an active worksite. The general public could be injured even during routine or preventative property maintenance. Whether it be a minor repair or a full construction project, property owners and managers must ensure that anyone legally allowed on the property isn’t harmed. Examples of construction or building maintenance culprits can include:
- Falling or flying debris
- Failure to adequately mark areas undergoing maintenance or construction
- Carelessly left behind tools, power cords, or other obstacles
What to Do if You’ve Been Injured in a Public Space
For those severely injured, they’ll want to seek medical help immediately. If not, the first thing you should do is report the incident to the building’s management, or if inapplicable, take photos of the accident scene. In either of these scenarios, it’s important to document exactly what occurred and how you were injured.
Next, you’ll want to seek the guidance of a personal injury attorney. While some property owners or building managers may request that you speak directly with their insurance companies, doing so could harm your case if you haven’t retained legal representation. Insurance companies’ job is to downplay liability and keep claims costs at a minimum. Attempting to seek compensation directly from an insurance company without legal guidance will invalidate your claim or significantly lessen its amount.
A personal injury attorney can help you to:
- Gather evidence – As the plaintiff, you’ll be burdened to prove negligence, injury, and damages. A personal injury attorney and their team of experts can assist you in gathering and maintaining the strongest evidence to prove that you weren’t at fault, sustained injuries, and that the injuries have caused you damages.
- Investigate your claim – Sometimes, it can be challenging to determine which party or parties were negligent. An experienced personal injury attorney has the experience to know which avenues to pursue.
- Negotiate with the defendant’s legal team – Insurance company claim adjusters and lawyers can be tough to negotiate with if you do not know the law. A personal injury attorney with a background in premises liability law has the savvy to negotiate the best possible settlement.
Premises Liability and Holding Those Accountable Requires the Right Attorney
All slip-and-fall accidents or any other resulting from negligence on behalf of a property owner or manager could lead to severe injuries. Fortunately, the law allows victims to seek compensation from the at-fault party or parties. However, to ensure they get the best settlement for their damages, they’ll have to face a tireless team of insurance company claim adjusters or lawyers.
To seek accountability and compensation after a slip and fall accident will require the savvy of a personal injury lawyer. To proceed without legal representation is not only foolish, but it most likely won’t have a happy ending.