A slip and fall may not sound like the most dangerous kind of accident, but it can cause a variety of injuries, such as head trauma, broken bones, and more. Often, the cause of the fall is someone else’s negligence. Premises owners have a duty to maintain their property to minimize the chance of a person suffering physical harm.
The cost of the medical care that you need to recover from a fall is just the beginning. You also deserve to be compensated for the income that you will lose during your recovery. If the injured party was the breadwinner for a family, the impact can be shattering.
If you or a loved one has suffered a serious injury in a slip-and-fall incident, you should speak with an experienced attorney soon as you can. A Pinellas County slip and fall lawyer will listen to your story and then start building the strongest possible case for why you are entitled to compensation.
Duties of Landlords
The initial inquiry should do with whether the owners of the property were negligent in how they maintained it. Slip and fall lawyers in Pinellas County will want to know if there were as careful in dealing with hazards as a reasonable person would have been under the circumstances.
If someone lives in an apartment complex or other types of multi-unit dwelling, the owner of the premises has a duty to provide a habitable, safe environment. That means sidewalks that are not broken and stairwells that are well-lit and clean.
If damage was done to the surface that might cause a slip-and-fall accident, the landlords must repair it in a reasonably prompt manner. If they fail to do so, that is negligence that a slip and fall attorney in Pinellas County.
Duties of Other Property Owners
If someone suffered a slip-and-fall injury on someone else’s property, the courts will consider why they were present on that property.
As an article in the Florida Bar Journal noted, “The first step in any premises liability case in Florida is to ascertain the specific legal category that the plaintiff occupies.” Invitees and social guests typically are found to be deserving of the highest standard of care, since in both cases the premises owners specifically asked them to come onto the property. This includes customers in stores and restaurants.
Licensees – “persons who choose to come upon the premises solely for their own convenience without invitation either expressed or reasonably implied,” in the words of one Florida court – get a lower standard of care.
Injured parties can recover damages even if they themselves were partially at fault for the accident. Under this “comparative negligence” approach, damages may be reduced to account for the share of the accident that can be attributed to the plaintiff’s carelessness. But you can still obtain monetary damages from the defendant.
Many slip-and-fall cases involve traumatic brain injuries, which can have devastating lifelong effects, both physically and financially. The effects of such injuries on children and the elderly can be especially severe. Broken limbs and even paralysis can also be caused by a bad fall.
Talk to a Slip and Fall Attorney Today
If you have incurred medical expenses, lost wages or other sorts of damages due to a slip-and-fall injury caused by someone else’s negligence, you do not have to fight for justice alone. A Pinellas County slip and fall attorney can listen to your story, gather the necessary evidence, and get you the compensation you deserve.