Many people don’t believe they have a case after a slip and fall accident, so they don’t even ask a Miami personal injury lawyer if they can get any kind of compensation. After all, who would take such a trivial accident seriously? Actually, as statistical data and our own experience in helping clients show, slip and fall accidents can have serious consequences, especially for older people.

If your accident took place on someone else’s property – an individual, a business or a public authority – and you had a valid reason to be there, then you most likely have a case. Even if you suffered minor injuries, you still needed to take a few days off work and see a doctor to get a prescription for pain medication. These are economic losses, and Florida law states that you deserve to be compensated by the negligent party.

However, in the experience of personal injury lawyers in Miami, slip and fall accident result in severe injuries, even if they are not obvious in the first moment after your fall. For this reason, you should always seek medical attention as soon as possible after the accident. We will explain the importance of doing so below.

How Does a Slip and Fall Accident Qualify as a Personal Injury Case in Florida?

Slip and fall accidents fall under the premises liability category of tort law. This means that any property owner, administrator or manager owes a duty of care to all the persons who have the right to be present on their property. They should keep their property safe from hazards and dangerous conditions. A wet or slippery surface represents such a hazard.

However, according to Florida Statutes 768.0755, a person who suffered a slip and fall accident must be able to prove that:

  • The dangerous condition existed for a sufficient period of time that the owner should have been aware of it, in the exercise of ordinary care, or
  • The condition occurred with regularity and should have been foreseen.

For instance, during the rainy season, it is reasonable for a store manager to know that the tiled entrance would get slippery. If they fail to mop the floor regularly or place an anti-slip mat, a person who suffers a slip and fall accident can file a claim against the store. An experienced Miami personal injury lawyer will be able to prove the store manager’s negligence in keeping the entrance safe for all customers.

The Challenges of Filing a Claim for a Slip and Fall Accident

So far, you may think that it is a mere formality to file a claim and get compensation. However, insurance companies are notoriously trying to get as many claims as possible dismissed. They will look for any little aspect they can invoke in order to deny or devalue your slip and fall claim.

Some of the arguments they will use are:

1. You Are Mostly At Fault for Your Slip and Fall Accident

Since Florida uses the comparative fault principle in personal injury cases, the first thing an insurance adjuster will try is increasing your proportion of fault as much as possible. The reason for this is that your claim amount is reduced by your percentage of fault for the accident. Thus, if the adjuster states that you were 90% at fault, you can only collect 10% of your damages.

With the assistance of personal injury lawyers in Miami, you can counter this claim and prove that you were not as much as fault as the insurer claims. It all depends on what you were doing at the moment of your slip and fall accident. For instance, if you were looking at your phone screen and did not notice a wet spot on the floor, your proportion of fault will definitely be greater than in the case when you were not distracted by the phone.

2. You Had No Valid Right to Be Present on the Property

This is a specific complication related to premises liability cases. In order to have a valid case, you must be:

  • An invitee  – someone specifically allowed to be present on a property, for example a customer in a store
  • A licensee – someone present on the property for their own reasons, but with the owner’s consent, for example a contractor performing repair works.

Trespassers – persons who are present on the property without the owner’s consent, do not have a valid case after a slip and fall accident. The only duty of care the owner has in this case is:

  • Not to harm the trespasser intentionally
  • If they see the trespasser, to warn them of the existence of a hazard on the property.

You will need to consult an experienced Miami personal injury lawyer in this case, because there are cases when a person had a genuine belief that they had the right to be present on a property, thus they were not knowingly trespassing.

3. You Are Exaggerating Your Injuries

As we explained at the beginning of the article, many people do not think much about the consequences of a slip and fall accident. And insurance companies try to make the most of this.

When nothing else works in getting your claim dismissed, they will argue that you can’t have suffered so many severe injuries after a mere fall on a floor. This is why it is crucial to seek medical care as soon as possible. The initial report prepared by the ambulance team or the ER staff can clearly establish the direct connection between your injuries and the slip and fall accident.

Let a Dedicated Personal Injury Law Firm Handle Your Slip and Fall Case

The legal team at Miami Lawyers 360 knows that there is nothing trivial about getting injured in a slip and fall accident. Even if you were partly at fault by not paying proper attention, you still deserve to recover your medical care bills and lost wages.

We offer you a free case review with an experienced Miami personal injury lawyer, who will evaluate the merits of your case carefully. If we believe that you have a case, we will represent you and you will not be charged any fees until we win your fair settlement. Schedule your free initial consultation now: 786-686-2857!

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You can rely on our experience to help you through each step of the claims process.