Slip and Fall Attorney in Jacksonville
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Slip and fall lawyers assist with injuries that result from a slip and fall accident. These accidents can be very serious, much more so than they might appear at first. Slip and fall accidents should not be taken lightly, but should be reviewed carefully by an experienced personal injury lawyer. Owners and operators of public places such as restaurants, supermarkets, showrooms, retail stores and wholesale stores have a specific responsibility to maintain a safe place for the public.
Slip & Fall Client Testimonial
Do not assume that it is your fault that you slipped on spilled liquid or food, fallen down stairs, or tripped on a floor that isn’t in a safe, well-maintained condition. The owner of a property has a legal responsibility to keep the premises safe and a legal responsibility to you if you are injured as a result of the property owner’s negligence. If you or a loved one has had such an accident, talk to one of the experienced slip and fall lawyers at Harrell & Harrell, P.A. We offer a free, no-obligation consultation to determine the strength of your slip and fall injury claim and evaluate your rights and due compensation.
Trip and fall accidents can be embarrassing and awkward, but it’s important to not dismiss these incidents too quickly. Some slip and fall injuries are not immediately apparent, or injuries that seem to be minor at the scene may become more severe over time. Because these accidents may have long-term implications for your health, well-being, and even your livelihood, you should consult an expert slip and fall lawyer for guidance. An experienced lawyer can sort out the complex issues that surround slip and fall injury claims. In many cases, there is more than one entity who may be held responsible, such as the property owner, the property manager, and others.
In general, slip and fall accidents fall under the practice area of premises liability in that the owner of the premises is legally responsible to keep the premises safe for others to use.
Common Types of Slip and Fall Accidents
There are many different kinds of accidents involving tripping, slipping and falling. These are some of the most common types:
- Slipping on a loose rug or mat
- Tripping on uneven surfaces
- Tripping on loose or broken floor tiles or pavers
- Slipping on spilled food or liquids, or water that has been tracked from outdoors onto a slick indoor walking surface
- Tripping on stairs that are loose or in disrepair
- Tripping on stairs that lack the proper hand support
- Slipping on a wet floor in a restroom
- Tripping on items that obstructed a stairway, hallway or walkway
- Tripping over merchandise that has fallen or that has been improperly stacked
- Tripping over unattended animals or children
- Tripping on a faulty escalator or an uneven elevator entry
- Slipping or tripping in an area that’s poorly lit
What to Do After a Slip and Fall Accident
Knowing what to do—and what not to do—after you or a loved one has had a slip and fall accident can help ensure that all of your legal rights are protected. Here are tips on what steps to take in the event you have such an accident:
- First, you should seek medical attention immediately. If you believe the situation is not a medical emergency, make sure to see a physician within 24 or 48 hours of the accident. Medical records will be very important evidence in the event you make a slip and fall injury claim.
- Ask the owner of the property or the operator/manager of the property for any forms needed to file a format accident report. If the business cannot or will not supply an accident report form, put your own report in writing. Note the time, date, exact location within the property where your accident occurred, what you were doing right before the accident occurred, a detailed description of the circumstances of the slip and fall accident, and any other details about the surrounding area or any preceding events that may have been a factor. Do this as soon as possible, because memories can fade and you may not accurately remember every last detail later. Send your detailed report to the property owner or operator and include a police report if one was made. Be sure to make your report as soon as possible, since a significant delay may ultimately harm your slip and fall injury claim.
- Gather information from any witnesses to the accident—such as employees, other customers or visitors, or passersby—who remained on the scene. Ask for their names, phone numbers, and email addresses. Your slip and fall attorney will want to follow up with witnesses as soon as possible.
- Document the scene if you can. Take photos from multiple angles, both close up and from farther away. Also, take photos of the scene all around where your accident took place. Take these photos even if you think surrounding areas weren’t a factor in your accident, an experienced slip and fall lawyer will be able to assess what may be relevant later on.
- Document any pain and symptoms you may have in detail. Take photos of any visible injuries right away, no matter how insignificant they may seem at first.
- Keep the clothing and shoes you were wearing in the same condition they were in at the time of your accident.
- Do not give any statements to the property manager, property owner, or anyone else on the scene about how your accident happened.
- Do not sign anything that an insurance company representative, insurance company attorney, property owner, employee of the property owner, or property manager gives you.
- Do not attempt to assign blame to anyone or any entity, or take any of the blame yourself.
- Do not give any statements to any insurance company representative (written or over the phone) until you have consulted one of our slip and fall attorneys. Our attorneys will handle communications with insurance companies.
- Do not post or share any information about your slip and fall accident on any social media platforms.
- Start a file for records and receipts related to your accident. Keep and file any documents related to medical treatment, any costs of medical devices, any loss of income that may have resulted from the accident, and any other expenses. It’s better to have records that ultimately are not needed than lack important records later.
- Make sure to keep each of your scheduled medical appointments. Missing appointments may be seen as an indication that your injury was not severe.
- Consult a law firm that has experience in personal injury law, including premises liability cases such as slip and fall injury claims.
Slip and Fall Accidents with Renee Harrell
According to the Centers for Disease Control, falls are a common factor in traumatic brain injury (TBI). A strike to the head in a fall can have a wide range of results, from a mild concussion to a life-changing injury that leads to permanent cognitive and/or physical impairment. It’s critical to be medically evaluated immediately upon suffering a head injury to assess whether life-threatening intracranial bleeding is occurring.
An injury sustained in a slip and fall accident can result in damage to vertebrae or disks, which can cause chronic pain and affect mobility, while a severe injury to the spinal cord can cause paralysis.
Depending upon the individual injury, broken bones can affect an accident victim’s mobility and ability to earn an income.
These types of injuries may affect ligaments and tendons, and the effects may not be visible or become apparent for days, weeks, or even longer. Such injuries often accompany bone fractures.
What to Know About Premises Liability
As mentioned above, a property owner—or an agent or employee of the owner— has a responsibility to keep his or her property safe for visitors and protect them from an unreasonable risk of injury while on the premises. Although the circumstances of a slip and fall accident may seem clear cut, such as tripping in a store on a slippery floor mat that was unsecured, they often are not.
Among the many other aspects of a slip and fall injury claim, it must be proven, according to the 2018 Florida Statutes, that “the business establishment had actual or constructive knowledge of the dangerous condition and should have taken action to remedy it.” Such knowledge “may be proven by circumstantial evidence showing that … the dangerous condition existed for such a length of time that, in the exercise of ordinary care, the business establishment should have known of the condition or the condition occurred with regularity and was therefore foreseeable.”
The burden of proving that a slip and fall injury was due to negligence or carelessness on the part of the property owner or operator is on the victim, and the laws pertaining to premises liability cases are complex. That’s why having an experienced slip and fall lawyer on your side is essential to ensuring that your case is thoroughly investigated and properly prepared. If you or a loved one has sustained injuries at a business that you believe may have not provided a safe environment for visitors, don’t hesitate to contact Harrell & Harrell, P.A. Our attorneys offer case evaluations at absolutely no cost or obligation to you, and we represent our clients on a contingency fee basis—if we do not win your slip and fall injury case, you will not owe costs or fees.
Compensation in Slip and Fall Injury Claims
A personal injury such as a slip and fall injury can have effects on your life that go far beyond immediate medical bills. We always take into account the true impact an injury can have on our clients’ lives in the form of both economic and non-economic damages. Such damages may include but not be limited to:
- Medical costs, which can include immediate emergency care received in the aftermath of the accident, emergency transportation from the scene of the accident, hospitalization, medical equipment, rehabilitation therapy, prescriptions, in-home nursing care and more.
- Loss of income if you have lost salary or wages as a direct result of your slip and fall injuries. Damages related to income may also include the income you would have made in the future if you had not been injured in an accident involving negligence.
- Pain and suffering: These non-economic damages are related to physical and mental pain, and may include emotional distress, anxiety and the loss of enjoyment of life.
Contact our Expert Slip and Fall Lawyers
As with any type of accidental injury, it’s important to make sure that you understand all of the possibilities and let an experienced personal injury lawyer handle any settlement offers from an insurance company. We fight big insurance companies every day, and we know that their goal is to pay out as little as possible. Our goal is to help you get all you deserve.
Remember that the serious effects of a slip and fall accident often don’t become apparent until well after the accident itself, these effects include all of the costs and emotional impact over the course of the following months or even years.
The experienced slip and fall lawyers at Harrell & Harrell, P.A., in Jacksonville will help you pick up all of the pieces and work to ensure every consideration is made for you and your family’s future needs. Schedule your free, no-obligation consultation by filling out the form at the top of this page or calling us at 800-251-1111. We will gladly meet with you at our office, in your home or office, or at the hospital.
DON’T SETTLE FOR LESS THAN YOU DESERVE.®
Slip and Fall Injury FAQs
“Slip and fall” and “trip and fall” are terms used to describe falls that happen on someone else’s property due to negligent maintenance, failure to warn, or the landowner in some other way not living up to their responsibilities. Some common examples include tripping on a broken stair or floorboard, or slipping on the wet floor of a grocery store.
Getting hurt on someone else’s property doesn’t necessarily mean you have a personal injury claim. To establish a slip and fall claim, you must be able to show that the landowner or person in control of the property failed in their duty to maintain the property in reasonably safe condition, or to warn you of hazards you might not notice. This standard applies whether you’re a customer in a business establishment or a guest in a friend’s home. However, these obligations generally do not extend to trespassers.
If you’re able, gather whatever evidence you can. However, the most important thing to do after a slip and fall injury or any type of injury is to ensure that you get whatever medical care is necessary. If you’re unsure, err on the side of getting checked out by a doctor. Then, you should contact an experienced slip and fall lawyer right away, as important evidence can be lost if you don’t act quickly.
If you’re able, you should photograph the scene of your accident, particularly whatever caused you to slip or trip. If there are witnesses, collect contact information. Make sure you know the name of the business or address of the property where you fell. Look around to see whether there are cameras that may have captured the incident. If so, let your slip and fall attorney know right away, as they will likely have to act quickly to preserve the footage.
It’s important for both your health and your case. Immediately after a fall, you may not realize the extent of your injuries. But, carrying on business as usual can make them worse. And, if you later discover that your injuries are serious and you didn’t see a doctor right away, you may have trouble establishing that the fall was the cause of your injuries.
Yes, you should report the injury to the owner or person responsible for the property. However, you should keep the conversation short and factual. Don’t talk about fault or what you were doing at the time of the fall or share other details that seem harmless but may be used against you. If their insurance carrier calls you, refer them to your slip and fall lawyer.
That’s a job for your slip and fall attorney. Proving liability in a slip and fall case requires showing that the property owner had a legal duty, failed in that duty, and that failure caused your injuries. The owner’s negligence can be established through evidence of the condition of the property, including photos and video, witness testimony, and other evidence.
Damages are different in every case, but some common types of damages awarded in an injury case include lost wages, medical expenses, and pain and suffering. Your slip and fall lawyer can give you more information about the types of damages that may be available in your particular case.
The current Florida statute of limitations for injury cases, including slip and fall or trip and fall cases, is two years. However, the law was recently changed, and those who were injured before March 24, 2023 may have longer to file. The best source of information about the deadline in your case is an experienced local slip and fall attorney.
It’s best to speak with a slip and fall lawyer before you talk to the insurance company. In fact, your attorney will likely take over communications with the insurance company, meaning that you never speak with them. Insurance companies don’t always play fair, and innocent comments during your conversation could hurt your case. The insurance company may also try to get you to settle quickly, before you know the full extent of your damages.
Most personal injury law firms, such as Harrell & Harrell, work on a contingency basis. That means that legal fees are based on a percentage of the settlement or jury award you receive. You don’t pay any fees upfront, and you also don’t pay any fees if you lose your case. In other words, the slip and fall lawyer only gets paid if you do, and their fees are in proportion to the settlement or verdict they secure for you.
The insurance company rep may make it seem as if they’re trying to help you. Often, they use language like “We want to get that to you as soon as possible,” knowing that you may be in a tough financial spot. But, there’s another reason insurance companies may push hard for a quick settlement. If they get you to enter into a settlement agreement before you know how serious or long-lasting your medical expenses may be, they may pay a lot less than they would when all of the information is available. If that happens, you could later discover the need for costly medical care, or that you’re off work much longer than expected, and have to absorb those costs yourself.
The second experience I had with Harrell & Harrell was due to a personal injury. I was hurt and frustrated, going around with a concussion. Mr. Schlax and his legal secretary Lauralee were always available to me during my frustrations, pain and insecurities along with many legal dynamic questions. They arranged for my medical care the same day and followed through with treatment to maximum medical improvement. We obtained a settlement that was appropriate for the condition and circumstances of the injury. Nothing can make up for being sick, hurt or injured, it changes your life. It does help to get support during and as a result of the incident. I would recommend Harrell & Harrell to anyone for consultation and see what they may do to help if they can. I would use them again if anything else happened in my life that fit into their specialty areas.