MattLaw®: Your Florida Slip and Fall Accident Attorney
At MattLaw®, we recognize that slip and fall accidents are among the most common causes of serious personal injuries in Florida. These accidents can happen anywhere – from supermarkets and restaurants to office buildings and private residences. These accidents happen when you least expect them, leaving you with injuries, medical bills, and uncertainties about your legal rights. When property owners fail to maintain safe environments, serious injuries can result due to this negligence.
Understanding Slip and Fall Accidents in Florida
Slip and fall accidents occur when an individual slips, trips, or falls on another person’s property due to hazardous or unsafe conditions. The accidents can happen in a variety of settings, such as retail stores, restaurants, grocery stores, warehouses, malls, almost anywhere.
Common Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents
- Wet or Slippery Floors: Spills, leaks, rainwater, recently cleaned floors, or inadequate cleaning can create slippery surfaces that pose a danger to visitors.
- Uneven Surfaces: Broken tiles, torn carpeting, or uneven and cracked floors or uneven pavers can easily lead to slip or trip and fall accidents.
- Inadequate Lighting: Poor lighting can make it difficult for individuals to see hazards and obstacles, increasing the risk of accidents.
- Trip Hazards: Debris, electrical cords, or any other obstacle in walkways can cause a visitor to trip.
- Lack of Warning Signs: Property owners have a responsibility to warn visitors about potential dangers, such as wet floors or trip hazards.
- Broken or Absent Handrails: Staircases without proper, and often legally required, railings can be dangerous.
- Negligent Maintenance: Failing to address known hazards in a timely manner can contribute to accidents.
- Leaking Roofs: Oftentimes the occupier of a business knows about a leak in their roof, but chooses not to repair the roof, and as a result allows water to drip onto the floor.
- Poorly Maintained Equipment: Many businesses have refrigeration, or steam tables that can cause water and create a slippery surface.
Proving Liability and Negligence in Slip and Fall Cases
In Florida, property owners or operators have two legal duties:
- The first duty is to maintain the property in a safe condition.
- The second duty is to warn of known dangers.
An example is a business that operates a hotel. The hotel employees spill a liquid on the tile floor and then walk away. A few minutes later an unsuspecting guest walks into the spill and falls down. The hotel breached both duties to the guest. They caused the spill, therefore they had knowledge of the dangerous condition for which they have a duty to maintain the floor in a safe condition. They also violated their second duty, the duty to warn of the known danger. Since they created the danger, they had knowledge of the danger, and they must also warn others of this danger.
Proving liability in slip and fall cases can be very difficult. The experienced attorneys at MattLaw® know how to navigate the complexities of proving liability. They also are experienced in determining who is the negligent party who should be held responsible for the damages caused by the breach of duty.
To successfully pursue a slip and fall case, we need to show:
- Duty of Care: We’ll determine whether the property owner owed you a duty of care to ensure your safety while on their premises.
- Did the property owner or operator know or should they have known of the danger?
- Did they cause or create the hazard?
- Did they fail to maintain or clean up the hazard?
- Did they take steps to warn of the dangerous condition?
- Breach of Duty: We’ll assess whether the property owner’s failure to maintain a safe environment directly led to your fall. Can we show a jury that the breach of duty caused your fall?
- Causation: We will use medical experts to prove that the breach of the duty of care which caused your fall, also caused your injuries.
- Damages: We will use your medical treating health care providers to show that your fall caused you serious injuries. We will document:
- Your past medical bills
- Your future medical care needs
- Any past lost wages
- Any future loss of ability to work
- Your pain and suffering caused by the fall
- Any aggravation of pre-existing conditions the fall may have caused you
- As well as the other losses and damages that naturally flow from the injuries caused from the fall
MattLaw® Will Build a Strong Case
The MattLaw® legal team will work diligently to build a strong case on your behalf:
- Investigation: We’ll conduct a thorough investigation, collecting evidence such as surveillance videos, photographs, witness statements, and any other types of evidence to prove the property owner knew or should have known of the danger.
- Expert Analysis: If necessary, we’ll consult with experts who can provide professional opinions on the property’s maintenance, safety standards, and the property owner’s negligence.
- Damages Experts: We will ask your healthcare providers to give their opinions as to the cause of your injuries, the permanency of your injuries, whether there was any aggravation of pre-existing injuries, your loss of ability to earn money, and any other significant damages you suffered from the fall.
- Negotiation: We’ll engage with insurance companies and negotiate aggressively to ensure you receive fair compensation for your injuries and losses.
- Litigation: If a fair settlement cannot be reached, you will have an experienced, triple board certified, civil trial lawyer ready to go to court and advocate for you and fight for your rights.
What should you do if you fall?
After a fall, everyone is embarrassed. They are in shock, they are surprised. As a result, they often get up, shake it off, and hope they are not injured. Sometimes after a serious fall, you may be unable to get up at all. But no matter what happened, here are a few things you can do to help protect your rights:
- Figure out what caused your fall.
- Look around and find the source of the problem.
- Was it a leaky roof?
- Was it a leaking refrigerator, take pictures?
- Was a steam table dripping water on the floor?
- Was a soda machine allowing ice to fall all around the floor?
- Was some customer spilling liquid all around the floor?
- Look around and find the source of the problem.
- Take photographs of the spill
- Take photographs of the ceiling stains
- Take photographs of foot prints, and shopping cart tracks on the floor
- Take photographs of any proof the liquid was on the floor for a long time
- Take photographs to show the lighting conditions
- Take photographs of the area where you fell to show blind corners, lack of signs
- Look for surveillance cameras, and take a photograph of the camera(s) closest to where you fell that may have recorded what happened
- Call for medical help
- Notify the operator of the business and get the name of the manager on duty
Why Choose MattLaw®?
- Experience: With over 35 years of experience representing injury victims and over 96 trials on his resume, triple board certified attorney Matt Powell has a proven history of success handling complex slip and fall accident cases.
- No Fee Unless We Win: If we don’t win your case, you owe us nothing. Your peace of mind is our priority.
- Comprehensive Investigation: We collaborate with industry experts to thoroughly investigate every case, ensuring the best possible outcome for our clients.
- Personalized Attention: The MattLaw® team understands that every client is unique, and we tailor our approach to suit each individual client’s needs.
- Compassion: We’re not just your legal representatives, we’re here to support you during a challenging time. We understand why you need us and we’re here for you.