Miami Slip and Fall Lawyer Fighting for Clients Injured by Hazardous Conditions
While characters slipping on banana peels and other objects has long been a plot device in cartoons, slips and falls are no laughing matter in real life. Slips and falls are the most common cause of non-fatal accidents for almost all age groups, and nearly a third of all Americans over the age of 65 will experience a fall within the following year. These common accidents can lead to painful, lasting injuries and even death for unfortunate victims. Medical bills can quickly accumulate, and injured victims may be uncertain what to do next, particularly if their injuries have left them unable to work.
Slip and fall accidents often happen when property owners are negligent in managing and repairing their property. If you have experienced a harmful slip and fall accident due to someone else’s negligence, you deserve fair compensation for your injuries. As a knowledgeable slip and fall attorney, Galimidi Law can provide a free consultation and advise you on your best options for moving forward. Reach out today to schedule your slip and fall case evaluation.
Where Can Slip and Fall Accidents Happen?
A slip and fall accident happens when a person’s feet or footwear do not have enough traction on the walking surface, and they lose their balance and fall. Property owners have an obligation to maintain their premises. They should perform frequent inspections to identify any hazards on their property. If there is a hazard, they are responsible for fixing it or warning anyone who enters the property about it. If they fail to do this, they can be held liable for accidents resulting from the hazards. These dangerous conditions that can lead to slip and fall accidents can include:
- Unmaintained surfaces: If the property owner has neglected the property and there is disrepair, such as uneven or broken stairs, missing railings, or damaged surfaces, a fall accident can occur.
- Dangerous walking surfaces: If the walking surface is in a condition where a loss of traction is likely, it poses a significant risk for a slip and fall accident. Hazards include slippery sidewalks, wet floors, uneven surfaces, damaged pavement, loose rugs, ripped carpeting, and more.
- Surfaces impacted by weather conditions: While Miami is not known for snow and ice, heavy rain can make surfaces slippery, and wind-blown sand or debris can cause individuals to lose their footing.
- Messy surfaces: A cluttered walkway is more likely to cause accidents than a clean surface. If papers, rubbish, wires, or other items are obscuring the walking area, the risk for falls is significantly increased.
- Unsafe workplaces: Slips and falls are a top cause of on-the-job injuries in many industries, such as mining, construction, and trucking. Inadequate lighting, spills, unsteady surfaces, unsuitable footwear, debris, and other dangerous conditions can contribute to workplace accidents.
What Particular Slip and Fall Hazards Can Exist in Nursing Homes?
Nursing homes are one place people may not consider when they think of fall dangers, but a slip and fall accident is a common risk for elderly individuals needing care. When we place our elderly loved ones in a nursing home, we expect they will be kept safe. However, negligence can occur, and our loved ones can fall and become injured. Elderly fall accident victims often experience a precipitous decline in their health due to their fall injuries. A compassionate fall accident attorney can thoroughly investigate the circumstances of your loved one’s injuries and determine liability. Situations that may lead to a fall in a nursing home include:
- Careless handling of wet or slippery floors.
- Negligently allowing individuals to get out of bed when their health conditions should preclude it.
- Failure to provide a chaperone or use a wheelchair for restroom visits, or failure to monitor how long a resident is in the bathroom.
- Inadequate training, staffing, mobility equipment, or monitoring.
- Failure by nursing home workers to ensure that bed rails are up.
What Are the Two Categories of Falls?
All falls can be broken into two categories: same-level and elevated. They have different causes and can result in different injuries, although both can be very dangerous. Same-level falls are usually caused by slipping on a surface or tripping over an object and account for the largest number of injuries. The injuries from these falls result from the impact between the victim and the floor. The person often tries to catch themselves as they realize they’ve lost their balance, which can lead to strains and sprains in the act of falling,
On the other hand, elevated falls are falls from a height, such as a roof, ladder, or stairway. These falls are less frequent but are much more likely to cause severe injury and even death. Falling off ladders is actually one of the top causes of fatalities and injuries across all occupations. Gravity plays a role in these falls, increasing the impact as the victim hits the surface. Victims may also hit other objects on the way down or on the surface below, causing multiple injuries, such as cuts, fractures, puncture wounds, or internal injuries. Items can also fall on the victim, like ladders or any articles the person was carrying, leading to additional harm.
What Should You Do if You’ve Experienced a Slip and Fall Accident?
Slip and fall accidents catch victims by surprise as they’re going about their daily lives. You are likely to feel a little disoriented after your fall, but remembering these steps can improve your chances of a successful case. As with any accident, your safety and health are paramount. If you have been seriously hurt, call 911 immediately. If you have suffered a neck injury, do not let anyone move you until the emergency medical personnel show up because it could risk increasing the damage, and potentially causing paralysis. Even if you don’t feel hurt after your slip and fall accident, you should seek a medical evaluation as soon as possible to identify and officially record any injuries you sustained. Some damage, such as back or neck injuries, may not be evident to you right away.
Once you have tended to your injuries, try to complete these steps if you are physically able, or have a trusted individual do them for you:
- Report the accident: If the accident occurred in a commercial setting or on the job, report the accident to management, fill out an accident report, and make a copy or photograph it.
- Collect contact information: Get the names of all employees or managers you spoke to regarding the accident. If there were eyewitnesses, request their name, address, and phone number.
- Document the accident scene: Take photos and videos of the scene from different angles, paying particular attention to the condition of the area. Note if anything has not been maintained.
- Preserve evidence: The footwear you wore will likely be scrutinized as part of a slip and fall lawsuit. Take off your shoes as soon as possible after the accident and put them into a safe place so they can be used as evidence.
- Call an experienced slip and fall accident lawyer: Your lawyer will instruct you on any other steps you need to take. They will begin investigating your injury claim immediately while evidence is still available.
While it’s natural for many people to apologize even if they’ve been hurt because they don’t want to inconvenience others, avoid doing this in a slip and fall accident situation. An insurance company could twist even seemingly innocuous statements such as saying sorry for being clumsy into an admission of fault for the accident. Stick to facts while discussing your accident and contact a slip and fall Miami injury lawyer as soon as possible. They can handle questions from the insurance company and ensure you do not inadvertently damage your case.
What Are the Consequences of a Slip and Fall Accident?
Emergency rooms across the country treat over a million patients with fall injuries every year. Older slip and fall victims are the most susceptible to injuries, but even younger individuals can find themselves seriously hurt. The damage caused by this split-second accident, including pain, disability, and emotional distress, can plague the victim for the rest of their life. Typical slip and fall accident injuries may include:
- Broken or fractured bones, particularly in the hands, arms, and hips
- Head trauma, including traumatic brain injury (TBI) or concussions
- Sprains and strains
- Spinal cord injuries, potentially causing paralysis
The medical bills for treating these injuries can be very high, especially if long-term care is required. Some severe injuries may also cause other complications, particularly for older victims. Secondary issues such as blood clots, chronic pain, loss of mobility and muscle tone, loss of independence, and depression can negatively impact an accident victim’s quality of life and may lead to incapacitation and permanent disability. For some older victims, fall injuries can begin a chain reaction of health problems that tragically leads to their passing. If you believe a preventable fall contributed to your loved one’s death, Galimidi Law can assist you with filing a wrongful death lawsuit against those liable.
What Damages Can You Seek in Your Slip and Fall Claim?
If the property owners of the premises where your slip and fall accident occurred were negligent in their duties to maintain their property and did not warn visitors of hazards, you might be able to recover compensation for your injuries through a personal injury claim. While the exact amount you could be eligible for depends on your injuries and the circumstances of your accident, these are the type of economic compensation which may be available:
- Medical expenses
- Therapy or rehabilitation costs
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Durable medical devices such as walkers, wheelchairs, or crutches
- Transportation costs to and from doctor visits
- In-home health care
Your injuries from the accident were likely painful and may continue to cause discomfort, which can impact the quality of your life. You might have also suffered emotional distress from an accident if it caused you to feel humiliation, grief, anxiety, or other negative feelings. Non-economic damages compensate you for the unpleasant experiences you went through, even though they are non-monetary in nature. Your slip and fall accident lawyer will work hard to thoroughly understand all the ways your injury impacted you so they can properly value your claim. Non-economic damages you may be eligible for include:
- Physical pain and anguish
- Emotional suffering
- Loss of life quality
Occasionally, the court may award punitive damages on top of any compensatory awards if the property owner caused harm deliberately or maliciously.
Why is Selecting the Right Lawyer So Important to Your Slip and Fall Case?
Proving liability for a slip and fall accident can be challenging, but as a personal injury lawyer from Miami, Galimidi Law is up to the task. I understand the nuances of Florida law and will meticulously investigate the circumstances of your fall to build a robust case for your personal injury claims. You should not have to worry about dealing with the insurance company while trying to recover or feel anxiety about how you will pay for your care. With the right slip and fall lawyer by your side, you can focus on your healing while they handle the details of your case. Call today to learn how a personal injury lawyer can help you recover the compensation you deserve for your injuries.