Plaintiff personal injury attorneys and our experts rely heavily on statistics for everything from slip and falls, which fall under “premises liability” to automobile collisions. One of the greatest provider of unbiased statistics on injuries and their causes comes from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The CDC estimates that Americans involved in slip and fall accidents have eclipsed the million per year mark.
The study reflects that Americans suffer a slip, trip, and fall injury and well over 17,000 people actually die in the U.S. annually because of these injuries. Slip, trip and fall injuries make up approximately 15 percent of all job related injuries. This accounts for between 12 and 15 percent of all Workers’ Compensation expenses.
Slip and falls are the No. 1 cause of emergency room visits.
In Florida, business owners have to keep their property reasonably safe for their customers which includes warning them of non-obvious dangerous conditions and to use ordinary care in the operations of the property AND to make reasonable inspections to discover dangerous conditions and make them safe.
Your ability to win in a civil suit will depend your ability to prove that the business owner failed one of those duties and also that your injury happened at a business.
If you are involved in a slip and fall, the first thing to do is take a picture of the defect, foreign object, or whatever you tripped or slipped on. If need be, you can even use a cell phone. See if there is anything that indicates that the object you fell on has been there for an unreasonable amount of time. A business is not automatically liable for a fall caused by another guest. You may need to show that the thing you slipped on had been there long enough that a reasonable inspection would show it up.
Second, if there are any witnesses that saw the incident, get their names, addresses and phone numbers. DO NOT rely on the business employees to keep witnesses’ contact information. They will not.
If you do not need an attorney because you heal completely, getting these small things never hurt. If you do need to make a claim against the business, you will not be dealing with them, you will be dealing with their insurance company which will make you be able to win at trial prior to paying out a claim.
If you have suffered from a similar situation and wish to consult with an attorney in your area, the Florida Bar Association has lists of all licensed attorney’s as well as their specialties of law. Picking the right attorney can make the world of difference in your case as well as assist in making sure your injuries and medical bills are well taken into consideration.
Make sure to ask any attorney you speak with about their education, background, how many cases they handle per attorney at one time and how often they actually go to trial.
Herman & Wells, P.A. is a law firm which handles personal injury lawsuits for people who are negligently injured in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Clearwater, and surrounding areas of Florida.
July 22, 2011