Slip and Falls / Premises Liability
Some of the most serious personal injuries we see are caused when a client slips or trips and falls in a business or store. Here in Jacksonville, our lawyers have handled numerous fall cases, including those occurring at grocery stores, convenience stores, restaurants, work environments, rental housing, parking lots and businesses. Many times, slip and fall accidents occur on the job or are otherwise work related. These types of accidents make up 15 percent of all work related injuries and account for twelve to fifteen percent of workers’ compensation costs.
Slip and fall accidents may result from a failure to have handrails on stairs, recently mopped floors without warning signs, the presence of foreign objects or liquid on a floor, holes in a floor surface or poorly designed walkways or stairwells. Jacksonville is not immune to these types of situations.
More than one million Americans suffer a slip and fall injury annually, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Of those, more than 17,000 die because of these injuries. Common injuries occurring from slip and fall accidents include fractures of the hip, spine, forearm, hand, ankle, leg and pelvis. Slip and fall accidents are also the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries (TBI).
Elderly people can be more susceptible to slipping and falling, and often, their injuries are more serious. In fact, unintentional falls are the most common cause of non-fatal injuries among people over age 65.
Jurors can be skeptical of slip and fall claims, perhaps because of well publicized instances of fraudulent claims. We have all seen parodies of people in neck braces who are trying to gain sympathy or video surveillance of a supposedly injured person engaged in strenuous activity. Because of this, it is important to hire a law firm experienced fall cases.
Insurers or defense attorneys will usually try to blame the person suffering personal injury in a fall for failing to notice and avoid the dangerous condition. We find that such arguments can be countered by demonstrating why the client was looking elsewhere. For example, shoppers are often directed toward store displays or products well above floor level that were placed for the very purpose of drawing their attention. Through investigation, many times it can be demonstrated that the business has written policies in place to avoid the very type of dangerous condition that caused the fall. In addition, because we are careful about the cases we accept, we believe we have developed a strong reputation with many insurers and adjusters for handling serious cases only.
It is the duty of property and business owners to be sure their premises are reasonably safe for guests. Places of business will not pay for your injuries unless your case can be proven. Because of this, be sure to save any evidence that may show direct evidence of unsafe conditions, such as a picture of a staircase with a missing handrail or liquid on a floor. It is also smart to collect the names and contact information of any witnesses to the accident or dangerous condition.
If you have suffered injury because a store or business failed to maintain their premises in a safe condition, contact our slip and fall attorneys in Jacksonville for a free consultation. If we accept your case, you will pay us nothing unless we make a recovery for you.What to Do If you are Injured in a Fall Accident
If you suffer injury as the result of a fall that was caused by a condition that should have been removed or remedied by a business or other premises owner, we recommend you take certain steps.
- ask others who may be with you to take pictures of what caused the fall. The more pictures the better. Often placing a common object, such as pen or soda can, next to what caused the fall can help give perspective on the size of the abnormality, whether it is a hole in a walkway, a sizeable puddle of liquid or an object left on the floor.
- Get the names of any witnesses to the fall or persons who may have seen the issue that caused the fall prior to the time the fall occurred.
- Document pain and swelling you suffer with photographs in the days and weeks following the fall.
- Do not give a statement to management for the establishment where the fall took place.
- You can always contact a lawyer to assist you with pursuing a claim if your injuries appear to be severe. If you are going to do so, it is better to do so as early as possible. If your fall happened in the Jacksonville, Florida, area, our firm is able to provide you a free consultation. It costs you nothing to hire us and if we don’t make a recovery for you, you do not owe us anything.