The Florida Slip and Fall Accident Guide was created by Paul Boone Law to help residents who have been injured in a slip and fall accident obtain maximum compensation for their claim.
How a Slip and Fall Case Works from Start to Finish
To understand how the legal process works in a slip and fall case, here is an example of a case from start to finish:
Anthony is at the grocery store and he turns the corner with his cart and, as he’s walking down the aisle, he slips in the liquid from a jar of olives that was dropped on the floor several hours before Anthony walked into the grocery store. Management knew about this spill, neglected to assign someone to clean it up, and did not know that there was no slipping hazard sign out by the spill.
Anthony suffers a broken elbow and a concussion. He requires surgery for his broken elbow and he experiences symptoms related to the concussion for the next few months. He misses work, and his life is impacted by the slip and fall. Luckily, he called Jacksonville slip and fall lawyer Paul Boone as soon as he could and set up a free consultation with them. He learned that he is entitled to compensation.
His lawyer determines that the grocery store was liable for his injuries because they knew about the spill and did nothing to clean it up. The grocery store is liable because of having knowledge of a hazard but being negligent in not correcting it, which left their visitors in a dangerous environment.
Anthony and his lawyer fight tirelessly against the insurance company after being offered to lowball settlement offers. Finally, the insurance company comes back with a figure that reflects Anthony’s damages in the fullest and fairest amount and they settle the claim.
How Slip and Fall Claims are Valued
Personal injury claims are broken down into two types of damages for which you can be compensated: economic and non-economic damages. If we look back to the example of Anthony being injured in the grocery store, we can see what his economic and non-economic damages are.
Anthony went to the emergency room after the slip and fall which cost him money. He also required surgery and physical therapy to get back to maximum medical recovery. All of the costs for the emergency room and treatments and physical therapy are part of his economic damages. He missed a month of work, as well, which left him out of biweekly paychecks. That is also a part of his economic damage.
Anthony’s non-economic damages would include the pain and suffering that he endured. If he had suffered anxiety and depression after being involved in the slip and fall, that would also be included in his non-economic damages. If his broken elbow prevented him from enjoying life the way he used to, he could seek non-economic damages for loss of quality of life. These damages are a bit harder to put a dollar figure on because no one‘s been able to definitively say how much it costs to be in pain. That will not stop our Jacksonville slip and fall lawyer, however, from fighting for everything that you deserve. We do this day in and day out and we are familiar with what the damages for cases like Anthony’s should be.
Dos and Don’ts of a Slip and Fall Injury Claim
Here are some tips about what you should do and what you should absolutely not do if you’ve been involved in a slip and fall and you are seeking compensation for your damages:
DO SEEK IMMEDIATE MEDICAL ATTENTION. Your well-being is the most important thing after you’ve been hurt. You need to get yourself to a doctor or an emergency room or an urgent care. Having your injuries checked out and treated early on prevents you from suffering longer than you have to and also decreases your risk of having permanent damage.
DON’T DELAY SEEKING MEDICAL ATTENTION. The insurance company is going to be looking for ways to save themselves money. If you delay seeking medical attention, then you can guarantee that the insurance company is going to be looking at your medical records thinking that you either lied about how badly you were hurt (which lets them decrease the value of your claim) or you lied about how you got hurt (which allows them to throw away your claim altogether.)
DO CONTACT JACKSONVILLE SLIP AND FALL LAWYER PAUL BOONE AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. In the state of Florida, you are given four years from the date of your personal injury to bring your claim. That does not mean that you should wait until two months before the four-year mark to reach out to a lawyer and see what they can do for you. The sooner that you talk to a lawyer the more time they have to build you a strong case against the liable party and their insurance company. You also increase your chances of your witnesses remembering key details about your slip and fall that could make or break your case.
DON’T GIVE THE INSURANCE COMPANY A RECORDED STATEMENT ABOUT YOUR SLIP AND FALL. Shortly after your injury they will likely reach out to you in the hopes of getting a recorded statement about what happened to you. As mentioned, the insurance companies want to save themselves money which means they will do anything they can to devalue your claim or throw it away. Recorded statements are a tool that insurance companies use to get you to say something that would allow them to save themselves money. For example, they could get you to say that you did something that could have caused the slip and fall, such as looking at your phone instead of closely observing the aisle that you were walking on at the grocery store where you slipped. Let your Jacksonville slip and fall lawyer handle communications with them so that your rights are protected.
How Florida Slip and Fall Lawyer Paul Boone Can Help You
After you’re hurt, your main focus is going to be your recovery. It also might be trying to figure out how you are going to do the things that you need to do on a daily basis, such as take care of your family or even yourself if you’re unable to while you’re recovering. Primarily, you need to focus on you at this time. The role of Jacksonville slip and fall lawyer Paul Boone is to take the stress of a slip and fall case off of your shoulders so that you can continue to focus on yourself and your recovery.
We would guess that most people who get hurt in a slip and fall have never brought a personal injury claim before. That means you likely don’t know what needs to happen for a case to be successful. We would never expect you to have to learn everything about personal injury cases to get the justice that you deserve. That’s why you hire a lawyer. They ease your stress and take care of the hard parts.
Being successful at slip and fall litigation requires a lot of knowledge of state and federal personal injury laws. Knowing what to expect with the insurance company also factors into the success of a case. We don’t want you to have to worry about any of that. Let us handle the hard parts so you can focus on yourself.
Common Mistakes in Slip And Fall Cases
Mistakes we often see clients make, particularly in slip and fall cases, are these: One, they don’t go get medical care initially. They’re embarrassed that they fell in a public place. They minimize the hurt and they don’t go. If they don’t go, they don’t get well as if they had gone immediately. If they don’t go, people aren’t going to believe that they are hurt when they eventually do go. Always get your medical care because that’s the most important thing, whether you get a case or not.
Secondly, they dispose of things. When you slip it’s typically on some kind of fluid and it gets all over your clothes. Again, they’re embarrassed so when they get home, they go wash their clothes. Now we don’t have that evidence to show what they fell on.
Another mistake is they don’t get lawyers involved in these cases early on. We urge them to preserve those types of things, preserve the shoes you were wearing. Also, in this day and age of the smartphone, take a picture. Take a picture of where you fell and what you slipped on. It’s just snapping off a few pictures. You may be stunned and you may not be able to do that but do that because it helps. It’s preservation of evidence.
Lastly, tell the manager of the store that you fell. You may have fallen in a back corner or someplace where no one saw you fall. Report it. They are obligated to generate reports. It documents it. You remove the argument that no one saw you fall so how could you have fallen there.
Making mistakes doesn’t kill your case. It just makes it a little harder on the lawyer when those things happen and we lose evidence. If you get hurt, call us. We will navigate you through those issues as well as others.
Slip And Fall Case Value
Eventually, clients want to know what the value of their case is. Determining the value, or more accurately, the value range is not a simple matter. There are lots of factors involved in it, including the seriousness of your injuries or whether your injuries have a permanent effect on your day-to-day living. You also need to factor in your medical bills and whether you’ve lost time from work. The question of liability also makes slip and fall cases difficult to value because usually someone who has slipped on something has slipped on the floor where it’s right in front of them. The defense will say that you should have seen it, and walked around it, or stepped over it. If they can convince the jury of that, then the value of your case goes down. We have handled these cases for 38 years. We know how to approach those issues. The value of your case is a complicated thing and usually it’s not made until we are well into the case after we’ve gathered information and can make assessment of that kind. If you’ve been hurt in a slip and fall case, call us. We’ll sit down. We’ll go over things and see how best we can help you.
Slip And Fall Case Timeline
Slip and fall cases are hard cases. Typically, the lawsuit has to be filed to obtain a fair resolution, either by way of a verdict or settling the case before going to trial. A general timeline will run 9 to 14 months. If the lawsuit is filed, add a year to that. If it gets complicated, add more time to that. The main thing we want to leave my client with is that it’s not going to be over in a couple of weeks. It’s not going to be over in four weeks or six weeks. It’s going to be some time. That is just the reality of where we are in litigation in slip and fall cases in northeast Florida. Concentrate on getting better. Concentrate on getting healthy, doing what your doctor tells you to do so that you can maximize your recovery while your lawyers are handling the case. If you’ve been hurt on somebody’s property in northeast Florida in the Duval or Nassau County area, call us. We’ll sit down. We’ll go over things. We’ll figure out a road map to help you.
Slip And Fall Insurance Investigation
There are two answers to this question. When you’ve been hurt in a slip and fall case in northeast Florida in Duval Count and Nassau County, report it to your insurance. If you have health insurance, report it to them. Yes, talk to them. They will want to know what happened. You have a responsibility to cooperate with your own insurance company, so yes. When it comes to the other side of the case, however, no, do not talk to the insurance company, or the store, the shop, or the business. You are on their turf. You are not on your own. They are the experts. They do not have your interest at heart. They have their insured’s interest, meaning the storeowner, the business owner. They will do you no favors, so do not talk to them.
In fact, in the initial conferences with our clients, we always tell clients to have the insurance company for the other side contact us. At that point, it is illegal for the representative to call you. Then they call me and the information to and from comes through my office, which is the way it should be. Yes and no, your own insurance company, talk to them, cooperate with them, otherwise, no. If you get hurt on somebody’s property slipping and falling, tripping and falling, Duval County, Nassau County, call us. We’ll sit down. We’ll go over your case and see how best we can help you. Thank you.
Warning Signs in a Slip And Fall Case
Clients come to us sometimes with slip and fall cases where they’ve slipped on some fluid, typically. They look up after they’ve fallen and they see a warning sign, a wet floor sign. They wonder if they have a case. The answer is yes. Here’s why.
The owner, the possessor of the land, whether it’s a grocery store, a big box store, has a duty to maintain a property in reasonably safe condition and to warn people of defects in a property that they may not see. That’s called a duty to warn. If the property owner has done its job, for example, and put up a wet floor sign, you may not have an ability to make a claim on a duty to warn. If that water, fluid, whatever it was, was down on that floor for an unreasonably long period of time, however, and they knew about it, then whether they put up a wet floor sign or not does not prevent you from making a claim. They had a duty to clean it up in a reasonably quick time, and if they didn’t, they are responsible, whether or not they put up a warning sign.
Yes, if you have a slip and fall case where someone has put up a warning sign around the area where you fell, you may still have a case. Call us. We’ve been handling these types of cases in Duval County or in Nassau County for decades. We know how to navigate our way around them. Call us. We’ll sit down and we’ll go over things and see how best we can help you.
Slip And Falls From Faulty Stairs
Slip and fall cases come in a variety of different fact patterns. One of them is falling down due to a faulty staircase, whether the steps were misaligned or faulty trends or the handrail wasn’t secured properly. We had a case once very similar to that where a lady was walking down an exterior staircase in an apartment complex. We were able to successfully recover for that lady because we discovered when we went out there to inspect it that the stairway was defectively designed and defectively maintained, and we were able to show that. We were able to preserve the evidence, show that, and make a nice recovery for the woman. Yes, you have a claim. Every claim is dependent upon the facts, of course. Call us to discuss. We’ve been in this practice for decades handling these types of cases. We can sit down with you, talk about your case, and figure out how best to help you.
Faulty Handrail Slip And Fall Injuries
We had a case once where a lady was in an apartment complex and she was going down a very short flight of stairs and the middle of the handrail where she was holding it came undone from its moors. She fell and hurt herself pretty badly. We were able to help that lady because the handrail was not moored properly. It was defectively maintained. If you can show that the handrail was negligently or defectively maintained, then yes, you have a claim. That’s the kind of claim that we’ve been handling in northeast Florida for 38 years. If you have that kind of case, call us. We’ll be happy to sit down with you, talk to you, and figure out how best to help you.
Residential Property Slip And Fall Injuries
People have come to us who’ve been hurt on a residential piece of property, i.e. their neighbor’s house, at a party, or at some function where they slipped and fell on something or tripped over something. The rules are generally the same. They’re a little bit different but you have the same ability to make a claim. You have to be able to show that they maintained their property in a negligent way. There are different ways of showing that. Because you got hurt on a residential piece of property does not mean you do not have a claim. That’s why you should call a lawyer early on. We’ve been handling these kinds of cases for decades in Duval County, Nassau County, and the surrounding areas. We can help you with that case. Call us right away. We’ll figure out how best to help you.
Rental Property Slip And Fall Injuries
We’ve had cases come in where someone’s been hurt at a friend’s apartment that they’re renting. They want to know how they can make a claim or who’s responsible. The answer is that there’s such thing as renter’s insurance but we haven’t had a whole lot of success pursuing that avenue.
We usually pursue the apartment, the owner of the apartment complex. Again, it depends on where the accident happened, whether it’s in the common areas where there is a greater degree of control by the apartment owner or management company or whether it’s inside the apartment, the unit. There may be some maintenance responsibility.
It depends on what caused the injury, the slip and fall injury. We’ve been doing this for 38 years under many scenarios, including this one. Call us. We’ll sit down and talk about out and figure out how best to proceed.
Bringing a Slip And Fall Claim Against a Friend
We have a case where a young lady was hurt at a home and she and her parents want to know whether they can make a claim against the neighbor, who didn’t maintain their staircase in a proper fashion. The answer is, of course you can. The practical side is this. In Florida, if you file a lawsuit, you cannot file it against the insurance company any longer. Many years ago, you used to be able to. Now you must file it against the owner or possessor of the property; in this case, it would be the neighbor. Whether you can maintain that neighbor, that good friend, as a friend is a question that we cannot answer. Suing people means you have to show that they did something wrong. People don’t like to own up to being wrong, but whether or not they do, it’s a matter between the friends.
We have handled those cases. They’re difficult cases. It is a hard thing to sue your neighbor. The claim is made with the insurance company. That is true. Sometimes, both sides understand that and the relationship is preserved, but that may be the exception to the rule. We have had those cases come through our office in Duval County and Nassau County. We will sit down and counsel you about the practical realities and the practical ramifications of making a claim like that. It’s part of our job to provide counsel. Call us today, and we’ll sit down with you, talk to you, and tell you what we think.
Suing a Municipality For a Slip And Fall
We had a client come in once many years ago who was walking up one of the streets on the east side of Jacksonville. She walked across an intersection and stepped up onto a curb that was defectively maintained. The curb was broken. There was a hole immediately beyond the curb. She couldn’t see it because it was covered up with water. As a result of this sequence of events, we made a claim against the city of Jacksonville. We successfully prosecuted that case. Yes, you can have a claim against a city or county in a slip and fall case. As with every slip and fall case or trip and fall case, you have to show that the thing that caused your injury was negligently maintained and had been there for a period of time so that they should have known about it and fixed it. We’ve been handling these types of cases for decades. We’d love to sit down with you if you have that kind of case, talk to you about it, and figure out how best to move forward with it.
Defendant is Ignoring Your Slip And Fall Claim
In a slip and fall case, most clients come to us because the storeowner, the business owner, or the insurance company representing them has ignored their attempts to contact them. That’s why they pick up the phone to call us because a lawyer can get past that. If the business owner or the insurance company continues to ignore the situation, then we file the lawsuit. That is the great equalizer. It doesn’t happen very often but it does happen from time to time that an insurance carrier or the business will ignore us. We have a case in the office right now where that has happened. If you have that situation in a slip and fall case in northeast Florida, Duval County, or Nassau County, call us. We’ll sit down. We’ll talk about it. We’ll figure out how best to get their attention or proceed in any way.
Choosing The Right Slip And Fall Attorney
Slip and fall cases in Florida are a different animal, if you will. It’s important to choose the right lawyer. How do you choose the right lawyer? For one, ask very direct questions. What’s your experience, Mr. Lawyer? How many slip and fall cases have you handled? How many have you tried to verdict? Who have you handled a case against? Because the rules are different in slip and fall cases. Just because you get hurt on somebody’s property, whether it’s a grocery store, whether it’s a big store like Home Depot, Lowes, or Target, it’s not good enough to say you are hurt. You have to be able to show that that business owner or possessor of that shop, that business, was negligent in the way they maintain the property, which led to your getting hurt.
They are hard cases. Many lawyers won’t take them. We have probably tried a larger percentage of those cases than other kinds of cases in our practice, and we know how to handle them from start to finish. They are difficult cases but they are winnable cases. You need an experienced lawyer. We have that experience. If you’ve hurt yourself in a falling down or tripped on somebody’s property, call us right away. We’ll sit down, talk about it, and figure out how best to help you.
Call Our Florida Slip and Fall Lawyer Today for a Free Consultation
If you need legal assistance and were hurt in a slip and fall, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us as soon as I possibly can. You deserve justice in the situation and Jacksonville slip and fall lawyer Paul Boone wants to hold the liable party accountable for the wrongs they committed. Call us today to set up your free initial consultation in which we will go over the details of your case and advise you on steps to take to get the legal justice that you deserve. We’re waiting for your call.
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