Were you recently injured in a slip and fall accident in Boca Raton, FL? Our experienced Boca Raton slip and fall lawyers at Shiner Law Group are ready to help fight for your legal rights and get the compensation you deserve. Call us today at (561) 368-3363 to speak with an attorney for a 100% free consultation.
You may be entitled to seek compensation for medical bills, loss of income, pain, and suffering, and more. Contact our Boca Raton, FL law offices to discuss the legal options that might be available to you following your slip and fall accident. The next steps are very important. Let Shiner Law Group help you with your slip and fall accident case today.
Were You Injured In A Slip And Fall Accident In Boca Raton?
Slip, trip, and fall accidents are among the most misunderstood types of personal injury claims. The insurance industry has been effective in promulgating the myth that most fall victims are malingers looking to make a quick buck. These inaccurate stereotypes have been reinforced by the comedic depictions in television and movies of fall victims wearing “removable” neck braces. These misrepresentations are no laughing matter. Slip and fall injuries cause much more damage than a bruised ego. Falls cause the unintentional deaths of over 31,000 people annually, which nearly matches the number of motor vehicle accident fatalities each year according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The fact that millions of seniors (65 and older) fall each year is particularly concerning because Boca Raton is a haven for retirees. The CDC reports that one in four seniors suffer a fall annually and that the risk of falling doubles for someone who has fallen in the past. Even when only seniors are considered, 2.8 million people per year are treated in emergency rooms for fall-related injuries, and 800,000 of those elderly fall victims are hospitalized for hip fractures or head injuries. Falls also constitute the most common cause of traumatic brain injury. Collectively, this data paints a very different picture than that of the comedic stereotype of slip and fall accidents. Slip and fall and trip and fall accidents are one of the leading causes of serious injury in the U.S. and even wrongful death.
Slip and Fall Attorneys in Boca Raton
Our fall accident attorneys at the Shiner Law Group have been fighting for victims of hazards on the premises of individuals, businesses, and government for over 15 years. These cases often turn on challenging factual and legal issues, as well as preconceived notions that slip and fall accidents usually do not cause serious injury. During our time representing many people injured in falls, we have recovered millions of dollars for our clients. Our success and commitment to providing a very positive client experience have allowed us to develop a reputation for exemplary legal services among former clients, judges, insurance companies, and our peers. The exemplary relationships we have built with our clients along with our highly regarded professional reputation are evidenced by our many accolades, including the following:
- Designation as a top “AV” rated firm by Martindale-Hubbell
- Highest 10.0 rating by AVVO (reviewing every attorney in the U.S.)
- Recipient of many five-start reviews from former clients on websites like AVVO, Yelp, Facebook, Google, and other websites
- Classification of “Superb” by AVVO
- Recognition by Superlawyers® and Best Lawyers® in America
Understanding The Types of Falls That Lead to Injuries
Here are some statistics:
- Approximately one-third of adults over 65 do fall each year. A slip and fall accident results in serious injuries in 20%-30% of cases.
- Falls are the most common cause of hip fractures and brain injuries.
- There are close to eight million emergency room visits every year due to falls. Of those falls, approximately 12% are slip and fall accidents.
- When you slip and fall, there’s a 5% chance that you’re going to break a bone.
Understanding the different types of falls can help you better communicate your injuries to your Boca Raton slip and fall lawyer. This can help your attorney to better prepare your claim for compensation.
There are multiple types of falls on the premises of others that can lead to injury, including:
- Slip and Fall: Wet or slippery floors can cause a fall when there is no barrier or adequate warning to prevent falls. A slip tends to propel your body backward. Depending on the velocity of your movement, you could seriously injure your spine, neck, hip, or head.
- Trip and Fall: This type of fall can be caused by merchandise that is left in walkways in an unsafe manner or damaged flooring that is not repaired. When you trip, the body typically falls forward. You use your knees and hands to cushion yourself. Therefore, a trip and fall accident tends to cause injuries in the face, knees, wrists, or hands, depending on how you attempted to catch yourself when you tripped.
- Step and Fall: This category of falls occur when a person steps in some sort of hole in the surface. In a step and fall accident, you stumble over a hole prior to falling. As a result, you might incur injuries in the knees, face, ankles, head, wrists, or hands.
A serious fall can happen at any time in almost any setting as a result of a multitude of dangerous conditions, including:
- Cluttered floors
- Wet or uneven floors
- Poor lighting
- Defective sidewalks or cracks in the pavement
- Broken steps
- Potholes in parking lots
- Recently mopped or waxed floors
- Loose floorboards
- Water on the floor from rain
- Rumpled or torn carpet
- Loose or missing stairwell railings
If a property owner is to blame for your injuries, you are eligible for compensation for the losses and injuries you sustained. Call a Boca Raton personal injury lawyer today to discuss your legal options.
Laws Regarding Slip and Fall Injuries in Boca Raton
The law is continually evolving, which is one of the many reasons why you need to be represented by an experienced Boca Raton slip and fall attorney.
Given the considerable changes that Boca Raton law has undergone of late, it has become more legally and factually challenging to prove liability in a fall case against a business like a big box store, retail store, restaurant, grocery store, or any other business for that matter.
When you fall because there is a clear liquid on the floor or due to a substance on the floor that you fail to see because you are looking at an item on the shelf, it can be difficult to navigate Boca Raton slip and fall laws.
If you sustain injuries as a result of a slip, trip, or fall in a Boca Raton business, the law of negligence will apply to your petition. To prove a property or business owner’s negligence successfully, you need to prove that:
- The property owner owed you a duty of care.
- The owner violated that duty.
- You (the plaintiff) experienced harm.
- And the breach was the actual and proximate cause of your injuries.
While it’s true that these four elements apply to every type of negligence-based claim, Boca Raton Law defines these elements more accurately in the context of slip, trip, and fall accidents.
Steps To Take After a Boca Raton Slip and Fall Injury
If you have suffered injuries on someone else’s property, there are steps you can take to protect your rights and interests.
- Seek medical attention as soon as possible. Your well-being and health are undoubtedly crucial, but seeking prompt medical attention will help document any injuries you incurred from the fall as well.
- Immediately file a report with the property manager or owner so that they can document your fall and the conditions that caused the trip or slip. Remember to keep a copy of that report too.
- If your post-fall conditions allow, take photos of the dangerous conditions that caused your injury, be it a loose floorboard, slippery floor, or broken stair.
- Get the contact details of anyone who might have witnessed the fall.
- Save all bills and receipts for medical expenses incurred as a result of your injuries.
- If you think someone is liable for causing your fall or injuries, say as little as possible until you’ve had a chance to speak with a Boca Raton slip and fall lawyer. Often, insurance companies will try to contact you to get you to sign a waiver or accept meager sums. If this is the case, kindly decline to speak with them until you’ve had a chance to have a slip and fall attorney evaluate the facts of your case.
- Other post-fall steps to take include storing the clothes you were wearing at the time of the accident in a plastic bag, especially if the clothes have any stains, tears, or other marks. Preserve the footwear, too, and avoid wearing them again until you contact an attorney.
How Long do you Have to Report a Slip and Fall Accident in Boca Raton?
The changes in Boca Raton Statute § 768.0755 referenced above have increased the urgency of obtaining prompt legal representation in slip and fall cases. The revised statute requires a fall victim to prove the business or owner knew of a hazard on the premises that could cause injury. While the owner can be liable without “actual” knowledge of the hazard, the fall victim has the burden of proving the owner/business had “constructive” knowledge. Actual knowledge refers to situations where the business owner or an employee has learned of a safety concern like a leak, debris, or spill in an aisle that could endanger visitors to the property. By contrast, constructive knowledge involves imputing knowledge to the owner or business, which can be based on inference from the facts and circumstances. Examples of situations where the owner might be deemed to have constructive knowledge might include a fall on a puddle from a leaky swamp cooler that has a history of leaking on the floor. If a spill has been present on the floor for a prolonged period, knowledge of the hazard might be imputed because the substance should have been discovered with reasonable maintenance and inspection procedures.
The revisions in the law place the victim of a fall in the precarious position of needing to conduct a prompt investigation that might be impossible after suffering serious injury. When customers are receiving medical attention or coping with intense pain, they are not in a good position to determine how long a puddle has been present on the floor. The owner of the premises or business is in a better position to investigate and preserve evidence regarding a fall accident. However, the owner no longer has any incentive to preserve evidence because the burden rests with the plaintiff to establish the owner should have known of the hazardous condition.
Boca Raton slip and fall law also is complicated because the law places limitations on how inferences can be used in slip and fall cases in Boca Raton. The judge and jury can only use inferences at the exclusion of any other reasonable possible causes of the slip and fall. Courts have ruled that evidence an employee was using a high-powered floor waxing machine did not justify an inference that floor wax caused the shopper’s fall when she slipped on a substance that she could not identify.
Because these features of Boca Raton slip and fall law make it essential to conduct a thorough investigation, you should seek prompt legal advice. Our law firm conducts a thorough investigation of falls to prevent critical evidence supporting constructive knowledge and other issues from disappearing. Evidence relevant to factual and legal issues that we seek includes the following:
- Poor lighting in the vicinity
- Duration that the unsafe condition was present
- Accident reports and other documentation regarding the incident
- Witnesses including employees
- The configuration of a walkway where the fall occurred
- History of accidents caused by the same hazard (.e.g. a water cooler that leaks)
- Maintenance procedures and logs
- Adequacy of warnings and barriers posted near the hazard
- Flooring with inadequate slip resistance
Proving Causation and Damages in a Boca Raton Slip and Fall Accident
While proving property owners breached their duty of care is challenging, insurance companies also focus considerable effort on disputing the nature and cause of a fall victim’s injuries. Injured customers have a lot of influence on the effectiveness of this type of strategy. Prompt medical attention can preempt claims by an insurer that a plaintiff’s injuries were caused by some subsequent accident rather than the fall. Injury victims also can help neutralize potential allegations that fall victims are exaggerating or fabricating the severity of their injuries. The best practice is to seek prompt medical care and follow through on any diagnostic imaging ordered by your doctor like X-rays, CT scans, MRIs, and similar diagnostic scans. These types of strategies by insurance companies also can be discouraged by attending all doctor’s appointments and completing the full course of treatment and rehabilitation.
Slip and Fall Accident Injuries on Residential Property and Commercial Properties
While business owners that hold their property open to the public have a duty to protect the public from hazards that they know or should know exist, the situation can be more complicated at a neighbor’s home or the courthouse. The legal duty owed differs based on the nature of the property.
Commercial Property: The owner or employee of a business can be liable for falls if they create the hazard. They also can be financially responsible if they had actual knowledge of the hazard but did not take action to remedy the hazardous condition. The owner or employee also can be liable if he or she should have known of the unsafe condition on the premises based on the surrounding facts and circumstances.
Public Property: Falls that occur on government-owned property raise special issues that our experienced Palm Beach County slip and fall lawyers can navigate effectively. These special challenges include what qualifies as a sub-division of government, complex rules on filing a claim, and special statutory requirements.
Residential Property: A landlord or property owner might have to compensate a tenant or other visitor when someone is injured on the property. The pursuit of liability on residential property can be pursued if the owner of the home is responsible for causing the slip and fall accident. The homeowner has a duty to repair the problem if it would not be prohibitively difficult or costly, and the owner suffered a significant injury because the hazardous condition was not repaired.
Actions to Take after A Boca Raton Slip and Fall Accident
If you suffer an injury in a fall, you can have a dramatic impact on the outcome of your personal injury lawsuit. If you are involved in a fall on private, public, or commercial premises, the steps taken by a fall victim will influence the outcome of a personal injury claim.
Obtaining Medical Treatment: If you are injured in a fall, your health will be your top priority. Diagnostic scanning, blood tests, and other treatment records will provide valuable evidence regarding the nature and extent of your injuries. The bills and invoices from your care will assist in quantifying your medical expenses. Completion of your entire regimen of treatment also will forestall efforts to minimize the injuries experienced by a plaintiff.
Prompt Reporting of the Accident: If you fall in a grocery store, department store, restaurant, bar, other business, or private residence, the incident needs to be reported promptly to the manager, homeowner, or another responsible party. When a fall accident occurs in a rental unit or business, the owner must prepare an accident report. The injury victim should confirm that the facts in the report are accurate and that it includes details that support the negligence of the property owner, such as inadequate lighting, a bunched-up area rug, or a broken step. The fall victim should get the name of the manager and owner of the property, as well as a copy of the report.
Gather Evidence: Because the injury victim has the burden of establishing the knowledge of a commercial property or business owner, efforts to gather evidence at the scene can improve the prospect of a subsequent lawsuit. Photos of the precise location of the accident and any injuries can provide important evidence. Any factors like lighting, narrow walkways, or confusing warnings that might have contributed to a fall also should be captured in pictures.
Note Witnesses: If there are witnesses to the accident, their name, phone number, and address should be written down. The retail and foodservice industries tend to experience prompt job turnover, so delays in obtaining this information can result in hard to track down witnesses disappearing.
Preserve Apparel: The clothing and footwear you wore at the time of the accident should be preserved in their post-fall condition.
Contact a Slip and Fall Lawyer: If you are injured in a slip and fall accident in a shopping mall, fast food restaurant, neighbor’s home, or university campus, you should contact an experienced lawyer promptly. Our law firm typically engages in a prompt investigation to preserve critical evidence that can be used to explain the fall and prove the property owner of a business had reason to know of the hazardous condition.
Allow Your Attorney to Speak to Insurance Companies: The defendants in a slip and fall case typically will have commercial liability insurance, homeowner’s insurance, or other coverage. While it might be tempting to speak with an insurance adjuster who contacts you, these discussions generally will not lead to the resolution of an injury claim. Adjusters and other insurance company representatives are not contacting you because they are concerned about your best interest or financial well-being. These individuals are loyal to the insurance company that pays their salary. The adjuster might seek to obtain damaging admissions or inconsistent statements that can be used to attack your credibility. Shiner Law Group trip and fall attorneys have familiarity with the tactics used by insurance companies to avoid or minimize potential payouts on insurance claims.
Our Boca Raton slip and fall injury attorneys often guide our clients through the process of seeking medical and diagnostic evaluations. We also work closely with medical experts to analyze medical records regarding the causal link between the fall and resulting injuries. This process also permits us to develop a compelling case regarding the nature and severity of our client’s injuries and any long-term disability
Filing a Slip and Fall Claim in Boca Raton
When litigating a slip and fall claim, the task of identifying the responsible parties can be complicated. If your fall occurred in a department store that is located in a mall or shopping center, the owner of the store, as well as the shopping center landlord might be liable for the hazardous condition that caused the accident. Other parties that played a role in causing the hazardous condition also might share financial responsibility for a fall victim’s damages.
Our Boca Raton slip and fall lawyers work diligently to identify all potentially liable parties and sources of insurance. When an individual is injured after slipping or tripping, any failure to identify and join all parties whose conduct contributed to the accident could result in less than a full damage award. Because our law firm has handled many slip and fall cases since its founding fifteen (15) years ago, our attorneys can assist clients in determining the parties that might be financially responsible for fall-related injuries and ensure that all appropriate parties are joined as defendants in a civil lawsuit. Our lawyers’ extensive experience means that we might have brought claims against companies in similar industries, which can be extremely beneficial because we will be familiar with the relevant safety regulations and standard industry practices.
Compensation Available in Boca Raton Slip and Fall Cases
According to the National Safety Council (NSC), falls are the third leading cause of wrongful deaths in the U.S. If a loved one passed away or you suffered harm in a slip and fall accident, you are potentially eligible for economic and non-economic compensatory damages, as long as you can prove that a careless business, property owner, or government caused the fall.
However, these damages will depend on the severity of your injuries. It’s important to consult with a Boca Raton slip and fall lawyer for more in-depth information regarding your case. That said, here are some types of economic damages you could pursue:
- Lost income
- Medical expenses
- Miscellaneous costs relating to your injuries
You could also be eligible for non-economic damages, especially if your injuries have long-term consequences for your health or if they require extensive medical treatments. Non-economic compensatory damages can include:
- Loss of life enjoyment
- Pain and suffering
This is by no means an all-inclusive list, and depending on your claim, you could be eligible for additional or different compensatory damages.
Boca Raton Slip and Fall Safety Tips
Slip and falls cause millions of injuries and thousands of hospital visits each year. Victims of slip and falls have a legal right to compensation for their injuries. A slip and fall attorney can explain these rights if you have been seriously injured in a fall.
Of course, you should always try to avoid injuries to yourself and others. When visiting an unfamiliar property, be aware of the ground under you and look for bumps, cracks, or unstable surfaces that may cause you to slip. It is important for property owners to understand that it is their responsibility to do everything possible to avoid injuries on their property. If someone gets hurt on your property you may be liable.
Risks of Boca Raton Slip and Fall Accidents
Slip and fall injuries are very common. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate as many as 2.3 million people every year experience a fall that sends them to the emergency room for treatment. Of these millions of fall victims, 662,000 are hurt badly enough to require admission to the hospital beyond the emergency room.
Slip and falls are likely to occur at work and account for about 15 percent of on-the-job injuries and 26 percent of workers’ compensation payment costs. For example, injuries from slips and trips are the leading cause of on-the-job injuries among truckers.
Children and the elderly are at the greatest risk of slip and falls, with 60 percent of nursing home residents falling at least once per year and 1,800 people dying because of falls in nursing homes annually. The consequences of falls are very serious for the elderly, and as many as 1/3 of adults over the age of 65 who trip and fall sustain a bone fracture.
People of all ages, however, can fall in stores, restaurants, hotels, private homes and other locations. These falls can result in serious damage to the body including spinal cord injury (falls are the second leading cause for seniors 65 years old and up) and traumatic brain injury (46 percent of fall-related deaths in 2000 were caused by traumatic brain injuries).
The legal process to prove injuries were sustained due to the negligence of another party can be complicated and the circumstances are always different. In order to pursue your case effectively, consult an experienced slip and fall attorney as soon as possible after your fall.
Preventing Slip and Fall Accidents in Boca Raton
Due to the frequency of serious slip and fall injuries, it essential that property owners understand their obligation to keep visitors safe and that they take that obligation seriously. Below is a list of general maintenance tips for property owners to help reduce the risk of accidents on their property.
- Fix cracks in tile or sidewalks that could lead to tripping
- Keep floors dry and post a warning if floors are slippery or wet
- Keep debris out of walkways
- Ensure that there is sufficient lighting
- Maintain stair railings and ensure stairs are built to code
- Avoid sudden changes in the floor surface and post a warning if there is a step down or step up
Ensure that all loose rugs are secured to the floor and not curled up or in danger of sliding
These are just a few of the many things that property owners should do to keep patrons and visitors safe. However, stores, restaurants and government entities that maintain public buildings and sidewalks are not the only responsible parties for preventing falls. Private homeowners can also be held liable if a fall injury occurs on their property.
Contact a Boca Raton Slip and Fall Lawyer Near Me Today
If you’ve been involved in a slip and fall in Boca Raton, make sure that you get immediate medical attention. Then, get in touch with Shiner Law Group at (561) 368-3363 to speak with a slip and fall attorney.
You need a Boca Raton slip and fall lawyer who’ll go all the way to protect your rights and help you earn the compensation that you deserve for your injuries. Don’t wait. In a delicate personal injury case like slip and fall, every minute counts. Let our resilient, award-winning, client-focused legal team help you get the best possible settlement!
Boca Raton Slip and Fall Accident FAQ’s
Commonly asked questions from victims injured in car accidents
What are the most common Boca Raton slip and fall injuries?
- Cuts and bruises: These are most common on loose soil or gravel. Abrasions of this kind are known as road rash, and if timely and proper medical care isn’t administered, such injuries might become infected.
- Twisted or broken wrists: You can easily twist or break your wrists if you try to cushion yourself from impact using your arms.
- Broken hips: Particularly in older people with reduced bone density, broken hips could lead to reduced range of motion, permanent disability, and prolonged recovery. Other times, a broken hip can lead to severe complications, such as skin infections, pneumonia, and even death.
- Broken limbs: Falling in a particular way may snap the bones in legs or arms, especially if you’re older than 65.
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI): Often, TBI results from what is known as acceleration/deceleration injury. It occurs when your body is in full flight, stops all of a sudden, and then returns to motion. The resultant force can tear the blood vessels inside the brain, leading to permanent brain damage, stroke, concussion, or even death.
- Death: You can die from slipping, tripping, and falling, particularly if you break your neck or back or get a TBI.
When should I hire a Boca Raton slip and fall lawyer?
The answer to this is simple: as soon as you can. Retaining the services of a capable Boca Raton slip and fall attorney will go a long way in protecting your legal interests as well as ensuring you win deserved compensation for your injuries.
As a property manager/owner, what can I do to reduce the risk of accidents happening on my property?
- Avoid sudden changes in the floor surface and post a warning sign if there is a step-down or a step up.
- Keep debris out of walkways.
- Keep floors dry all the time and post a warning if the floors are wet or slippery.
- Make sure there’s sufficient lighting.
- Fix cracks in sidewalks or tiles that could lead to tripping
- Ensure stairs are built to code and maintain stair railings
- Make sure that all loose rugs are secured to the floor and not curled up.
- Patch up any holes on floors, walkways, or sidewalks
How long do I have to file a slip and fall claim in Boca Raton?
If you decide to pursue a slip and fall claim in Boca Raton, under Boca Raton’s statute of limitations, you have two years to launch your claim against a negligent property owner, business, or government. Else, you risk having the court dismiss your case. What’s more, taking urgent action in your case maximizes the potential value of your compensatory damages.
A Boca Raton slip and fall attorney can interview witnesses, conduct a proper investigation, and collect useful evidence regarding the fall accident. Since every case is unique, your attorney will need to evaluate your specific situation to estimate how long it will take to resolve the claim and how much it’s worth.
Where Do Most Slip and Fall Injuries Occur?
Slip and fall accidents can occur at any place. But there are certain places where these accidents are most likely to occur, such as the stairways. Greasy and wet surfaces can also lead to slip and fall accidents. Loose mats and rugs are also a common cause of slip and fall accident in the house.
What To Do After a Slip and Fall Accident?
If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident, you need to get immediate medical treatment. The medical records will be a vital piece of evidence in a slip and fall injury case. You also need to report about the incident to the property owner or manager. Request a written copy of the report before leaving the premises.
Consider taking pictures of the accident scene with your smartphone. You should also write down the exact location of the accident. Avoid giving any statement to the insurance company or the property owner. Don’t blame nor take any blame for the accident.
When Should I Contact a Slip and Fall Lawyer?
Contacting a slip and fall attorney is recommended if you have sustained a serious injury due to the accident. A slip and fall case involves significant legal expenses. You need to pay the prescribed court and bear attorney expenses. That’s why you should contact a slip and fall lawyer only of the losses due to the injury – lost wages, medical expenses, etc. – are significant.
How Can a Slip and Fall Lawyer Help?
A slip and fall lawyer will prove an invaluable partner in filing a claim against the guilty party. The attorney will help you collect the necessary evidence required to prove the guilt of the at-fault party without any reasonable doubt. Getting the help of an experienced attorney will greatly increase the odds of a successful outcome of a slip and fall accident claim.
How Can I Find a Slip and Fall Lawyer Near Me?
Make sure that you find a local slip and fall attorney. Every state has different laws regarding slip and fall accidents. A local attorney will know all the laws relating to the accident that is applicable in the state. Contact us for a consultation.
Boca Raton Slip and Fall Lawyer Review
Boca Raton Slip and Fall Accident Law Office
Shiner Law Group
7800 Congress Avenue, Suite 108
Boca Raton, FL 33487