Were you recently injured in a slip and fall accident in Orlando, FL? Our experienced Orlando 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 (407) 305-0566 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 Orlando, 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 Orlando?
At some point or another, almost everyone has slipped and fallen to the ground. And some people have experienced many such stumbles. Tragically, though, there are instances when these accidents cause grave injuries and serious disruptions in a person’s life.
If you’ve recently suffered a severe slip and fall, or trip and fall, it might have been due to someone else’s unlawful action — or inaction. Maybe a whole group of people is at fault.
In such a scenario, a skilled and reputable lawyer can help you earn the compensation you deserve for your suffering.
What is a Slip and Fall?
“Slip and fall” is the legal term for any accident where a person trips and tumbles. Of course, most of these incidents don’t cause major problems. People simply stand up, brush themselves off, and continue. Maybe they get a bruise, but that’s the extent of their injuries.
In some cases, though, people suffer serious injuries due to a slip and fall. These falls can break bones or cause head injuries. As a result, survivors often face large medical bills and considerable amounts of lost income. Some of them even go into bankruptcy.
Making matters worse is that such falls are fairly common. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), slipping and tripping represents the second most common source of workplace-related injuries.
Furthermore, the National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI) tells us that more than 1 million people go to the emergency room each year due to a slip and fall. That number represents about 12% of all annual fall-related emergency room visits.
There can be profound mental health consequences to these falls as well. Injuries and the social isolation they sometimes bring about can cause depression. On top of that, people who have endured painful falls often experience intense anxiety as they become afraid of falling again.
That anxiety can curtail their recreational activities, lessening their quality of life overall. Not to mention, inactivity can lead to weakened muscles, which can cause further health complications.
Most horrific slip and fall accidents are sometimes fatal.
How Negligence Can Lead to Orlando Slip and Fall Accidents
So often, others are to blame for slip and fall incidents. In such cases, accident victims can file a slip and fall liability claim.
This legal action might be taken against a single person, a group of people, a business or corporation, or another type of organization. And multiple parties are sometimes to blame.
Under the law, business owners and homeowners alike are responsible for making their property safe for everyone who passes through: customers, employees, vendors, friends, family members, and so on.
Oftentimes, however, floors, walkways, parking lots, and other places are not as safe as they ought to be.
To the contrary, there may be specific tasks that a property owner or someone else was required to do yet failed to do.
Here are some examples of such negligence:
- An outdoor walkway is dimly lighted at night
- The exterior pavement has a large hole in it, or it’s bumpy or uneven
- Stairs are slippery or lack handrails
- The carpeting is ripped, or the flooring is broken
- A floor is wet after cleaning, yet there’s no warning sign near it
- A lower cabinet drawer has been left open, and it’s sticking way out
- Electrical wires, telephone cords, pieces of garbage, a spilled drink, or any other so-called “transitory foreign substances” have been left on a walkway
Indeed, those who own homes and businesses are expected to handle all such issues. Yes, all property, inside and out, must be regularly inspected and repaired as needed.
Moreover, to make outdoor areas safe from the elements, devices like storm drains and gutters should be installed and maintained. Anti-slip paints and coatings can help as well.
Special care is necessary after one of Florida’s hurricanes, tropical storms, or severe thunderstorms. All tree branches and other debris must be cleared from pathways as soon as possible. At the very least, a walkway that’s littered with storm debris should be closed to pedestrians until it’s again safe to use.
Similarly, snow must be shoveled, and ice must be salted wherever someone might walk. Obviously, those wintry issues don’t pertain to Orlando-area properties, but it’s good to keep in mind if you ever slip on ice or snow up north.
In short, all walkways must be cleared of obstructions. And every pathway, indoors and outdoors, requires adequate lighting.
Even private homeowners can be held legally responsible for slip and fall accidents on their property. If, for instance, you were over someone’s house and tripped on a broken stair, you might obtain compensation from that person’s homeowner’s insurance policy.
For sure, keeping a home or business safe demands much work. But it’s a legal cost of doing business or owning a home. And all Floridians deserve protection, to the greatest extent possible, when they’re at work, shopping, running errands, or otherwise out and about.
What to Do After a Slip and Fall in Orlando
In Florida, to win a slip and fall case, you need to demonstrate several pertinent facts about your fall and the party you’re holding responsible.
To paraphrase the relevant state laws, you must prove that:
- You were on that party’s property when you slipped and fell
- You slipped due to a hazardous obstruction or condition
- The other party knew — or should have known — about that danger before you fell and should have eliminated it
- They took no corrective action to solve the problem
In order to demonstrate all of the above factors, you need evidence. That’s why it helps to collect as much evidence as possible after a fall.
Before you think about gathering evidence, however, do what you can to care for yourself. If you’re in severe pain, call 911. If it hurts to move, don’t move. If you’re bleeding, have someone tie a cloth around your wound or put pressure on it.
Once you’ve taken care of any pressing medical needs, you can focus on gathering evidence. If someone is with you, ask that person to help you with this task.
Here are some helpful pieces of evidence to collect:
- 1. Contact Information
To begin, write down — or enter into your phone — the names, phone numbers, and email addresses of everyone who witnessed your fall. That way, your attorney can get their statements on record later on.
Likewise, get the property owner’s contact information and that person’s insurance info.
- 2. Photos, Videos, and Clothing
Next, take plenty of photos and videos of the scene. In particular, get shots of whatever caused you to fall. Make sure that these photos are as clear as they can be.
It’s even possible that, by accident, a bystander captured your fall on video. If so, that video clip could prove to be extremely valuable.
You’ll also want to preserve the clothing and footwear you’re wearing as evidence, especially if they’re damaged, dirty, or bloody. Your clothes and shoes could help persuade a jury of the cause and severity of your fall.
With that in mind, seal these items up as soon as you get home, and don’t wash or touch them. Instead, turn them over to your attorney when you get a chance.
- 3. Accident, Police, and Medical Reports
Right after your slip and fall, you or someone with you should speak to the property owner or manager. Tell this person you fell, and say you’d like to file an accident report. And once that person fills out the report, request a copy.
Similarly, if the police arrive — or a police officer was already on-site — ask for a copy of the police report.
Naturally, you should get medical attention as soon as possible. Your doctor’s report will also become part of your evidence trove. In fact, it might prove instrumental as far as boosting your case.
Things To Consider After an Orlando Slip and Fall Accident
In all of this, one crucial thing to remember after a fall: Say as little as possible at the accident scene. Use as few words as possible when you’re asking for contact info, describing your fall to the property owner, and requesting medical help. (Of course, you could still be polite even when being untalkative.)
In particular, try not to answer anyone’s questions at the site. If the property owner asks you anything other than the basic accident report questions, simply respond: “With all due respect, I can’t answer those questions right now.”
Needless to say, it can be difficult to keep quiet during stressful moments. If you’re in pain or feel wronged, you might have the urge to start ranting. And some people are just naturally talkative.
Therefore, you might be inclined to answer questions as fully as you can, especially if those questions seem friendly and well-intentioned.
The problem here is that it’s so easy to inadvertently accept partial or partial blame for your accident. In reality, though, you might bear no legal responsibility whatsoever for your slip and fall.
For example, without thinking about it, you might make an innocuous comment — perhaps even in jest — to someone at the accident scene. That remark might be like, “Oh, I never watch where I’m going!”
If the property owner heard you say that, it could severely weaken your case. And it could result in your receiving considerably less compensation than you deserve for your fall.
Similarly, later on, don’t answer any phone calls or other messages from the property owner or anyone associated with that person. In particular, steer clear of the insurance adjuster!
How an Orlando Slip and Fall Attorney Could Help You
Once you’ve received the medical care you need, you should contact an excellent Orlando slip and fall attorney to represent you.
The right legal representation is the key to winning your liability case. After all, it’s likely that the property owner, an individual or an organization will have an insurance company with powerful attorneys. And, with great cunning, those lawyers will challenge what you say. They’ll also contest or seek to dismiss the evidence you’ve collected.
Even if your case seems cut and dried, it’s astounding how skilled attorneys can twist reality inside a courtroom — confusing eyewitnesses during cross-examinations and downplaying your assertions as they make their arguments.
However, your attorney can fight back every step of the way. This legal professional will make sure that everyone involved — the opposing lawyers, the judge, the jurors, and so on — will understand exactly what happened to you and why.
On the other hand, without a lawyer, you’d have to negotiate independently with the insurance company. And its lawyers would undoubtedly be experts at paying accident victims as little as possible.
In that situation, you’d be very unlikely to receive all the money — or anything close to all the money — that you could with a qualified lawyer.
Additionally, you shouldn’t delay when it comes to obtaining legal representation.
It’s true that you’d have two years to file a slip and fall liability claim. In the state of Florida, the statute of limitations for all negligence-related legal claims is two years after the date of the accident.
As time went by, however, your odds of winning your legal case would surely lessen. In part, that’s because eyewitnesses’ memories tend to fade quickly. Therefore, your lawyer should start probing your slip and fall as soon as possible.
Launching an Investigation
Once you hire your Orlando slip and fall attorney, this professional will probably begin with that comprehensive independent investigation. Rather than just relying on other people’s reports, a significant slip and fall lawyer will carefully reconstruct the accident on his or her own.
This investigative process could involve any or all of the following steps:
- Thoroughly interviewing you, your doctor, the property owner, the employees, and every eyewitness
- Reviewing security camera footage and all existing photos and videos of your fall and its aftermath
- Examining the history of the place where you fell and seeing if it has a history of negligence or accidents
- Studying your clothing and other pieces of physical evidence, and perhaps sending certain items to a forensic laboratory for further analysis
- Reading your accident report, police report, medical report, and all other relevant documents
Once your attorney understands why and how you fell, it’s time to assign blame.
The property owner will almost certainly bear some legal responsibility. But there are other parties that could be at fault as well.
To name just a few examples, those negligent individuals could include a private contractor, a construction worker, a property management professional, an employee, a health or safety inspector, or some combination thereof.
Indeed, there are numerous people who might have failed to do their work properly and in a timely manner. And that carelessness could have led to the hazard that caused your injury. As such, they could be liable for your slip and fall.
Figuring Out the Compensation Amount
Another crucial step is calculating a monetary value for your damages. How much did your slip and fall cost you in quantifiable expenses and in terms of pain and suffering?
Your accident-related costs will fall into more than one category. Here are a few of the possible categories:
First of all, there are your medical bills. They could include such expenses as:
- An ambulance ride
- A visit to the emergency room
- A hospital stay
- One or more surgical operations
- Prescription or over-the-counter medications
- A stay in a rehabilitation facility
- Home visits from a nurse, a rehab specialist, or another medical professional
- Special medical equipment, whether permanent or temporary (a walker, for instance, or a hearing aid in the event of hearing loss)
Based on your prognosis and past medical expenses, your attorney will also estimate your medical costs in the future. Those projected future costs will be included in the total.
Have you lost any wages due to missing work? Or maybe you lost your job altogether after your accident. If so, your lawyer could seek that amount of money from the negligent parties.
Even worse, you may not get a new job in your professional field due to your injuries. The legal term for that condition is “lost earning capacity.” And, if that’s the situation you’re in, you could get compensated for the wages you would’ve earned had you not fallen.
This category can include any miscellaneous costs associated with your slip and fall. For instance, maybe you couldn’t mow your lawn for some time after your accident and had to hire a lawn care company. Or perhaps you couldn’t drive for a while and had to take an Uber to your medical appointments.
In short, you should save as many receipts as possible after your fall. Give them to your attorney’s office for a careful review.
Pain and Suffering
The “pain and suffering” grouping covers all an accident’s unquantifiable yet very real consequences. It compensates you for the physical pain and emotional turmoil, perhaps even trauma you’ve endured and will continue to endure.
The amount of money an accident survivor receives for pain and suffering typically amounts to all their other expenses combined, multiplied by a number between 1.5 and 5. Generally speaking, the worse the accident, the higher the multiplier.
How an Orlando Slip and Fall Lawyer Near Me Can Help
Once a specific dollar amount has been determined, your attorney can then file your slip and fall claim and earn your compensation.
Throughout this process, your Orlando slip and fall lawyer should be available to answer all your questions and provide any advice you need.
Your lawyer will most likely seek compensation via a settlement negotiation. So often, settlements are attractive to plaintiffs and defendants alike. Everyone can avoid the monetary and emotional costs of a protracted court case. And such negotiations can even be amicable, believe it or not.
At the same time, your lawyer should not settle for significantly less than what you could obtain if you went to court. And, if the other party refuses an equitable settlement, your attorney should not hesitate to settle the matter in a courtroom.
A good attorney will craft an airtight argument on the client’s behalf if a settlement negotiation fails. Indeed, your lawyer should be ready to explain all of the facts clearly, concisely, and persuasively.
Your legal team should also be prepared to counter all of the other side’s points, to cross-examine all of their witnesses effectively, and to guide all of your friendly witnesses through their testimony.
Finally, if you’re looking for an outstanding Orlando slip and fall lawyer, we at Shiner Law Group can help. Our renowned attorneys will fight fearlessly for your rights.
Speak With an Orlando Slip and Fall Attorney Today
We’ll skillfully handle all aspects of your case, from attending preliminary hearings to helping you collect the money you’ve won. We have a long and proud track record of success in Florida, and we’re fully dedicated to each and every client we serve.
If you have any questions — or if you’d like to schedule a free case evaluation — please contact Shiner Law Group at your earliest convenience by calling (407) 305-0566 or filling out our 100% free online case evaluation.
Orlando Slip and Fall Accident Law Office
Shiner Law Group
2480 E. Michigan St. Suite 206
Orlando, FL 32806