When you visit someone else’s home, a retail store, a city park, or any other private or public establishment, you expect a reasonable degree of safety. In fact, Florida property owners are required by law to conduct adequate maintenance and ensure that their properties are reasonably free of any hazards or defects that could cause foreseeable injury. When they fail to uphold this duty of care, and visitors are injured as a result, property owners can be held liable.
If you slipped, tripped, and/or fell due to unsafe conditions on another person’s property, you could be entitled to financial compensation. At Zimmerman & Frachtman, P.A., we recognize that these accidents often lead to serious injuries. Victims may face extensive and costly medical treatment, months or weeks off work, and significant physical and emotional hardships. Our Florida slip and fall lawyers are committed to advocating for the injured and fighting for the maximum recovery they are owed.
Common Slip and Fall Injuries
According to the National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI), a nonprofit organization that is widely considered the authority on slip and fall prevention in the United States, more than 8 million people are treated in hospital emergency departments each year for fall-related injuries, and another 1 million seek hospital treatment after slipping and falling. Although there is a common misconception that tripping and falling isn’t that big of a deal, the reality is that these incidents often result in catastrophic injury and can even be deadly.
Some of the most common injuries associated with slip, trip, and fall accidents include:
- Bruises and contusions
- Cuts, scrapes, and abrasions
- Broken bones/fractures
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Head, neck, and back injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Herniated discs
- Sprains and strains
- Soft tissue injuries
- Internal bleeding
- Organ damage
Even a relatively minor-seeming fall can have devastating consequences, costing victims immense physical, emotional, and financial hardship. At Zimmerman & Frachtman, P.A., we believe that you should not have to navigate these challenges on your own.
If you believe that your accident/injury was the result of someone else’s negligence, reach out to our Florida slip and fall attorneys right away. We have successfully recovered more than $300 million in settlements and verdicts for our clients, and we are ready to fight for the full, fair compensation you are owed. With offices in Naples, Boca Raton, Hollywood, and Coral Springs, we serve clients across Florida.
Common Location of Slip and Fall Accidents
Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents
Most slip and fall accidents are preventable. They largely occur due to unsafe property conditions and improper maintenance or repairs.
- Uneven ground/flooring
- Torn or ripped carpets and rugs
- Spilled liquids
- Wet or slippery surfaces
- Pooled water/puddles
- Exposed cords, wires, and other tripping hazards
- Defective steps, stairs, and stairwells
- Missing handrails
- Poor lighting
- Lack of proper signage
- Dents or holes in the ground
- Cluttered walkways or aisles
- Falling merchandise
These and other hazards put innocent people at risk. If you slipped, tripped, and/or fell due to unsafe conditions on someone else’s property, reach out to Zimmerman & Frachtman, P.A. right away to learn how we can help protect your rights.
Who Is Liable for a Slip and Fall Accident?
Florida law requires property owners to maintain their premises and reasonably ensure the safety of lawful visitors. This is known as a “duty of care.”
Property owners in Florida owe varying duties of care to different types of visitors:
- Invitees: The state recognizes two types of invitees: public invitees and business invitees. A public invitee is someone who is invited to use a premises for a purpose for which the premises is made accessible to the public. For example, someone who visits a public park or goes to the hospital for treatment would be considered a public invitee. A business invitee, on the other hand, is someone who is invited to use a private space for a business-related purpose. This includes patrons at retail stores or guests at theme parks. Property owners owe the highest duty of care to invitees in Florida.
- Licensees: There are also two types of licensees: invited licensees and uninvited licensees. Both are considered “lawful entrants,” meaning they are allowed to be on the applicable property. An invited licensee is someone who visits a property by invitation, such as a social guest. An uninvited licensee, on the other hand, is someone who has not been invited, whether expressly or implied, to the property but, nevertheless, visits the property for their own personal convenience. An example would be someone who comes to the door of a neighbor or an individual who uses a gas station bathroom without purchasing anything. Florida property owners owe a moderate duty of care to licensees—more to invited licensees than uninvited.
- Trespassers: The last category of visitor in Florida is trespassers. A trespasser is someone who does not have permission to be on the property but enters it unlawfully for their own purposes. Florida property owners owe the lowest duty of care to trespassers; they are only required to refrain from causing wanton or willful injury. In cases involving minors who trespass, property owners are held to a higher duty of care when the child or teen is attracted to the property due to some feature, such as a pool or trampoline, that the property owner could reasonably foresee might attract minors (known as “attractive nuisance” cases).
All of this means that if you were lawfully on public or private property when you slipped and fell, you could have a claim against the property owner.
To have grounds for a slip and fall claim or lawsuit, you will need to prove the following:
- You were lawfully on the property when the accident occurred
- You were injured and suffered measurable damages
- There was a dangerous condition or hazard on the property
- The property owner knew or reasonably could have known about the dangerous condition/hazard
- The property owner failed to take reasonable measures to remove, repair, or warn visitors about the dangerous condition/hazard
- The dangerous condition or hazard was the proximate cause of your injury
- You were not the sole cause of the accident/your injuries
If the property owner or their insurance company argues that you were negligent, or that the dangerous condition was so open and obvious you could have easily and reasonably avoided it, you may have your total settlement reduced. Our Florida slip and fall attorneys can fight back against these and other attempts to reduce your recovery and, instead, seek maximum compensation on your behalf.
Do Most Slip and Fall Cases Settle Out of Court?
Yes, the majority of all slip-and-fall cases settle outside of the courtroom. Even if you end up filing a lawsuit, most of the time the defendant (person at fault) will settle before the case goes to trial. In fact, only about 5% of all personal injury cases ever go to trial.
How Zimmerman & Frachtman, P.A. Can Help
Our firm has recovered hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation for our clients. We understand the unique complexities present in slip and fall accident claims—and we know how to successfully navigate the process on your behalf. We have helped individuals who were hurt due to unsafe property conditions at restaurants, theme parks, convenience stores, big box stores like Target and Walmart, supermarkets, grocery stores, construction sites, and more. We have also represented victims in serious elevator and escalator accidents, negligent security cases, and other types of premises liability claims.
When it comes to representing you, we are relentless in our pursuit of fair compensation. We offer free initial consultations and contingency fees, meaning you do not owe anything unless we recover a settlement or verdict for you.
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