If you've been injured in a slip and fall case, you probably already know that you're entitled to compensation from the responsible party for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. But how easy is it to collect full and fair compensation from a large insurance company? Should you just accept whatever they offer, even if you know it probably won't be enough in the long run? The team at Weinstein Legal makes sure that their clients don't have to make decisions like this alone. They offer top-tier legal advice on a contingency basis. That means that instead of going up against an insurance company by yourself, one of Florida's premier slip and fall lawyers will be in your corner — and you will not have to pay out-of-pocket costs. Weinstein Legal only gets paid if they win your case.
Slip and Fall Accident Facts
Many slip-and-fall accident victims are interested in researching similar cases to their own. While no two accidents are alike, these general slip-and-fall facts can help you understand your accident and what lies ahead.
- Falls are the leading cause of emergency room visits. Every year, 8 million Americans visit the ER for falls. 12% of those, about 1 million, are slip and fall accidents.
- Slip and falls are the number one cause of lost days from work.
- Slip and fall accidents are particularly dangerous for individuals over the age of 65. In 2005, 15,000 people in this age range died of fall injuries. 1.8 million elderly Americans visit the ER because of a fall.
- Slip and falls are the number one cause of workers' compensation claims for workers 55 and older.
- For the elderly, falls are the second leading cause of injury-related deaths.
- Falls account for 16% of all workers' comp claims and over 25% of all WC costs.
Regardless of your age, where your slip and fall occurred, and how it affects your work, you are entitled to compensation. Call Weinstein Legal today for a free consultation.
Slip and Fall Liability
There are four elements that the plaintiff must prove in order to have a viable slip-and-fall case.
1. Duty of Care
The owner or custodian of the property is responsible for making it safe for visitors. Whether you are in a store, at a hotel, or in a parking lot, you have a reasonable expectation that it's a safe environment. That means surfaces should be flat, well-lit, and clear of debris or slippery substances.
2. Breach of Duty
Once the plaintiff's lawyer has established a duty of care, they must then prove that the defendant somehow breached that duty. One of the most common “breaches of duty” in slip and fall cases involves employees ignoring a spilled substance. Another example would be loose carpeting creating a hazardous walking surface.
The breach of duty must have contributed to the accident. For example, the accident victim may have avoided slipping had the proprietor posted a warning sign or had acted quickly to clean up a slippery substance.
All personal injury lawsuits must claim damages. These include all medical costs, lost wages, and other intangible damages.
Establishing all four elements of a slip-and-fall case can be difficult, and insurance company attorneys are masters at trying to minimize both liability and damages. That's why it's essential that you have your own lawyer protecting your interests during negotiations.
Slip and Fall Accident Compensation Types
In the state of Florida, compensation or damages usually fall into three categories: economic, non-economic, and punitive. Economic and non-economic damages are compensatory damages, while punitive damages are paid over the plaintiff's damages to punish the defendant further. Here is a brief explanation of the different types of damages that can be claimed in a slip-and-fall claim.
Any expense that you incur as a result of the slip and fall accident is part of economic damages. As was previously mentioned, these include all medical expenses, including aftercare, follow-up appointments, etc.; lost wages from work; future lost income from having diminished capacity; and any property damage that you incurred.
This includes your physical pain and emotional trauma. It wouldn't be fair for the defendant to compensate you for your expenses and not address the fact that your accident caused you a massive amount of inconvenience, physical pain, and emotional anguish, which is why non-economic damages are included in every negotiation.
While rare in slip-and-fall accidents, the court sometimes orders the defendant to pay punitive damages when the negligence is egregious. Florida caps punitive damages at $500,000 or three times the amount of compensatory damages, whichever is greater.
Frequently Asked Questions About Slip and Fall Cases
If you've been injured in an accident, Weinstein Legal will answer all of your questions in a cost-free case evaluation. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions from slip-and-fall victims.
How Many Slip and Fall Cases Go to Trial?
Only about 1 in 20 personal injury cases go to trial. Both parties have a strong incentive to avoid protracted litigation. When cases do go to trial, it's usually because the parties are too far apart in the negotiations.
What is the Average Settlement for a Slip and Fall?
Slip and fall settlements range from a few thousand dollars for minor injuries into the millions for serious injuries or wrongful death claims. What someone else was paid for a slip and fall case has no bearing on your expected settlement amount. A professional personal injury attorney will focus on getting you a comprehensive settlement for your injuries.
What Should I Do if I Slip and Fall at an Establishment?
If you know you're hurt, seek medical attention immediately. Inform the management that you slipped and fell on their property. Ask for a slip and fall accident report. Many businesses keep these reports for internal use. Ask the manager to retain security video. Take pictures of the area right after the accident happened so you have a fresh visual record. Make sure to preserve your shoes and clothing you were wearing during the fall. If your accident occurred in Palm Beach County, Broward County, or Orange County, Florida, contact Weinstein Legal for a free case evaluation. Don't negotiate with the insurance company alone. Weinstein Legal can represent you through all phases of your case.