Slip and fall or slip, trip, and fall accidents are some of the most common types of cases in personal injury law. If you've been injured due to a slip and fall on someone else's premises, you're entitled to full and fair compensation. Contact the Weinstein Legal Team to discuss your case. The Weinstein legal team works on a contingency basis, which means that you don't have to pay out of pocket. Weinstein Legal only receives compensation if your case is settled or successfully litigated. Call today!
Frequently Asked Questions About Slip and Fall Cases
This page is designed to answer some of the most frequently asked questions regarding slip, trip, and fall accidents. It is not meant to be construed as legal advice. For professional legal advice in Orange, Palm Beach, or Broward County about your case, contact Weinstein Legal for a free one-on-one consultation where you can have all of your questions answered.
What Is The Difference Between a Slip, Trip, and Fall?
Slip and fall or slip, trip, and fall are synonymous terms for a subset of premise liability law that covers all types of accidents that can occur on the property of others. Although the name indicates a specific type of accident, many people refer to other types of premise liability cases — such as being struck with an item falling from a shelf — as slip and fall. Regardless of whether your accident was caused by a slip, a trip, or some other mishap on a premise, it will fall under the umbrella of premise liability law.
How Long Can a Slip and Fall Case Take?
Many factors determine the length of time that a personal injury case can take to settle or litigate. The strength of the claim, the severity of injuries, the degree of negligence that caused the accident, etc., can all determine how motivated the defendant is to settle. Because personal injury attorneys don't charge their clients in billable hours, they have no vested interest in dragging the claim out for a protracted period of time. However, properly evaluating, negotiating, and possibly litigating a case takes time. You could be looking at a year or more before your case is settled. At the Weinstein Legal Team, keeping our clients informed is among our highest priorities. We will update you regularly as your case progresses.
How Many Slip and Fall Cases Go to Trial?
The overwhelming majority of slip and fall cases are settled before trial. Weinstein Legal will do everything in our power to bring you a full and fair settlement, but if that's not possible, you'll know that you have an effective and proven litigation team on your side.
Are Slip and Fall Cases Hard to Win?
Every personal injury case is different, and slip and fall claims are no exception. The factors that can affect the success of a case include:
- The type of injuries
- The amount of physical evidence
- The amount of damages
- The speed at which the claim is filed (time is of the essence)
- Witness testimony
- The defendant's history of similar claims
This is not a comprehensive list, but suffice it to say that the earlier you involve a personal injury lawyer, the better the odds of winning your case.
How Much Is the Average Slip and Fall Settlement?
The amount of a settlement depends on the amount of economic and non-economic damages. Additionally, because of Florida's comparative negligence law, settlement amounts are dependent on the proportion of negligence assigned to the plaintiff and the defendant. With that said, average amounts are not really relevant in a discussion of personal injury settlements. You're entitled to a settlement that is commensurate with your economic and non-economic damages.
How Long After a Slip and Fall Accident Can You Sue?
While it's important that you don't delay in contacting a slip, trip, and fall attorney, they will not immediately file a lawsuit. It takes time to collect evidence, depose witnesses, consult with subject matter experts, negotiate with insurers, etc. In the state of Florida, you have four years from the date of the accident to file a claim. That does not, however, mean that you should wait. Evidence can be more difficult to obtain after time. Security footage expires, witnesses move, and employees often leave the plaintiff's business. Contact a personal injury attorney at your earliest convenience.
Can You Sue an Apartment Complex for a Slip and Fall?
Landlords and property management companies have a legal obligation to create a safe environment for their tenants. If their negligence leads to an accident that caused you to be injured, you can sue. An apartment complex is usually only responsible for the common areas of the complex: walkways, courtyards, laundry rooms, swimming pools, etc. If you're injured in a slip and fall accident on the walkways or somewhere else on the grounds — particularly if it was caused by a condition that could have been corrected — you have the right to sue.
Can You Sue Your Employer for a Slip and Fall?
Most employers in the state of Florida are required to carry worker's compensation insurance to cover employee workplace injuries. However, these policies frequently fail to cover all of the employee's damages. If you've slipped and fallen while on the job, you need to notify your employer so that they can file a claim with worker's comp. However, you should also contact a personal injury attorney, like you'll find at Weinstein Legal, to discuss the full scope of your damages.
Can You Sue for a Slip and Fall if You Signed a Waiver?
In order to sue an insurance company or other defendant after you signed a waiver, you need to prove that the language was vague or ambiguous. This makes it extremely difficult for you to sue. One of the reasons that Weinstein Legal encourages you to make a call to us before you accept any insurance settlement is because these offers always require you to sign a waiver of liability. The intention of this agreement is to prevent you from coming back for more money when you find out that your damages are much more significant than you were told. A personal injury lawyer will protect you from making this mistake.
What Should I Do if I'm Injured in a Slip and Fall Accident?
- Seek medical attention immediately. Call 911 and have them respond to the location.
- Notify the property manager and inform them of the incident.
- Ask witnesses for their contact information. If they are employees of the business, ask the manager for a list of employees who observed the incident.
- Ask management not to delete or write over the security footage.
- Document your injuries and the conditions of your accident with photos and video. Use your phone to take this information and back up the info as soon as possible in case your phone is lost or stolen.
- Retain all medical records from the emergency room or your doctor's office.
- Contact a personal injury lawyer at your earliest convenience.
- Do not accept an offer from an insurance adjuster before you speak to a slip and fall lawyer.
What Are the Types of Slip and Fall Damages?
Personal injury law defines three types of damages:
1. Economic Damages
Anything that you can assign a dollar amount to falls under economic damages. This would include all medical costs, lost wages from work, the cost of at-home care, transportation costs, property damage, etc.
2. Non-Economic Damages
This is also referred to as “pain and suffering.” These damages are over and above the tangible costs of your accident. They include emotional anguish, psychological trauma, and loss of capacity. If the slip and fall accident resulted in a wrongful death and you are the plaintiff, non-economic damages could also include loss of companionship.
3. Punitive Damages
Punitive damages are meant to punish egregious behavior. Most slip and fall cases don't result in punitive damages. In the state of Florida, punitive damages are capped at three times the amount of compensatory damages (economic and non-economic damages) or $500,000, whichever is higher.
How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer?
Personal injury lawyers don't bill their clients for their legal work. They work on a contingency basis, which means they only get paid if they successfully settle your case or win via litigation. In the state of Florida, the Florida Bar establishes the contingency fee guidelines. The percentage that a personal injury attorney can charge depends on where in the fee structure the total settlement or jury award falls. Most cases result in ⅓ of the settlement or award going to the attorney. While this may seem costly, the fees are easily justified by the increased size of the settlement amounts.
What if I'm Partially at Fault for My Accident?
Florida operates on the comparative fault principle, which means that you can still collect damages if you're partially at fault. An example of this would be a slip and fall accident resulting in $100,000 in damages. If it was determined by the attorneys or in court that the plaintiff was 30% at fault, they could still collect $70,000 in damages.
Can I Compel a Premise to Give Me a Copy of Surveillance Footage?
Any surveillance video that covers the location where the accident occurs is evidence, but it is the defendant's property. Having said that, your personal injury lawyer can make sure they have a legal obligation to preserve it pending trial. Your personal injury lawyer can request the video from the defendant's attorney or obtain a subpoena by demonstrating to the court that it's material evidence.
Can I Sue on Behalf of a Loved One Who Was Incapacitated or Died in a Slip and Fall Accident?
Yes, in the event that the plaintiff is unable to act on their own behalf or has died as a result of their injuries, you can sue the responsible parties on their behalf if you have standing. Contact the Weinstein Legal Team to discuss your legal ability to sue on behalf of your loved one.
What Services Does a Slip and Fall Attorney Provide?
The Florida civil code is extremely complicated, making it difficult for individuals to pursue substantial claims without legal representation. A personal injury attorney can act as your liaison during negotiations with the insurance companies and any legal actions you need to take. Their responsibilities include filing your claim (if you haven't already), collecting evidence, subpoenaing medical records, deposing witnesses, retaining subject matter experts, negotiating with the insurance company, and if necessary, filing and litigating a lawsuit. Additionally, they can make recommendations to you about doctors and medical experts that can help you speed your recovery.
What Are Contingency Fees?
Instead of charging a retainer and billing you for their time, slip and fall lawyers collect their fees when they settle or litigate your case. You will not have to pay out of pocket for Weinstein's legal advice or for the time dedicated to your case.
What Are the Elements of a Slip and Fall Claim?
The four elements of a slip and fall case are the same for all personal injury cases:
- Duty of Care
In order to have a viable case, the plaintiff must demonstrate that the property owner or custodian had a duty of care. As long as you entered the property legally, you have a reasonable expectation that it's a safe environment.
- Failure to Exercise Reasonable Care
In order for there to be a viable case, your attorney must be able to show that the custodian of the property failed to meet their duty of care. For instance, was there a slippery substance on the ground or a loose rug that made a slip or a trip more likely?
Either of these situations would indicate a failure to exercise proper care.
This simply means that the failure of care caused the accident in question. If you slipped because there was cooking oil on an aisle floor, your attorney could show that the oil caused the accident.
- Damages Suffered
In order for there to be a case, you must be able to show damages. Most slip and fall cases result in medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Your attorney can put together a comprehensive list of damages for you.
Why Shouldn't I just Accept the Insurance Company's Offer?
If you're involved in a slip and fall accident, you may be astonished at how quickly the premise's insurer makes a settlement offer to you — sometimes within a few hours. That's because they know that the best way to avoid a large settlement is to get you to sign a waiver before you speak to an attorney. They may make an offer to pay your medical bills and give you a little extra for your trouble. The problem with accepting an initial offer is that they're almost always insufficient to cover all of your long-term costs. And once you sign a waiver, you will be unable to go back for more money. Weinstein Legal has a reputation of winning large settlements for personal injury clients. Additionally, they have the ability to negotiate with hospitals and creditors to ensure that you can hold out until you receive a full settlement offer from the insurance company.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for a Slip and Fall Case in Florida?
For most slip and fall claims, the statute of limitations is four years from the date of the accident — two years from the date of death for wrongful death claims. This may seem like a significant amount of time, but you shouldn't wait to contact an attorney. It takes time to build a case, and your personal injury attorney will need to begin work as soon as possible.
Do Slip and Fall Claims Usually Settle Out of Court?
Yes, the likelihood that you'll have to testify in court is fairly remote. Most cases go to court when the two parties are too far apart in their negotiations. The opposing counsel will want to depose you, however. Your attorney will be present during this question and answer session.
Personal Injury Lawyers in Palm Beach, Broward, and Orange County
Weinstein Legal is one of Florida's top slip and fall litigation law firms. The Weinstein Legal team has built its reputation by winning personal injury cases for their clients, and they are one of the most respected civil litigation teams in Florida. If you've been injured in a slip, trip, and fall accident, contact Weinstein Legal for a free consultation today.