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Slip and Fall Incidents Can Cause Serious Injuries. You Have Legal Rights after an Injury
One of the most common causes of slip and fall accidents is falling at work. In fact, it was the second-leading cause of workplace fatalities behind transportation incidents. It’s important to understand that you have legal rights.
Slip and fall accidents are common occurrences in Florida. According to the Florida Department of Health, 62,541 people were hospitalized for nonfatal injuries caused by slip and falls in 2012. These incidents are the top reason people are hospitalized for nonfatal injuries in Florida.
In addition, 2,475 Floridians were killed in these types of incidents. For Florida residents 65 and older, slip and fall incidents are the leading cause of death. It’s also the fourth-leading cause of death in general in the state.
Slip and fall accidents can happen for any number of reasons. You may slip when the floor is wet at the store, or you may fall after getting your feet tangled up with a hose in a neighbor’s yard. One of the most common causes of slip and fall accidents is falling at work. Slip and falls were the cause of about 900 workplace deaths nationwide in 2017. In fact, it was the second-leading cause of workplace fatalities behind transportation incidents.
If you are injured in a slip and fall accident in Florida, it’s important to understand that you have legal rights, including the right to compensation. Lawyer Steve Hoskins has been representing Florida slip and fall victims and their families for over 30 years. Our team knows how to get the compensation you deserve. Call us at 866-460-1990 or contact us online today for a free, no-obligation consultation.
Types of Compensation Available to Florida Residents After a Slip and Fall Accident
In Florida, injury victims who were hurt through no fault of their own may be able to receive compensation for their injuries. Damages, or compensation, are divided into two basic categories: economic and noneconomic. Neither of these types of damages has “caps,” or limits, in Florida.
Economic damages are those to which an objective dollar amount can be assigned. Your attorney will investigate your past and future medical costs, rehabilitation costs, lost wages, lost earning capacity and more to figure out exactly how much economic compensation you’re entitled to as a result of your injury.
Noneconomic damages, on the other hand, are presented as a subjective amount. For instance, you may seek damages for pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment in life, mental anguish and more. Because there is no objective dollar amount to assign to these damages, your attorney will negotiate with the defendant (the person you’re suing) to get the full amount you deserve. They may also present your case in court to allow the judge to decide how much you’re entitled to receive.
In extremely rare cases, punitive damages may also be awarded. These types of damages are designed to punish the defendant for overly reckless or intentional behavior that caused your injury. For slip and fall cases, only in the rarest cases are these damages awarded. For instance, if a company has a long history of dangerous workplace flooring that causes injury to workers, punitive damages may be assessed against them.
In order to claim any type of compensation for your slip and fall injury in Florida, you must show that the defendant either intentionally caused your injury or acted negligently.
The Four Elements of Negligence
Legally speaking, when someone acts in a way that another reasonable person wouldn’t, and, therefore, causes injury, they are said to be negligent. In order to prove negligence, four general criteria must be met. First, there must be an established duty of care. For instance, if you are shopping in a store, the store has a legal obligation to clean up spills and other hazards in a timely manner to avoid causing injury.
Second, you must prove there was a breach in that duty of care. For example, if there is a water spill in a store that has been left for hours, and you slip in the puddle, the duty of care has likely been breached. However, if the spill just happened, and there hasn’t been a sufficient amount of time to either clean it up or put out a “wet floor” sign, the store may not have breached its duty of care.
Third, your injury must have been caused by the breach of duty. This element is generally easy to prove. For instance, if you slip in a puddle in a store and break your arm because of the fall, this element is proven.
Finally, you must be able to be compensated for your injury. If you slip and fall, but require no medical attention and no personal property was damaged, you would not be able to seek compensation. But if you must visit the hospital and incur medical bills and other expenses, you can seek compensation.
Florida is a comparative negligence state. This means the amount of compensation you can receive is diminished by your fault in causing the injury. For example, if you are awarded a total of $10,000 in compensation, but you were found to be 20 percent at fault for your own injuries, you would only receive $8,000.
A Florida Slip and Fall Lawyer Can Help You Get the Compensation You Deserve After an Injury
If you’ve suffered an injury because of a slip and fall accident, it’s important to speak with an experienced attorney about your right to compensation. Steve Hoskins always offers free, no-obligation consultations. During your initial consultation, our team will review the details of your injury and help you decide the best path forward for your unique case.
Contact our team online today or call us at 866-460-1990 to schedule your free consultation.
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