Trip and Fall Lawyer in Miami
How many times have you walked down the street and just nearly missed falling over a hazard that was in the way? How many times were you at a place of business in Miami and nearly avoided a slippery or dangerous floor? All too often, these types of accidents can be easily avoided if the owner of the property had kept the area clear of the danger or warned someone passing by that the danger existed. Sadly, more often than not, when a hazard exists, someone trips and falls.
The National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI) estimates that trip and fall accidents are responsible for over 1 million visits to the hospital each year, accounting for 12% of all fall-related accidents. The primary injuries include fractures and contribute to a large number of worker’s compensation claims and a high percentage of days lost from work.
With trip and fall accidents contributing to so many injuries, it’s no surprise that these accidents can cost thousands of dollars to recover from. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that the average cost for care related to a trip and fall falls between $30,000 and $40,000. Sadly, not all victims are able to pay for this care.
This is where a trip and fall accident lawyer in Miami can help. The trip and fall lawyers at Schlacter Law understand how debilitating a trip and fall can be, and know that the bills can continue to pile up long after the injury occurred. When you need help dealing with insurance companies or need assistance filing a lawsuit, we will work hard to get you as much compensation as you deserve.
Causes of Trips and Falls in Miami
With so many hazards capable of causing someone to trip and fall, an exhaustive list is almost impossible to compile. However, there are some common causes, which include:
- Uneven surfaces
- Wet or slippery conditions
- Broken or damaged stairways
- Cracked pavement
- Damaged sidewalks
- Icy and snowy conditions
- Loose gravel
- Poor lighting
- Loose flooring
- Code compliance issues
It’s no surprise that uneven surfaces contribute to a large number of trip and fall accidents. When two different materials meet, they are often not the same height, creating a ledge or a dropdown that is all too easy to trip up a shoe and cause a tumble. In addition, flooring that slants in one direction can cause someone to easily lose balance. Any type of uneven or broken surface is a hazard that can all too easily cause someone to trip.
Wet and slippery conditions are ripe for a tumble. Often public spaces are mopped and cleaned regularly, leaving an otherwise dry surface wet with water. Some surfaces, such as marble and stone, become even more slippery when wet, making an already slick surface even more dangerous. When a property owner fails to give an adequate warning of the dangerous condition, they could be liable if someone falls and is injured.
Stairways are cause for concern when it comes to slips. Treads can be improperly seated or unlevel, or worse, improperly secured creating a loose surface that can easily topple someone over. A poor grip can also contribute to a fall, and considering that one misstep can send someone down an entire flight of stairs, stairways are some of the most dangerous places for injuries to occur.
Outdoor conditions can also contribute to a trip and fall. When stormy weather causes puddles of water, sidewalks can deteriorate, creating uneven surfaces perfect for getting a shoe stuck in. Mold and mildew, in general, can also wreak havoc by creating slick surfaces that are often difficult to see.
Gravel is another cause of trip and fall accidents. Gravel can come in all different shapes, sizes, and colors, and is often used for walkways and driveways. Gravel can hide other problems such as uneven surfaces and potholes, making it all too easy for an unsuspecting pedestrian to walk into a hazard and trip over.
Poor lighting conditions often contribute to a trip and fall accident. No matter what the surface material is or the flooring might be, if someone is unable to see what’s right in front of their foot, the more likely they are of falling over. Good lighting is essential in preventing all types of accidents, and a property owner who fails to sufficiently light their property to help avoid hazards could be liable for any injuries that result.
Any type of loose flooring is a trip and fall hazard. Area rugs, for example, can easily catch the edge of a shoe, or easily shift while someone is walking through a room. Thin plywood can shift under the weight of a passerby, throwing off their balance, and broken, chipped, or loose tile can easily catch on a shoe.
Clearly, there are numerous conditions than easily lead to a trip and fall accident. When a property owner fails to address these conditions or warn a passerby of the dangers, they could be liable for the consequences. This could include having to pay compensation for any injuries that occur and all the costs associated with that injury. A Miami trip and fall accident attorney is here to help. Our experience handling trip and fall accidents ensure that we understand the details required to get you the compensation you need to recover from an accident.
Falling over can cause serious harm. According to the Centers for Disease Control, falls are responsible for almost 50% of all accidental deaths at home. Additionally, age is a big factor in these types of accidents, with almost 1/3rd of all Americans over the age of 65 having a fall of some type. Over 1.8 million seniors have required emergency room treatment, and in 2005 alone, over 15,000 Americans over the age of 65 were killed as a result of a fall.
There are several types of injuries that are common in Miami with trip and fall accidents. These types of injuries include:
- Broken bones
- Brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Hip fractures
- Shoulder and neck injuries
While only about 5% of trip and fall accidents result in broken bones, it is still a common cause of injuries. Falling from any height can cause a reflex reaction to cushion the fall by putting hands and arms out first, creating a perfect opportunity to crack or fracture a bone. Additionally, a trip can easily contribute to a leg buckling, and having someone’s entire weight come down on their leg. Similar to broken bones, sprains are common as well. Tripping can cause a foot to bend in awkward and uncomfortable positions causing swelling, muscle damage, and ligament damage.
Cuts and lacerations often follow a trip when a sharp object is in the path of the fall. Coming down hard on a sharp object can cause it to cut through the skin or create a deep enough scratch to cause bleeding.
Falls are one of the leading causes of brain injuries. When a head hits any surface with force it can cause the brain to impact the skull and cause severe swelling. In addition, depending on how far the fall is, when the head hits a surface with any speed the impact can cause damage to the skull and brain, requiring surgery to reduce blood overwhelming the wound. These types of injuries often require extensive and ongoing medical treatment to achieve recovery.
Spinal cord injuries are also common with trips. Landing hard on one’s posterior can damage the spine, and any jolt to the spine can result in extensive nerve damage to the area. If the injury is severe enough spinal cord injuries can result in paralysis, requiring the need for a wheelchair and professional medical assistance for years or even decades.
Tripping and falling over on one’s side can easily damage a hip. These types of accidents are the number one cause for hip-related injuries. Older adults are particularly at risk for hip injuries that result from falls, and often require surgery or even hip replacements to continue to walk.
With so many types of injuries, it’s understandable that a trip and fall accident can severely impact a person’s life. Medical bills, lost income, and ongoing care can cost thousands of dollars and incapacitate someone’s mobility, independence, and freedom of movement. When these injuries happen, the responsible party should compensate the victim for the costs associated with the accident. Talk to a Miami trip and fall lawyer today. A consultation could help get you the compensation you need.
Statute of Limitations
In cases where a trip and fall accident occurred, the first step is often determining who is responsible for the accident. In cases where a property owner failed to maintain their property or failed to warn of a hazard, they may be liable for any injuries. Typically, homeowners and property owners will carry some type of insurance that may be available to help pay for compensation.
When negotiating with insurance companies, a trip and fall lawyer can help. They understand the long-term costs and required medical assistance required to recover properly from these types of injuries. A trip and fall injury attorney can negotiate on your behalf to ensure that any compensation offered is fair and adequate for the type of injury that occurred.
However, often insurance companies are more interested in preserving their bottom line than offering adequate compensation. When this occurs, the help of a trip and fall lawyer is even more important. When the property owner’s negligence was the cause of an injury a lawsuit can be filed for a personal injury claim. However, personal injury lawsuits in Florida must be filed within four years from the time the accident occurred. This is called the statute of limitations. Failing to file a claim within this time frame could result in a dismissal of the case, and eliminate any avenue for compensation.
Due to the importance of adhering to deadlines and filing within Florida’s statute of limitations, it is essential to consult with a Miami trip and fall injury lawyer as soon as possible following an accident. A trip and fall lawyer will work hard to make sure no deadline is missed and that you receive the compensation you deserve. Call today for a consultation.
How We Handle Cases
- Your attorney will aggressively investigate your case. Schlacter Law will compile all necessary evidence needed to maximize the value of your case. Which includes but is not limited to photographs, police reports, security camera footage, witness statements, medical bills and medical records.
- You will remain in constant contact with Schlacter Law about the progression of your case.
- Your attorney will present your case to the insurance company and will attempt to resolve your case before the case goes to court for maximum compensation.
- Your attorney will make every effort possible to resolve the case as quickly as possible for the most amount of money you may be entitled to. You will be actively involved in the negotiation process with your attorney. Schlacter Law understands that this is your one opportunity to get justice for your loss.
- If settlement negotiations are unsuccessful, Schlacter Law will be fully prepared to bring your case to court to fight for the justice you deserve.
- At no cost to you, Schlacter Law will hire any experts and professionals needed to maximize your recovery and present your case in the strongest form possible.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I get compensation if I was partly to blame for my injuries?
Even in cases where an accident victim contributed to the accident compensation may still be possible. The doctrine of comparative negligence applies in Florida and reduces compensation by the percentage of responsibility attributed to the victim. While this may reduce the overall amount of compensation available, it would not completely bar compensation in a trip and fall claim. Call Schlacter Law today to help determine how much money you may be entitled to.
How much compensation can I expect to receive?
Determining compensation is difficult to calculate without knowing any details of an accident. Compensation might include damage done to property, lost wages, medical expenses, and emotional distress, all of which will vary greatly from case to case. In order to better estimate the amount of money available in a claim, contact a lawyer today.
Do I need to file a claim right away?
Although a claim does not need to be filed right away, the statute of limitations may limit the time available to seek compensation through a lawsuit. This four-year window begins at the time of the accident and is extended in rare circumstances such as serving justice or failure to find a defendant who fled the jurisdiction. If you are unsure of how much time you have remaining to file a claim be sure to consult an attorney today to ensure that these deadlines are properly followed.