Ocala Slip and Fall Injury Lawyer
The Florida Department of Health tracks many health-related matters, including falls. They report that unintentional falling is the leading cause of injury and death for those 65 and older. In 2019, there were 3,013 such fatalities.
Here at Pam Olsen Law in Ocala we’ve seen and helped numerous seniors living in The Villages injured in a fall caused by negligent property owners and managers. If you’re in that situation now, call Pam at (352) 671-9777.
We want you to have a solid understanding of what goes into slip and fall legal claims.
What To Do If You Slip, Trip, or Fall
Here are the four things to remember if you are injured in a slip, trip or fall.
Seek immediate medical attention
Addressing the injury is your top priority. Visit a doctor as soon as you can after the incident to receive proper treatment and establish an official record.
Report the incident
If you stumble, fell, or fall anywhere—in a store, on a sidewalk, or at a friend’s house—report it to the boss, owner, or landlord immediately. Remember to get a written account of the incident—ask the boss, owner, or landlord to do so, and give you a copy before you leave.
Make a thorough record of everything
It’s important to compile all possible witnesses’ names, phone numbers, and email addresses. Their accounts can be useful in proving your case. Try to photograph the EXACT spot where you fell, as well as any stairwells, ice spots, or other factors that led to the fall. Create a note of what you were doing shortly before you fell, how you fell, and other important facts, such as the exact time and date.
Refuse to make any statements
Maintain your patience and keep your conversation with the property owner or management to a minimum. Do not share any information about your fall on social media. Refuse to speak to any insurance representative until you’ve consulted with an attorney. Don’t allocate blame—and don’t accept any.
Determining Liability in Slip and Fall Accidents
When a visitor or a tenant living on another person’s property is injured from a slip-and-fall accident on the property, the owner of that property may be liable.
It is the property owner’s responsibility to ensure that the location is safe and secure for anyone occupying the space. Unfortunately, it is common for these people to take shortcuts that can lead to an injury. When the walking surface is slippery, there is an uneven floor, there is a broken stairwell, or the area is poorly lit, a slip-and-fall accident is much more likely to occur.
Over the past 30 years that Pam has served those injured by slips and falls, often the blame is shared by different people. For example:
- Employers failing to train employees properly
- Manufacturers of safety equipment
- Government organizations
- Property owners/managers
A vital part of the legal process Pam follows is investigating all aspects of the place you fell. The objective is to be able to present persuasive evidence that clearly indicates all sources of liability for your accident.
Here are some of the common contributing causes to slip and fall accidents:
- Missing or faulty handrails
- Loose cables
- Untacked carpeting
- Protruding sharp nails
- Wet/slippery floors
- Not-to-code construction
- Poorly managed landscaping
- Failing to deice sidewalks and parking lots
- Unfilled potholes
- Staircases that are too steep or otherwise unsafe
Pam works with experts to carefully examine the scene of your accident and who can positively identify all of the ways the property was unsafe.
Types of Injury in Slip and Fall Accidents
Surprisingly, even in falls from short heights, these kinds of accidents can cause serious and life-changing injury. Here are the kinds of injuries Pam sees most often:
- Injured or broken noses
- Damaged teeth
- Cracked or broken facial bones
- Broken hips
- Damage to the trunk of the body
- Nerve damage
- Internal bleeding
- Organ damage
- Concussions and other brain injuries
- Paralysis from damage to the spinal cord
- Back damage such as muscle sprains and/or compressed and ruptured discs
- Serious damage to hands and arms from trying to brace during the fall
If you haven’t done so yet, make a record of all of your injuries. These will be helpful as we build your case, so we make a full and correct claim. Here are some of the most useful kinds of documents:
- Medical paperwork, written and digital
- Opinions told to you by experts
- Photos of your injuries
- Receipts for all expenses related to the injury
Pam can help answer any questions about this process as you work together.
What Damages Can Be Claimed
We’ve spoken so far about the physical damage slip and fall accidents cause. However, these incidents also impact other parts of your life. They can negatively impact your home and personal life, your stress levels, mental health, and even money-earning potential.
When we file your claim, we will include all losses, so you receive the full and correct amount of compensation to cover all of your new hardships.
These may include:
- Lost earnings
- Lower earning ability
- Medical bills
- Damage to your property
- Diminished or lost companionship
- Lost ability to pursue hobbies and passions
- Mental anguish
- Lingering physical pain
- New living accommodations if disabled or disfigured
It’s important to know that the other party will naturally argue that they are not to blame. If they can’t do that, they will try to show that you are partially to blame.
In Florida law there is something called comparative negligence. This means that if the final judgment includes some fault on your part, you can still recover compensation for damages. However your settlement amount will of course be less than if the liability was entirely theirs.
How Pam Olsen Fights For You
Your primary focus after a slip and fall injury should be recovery. Pam will handle the legal part including:
- Thoroughly investigating all aspects of the accident
- Review insurance policies
- Calculating value of all your losses
- Build a case to prove liability
- Handle all contact with insurance companies
- Negotiate settlements
- Represent you at trial
- Always update you during the process
In Florida most slip and fall claims must be made within 4 years of the event. If you are the loved one of a fatal slip and fall, wrongful death claims must be made within 2 years of when the person died.
Now is the right time to seek help. Contact Pam Olsen today at (352) 671-9777. Or if you prefer, you can complete this simple contact form and she will be in touch right away.
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