Premises Liability Attorneys in Flagler and Volusia Counties and Volusia County
You have a reasonable expectation of safety when you go to the store, walk on a sidewalk, spend time at the park or visit someone else’s property. Unfortunately, sometimes a property owner is negligent or reckless in maintaining a property. Due to this, you may find yourself suffering from painful injuries, lost time from work and mounting medical or other expenses.
Businesses and insurance companies, who are typically involved in the defense of slip and fall claims, have large experienced legal teams. For this reason, it is imperative that you have an equally qualified legal firm representing you.
Are you ready to find out how we can help you get the compensation you deserve after a slip-and-fall accident? We are ready to talk whenever you are. Contact us online or by phone now for a free claim review and advice about your legal options.
Types of Slip and Fall Accidents
Slip-and-fall accidents occur in a wide variety of ways. Some of the most common types of slip-and-fall accidents in Palm Coast and surrounding areas of Flagler and Volusia Counties and Volusia County include:
- Liquids on floors and other walking surfaces.
Floors and other walkways can become dangerously slick due to moisture from sources such as tracked-in rainwater, spilled liquids and leaky refrigeration units, for example. Those responsible for a property have a duty to clean up wet surfaces in a timely manner. Warning signs should be in place if a floor is mopped and left to dry.
- Damaged floors, carpets, tiles and other surfaces.
Flooring that is poorly maintained can be very dangerous for people who walk across it. Examples include torn or loose carpet, broken or uneven floor tiles, area rugs or mats without proper anti-slip backing, loose floorboards and torn linoleum.
- Slippery flooring materials.
Some kinds of smooth flooring materials create a higher risk of slip-and-fall accidents. Examples include glass, ceramic tile, stone, hardwood and concrete. Over-polishing floors and walkways can also make floors dangerously slippery.
- Sidewalks and pavement in disrepair.
Outdoor walking surfaces that are cracked, loose, uneven, or have gaps and potholes can be very dangerous for people on foot. Property owners have a duty to fix damaged sidewalks and pavement and warn about conditions like holes, trenches and ditches.
- Hazardous landscaping.
Landscaping materials such as pebbles, small gravel, mulch and sand can create slipping hazards if they spill onto walkways. Landscapers and other workers must be careful not to leave unfinished work unguarded, such as leaving tools and equipment lying in areas where people walk.
- Insufficient lighting.
Dark halls and stairs make it difficult to see steps or obstacles or to recognize changes in the floor’s surface. Moving from a lighted area into darkness causes temporary vision loss that can lead to a fall. It is the duty of a property owner to install and maintain adequate lighting to avoid these hazards.
- Fallen merchandise.
Retailers should avoid stacking merchandise in aisles or leaving supplies, equipment, trash or debris on floors. These can all create a tripping hazard. Store managers should also avoid large floor displays or overfilled shelves, which can result in items being knocked onto floors where they become a danger.
- Elevators and escalators.
Without proper maintenance, elevators and escalators can malfunction and cause a fall hazard. For example, an elevator that does not stop flush with the floor can cause passengers to trip when exiting or entering the elevator.
These are just a few of the many types of dangerous conditions that could cause a slip-and-fall accident. The bottom line is that property owners and other responsible parties have a duty to keep walkways reasonably safe for the people who use them. If the responsible party falls short of this duty and an accident results, you could be entitled to compensation for your injuries.
Common Injuries in Slip-and-Fall Accidents
Falls can cause serious personal injuries and even death in the most tragic situations. Some of the most frequent injuries in slip-and-fall accidents include:
- Traumatic brain injuries, including concussions and other closed-head injuries.
- Bone fractures.
- Broken hips and pelvis fractures.
- Spinal cord injuries, including those that cause paralysis.
- Back injuries, including slipped discs, fractured vertebrae, muscle strains and sprains.
- Shoulder, wrist and elbow injuries.
- Knee, ankle and foot injuries.
- Sprains and strains.
- Internal injuries, including organ damage and hemorrhage.
What Do I Need to Prove in a Slip and Fall Case?
The basic elements of a successful slip-and-fall claim in Florida include the following:
- The owner, occupier or other responsible party fell short of its duty to provide reasonably safe conditions on the property.
- This failure directly caused your fall.
- You suffered injuries because of the fall.
The circumstances and location of the fall may affect your ability to recover compensation. For example, businesses that invite customers onto their premises for commercial purposes owe a higher duty than individuals who invite social guests to their homes. Businesses must regularly inspect their premises and fix dangerous conditions or warn visitors about them. In contract, homeowners who invite social guests onto their property only have a duty to correct or warn about dangers they know about. They generally have no duty to inspect their properties.
To have a successful claim for a slip-and-fall accident, you will need some evidence that the property owner or other responsible party failed to satisfy their duty. This could include, for example, photos showing the dangerous condition, testimony from eyewitnesses, prior complaints about the hazard or maintenance records indicating a problem. At Chiumento Dwyer Hertel Grant, we work hard to fully investigate slip-and-fall accident claims. We frequently work with experts who can reconstruct the accident and testify about how the property owner or other responsible party was negligent in allowing the dangerous condition to remain.
What Are My Next Steps?
1. Getting proper medical treatment should be your first priority after a slip-and-fall accident. If possible, you should promptly report the accident to whoever is in charge of the facility. Also, get contact information from anyone who witnessed your fall or saw the conditions that caused your fall.
2. Depending on the circumstances, evidence of a hazardous condition can disappear very quickly. It is critical to preserve as much evidence as possible. If you are unable to do so yourself, ask a friend or bystander to help out with such steps as:
- Taking photos of the accident scene and your injuries.
- Preserving the shoes and clothing you wore at the time of the accident.
- Getting contact information from any eyewitnesses.
- Notifying management about the accident.
3. One of the most important steps to take after a slip-and-fall accident is seeking legal help from attorneys who have experience with premises liability cases.