Jacksonville Premises Liability Lawyer
Corporate stores thrive on moving as much foot traffic through their aisles and parking lots as possible. When they fail to keep their property safe for customers and guests, the results can be catastrophic. If you have been injured in a slip-and-fall accident, the Jacksonville premises liability lawyers at Douglas & Carter can help. We help personal injury victims in Lake City and Jacksonville recover compensation from negligent businesses which fail to take reasonable steps to protect the safety of their customers.
A Slip and Fall Accident Can Cause Catastrophic injury
A slip-and-fall accident may not sound like a serious accident, and fortunately a fall does not always end in serious injury. Tragically, however, many slip-and-fall accidents do cause catastrophic injury requiring emergency treatment and hospitalization, and many die every year from injuries sustained in a slip-and-fall accident or trip and fall accident. Although the elderly are especially vulnerable to serious injury in a fall, severe injuries can befall anyone who is taken by surprise in a sudden and unexpected fall.
Some of the most common injuries in a slip-and-fall accident include:
- Hip fractures
- Wrist fractures
- Back injuries
- Neck injuries
- Head injuries and concussions
- Soft tissue injuries
- Muscle tears or strains
How to Document a Slip and Fall Accident
Falling in public, whether at a neighbor’s house or in a department store, can be embarrassing. And for that reason, many slip and fall victims simply pick themselves up, if they are able to, and get home as soon as possible. Unfortunately, this is the last thing that a fall victim should do if they want to receive financial compensation from the liable party. Making a quick exit from a store without notifying any employees or managers about the incident harms your chances significantly of receiving a fair settlement, or a settlement at all. Documenting the incident, your injuries, and witness testimony is the only way to ensure that evidence is preserved. After a slip and fall incident, even if you do not feel any excruciating pain immediately afterwards, you should always do the following:
- Notify employees and the manager;
- Ask for witness’s phone numbers and contact information;
- Take pictures of the slip and fall scene, including the walking surface and anything dangerous that may have caused the fall, such as a slick surface or torn up carpet edge;
- Seek medical attention immediately;
- Later when you are back at home, save the shoes you were wearing in your closet, as they may become evidence themselves. The negligent party’s insurance company may claim that it was your “worn out” shoes that were the cause of the fall; and
- Call a lawyer.
How a Fall Can Affect an Older Adult
Taking a hard falls can result in serious injury for people of all ages. In fact, falls are the leading cause of serious traumatic brain injury. Falls for even young children often result in sprained or broken wrists or fractured clavicles. Generally the older a person gets, the more serious a fall becomes. Due to low bone density, fragile tendons, poor balance, failing eyesight, skin that tears easily, and a body that cannot heal itself quickly or effectively, adults who are 65 years old or older are most prone to serious fall injuries. A broken hip can be fatal for an adult in their 70s or 80s. In fact, a senior is treated in an emergency room every 11 seconds, according to the National Council on Aging. And, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), fatal fall injuries for older adults have increased by 30 percent from 2007 to 2016. For older adults, receiving financial compensation to cover their medical bills, ongoing treatment, and pain and suffering is a vital part of their recovery process.
What If I Waited to Go to the Hospital or Doctor’s Office?
Following a premises injury, whether it is a slip and fall, burn, electric shock, dog bite, or any other injury caused by the property or business owner’s negligence, it is best to seek medical attention as soon as possible. If you waited for days or weeks before receiving medical attention in the ER, urgent care room, or doctor’s office, an insurance company may point to that as evidence that your injuries were not as serious as you claim. Furthermore, it will be harder to prove that what injuries you do have were not caused in some other fashion, and the premises accident had nothing to do with them. In these cases, an attorney becomes even more important.
Florida Premises Liability Law Holds Property Owners Accountable to Customers and Guests
Florida premises liability law classifies persons depending upon their reason for being on the property. A person can be categorized as a public invitee, business invitee, invited licensee, uninvited licensee, or trespasser. The duty owed by a property owner can vary depending on the status of the individual, but generally speaking, property owners are required to warn the public or fix any hazards that they know of or should know about, and to do so in a reasonable amount of time. Having an attorney who understands the complexities and nuances of Florida premises liability law is essential to bringing a successful claim against a negligent property owner.
Premises liability cases are often complicated cases to pursue. Property owners will claim they did not or could not have known about the dangerous condition before the accident occurred, or that the condition was open and obvious, so they had no duty to repair or warn. They will also often claim that the injury victim was not paying enough attention to his or her surroundings, and the victim’s own negligence caused the fall. Fighting these claims and defenses requires the help of skilled and experienced litigators.
A particularly difficult type of premises liability case occurs when the accident was caused by a hazard that was only temporary, such as a food or drink spill, or an obstruction in the aisle. Our experienced premises liability lawyers act quickly to investigate and gather the facts behind a slip-and-fall accident, including obtaining witness statements and securing evidence and security camera footage. We’ll even call on industry experts as needed to review company records and determine whether reasonable routine floor inspections were being conducted or ignored prior to the accident. We leave no stone unturned in building a strong case that holds the property owner liable for the full extent of the damages caused in a serious slip-and-fall accident.
Compassionate Jacksonville Slip & Fall Lawyers
If you have been hurt in a slip-and-fall accident or trip and fall in a Lake City or Jacksonville grocery store, restaurant, parking lot or shopping mall, call Douglas & Carter for a free consultation with a team of dedicated and successful premises liability lawyers.