Hurt in a Slip and Fall? Contact Our Miami Attorneys Today
At Bernheim Kelley Battista, LLC, our Miami slip and fall accident attorneys are experienced advocates for injured victims. Negligent businesses and negligent property owners must be held accountable for slips and falls caused by unsafe conditions on property. If you or your loved one was hurt in a serious accident, we are more than ready to help. To set up a free consultation with a top Florida premises liability attorney, please contact us at our Miami law office today.
A slip and fall accident claim in Florida is a type of fault-based premises liability case. It is a civil cause of action that can arise when an individual sustains injuries due to unsafe conditions on someone else's property. Businesses and property owners in Miami and elsewhere in Florida have a legal duty to maintain safe environments for visitors. If negligence on the part of the business or property owner—perhaps an unmarked wet floor or an unrepaired uneven surface—leads to an accident, the injured party may seek compensation. The validity of a Florida slip and fall accident claim often hinges on proving that the defendant:
Knew or should have known about the hazard and;
That they failed to properly address the safety hazard.
A serious slip-and-fall accident can change your entire life in a matter of seconds. It can be sudden, painful, and leave a person dealing with serious injuries. Navigating the aftermath of a slip and fall can be challenging, especially from a legal perspective. Here are four steps to take to put yourself in the best position to bring a successful slip and fall accident injury claim in Miami:
Get Immediate Medical Care for Any Injuries: The first priority is your health. After a slip and fall, it is essential to seek immediate medical attention. Not only does this protect your health, but it also creates a medical record of the incident. You need to see a doctor to be eligible to bring a slip and fall accident claim in Florida.
Document the Accident—Especially the Safety Hazard: Your memory might fade over time, and conditions at the accident site can change. Try to take pictures of the scene, most notably the specific hazard that caused your fall. If there were any witnesses, collect their names and contact details. Write a brief account of what happened.
Notify the Business or Property Owner: Another key step that you should take is that you should formally notify the person or entity responsible for the premises about the accident. If the accident occurs at a business, report it to the management or owner. Creating a record of the slip and fall accident can make it easier to pursue a legal claim.
Consult With a Miami Slip and Fall Attorney: Before you give any statement to the at-fault business, the at-fault property owner, or any insurance company, you should consult with a Miami slip and fall accident attorney. Your lawyer will ensure that your legal rights and financial interests are protected at each and every step of the way.
Slip and fall accidents and trip and fall accidents happen far more often than many people realize. The National Floor Safety Institute reports that around one million people are hurt in slips and falls each year. Many of these incidents result in catastrophic injuries or even fatalities.
What are the slip and fall accident consequences? Unfortunately, for many people, these incidents can cause truly devastating harm. Slip and fall injuries can range from relatively minor and moderate to catastrophic and life-threatening. Some of the most common slip and fall accident injuries reported in Miami include:
Soft tissue damage;
Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs);
Internal injuries; and
Spinal cord damage.
To learn more, schedule a free consultation with us today.
A business or property owner in Miami is not automatically liable for a slip and fall accident that happens on their premises. Instead, they will only bear legal responsibility if their negligence contributed to the incident. You will generally need to prove that there was an unreasonable safety hazard on the property. Here are some notable examples of slip and fall accidents that could constitute negligence in Miami:
Slippery Surfaces: Slippery surfaces are the cause of many slip and fall accidents. Under Florida law (Florida Statutes § 768.0755), an injured person must prove that a business establishment had actual or constructive knowledge of the dangerous condition and should have acted to remedy it to hold them liable for a fall caused by a slippery surface.
Uneven Floors: Areas where the flooring is inconsistent or where there are sudden, unmarked changes in floor height can pose significant risks. Property owners should ensure that transitions between different types of flooring are smooth and visibly marked.
Tattered Carpeting: Over time, carpeting can wear out, leading to raised edges or holes. Deteriorated carpeting can pose a serious slipping/tripping hazard. A business or property owner in Miami may be held liable if they fail to replace or repair it.
Broken Stairs: Stairs are high-risk zones for fall accidents. With this in mind, staircases should always be in proper working order. Broken or uneven stairs can cause severe falls. Handrails should also be sturdy and present where needed.
Lack of Lighting: Adequate lighting is crucial. Slip and fall accidents are far more likely to occur in areas that are poorly lit. Broken or unreasonably dim lights may be deemed negligence if not properly addressed by a business or property owner.
You must initiate your slip and fall accident injury claims before the statute of limitations in Florida expires. For many years, injured victims had four years to bring such a claim. However, the rules have changed. Under Florida Statutes § 95.11(3)(a), the statute of limitations for a slip and fall accident is now two years. Do not delay: Consult with a Miami slip and fall lawyer right away.
A slip and fall accident claim is a type of premises liability case. The primary legal remedy in any premises liability claim is compensation. For slip and fall accident victims in Miami, it is crucial that they are able to secure the maximum available compensation. The damages that you can seek through a Miami slip and fall injury claim can be split up into three broad categories:
Economic Damages: Economic damages form the basis of your claim. These are actual, tangible losses related to your slip and fall accident. Some of the common examples of economic losses include medical bills, lost wages, and diminished earning capacity.
Non-Economic Damages: Non-economic damages are more difficult to value, but no less real. They must be properly considered as part of your claim. Non-economic damages include pain and suffering, mental distress, long-term disability, and physical disfigurement.
Punitive Damages: Punitive damages are a limited remedy that may be recovered in a small number of slip and fall cases. They are not tied to a specific loss. Instead, they are designed to punish the extremely reckless conduct of the at-fault business or property owner.
It depends. You need to prove fault to bring a successful slip and fall accident claim in Miami. That being said, compensation may still be recovered even if you are found partially at fault for the accident. Florida now operates under a modified comparative negligence system for premises liability claims. As long as you are at fault for no more than 50% of your own accident, you may be eligible to recover compensation through a slip and fall accident claim in Miami.
Yes. It matters a lot. While businesses and property owners owe a comprehensive duty of care to customers and other guests (invitees), they only owe very limited legal duties to trespassers. If you were trespassing at the time of the slip and fall in Miami, it would be difficult to bring a claim.
In a slip and fall accident claim in Florida, the burden of proof rests on the plaintiff. They must demonstrate, using a preponderance of the evidence, that the property owner's negligence caused their injury. To be clear, this is a far more forgiving standard than “reasonable doubt.” In effect, you need to prove the defendant’s culpability with a 51% likelihood.
When preparing to pursue a slip and fall accident injury claim in Miami, it is essential to anticipate potential defenses that the opposing party might raise. Indeed, businesses, property owners, and insurance companies often fight these claims aggressively. Here are some common defenses:
Trespassing: If the injured party was on the property without permission, the owner might use trespassing as a defense, arguing they owed no duty to the trespasser.
No Notice: Property owners might claim they were unaware of the hazard. If they can prove they had no actual or constructive knowledge of the dangerous condition, they may escape fault.
Adequate Warning: If the property owner provided clear warning signs around the hazardous area, they might argue that they took reasonable steps to prevent accidents.
Comparative Negligence: The defendant may argue that the victim was partly or wholly responsible for their own injuries. Always be ready to challenge a defendant who tries to push the blame for your slip and fall accident back onto you.
Slip and fall accident injury claims are notoriously complex. You cannot trust businesses, property owners, or commercial property insurance companies to do what is right for you and your family. At BK Law, we fight for real justice and real results for injured victims—whether through a personal injury settlement or personal injury verdict. At Bernheim Kelley Battista, LLC, our Miami slip and accident lawyers are passionate, experienced, and effective advocates for injured victims. If you were hurt in a slip and fall or trip and fall, we are here to help. Contact us right away for your free, no-strings-attached consultation. With an office in Miami, we handle slip and fall claims in Miami-Dade County and throughout South Florida.
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