SLIP AND FALL ACCIDENTS FAQ'S
Q. What is the difference between a slip and fall case and a car accident case?
A. Car accidents are governed by statutory law. Slip and fall cases are governed by common law. Therefore, there are more rules and procedures to follow regarding a car accident case. In a car accident, there is mandatory PIP insurance to pay for medical expenses up to $10,000.00. In a slip and fall incident, the property owner is not required to pay for any of your medical expenses – and if you do not have health insurance, your medical bills will not be paid. In a car accident case, a victim has to have a permanent impairment in order to recover any money for pain and suffering. In a slip and fall case, there is no such requirement.
A skilled and experienced law firm can assist you with finding a doctor with no up front payment and possible getting the property owner to pay for a portion of the medical bills up front.
Q. If someone trips or falls on a defective sidewalk, and is injured, who can they sue?
A. Most sidewalks are owned and maintained by the government. Some are owned and maintained by shopping centers and apartment rental communities. Sidewalk owners have a duty to keep streets and sidewalks in repair.
A claim against the government is more difficult because there more rules and regulations to follow. Also, a claim against the government is usually capped at $100,000.00. A claim against a private owner is easier and there is no cap on a monetary award.
Q. Can you receive compensation from a store where he or she was injured in a slip and fall accident?
A. Typically, slip and fall cases involve grocery stores such as Publix and/or Winn-Dixie or huge retailers such as Wal-Mart, K-Mart, or Target. These stores have a duty to keep their floors reasonably safe for customers, and employees should routinely inspect areas the public might access, to discover any potentially dangerous conditions.
If a slippery substance on the floor causes a fall, and a plaintiff can show that the substance had been there for a relatively long period of time, or that the store otherwise had notice of it, he or she may be able to recover damages.
Q. What should I do if I slip and fall in a store?
A. The first thing to do is to take a mental note of the area where you fell. It is crucial in a slip and fall case to establish that the store was on “notice” of the dangerous condition that caused you to slip and fall. Often times, the reason someone slips is because of water. The water usually absorbs into your clothing after you fall, so there is no evidence left on the ground. Be careful to notice if the water absorbed into your clothes, whether it was dirty, or there were grocery cart tracks or footsteps in the water where you fell. These types of clues allow us to argue that the area was not inspected in a “reasonable amount of time” and that the store knew or should have known (had they inspected the area) that the floor was wet and slippery.
The amount of water, tracks in the water, or dirtiness of the water show that the water accumulated over time or was left there without inspection for a long period of time.
Q. Can I recover money if I am not seriously injured?
A. Yes. Most law firms will not accept a slip and fall case unless there is a serious injury. However, our law firm takes pride in fighting for victims involved in slip and fall accidents who do not have serious injuries. Even if you only received minimal medical treatment, you are still entitled to receive compensation for pain and suffering.
Q. Who is going to pay my medical bills if I am injured in a slip and fall?
A. There is no requirement that the store or property owner pay for your medical bills. Therefore, unless you have health insurance, your medical bills will not be paid. Our law firm can assist you with finding a doctor and getting you the medical treatment you need even if you do not have health insurance. The doctors will typically be paid out of any settlement we obtain on your behalf.
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