Were you or a loved one hurt in a slip, trip or fall accident that you believe may have resulted from poor property upkeep or maintenance? Slipping and falling, especially in a public place, can be embarrassing, and the instinct is often to laugh it off and go on with your day. But unfortunately, many times injuries from such seemingly silly accidents can be more serious than originally thought or felt; and what’s more, all too often they could have been prevented altogether. If a property’s unsafe conditions are, indeed, what led to your injury, you may have grounds for a slip and fall claim.
Since 2001, lead attorney Maria Gerber and the entire team at Gerber Law in Sarasota have been helping clients who suffer harm under dangerous premises circumstances which lead to senseless accidents and undue injuries. We know how to support you throughout the legal process, taking on all responsibilities of your slip and fall accident case such as filing the claim properly, gathering supporting evidence and even engaging top-notch outside investigators and expert witnesses when necessary. Most importantly, we pursue your interests aggressively, helping you obtain the full injury compensation to which you are entitled.
Where do slip and fall accidents occur?
Falls can happen anywhere, usually without warning of the presence of dangerous conditions. And depending on where your accident occurs, different parties may be to blame. For example, if your accident occurs on residential property, the homeowner may be at fault. If you rent an apartment and fall because of a faulty handrail or trip over an uneven step, your landlord may be responsible. If you slip and fall at a commercial location, you may have a case against the business owner. Consider the following common locations of slips and falls:
- Walkways, sidewalks and stairwells
- Parking lots
- Public parks, public pools, recreational spaces and other outdoor facilities
- Arenas, sporting venues and other entertainment facilities
- Amusement parks
- Retail spaces (shopping malls, department stores, big box stores, convenience stores, supermarkets, grocery stores, etc.)
- Restaurants and other dining facilities
- Apartment complexes and other residential spaces
- Hotels, motels, camp sites, Airbnbs and other tourist lodging
- Construction sites
What is a dangerous condition?
By simply inviting visitors, patrons or clients onto their premises, property owners assume a responsibility to take reasonable measures to make that space safe to those who enter—this is known as a duty of care. Of course, dangers and other hazards are bound to arise or develop on any property; the owner’s (or manager’s, proprietor’s, etc.) duty is to make active efforts to notice those issues, clean or repair them in a timely matter when possible, and provide adequate warning if a particular danger cannot be eliminated. Legally, failing to take such measures could be considered negligence.
Some examples of dangerous conditions that can lead to slip and fall injuries include the following:
- Wet surfaces – Floors, walkways or steps that become slippery due to food spills, leaky refrigeration units, condensation or other substances
- Uneven or damaged pavement – Cracked or poorly laid sidewalk slabs, holes in asphalt, or other structural damage to walkways
- Stairwell damage – Uneven or broken stairs, exposed nails or other hardware, wobbly railings, absence of a railing altogether, general instability
- Floor and carpet damage – Warped flooring panels, uneven walkways, loose floorboards, bulging, torn or frayed carpeting
- Poor lighting – Inadequate lighting making a stairwell or other path perilous to navigate
- Lack of warning – Absence of adequate signage or failure to otherwise alert visitors to potential hazards
What evidence is needed to prove liability in a slip and fall case?
Gathering material evidence is an important step in the process of any injury claim, but never more crucial than in slip and fall and other dangerous premises cases. This is because the circumstances of a slip and fall accident can otherwise come down to one party’s word versus the other’s—personal accounts alone are rarely sufficient evidence to support claims of negligence.
A good slip and fall lawyer will help you acquire the following types of evidence that could ultimately make the difference in your case:
- Photographs of the accident scene
- Surveillance videos that may exist of the accident itself as well as of the premises in the time leading up to the accident
- A copy of any official report of the accident such as a police report or a business’s internal incident report
- Reports of any similar accidents that occurred due to the same conditions
- Copies of all medical records pertaining to your injury and treatment
- Eyewitness testimony
- Testimony from forensic specialists and/or other expert witnesses
Obtaining compensation for slip and fall injuries
Success in your Sarasota slip and fall claim depends on your ability to prove the following:
- That a dangerous condition was present on the property
- That the person or people responsible for maintaining the property either knew about the danger and failed to address it or provide adequate warning, or that they should have known had they paid reasonable attention/performed their responsibilities adequately
- That the dangerous condition directly caused your slip and fall accident and subsequent injury
- That you incurred real losses from the injury such as those from medical bills, lost wages from missed work during recovery, long term, or permanent disability, etc.
In a successful case, your compensation may come from one or more parties, depending on who is found liable. A property owner may bear some responsibility, as may its tenant in a commercial space, as may a proprietor or manager. If the accident occurred in a local park or other public space, the city itself might be found liable.
The damages you can recover depend on those you suffered. Most often you can obtain coverage of any medical costs, as well as payment of wages for any missed work time. Depending on the severity of your injury, the value of your case could be quite significant—especially if your injury hinders your ability to work or provide for your family in the future.
Seek legal support from a skilled injury lawyer after your slip and fall accident in Sarasota
Advocating for victims of dangerous premises accidents and other types of personal injuries for more than 20 years, the team at Gerber Law has the experience, empathy, and legal acumen you need to obtain the compensation you deserve. To schedule your free case evaluation today, call 1-866-233-4529 or contact us online—we’ll even come to your home or meet you in the hospital at your convenience.