This may surprise you, but only a small percentage of personal injury or wrongful death claims for a slip and fall accident in Florida go to trial. That’s because most slip and fall accident lawsuits are settled long before the case goes to court. Negotiating a settlement without having to go to court provides many benefits for both sides.
A Few Facts About Slip and Fall Accidents in Florida
Each year, thousands of Florida residents become injured or die as a result of a slip and fall accident. Many of the victims are over 65. A slip and fall accident can take place just about anywhere: grocery or retail stores, gas stations, swimming pools, libraries, hotels and motels, schools, nursing homes, hospitals, etc.
Some of the most common injuries in Florida slip and fall accidents include:
- Bruises and cuts
- Bone fractures (hip fractures are a common injury in slip and fall accidents involving older adults)
- Back and spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Internal organ and soft tissue injuries
Here are a few facts about fall accidents, courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC):
- One out of five falls causes a serious injury such as broken bones or a head injury.
- Each year, 3 million older people are treated in emergency departments for fall injuries.
- Over 800,000 patients a year are hospitalized because of a fall injury, most often because of a head injury or hip fracture.
- Falls are the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries (TBI).
- In 2015, the total medical costs for falls totaled more than $50 billion.
Many Florida Slip and Fall Accidents Shouldn’t Have Happened
Unfortunately, many of these accidents shouldn’t have happened. They occurred due to someone else’s negligence. Property owners and managers are required by state law to protect their visitors (guests, customers, tenants, students, patients, employees, etc.) from foreseeable harm due to any potentially hazardous conditions that exist on the premises, including:
- Puddles and wet floors
- Piled up litter
- Cluttered aisles and walkways
- Uneven carpeting or matting
- Poor lighting
- Overstuffed shelves
- Haphazardly placed/stacked items
- Improperly maintained steps or stairways
- Defective escalators/elevators
Slip and Fall Accident Victims Are Entitled to Compensation for Their Injuries
When property owners or managers fail in their duty to protect their visitors, all sorts of accidents can happen, including slip and fall accidents. Florida’s premises liability laws give victims the right to seek compensation for any damages stemming from their accident-related injuries. In a slip and fall accident, these damages often include:
- Current medical expenses
- Anticipated medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Lost employment
- Pain, suffering, and mental anguish
Obtaining the full compensation for slip and fall damages can be a challenge. The liable party and their insurance companies are often reluctant to pay for their mistakes. In most instances, a slip and fall victim must hire a personal injury attorney to recover this compensation.
One of the first things a Lutz premises liability attorney will do is file a lawsuit. A lawsuit is a civil action brought by the plaintiff (the victim) demanding a legal or equitable remedy from a court for the losses caused by the defendant’s (the property owner or manager) actions. If the court rules in the plaintiff’s favor, the court will award damages, compel an act, or impose a temporary or permanent injunction to prevent an act.
Negotiating a Settlement vs. Going to Court
However, chances are this slip and fall lawsuit will never go to trial. The plaintiff’s attorney will first attempt to negotiate a settlement with the defendant’s representatives. A settlement is an agreement that satisfactorily resolves the plaintiff’s dispute with the defendant. Negotiating a settlement provides advantages to both sides:
- It costs less.
- It takes less time.
- Plaintiffs are guaranteed compensation.
- There are none of the “surprises” that can occur in a jury trial.
- It protects the privacy of both parties since there are no court documents that will enter into the public record.
Get Help Recovering the Compensation You Deserve
If you’ve been injured in a slip and fall accident in Lutz, FL, it’s important to hire an attorney who’s dedicated to protecting your rights to get the total settlement you deserve for your pain, suffering, and losses.
Lutz personal injury attorney Tania Rivas and Rivas Law Group have represented clients injured in a wide range of slip and fall accidents. She’s recovered millions of dollars in settlements for her clients. If the defendant doesn’t wish to settle or an acceptable settlement cannot be reached, Tania is more than willing to take your slip and fall case to trial.
Contact Rivas Law Group through our website or call us at (877) 299-5539 to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your case with a slip and fall accident attorney in Lutz, FL.