Personal injury is a broad term that can be applied to a variety of circumstances, from auto accidents to slip and fall accidents to accidents that take place at a business or home. Knowing your rights in any circumstance goes a long way when making a personal injury claim with an insurance company.
Last month, we talked about personal injury and negligence as related to auto accidents. Just as a driver is responsible for any damage or injuries incurred as a result of breaching their duty of care behind the wheel, the same analysis applies to the area of premises liability.
The area of law for this subsection of personal injury is usually called “slip and falls” or “trip and falls.” These claims arise when a person or entity responsible for a building, home or store that is open to the public fails to keep that property safe and free of dangerous conditions. Dangerous conditions are those that can be apparent or hidden and cause injury to a person.
For instance, the most common dangerous condition for a slip and fall is a wet or slippery floor. The most common dangerous condition for a trip and fall would be uneven pavement or flooring or a raised object on an otherwise flat surface. Also, it’s not uncommon for objects to fall from shelving in stores or for fixtures to become loose from ceilings or walls.
In any of those circumstances, landowners and those in charge of premises open to the public have a duty to inspect their property to make sure that it’s safe for all those who enter. When a dangerous condition exists, the landowner may be responsible for any injury that occurs to you.
If you’re injured at a premise open to the public or where you have a right to be, it’s imperative that you report the incident to the landowner or business owner right away. In most instances, they will take your information and write an incident report. Make sure you get a copy of this report before you leave the premise. Also, never sign a blank report.
In order to file a personal injury claim in Florida, it’s imperative that you know what the cause of your fall was. Make sure you document the dangerous condition in writing or by photographs. Take photographs of the scene, the conditions existing at the time, such as a wet or dirty floor, packages left in a walkway, light bulbs out, etc., and if apparent, photograph your injuries. If your injuries are significant, seek immediate medical attention.
When you’re injured because somebody else failed to ensure the safety of their property when they had the duty to do so, it’s important to consult with an attorney who concentrates their practice on personal injury litigation. Their expertise can help you build the right strategy for your medical and financial recovery.