Parkland Slip & Fall Lawyer
Anyone can be a fall victim at any time. But older people are especially susceptible to these injuries, mostly because of pre-existing conditions. For example, many of these individuals have gait disorders. So, when they stumble, they cannot regain their balance. Regardless of the victim’s age, insurance companies usually cannot use a victim’s vulnerabilities as an excuse to reduce injury compensation.
The diligent Parkland slip & fall lawyers at Lyons & Snyder take the eggshell skull rule and other legal doctrines into account when they evaluate your claim. Once we determine the best possible legal approach, we collect evidence that supports your claim and refutes likely insurance company defenses. In our experience, people who do their homework usually do well on the tests. So, the hard work we stress on the front end usually produces good results at the back end.
Duty of Care
Legal responsibility levels often vary based on a person’s status. For example, commercial drivers in Florida, like bus drivers, usually have a higher duty of care than noncommercial drivers. Similarly, in most premises liability claims, the duty varies in different situations, as follows:
- Invitee: If a victim has permission to be on the land and the victim’s presence benefits the owner in any way, the victim is usually an invitee. In these cases, owners have a duty of reasonable care. They must make the store, hospital, home, or other property safe for visitors, and they must conduct safety inspections.
- Licensee: An apartment tenant’s guest is usually a licensee. These individuals have permission to be on the land, but their presence doesn’t benefit the owner. Since the relationship is less close, the legal responsibility is lower. Typically, owners must only warn licensees about latent (hidden) defects, like loose stairway handrails.
- Trespasser: Generally, if there is no permission and no benefit, there is no legal duty. A few exceptions, such as the frequent trespasser doctrine and the attractive nuisance rule, protect some trespassers in some situations.
Admittedly, these categories are a bit confusing. Therefore, some states have dropped this classification system and replaced it with a blanket duty of care. But Florida courts still use the invitee/licensee/trespasser categories. So, a Parkland slip & fall lawyer must take special care and explain these categories to jurors without talking down to them.
Knowledge of Hazard
Proving a theoretical responsibility for injury is not enough to obtain compensation. Victim/plaintiffs must also establish negligence, which in this context means establishing knowledge of the hazard which caused the injury. Either direct or circumstantial evidence is available.
Attorneys often uncover restroom cleaning reports which mention potential fall hazards and other smoking guns during discovery, if a lawyer asks the right questions. Discovery is a court-supervised information exchange proceeding. Florida law requires parties to trade information about all their possible claims and defenses. So, discovery is more than a chance to build a case. It also offers a preview of the insurance company’s response.
Circumstantial evidence of constructive knowledge (should have known) often involves Florida’s time-notice rule. Assume Michael slips on a piece of wilted lettuce. Since that piece of lettuce had probably been on the floor for a while, the owner might be responsible for Michael’s injuries. However, if the piece of lettuce was crisp, it probably just fell, so no liability attaches.
Damages in a slip & fall claim usually include compensation for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering.
Reach Out to a Diligent Broward County Slip & Fall Attorney
Injury victims are usually entitled to substantial compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced slip & fall lawyer in Parkland, contact Lyons & Snyder, Trial Lawyers. Attorneys can connect victims with doctors, even if they have no insurance or money.