Jacksonville Slip and Fall Lawyers
Owners of property are required to maintain safe conditions for visitors to their premises, whether this is a private property, a government building, or a public area. When we legally enter property owned by other people, we have a right to expect that the owner has upheld these laws in order that our visits are safe and free from avoidable hazards. While most business owners take care of these requirements with diligence, there are unfortunate situations where people are injured due to things like improperly maintained stairways, slippery floors, exposed electrical wires, and more. These are all known as premises liabilities, and one of the most common examples of premises liability is a slip and fall.
If you have been hurt after slipping on a wet floor or slick surface on someone else’s property, contact the team at Fasig | Brooks as soon as possible for a free initial consultation about your situation. No two accidents are alike, so no matter how much information we provide below, you will have many questions about your unique case and how we can help you get the money you rightfully deserve. Take a look below to get a general sense of how a slip and fall case works, and contact us today to schedule your consultation.
What Is a Slip and Fall Premises Liability?
Simply put, any premises liability case stems from a property owner’s (or, in certain instances, a leasee or management company) failure to maintain their property to keep it safe for visitors. In the specific instance of a slip and fall, the victim slips and falls due to a slippery floor from a spill, a cleaning person failing to leave out a warning sign at the door of a bathroom, or in colder climates, an icy walkway. There are many specific scenarios that can lead to a slip and fall, but this is the general idea.
When we see a bright yellow sign in the aisle of a grocery store or at the front of a public bathroom warning us of a “Wet Floor,” it is more than a courtesy: it is to avoid liability in the event that someone slips on the floor, as the owner will be able to argue that they were adequately warned of the danger. If, on the other hand, you were to slip on a floor due to a leak or a spill and the owner did not either fix the leak or put a sign out, then this is an example of a personal injury caused by their negligence.
How Much Is a Slip and Fall Case Worth?
As with any personal injury case, the money owed to a victim is entirely specific on the situation. Personal injury cases seek compensation for a variety of damages, many of which an insurance company will not include in their own investigation or factor into their settlement offer. The following is a general breakdown of the two types of compensatory damages present in personal injury cases.
Economic damages are those damages that have actual values associated with them — essentially, anything that comes with a bill, receipt, invoice, or financial statement. They include all of your medical bills and related costs, such as copayments, prescriptions, assistive devices, physical therapy, and anything else specifically relating to your injuries and recovery. In addition, economic damages seek compensation for any impacts to your income or earning capacity, such as lost wages from missed time at work, vacation days or sick leave used to cover these days off, as well as reductions to your actual earning capacity.
There are many other economic damages, as well, each of which your attorney will help you understand as they compile and calculate them. One of the most significant benefits of working with a personal injury attorney in Jacksonville is that you have access to an experienced legal professional who knows where to look to find every possible damage to include in your negotiations with the insurance company, many of which would otherwise be overlooked.
Non-economic damages are more complicated to calculate, simply because they seek monetary compensation for damages that do not have set, measurable dollar values associated with them. For example, one of the most common non-economic damages is “pain and suffering,” a very real impact of an accident that has no market value. Your attorney will gather all of the non-economic damages that you have endured, including things like depression, fear, or anxiety following your accident, and will use one of a number of tools available to put a dollar value to them.
Insurance companies prefer to avoid paying as many non-economic damages as possible, so it is likely that these will be what most of the negotiations are focused on. Trying to negotiate non-economic damages on your own — especially while you are recovering from serious injuries — can be overwhelming, so leaving this to an experienced slip and fall lawyer is your best bet.