You are not required by law to hire a lawyer for a slip and fallin Florida. However, having an attorney who understands premises liability law, knows how to negotiate with insurance companies, and can represent your interests in court offers a healthy of peace of mind—leaving you to focus on recovering from your injuries.
Here are five things you should get when you hire a slip and fall lawyer in Florida.
A Lawyer Will Establish the Party Who is At-Fault and Liable for Your Slip and Fall
Personal injury law requires that you identify the person or party who is at fault and liable for your slip and fall using a “duty of care” formula. Your personal injury lawyer will handle this requirement for you by proving:
- A party had a duty of care to take reasonable steps to protect you from harm or injury. In a slip-and-fall case, the facility owner usually assumes this responsibility.
- This party breached this duty of care because he or she failed to maintain the property, should have known about the unsafe condition and did not act on it,or did not notify you of the danger in the area where your slip and fall occurred.
- The party’s negligence caused you to slip and fall, and you incurred injuries.
- You suffered damages from your injuries, including medical expenses, lost wages and benefits, pain and suffering, and so on.
Your lawyer will tap various sources of evidence to work through the multi-pronged duty of care formula. For example:
- Witness statements
- Facility maintenance records
- Medical records
- Surveillance videos
- Employment records
A Lawyer Will Calculate Your Damages for Your Slip and Fall Acciden
When you experience a slip-and-fall accident, the damages extend far beyond your doctor bill. Without the proper insight into all the repercussions of your accident, you might not be aware of the full impact of your injuries until it is too late to be compensated for them.
A lawyer knows where to look and who to ask for information so that he or she can compose a full-blown picture of how your injuries have impacted you economically and non-economically—today and into the future.
Some of the areas your lawyer will explore for damages include:
- Costs for surgery
- Medical expenses (past, present, and future)
- Physical therapy/rehabilitation
- Replacement services (lawncare, childcare, housekeeping, cooking)
- Emergency transportation
- Prescription medication
- Lost wages (past, present, and future)
- Lost benefits
- Diminished quality of life
- Diminished future potential earnings
- Pain and suffering
The numbers your attorney attaches to these types of damages will be well researched and documented and will include professional opinions from various experts, including medical, economic, and vocational.
A Lawyer Will Talk to the Insurance Companies and Negotiate Toward a Fair Settlemen
Your attorney will take on the task that no mere mortal dares to approach: the challenge of talking to the insurance companies.
The lawyer begins this process by sending a demand letter to the insurer outlining your damages. The insurance provider will reply by either agreeing to the damage demands and cutting you a check; countering with a (much lower) offer; or denying the claim entirely.
If the reply consists of a counter-offer, the negotiation talks begin, with your lawyer working to get the insurer to settle for an amount that more closely matches your original demand.
If the insurer denied your claim or refused to agree to a fair settlement, your lawyer will file a lawsuit against the property owner on your behalf in civil court.
A Lawyer Will File Your Lawsuit and Represent You in Cour
Your lawyer knows how to present a case in court. He or she will file your lawsuit for your slip-and-fall accident, along with all aspects of the legal proceeding, including:
- Calling and deposing witnesses
- Filing motions
- Entering evidence
- Negotiating with the defendant’s lawyers
- Litigating your case on your behalf
A Lawyer Can Juggle all the Legal Balls When Things Get Complicate
The four areas we have outlined so far represent just the tip of the legal iceberg. Slip-and-fall cases quickly plunge into some deep and icy waters.
For starters, the defendant might prove that your negligence at least partly caused your slip and fall. Under Florida’s pure comparative negligence doctrine, you can still recover damages, but reduced by the percentage you are found to have been negligent.
Furthermore, quite possibly, more than one party is to blame for your accident. Maybe you fell down a staircase, for which the premises owner is responsible, but the handrail is found to contain a manufacturing defect, which also contributed to your accident. A lawyer can sort through multiple parties and all their insurance companies and lawyers, so you do not have to bother with it.
If You Experienced a Slip and Fall in Florida and Are Considering Hiring a Lawyer
Even if you have not yet decided to hire a lawyer for your slip and fall in Florida, you might sleep better knowing you have explored the option. Call Chalik & Chalik Injury Lawyerstoday for a free case review and initial consultation: 855-529-0269.