Category Archives: Slip/Trip & Fall

What Small Business Owners Need to Know: Workplace Accidents

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Are you a small business owner?

Are you prepared for the risk of workplace incidents?

Although more workplace incidents occur in large manufacturing companies, the incident rate of workplace incidents is similar in both large and small businesses.  But small businesses typically don’t have the infrastructure in place to manage workplace incidents.  Thus, one safety incident can result in increased workers’ compensation insurance premiums, putting a major strain on a small business’ ability to maintain a competitive edge in the marketplace.  Additionally, workplace incidents reduce worker productivity and can negatively affect company morale.

What are common causes of workplace incidents?

Workplace incidents can be caused by a variety of factors ranging from fatigue to hazardous materials.  Here are a few of the more common causes:

  • Repetitive Movements – Leading to injuries and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
  • Fatigue – Working beyond exhaustion, resulting in impaired judgement and lack of attention.
  • Stress — Causing distraction and a higher risk of making mistakes. Furthermore, stress increases risk of hypertension, heart attack, stroke, and other health problems.
  • Collisions — Moving quickly through hallways and colliding with another person or object, causing injuries, especially if carrying sharp objects or hot liquids.
  • Slips and Falls – Slip and fall injuries caused by slippery substances not properly cleaned up, objects left in walkways, or carpet or cords not properly secured.
  • Lifting Objects – Risking injury by lifting objects that are too heavy or without using proper lifting techniques/body positioning.
  • Hazardous Materials – Failure to use proper protection which may result in burns, explosions and health problems.
  • Falling Objects — Risking injury from falling objects on high shelves or cabinets.
  • Workplace Violence – Disgruntled employees or estranged spouses seeking revenge against another in the workplace.

Small business owners should lower workplace incident risks by:

  • Taking time to put proper workplace safety measures in place, installing proper signage, performing regular safety assessments, providing safety training, and being proactive with potential risks.
  • Preventing injuries by keeping common areas free of obstacles, keeping all areas well-lit, and cleaning up any spills quickly.
  • Working with staff to reduce repetitive stress movements by building breaks into the schedule, using ergonomic tools, and installing proper lighting.
  • Ensuring that workers wear proper protective clothing when working with hazardous materials.
  • Providing safety training and proper equipment so that employees doing heavy lifting are wearing back braces and using proper lifting techniques to protect against injury.
  • Training staff members how to reduce stress and avoid distraction that can cause workplace accidents.
  • Securing furniture and items on top so that objects won’t come tumbling down if the structure gets bumped.
  • Encouraging employees to think about safety, reminding employees to follow policies and procedures, and instituting incentives for focusing on safety.

In addition, prepare your business in the case of a workplace incident by:

  • Keeping a comprehensive first-aid kit that employees can quickly access in case of an injury.
  • Purchasing good insurance from a reliable agent.
  • Maintaining an incident report log with details in case there is ever a workers’ compensation claim.

The costs of workplace injuries for a small business can be significant, affecting productivity and the bottom line.  But taking the steps above will help you to provide a safer work environment that can drive productivity and employee morale.

Goldman & Daszkal, P.A.

Since 1990, Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. has provided reputable legal representation to people throughout the state of Florida.  The firm has helped thousands of individuals recover compensation from motor vehicle and boating accidents, slip and fall accidents, product defect and liability cases, pharmacy errors, and negligent security cases to cover medical expenses, pay bills, take care of their families, and return to work.  Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. can help you get the relief you need to start living your life again after a serious injury.  For a free and confidential consultation, contact Goldman & Daszkal, P.A., at (954) 428-9333.

 

What Small Business Owners Need to Know: Property Liability Lawsuits

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As a small business owner, you probably have your hands full directing your business, supervising employees, managing logistics, selecting the right vendors, and dealing with customers.

Unless your small business is a law office, chances are that property liability is probably not at the top of your list…in fact, it may not even be on your list… but it should be!

Here’s why!

Several studies across the insurance industry indicate that at least 40% of all small businesses will experience general or property liability claims within the next ten years.  That’s nearly half of all small businesses!

As a small business owner, you need to be aware of potential liabilities, and how to prevent and mediate them.

Here are the top 10 risks and liabilities for small businesses:

  • Burglary and Theft
  • Water and Freezing Damage
  • Fire Damage
  • Wind and Hail Damage
  • Customer Injury and Damage
  • Customer Slip and Fall
  • Product Liability
  • Reputational Harm
  • Vehicle Accident
  • Individual Hit by Object

When any of these claims arise, they can be costly.

As a small business owner, you need to take basic precautions to avoid claims and lawsuits.  Here are some suggestions to get started:

  1. Evaluate your potential risks and consider purchasing a basic commercial general liability insurance policy for as little as $500 that can cover up to $1 million. Select a reputable insurance agent who can help you determine the best insurance for your business.  Once you purchase insurance, reassess annually.
  1. Prevent injuries and liability claims by inspecting and monitoring workplace conditions.
  1. Detect and correct any potentially unsafe conditions in the workplace and around the office building. Be sure to prepare for snow, ice, flooding, or other dangerous conditions that could affect an employee or customer entering the workplace.  Your liability doesn’t end at the front door.
  1. Create policies and procedures so your employees will be on the lookout for unsafe conditions and correct them promptly.
  1. If any potential hazards can’t be resolved immediately, put out clear warning signs for all employees and customers.
  1. Conduct background checks on all employees prior to hiring.
  1. Create and update emergency plans annually for fires, hurricanes, and other natural disasters.
  1. Keep the building exterior clear of debris and equipment. If the weather is extremely cold, take precautions to avoid freezing pipes.
  1. Establish a safety program for employees that drive as part of their job.
  1. Ensure images or wording used in marketing materials, on your website or on social media are not copyrighted.
  1. Use good judgement when talking about competitors and other businesses. Reputational harm is a serious liability.

Finally, as your business expands, so will your potential liabilities.  It’s critical that you reassess and update your insurance policy as your business grows.

Putting the right insurance in place and establishing good policies and procedures in the workplace will position you to run a successful business!

Goldman & Daszkal, P.A.

Since 1990, Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. has provided reputable legal representation to people throughout the state of Florida.  The firm has helped thousands of individuals recover compensation from motor vehicle and boating accidents, slip and fall accidents, product defect and liability cases, pharmacy errors, and negligent security cases to cover medical expenses, pay bills, take care of their families, and return to work.  Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. can help you get the relief you need to start living your life again after a serious injury.  For a free and confidential consultation, contact Goldman & Daszkal, P.A., at (954) 428-9333.

 

Florida Trip & Fall Accidents: Premises Liability

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When do “Trip and Falls” happen?

Trip and fall accidents occur when uneven surfaces or objects in a path cause someone to stumble and fall.

What causes “Trip and Falls”?

Some of the most common causes of trip and falls are potholes, broken sidewalks, cracked pavement, uneven floors, damaged stairs, uneven concrete slabs, and broken tiles.  Other tripping hazards include thick rugs, carpeting that is not flush or is bunched, and even poor lighting.

Who is responsible when someone trips and falls?

Property owners, home owners, building or store managers, and landlords have the responsibility to take reasonable care to ensure that their property is safe for customers, tenants or visitors.  Thus, the landlord, property owner, or manager should conduct routine inspections and make maintenance a priority, ensuring that the property is free of any hazards.  If there is a dangerous condition that can’t be immediately fixed, it’s the responsibility of the landlord, owner, or manager to post proper signage alerting all tenants, customers or visitors.

Whether the property is a restaurant, grocery store, office building, public park, or convenience store, premises liability law holds.  The law states that the property owner may be held liable for any injuries sustained by individuals while on their property if the owner does not exercise reasonable care in keeping the premises free from hazardous conditions.

If the owner, landlord, or manager is negligent and fails to keep the property free of hazardous conditions, they can be liable for any injuries that an individual suffers while on the property.  Common injuries from a trip and falls accident include neck, back and extremity injuries such as ankle, knee, elbow and wrists, and in some extreme cases brain injuries may occur.

What should you do if you or a loved one is injured in a trip and fall accident?

If you are injured in a trip and fall accident, call 9-1-1 first for medical help if necessary.  Then, if possible, take pictures of the accident site and jot down notes about what happened as well as the exact location, date and time.  This will be very helpful to build a case.

Next, contact a reputable personal injury attorney with experience handling trip and fall cases.

If the property owner or manager is found to be negligent, the injured individual may receive fair compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, physical disability, or lost income that was a result of the trip and fall accident.

Goldman & Daszkal, P.A.

Since 1990, Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. has provided reputable legal representation to people throughout the state of Florida.  The firm has helped thousands of individuals recover compensation from motor vehicle and boating accidents, slip and fall accidents, product defect and liability cases, pharmacy errors, and negligent security cases to cover medical expenses, pay bills, take care of their families, and return to work.  Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. can help you get the relief you need to start living your life again after a serious injury.  For a free and confidential consultation, contact Goldman & Daszkal, P.A., at (954) 428-9333.

Premises Liability: Summertime Slip and Falls

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Hot summers in South Florida are usually packed with fun ways to cool off.  Pool gatherings, beach outings, and boating are great ways for South Floridians to enjoy the heat.  Hot summers also translate into informal wardrobes and laid-back attitudes.  It’s not uncommon to see adults and teenagers alike popping into stores to pick up food and beverage in little more than a bathing suit and flip flops.  They may not realize it, but the unsteady flip flops make it easy to take a spill on any smooth surface, and even more so on a floor with some spilled liquids or oils.

Slips, trips, and falls                               

A slip, trip, or fall can happen without warning and can cause injuries ranging from sprains and strains to broken bones and serious spinal cord injuries.  An accident caused by a hazardous condition on someone’s property may also be referred to as a “premises liability” in the legal world.  Premises liabilities can may include tripping on a poorly maintained sidewalk or slipping on a floor that has not been cleaned of hazardous debris.  What may seem like an inconsequential injury should be taken seriously because the full extent of the injury may only be seen days later.  In other words, after a slip or trip and fall injury, get evaluated by a medical professional.

Property owners must take reasonable care

Property owners are required to take reasonable care to ensure that their property is safe.  This is true not only for grocery stores, but also for office buildings, retail stores, as well as residential homes and land owners.  Although invitees may have different classifications under the law, generally speaking, it is the property owner’s responsibility to fix any hazards or warn any visitors or tenants of any unsafe conditions on the property if they are unable to fix the problem.  Hazardous conditions may include slip and falls due to a foreign substance or tripping on debris or uneven sidewalks/pavers due to a poorly maintained building or common area.

Since property owners have the obligation to keep visitors safe, if an injury is sustained on a premise due to owner negligence, the owner of the premises may be liable. If the injured person can prove that the owner was aware of, or should have been aware of a potential hazard on the property but did nothing to correct it, or failed to warn them of the hazardous condition, the injured person may be eligible to receive injury compensation including medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost wages related to the injury.

What to do after suffering an injury

If you or a loved one sustained an injury due to unsafe conditions at a commercial establishment or private location, you may have a claim for damages.  Here are the steps you should take to prepare yourself or your loved one in case you need to file a claim:

  1. Contact 9-1-1 or seek medical attention immediately if you are injured.
  1. Report the accident immediately to the “property owner” (store manager, homeowner, or landlord.)
  1. Gather evidence by snapping photos of the location, your injuries, and any contributing factors to the fall. Make detailed notes of any dangerous conditions that caused the incident and note date, time, and clothing/shoes worn.  Save clothing or shoes worn during the incident.
  1. Request contact information of witnesses or anyone with whom you discussed the incident (names, addresses, and telephone numbers.)
  1. Avoid discussing your injuries and feelings other than with your attorney, police, or emergency professionals.

Once you receive medical treatment, we recommend that you find an experienced personal injury attorney to represent you and recover any lost wages and injury compensation to which you are entitled.  Goldman & Daszkal, P.A., is a reputable Florida based law firm and has been representing those injured in personal injury claims for the past 27 years.

When you contact Goldman & Daszkal, P.A., the firm will provide a free consultation to help you understand your rights and obligations.  A firm representative can meet with you at the law office or at a convenient location for you.  Then, your attorney can then take over the handling of your claim and contacting any remaining parties, allowing you to have peace of mind while you recover.

Goldman & Daszkal, P.A.

Since 1990, Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. has provided reputable legal representation to people throughout Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade Counties.  For a free and confidential consultation, contact Goldman & Daszkal, P.A., at (954) 428-9333.

 

Ready to Rent? What You Need to Know Before Booking a Vacation Rental

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Vacation Home Rental Injuries

Traveling this spring break with your family?  You’re probably well aware of the growing market for vacation rentals throughout the U.S. and internationally.  If you’re seeking comfortable accommodations that easily fit a family of 4, 6, or even 10, a vacation home rental may be perfect for your family.  The combination of multiple bedrooms, a full kitchen, and a separate living area make vacation home rentals superior to most hotel options for large groups and families with young children.  In addition, many rentals include washing machines and clothes dryers as well as bikes, canoes, toys and games for your use.

Whether this is your first time booking a vacation rental or you’ve rented multiple times, here are a few important tips you should consider when renting:

Do Your Homework

  • Use established, reputable vacation rental marketplaces such as AirBNB, HomeAway, FlipKey or VRBO
  • Be aware that some cities, such as New York City and San Francisco, have banned home vacation rentals for short-term rentals (less than one month.) Do your homework, verify the owner, and check local laws to be sure you don’t book a rental that could be closed for violating local laws.
  • Be especially careful when setting up international transactions: there is minimal legal recourse  beyond ordinary contract law and no specific government agency is set up to regulate international rentals.

Verify the Property

  • If the photos look amazing, the price is overly affordable, and it seems “too good to be true,” it probably is. Trust your instincts and find out why the price doesn’t match the assumed property value.  If you’re still skeptical, move on to another listing.
  • Don’t rely on your friends’ assessment of the property; she may be relying on yours. Be sure to take the time to review the property, location, and owner info in detail before committing.
  • Contact the homeowners association, if applicable, or the cleaning or maintenance company to verify ownership.
  • If possible, check out the property prior to the actual vacation 

Pay with Care

  • Prior to issuing any payment, request a complete rental contract with vacation dates, total price, price breakdown with taxes, cleaning fees, etc.
  • Understand the cancellation, check-in and check-out policies and be sure you have the correct contact information in case there is a problem with the rental
  • Pay with a credit card to protect your payment
  • Consider registering with a trip protection service (many are offered through the larger rental marketplaces.) 

Inspect Upon Arrival

  • Once you arrive, take a few minutes to inspect the home, checking the air conditioning/heating, faucets, doorknobs, toilets, telephone, TV and other electronics, appliances as well as checking for any leaks, cracked drywall, etc. If you find anything, be sure to take pictures and send it in writing to the owner immediately.
  • Avoid accidents by taking special care when using unfamiliar appliances as they may function differently from what you are accustomed. Take caution when using showers and faucets as water may be hotter than you expect.

On behalf of Goldman & Daszkal, P.A., we wish you a fun and safe vacation!

If you or a loved one has suffered an injury due to a slip and fall accident or as the result of an appliance or equipment malfunction at a vacation home or other accommodation, contact Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. to learn the steps you need to take now to protect yourself and your family.

Goldman & Daszkal, P.A.

Since 1990, Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. has provided reputable legal representation to people throughout Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade Counties.  The firm has helped thousands of individuals recover compensation from motor vehicle and boating accidents, slip and fall accidents, product defect and liability cases, pharmacy errors, and negligent security cases to cover medical expenses, pay bills, take care of their families, and return to work.  Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. can help you get the relief you need to start living your life again after a serious injury.  For a free and confidential consultation, contact Goldman & Daszkal, P.A., at (954) 428-9333.

 

A Discussion About South Florida Premises Liability Laws

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There are many occasions in which a person is injured on property other than their own and they don’t know that the owner of the property may be liable to them for compensation for their injuries. Common types of injuries that may occur are slip and falls, trip and falls, injuries caused by inadequate maintenance, injuries caused by defective conditions, and injuries caused by inadequate security.
Slip/trip and fall injuries are exactly what you think they are: you were walking in your favorite store or restaurant when all of a sudden, unbeknownst to you, there was a slippery substance on the floor, or a bump in the carpet, that caused you to fall and injure yourself. If this happens to you, it’s important to contact the appropriate store personnel and file an incident report with them for documentation. Make sure you get a copy! And of course, as in any situation, if you are seriously injured, make sure to seek medical attention immediately.
Injury due to inadequate maintenance is when a property owner’s failure to properly maintain their premises causes injury to the public. This could be anything from falling branches to gnarly vines that trip you. It could also be dangerous debris left unattended, broken elevators, or when merchandise stacked high above the ground at a big box retailer is improperly stowed, causing you injury when it comes crashing down.
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Injury caused by defective conditions is when a property owner fails to repair or warn the public of a dangerous condition on the premises. These dangerous conditions are usually hidden, in that you would not be able to readily determine that the condition was dangerous just by looking at it. An example would be loose paver stones or a loose rail on a balcony: you may not have been able to see that the rail was loose, but upon leaning on it, the rail broke, causing you to fall off of the balcony and seriously injure yourself.
Injury due to inadequate security is when a property owner fails to take proper precautions in making sure to mitigate the likelihood of the public’s injury from dangers that are foreseeable to the property owner. An example would be when a property owner fails to install adequate security devices such as gates, locks, or lighting; or when a property owner fails to warn patrons about dangerous criminal activity taking place on the premises.
It’s important to understand that if you’re injured on someone else’s property, there is a chance that the property owner or its tenant (whether individual or business) may be liable to you under premises liability law. If the property owner or tenant owes you a duty of care, and if they breached that duty of care, then they’re liable to you and you can recover for your out of pocket expenses, as well as for your pain and suffering, future medical care costs, lost wages, and any other damages recoverable under the laws of the State of Florida. If something like this happens to you or a loved one, please contact a South Florida personal injury lawyer in order to know your rights.