‘Tis the season for South Florida tourism, exceptional weather, and our favorite December holidays. It’s the season for quality time with family and friends, decorating the home, and holiday shopping. But did you know that ’tis the high season for slip and fall accidents?
During the holidays, our South Florida roads are busy. Our restaurants and malls are crowded and our retail strip stores and parking lots are packed. With the mix of commercial properties close to full capacity and retail employees struggling to catch up with the crowds, it’s not surprising that there is an increased risk of slip or trip and fall accidents…especially in poorly lit parking lots and packed commercial locations.
Slip and falls accidents are the second leading cause of injuries in our country. These accidents can occur when an individual slips or trips on a recently cleaned, damp floor, a spilled drink, broken glass, a flight of stairs, an uneven surface, or hard-to-see obstacle on the ground.
In general, a business owner or homeowner must use reasonable care and effort to keep their property free of any hazardous or unsafe property conditions. At a minimum, the property owner must show signs to warn of dangerous conditions while repairing a problem.
From a legal perspective, slip and fall or trip and fall accidents are generally considered “premises liability” cases. These cases occur when the property owner or management is negligent in the maintenance of the property, presenting an unreasonable risk to individuals that visit the property.
If you were injured due to unsafe conditions at a commercial establishment or private location, you may have a claim for damages. These are the steps you should follow:
1. If injured, seek medical attention immediately. Call 911 and request emergency medical services. Explain the accident and any injuries to police and EMS/Fire Rescue.
2. Report the accident immediately to the manager, management company, landlord, homeowner, or other person in charge where the slip or trip and fall took place.
3. Take photos with a camera or your cell phone of the exact location. Take pictures of your injuries and any contributing factors to the fall (i.e.: condition of sidewalk)
4. Take notes of any dangerous conditions that caused the incident. Include specifics about the size, color, shape, and location. Note the date and time, as well as the clothing and shoes you were wearing.
5. Obtain contact information of any witnesses including names, addresses, and telephone numbers of any store employees or any individuals who witnessed your fall. If you spoke to someone after the fall, request their contact information.
6. Remove any clothing or shoes involved in the incident and store in a secure location as clothing or shoes may be used as evidence for your case.
7. Contact a reputable personal injury attorney immediately after leaving the scene or the Emergency Room. Goldman and Daszkal, P.A. at (954) 428-9333 will provide a free consultation about your rights and obligations.
8. Do not discuss details of your injuries or your feelings with anyone other than the police, emergency medical services, and your attorney.
As you head out to do your holiday shopping, keep safety in mind and take extra care in dimly lit areas and crowded commercial malls.
Do you have questions about trip or slip and falls? Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. can answer them. Contact us at (954) 428-9333 or www.goldmandaszkal.com.
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 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.