How Long Do You Have to Go to Doctor After a Slip and Fall

There is no specific rule about how soon you should see a doctor after a South Florida slip and fall, but the sooner you get checked out, the better. Not only is prompt medical care important in ensuring you do not have any serious injuries that do not show up right away, but it could also be key in proving your accident-related injuries later. 

We encourage you to seek medical care after any slip and fall in South Florida. This could include:

  • Calling 911 and having an ambulance take you to the nearest hospital
  • Having someone drive you to your preferred emergency room
  • Making an appointment with your family physician
  • Going to a walk-in health clinic

Get Medical Attention as Soon as Possible After a Slip and Fall

There are two important reasons to see a doctor as soon as possible after a slip and fall accident. These reasons include:

Ensuring Any Injuries Get Prompt Treatment

We recommend calling for paramedics and letting an ambulance transport you to the hospital. This ensures you get treatment quickly and leaves little question about how your injuries occurred. If you do not believe you suffered injuries, you may instead opt to see your regular doctor. If you cannot get an appointment within 24 hours, though, you may want to consider going to the emergency department or a walk-in clinic instead. 

Many walk-in clinics can check you over and rule out injuries like internal bleeding in just a few minutes without an appointment. This is important even if you do not believe you are hurt. Some injuries, including traumatic brain injuries and injuries to internal organs, are not always obvious in the first hours or even days after an accident.

Protecting Your Legal Right to Pursue Compensation

In some cases, people believe they do not have time to see a doctor or there is some other reason that prevents them from getting checked over immediately following a fall. Later, they develop symptoms and see a doctor who diagnoses them with an injury. They need medication, physical therapy, or surgery. They may miss time at work, and it could cost them thousands of dollars. 

When they try to hold the building owner responsible, the insurance company will try to deny that the injuries occurred in the fall. Since days or weeks passed between the fall and their doctor’s appointment, it can be difficult to refute this. Going to a doctor right away clearly establishes a link between the accident and your injuries.

You Can Pursue Compensation as Soon as Your Injuries Stabilize

Under Florida premises liability law, you have the right to hold the owner of the property where you fell liable if their actions or inaction caused your injuries. This means you can pursue compensation for the expenses and losses you suffered related to your fall. This could include: 

  • The cost of ambulance transportation to the hospital 
  • The medical care you received
  • Your lost wages
  • Out-of-pocket costs
  • Pain and suffering

However, Florida law also sets a statute of limitations on how long you have to take legal action against the property owner. Generally, this is four years following the fall, but this is not always the case. 

We like to get started on this type of case as soon as the victim’s injuries stabilize. At this point, we have a good idea if they will need additional medical care in the future, require ongoing care currently, or if they will be able to return to work. 

Proving Your South Florida Premises Liability Case 

When we handle a slip and fall case, we build a strong argument on behalf of our client to show: 

  • That the homeowner, property owner, or business owner did not exercise reasonable care to help our client avoid injury; and
  • The owner should have foreseen the fall as a possibility; and
  • Our client was a customer, welcomed guest, or otherwise lawfully present on the property; and 
  • Our client suffered financial damages because of the fall and their injuries.

We conduct a full investigation into every slip and fall case we handle. This requires us to identify and analyze all available evidence to prove what happened and who is responsible. This evidence could include:

  • Interviewing eyewitnesses
  • Reviewing incident reports, police reports, or other documents
  • Obtaining and viewing any video of the fall
  • Looking at any pictures of the scene after your fall 

We also need to prove the severity and extent of your injuries and document your economic losses related to the fall. This may require us to: 

  • Enlist medical expert witnesses to explain your prognosis, current care needs, and future care needs
  • Request copies of your relevant medical records
  • Collect medical bills, receipts, and other documents
  • Work with experts to put prices on diminished earning capacity, future care costs, and other expenses

When we have a built a strong case to show negligence, liability, and the value of your damages, we will pursue compensation from property owner or occupier. We can sometimes negotiate a fair out-of-court settlement, but we can also litigate your case to recover the compensation you deserve. 

Call the Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato About Your South Florida Slip and Fall Accident

If you or a loved one suffered slip and fall injuries in South Florida, the team from the Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato will review your case and help you understand your rights. We may be able to pursue a payout on your behalf based on the state’s premises liability law. 

Call now at 954-633-8270 for a no-cost evaluation with a member of our team. We handle these cases on a contingency basis. You owe no attorney’s fees unless we recover compensation on your behalf.

Eric RosadoMedical Care After Any Slip and Fall
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The first thing you should do if you slip and fall in a store is seek help from a medical professional. If you are seriously hurt and cannot get up, then lie still until the ambulance arrives. If you can get up, then call an ambulance on your own or try to go to the emergency room right away.

Even if you believe that you are okay, you should still visit your doctor to get an official diagnosis of your medical condition. Do not delay seeking medical treatment. Any delay could worsen any potential injuries and/or drastically impact your insurance claim or lawsuit. Once you have received the care you need, a slip and fall lawyer in Fort Lauderdale can help you recover compensation.

Document Your Accident

Once a medical professional has checked you out, then you should document your accident. Follow up with the property owner and make sure they filled out an official report. The incident report should include all the necessary details, including:

  • Date and time of the accident
  • Location of the accident on the premises
  • Details of the accident
  • The cause of the accident
  • Any noticeable signs of injury at the time of the accident

You may also want to write down any notes based on what you remember. Highlight what you were doing just before the accident and what circumstances led to your slip and fall.

Contact any witnesses. Try to get names, numbers, or addresses. Also, try to gather any official statements from witnesses. You can use all of this information in your insurance claim.

Explore Your Legal Options

Now that you have gathered some information, you may want to discuss your legal options with a slip and fall lawyer. By consulting an attorney, you can go over the details of your accident, ask questions, and get sound legal advice on what steps you need to take next.

In addition, your lawyer will be able to speak on your behalf when the insurance company attempts to contact you. The attorney will know how to communicate with the insurer to ensure that they follow the legal process properly and that you receive a fair settlement.

Why You Should Avoid Giving Any Official Statements

In a slip and fall case, both the property owner and their insurance company can use anything you say against you. Therefore, you may want to limit your conversations about your slip and fall injuries to just you and your attorney.

You may also want to refrain from speaking with other people or posting anything public such as on social media. Allow your attorney to correspond with all parties on your behalf.

How Your Slip and Fall Lawyer Can Help Your Case

Your lawyer can be valuable in helping you get the maximum compensation for your slip and fall injuries and other damages. They can help in the following ways:

  • Manage your case throughout the litigation
  • Handle all of your paperwork, communication, and clerical duties
  • Act as your sole legal representative in all areas of your case
  • File a lawsuit, if necessary
  • Ensure that your rights are protected and that you are not taken advantage of
  • Negotiate a fair settlement to cover all of your damages

Gathering Evidence to Support Your Claim

One of the most important steps you take after your slip and fall accident is gathering all necessary evidence to submit to the insurance company. The evidence will establish liability and help you determine the total value of your case.

The legal team working on your case can obtain the following evidence:

  • Footage of the accident caught on camera
  • Statements given by eyewitnesses
  • Medical documents detailing your injuries and expenses
  • Lost income while you were recovering
  • Accident scene investigation
  • Out-of-pocket expenses related to the accident

Do Not Take the Store Owner’s First Offer

A slip and fall accident can hurt a store’s reputation. Therefore, the owner may do everything they can to keep the incident from going public. As a result, the store owner may try to handle the situation by offering you an early settlement quietly.

While a quick settlement may seem like a noble gesture at first, you will want to discuss your options with your attorney before agreeing to a quick offer. Accepting a settlement prematurely may diminish the value of your damages. You may also incur additional expenses later on if you have a long-term medical condition or permanent disability.

What Happens if the Insurance Company Denies Your Claim

Just because you were injured does not mean that the property owner will admit fault or that the insurance company will accept your claim. The insurance adjuster will scrutinize your claim heavily and use any reason to turn your claim down or minimize your payout.

Your legal team will work hard to present your case and fight for fair compensation. However, if the insurance company refuses to accept your claim or offers an unfair settlement, you may explore other legal options.

Your attorney can file a lawsuit against the insurer and take your case to court, if necessary. You do not have to accept the insurance adjuster’s rejection or decision.

Contact Your Slip and Fall Lawyer Today

Before you make your next move after your slip and fall accident, contact the Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato. We can help you navigate the legal process so that you can recover all of your damages. To find out more about our legal services in South Florida, call us at 954-633-8270 for a free case assessment.

Eric RosadoWhat to Do if You Slip and Fall in a Store
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How much a slip and fall settlement is worth depends on several factors, such as how and why you fell as well as the extent of your slip and fall injuries. Your slip and fall lawyer and the insurance company will use a formula to arrive at a value for your case. This figure works as the basis for settlement discussions with the insurance company.

The formula consists of several components to which your attorney will assign a value:

Medical Expenses: This is the total sum of all your medical bills, even those that were not paid out of pocket.

Lost Earnings: A total of all the income you lost due to work you missed because of any injuries you sustained in the slip and fall. Paid time off (PTO) benefits have a dollar value, too if you used these days to recover from your injuries. They are calculated as unpaid workdays.

Future Lost Income: If you are going to miss additional time at work while you recover or for ongoing treatment, you would add that to your case value.

Estimated Future Medical Expenses: Any costs for future treatments are also part of the value.

The Calculation of the Initial Proposed Settlement

You can estimate your settlement estimate by calculating the sum of your economic losses—those that can be quantified, like medical treatment, lost wages, property damage, etc.—and your non-economic (pain and suffering) losses.

Although it is hard to assign a value to non-economic damages, like mental anguish, emotional distress, and pain and suffering, you can typically generate this value by multiplying your total special damages by a certain number.

Your attorney will determine this multiplier based on the severity of your injuries, how long they will last, and the amount of pain they are putting you through. The multiplier is part of the calculation for your pain and suffering, or “general damages.”

How to Determine a Reasonable Multiplier

Multiplier values range between 1.5 and 5. The higher the multiplier, the higher your settlement. For this reason, the multiplier plays a significant role in attorney-insurance company talks. Your attorney will need to do a good job of representing your situation fairly and in your favor as the adjuster deliberates the following issues:

  • Severity of your injuries
  • Extent of medical treatment you have already received
  • Extent of medical treatment you will require in the future
  • Expectations for a full recovery
  • Any long-lasting or permanent effect
  • Impact of your injuries and the accident on your daily existence

To give you a better idea of how this calculation works, we will use numbers on each end of the spectrum. For example, your slip and fall cost you $15,000 in special damages. Your injuries were not very severe and will not continue to affect you in the future. You receive a 1.5.

15,000 x 1.5 = $22,500 in general damages

We will use the same amount of special damages as the case above; however, your injuries will continue to cause you pain for the rest of your life. You receive a multiplier of 5.

15,000 x 5 = $75,000 in general damages

Per Diem Method for Calculating “Pain and Suffering”

Sometimes the per diem method—coming up with a dollar value for every day the accident caused you to endure pain—is applied. Like the multiplier, determining the per diem amount can be tricky. A common solution to arriving at this number is to use your daily work earnings.

If you make $200 a day, this becomes your per diem rate, which you multiply by the number of days you experienced pain—we shall say 200 days for this example. Your total pain and suffering portion of your settlement would be $40,000 in this scenario.

When the Insurance Company Does Not Agree to a Fair Settlement

Insurance companies are not in the business of nodding to whatever demands a claimant makes and signing a check over in that amount. No business would last with that model. Sometimes, in fact, the insurance company will review the demand letter your attorney sends them and reject the claim completely.

On other occasions, the insurance carrier will respond to your demand with a low-ball offer to test the waters. Here is where the negotiation process begins. Your attorney will do their best to fight for a higher settlement. At the end of negotiations, either the two parties will agree to a fair settlement, or your lawyer will take the claim to court in the form of a personal injury lawsuit.

The Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato Will Champion Your Right to a Fair Settlement

When a South Florida man tripped and fell over exposed wires in his backyard, two law firms refused to take the case. At the Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato, we do not run from cases. So, when this trip and fall victim came to our door, we accepted the case, and we filed a lawsuit against the company who had installed the wires.

The company refused to accept any blame for the trip and fall, but we did some serious digging during our investigation of the accident, and, in so doing, we discovered that the wire installers had violated company procedure and safety protocols. In the end, we won $300,000 for our client.

The Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato will fight to recover the settlement you deserve. We will champion your case with fervor, and if the insurers do not agree to a value that is fair and reasonable, we will not hesitate to take your case to court. Call 954-633-8270 for a free, no-obligation case review.

Eric RosadoHow Much Is a Slip and Fall Settlement Worth?
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Slip and Fall Lawsuits in Florida

If you suffer injuries in a fall in a retail location in Florida, you may be eligible to pursue compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more through a slip and fall lawsuit. Property owners and occupiers have an obligation to keep their stores, shops, malls, and other locations free from fall hazards.

If a hazard existed and caused you to suffer injuries, you may be able to file a slip and fall lawsuit to pursue compensation to cover your expenses and losses. The team from the Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato can review the circumstances of your fall for free and build a case on your behalf.

Types of Premises Accidents

While slip and falls are one of the most common types of fall, slipping is not the only things that can trigger a fall in a retail location. Falls happen every day in stores and shops throughout South Florida. Some of the most common reasons for falls include:

  • Hazards in the walkway
  • Spills or tracked weather
  • Uneven or broken stairs
  • Missing or broken handrails
  • Cracked tile
  • Torn carpet
  • Unmarked step up or step down
  • Poor lighting
  • Uneven floors
  • Rolled rugs
  • Uneven, cracked sidewalks
  • Potholes in the parking lot

Depending on the circumstances of your fall, any of these types of falls could support a premises liability accident lawsuit against the property owner or occupier. Common injuries include:

  • Broken limbs
  • Broken hip, ribs, or other bones
  • Soft tissue injuries to the ankle, knee, midfoot, or wrist
  • Head and neck injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Cuts and abrasions

Building a Strong Premises Liability Accident Case

To build a strong slip and fall case to support our pursuit of damages, we need to show the property owner knew — or should have known — about the hazard and failed to remove or repair it.

Imagine there is a power cord running across a store aisle. The store owner or manager has a responsibility to see the hazard and remove it in a short period of time. If a customer tripped over the cord, the store owner may be liable for the customer’s damages.

Pursuing Compensation for Your Damages

There are generally two ways we may be able to recover compensation for you after a slip and fall injury. This includes negotiating an out-of-court settlement or filing a slip and fall lawsuit.

It may be possible to reach an out-of-court settlement based on the evidence we collected without having to file a lawsuit in civil court. We will negotiate with the insurance company to reach a fair settlement.

If the property owner and their insurance company refuse a fair settlement, we will file a lawsuit in civil court to pursue the damages you deserve. We are prepared to take your case to trial if that is what is necessary to get fair compensation for your damages.

When we reach a settlement or win a court verdict, you will be eligible for compensation for your damages. Your recoverable damages could include:

  • Medical care costs
  • Ongoing care costs
  • Lost wages
  • Diminished earning capacity
  • Property damages, such as a broken phone
  • Out-of-pocket costs
  • Pain and suffering damages

Let a Premises Accident Attorney Help You Take Legal Action

At the Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato, our team provides the support and guidance you need to navigate the slip and fall lawsuit process. We will take care of everything on your behalf, leaving you free to focus on healing from your injuries and getting back on your feet.

We offer free case reviews and can help you understand your rights. We will go over your legal options with you. A premises accident attorney can answer your questions and address your concerns.

Talk to a Slip and Fall Attorney in South Florida

If you suffered injuries in a fall in a South Florida retail location, the team from the Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato is standing by to talk to you about your case. Call our office at 954-633-8270 today for your free case review. Let a slip and fall attorney go to work for you today.

Eric RosadoHow does a slip and fall lawsuit work?
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You’ve Had a Slip and Fall Accident, Here’s What to do Next

“Help! I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” We all know this universally recognized statement as a comedic punchline — but in our line of work, it’s so much more. A slip-and-fall accident can occur on the street or sidewalk, a stairway, or a swimming pool… It really can happen anywhere. If you slip and fall on another person’s property and are seriously injured, you are going to need the expert advice and guidance of a Fort Myers personal injury attorney with experience dealing with slip-and-fall cases.

How a Slip-and-Fall Accident Occur?slip and fall symptoms

A slip-and-fall accident occurs when a person loses foot traction while walking, and is no longer able to maintain balance, causing them to fall either forward or backward. Some slip and fall injuries can be severe; some embarrassing, but it’s important that you, as the victim, not be embarrassed when the incident occurs; it’s not your fault. Stop, take a deep breath, and seek out where the fault lies. Then it’s time for you to take action, and call us at the law offices of Wolf & Pravato. Let us be the ones to put the blame where it belongs.

What is Florida Premise Liability Law?

The Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato, a leading personal injury law firm in Fort Lauderdale, has extensive knowledge about, and successfully experienced in premises liability cases. A premise liability law is based on the idea that a property owner or renter is obligated to ensure that his or her premises are safe for visitors and guests. If the owner or renter breaches this obligation, he or she can be held liable for any damages that may occur as a direct result of an accident that happens on their property. As premise liability law specialists, we can help prove negligence by collecting evidence from the accident scene, gathering relevant documents, and helping to prove your right to compensation for things like pain and suffering (past, present, and future), medical expenses (past, present, and future), lost income (past, present, and future), loss of enjoyment of life, and wrongful death damages. Without the help of a premises liability lawyer, fighting for compensation will not be an easy feat.

Common Slip & Fall Accidents

 

Slip-and-fall accidents most commonly occur in outdoor spaces, at work, or in public places such as retail, grocery stores, and hotels. These businesses have a duty of care to uphold to their customers and/or shoppers. These places that are open to the public are legally obligated to make sure their property is safe for those who may come onto the premises. The property owners must take extreme care to check for any hidden dangers such as snow or ice accumulation in the entryway or loose carpeting, and repair any apparent hazards such as problems with an escalator or elevator or faulty staircases. Other hazards include an item not displayed properly that could fall in the pathway of a customer, poor lighting in the store leading to poor visibility, or lack of cleaning up a prior incident such as if a customer spills their coffee and an employee neglects to clean it up right away, leaving a puddle on the floor that could easily cause someone to slip.

They are also responsible for warning their customers if there are existing property threats that are not visibly obvious, i.e. putting out a caution sign if the floor is wet and/or oily. Grocery stores, for example, should also make frequent aisle and bathroom checks to ensure all is clean and safe for shoppers. If something were to happen at any one of these open-to-the-public locations, the business may be liable for any injuries sustained if it can be proven that the slip and fall occurred due to unsafe conditions on the property. What exactly the store will end up being responsible for depends on the specifics of each particular case.

Who is Responsible for Slip & Fall Accident in Store?slip and fall in a store

The owner of a store is responsible for any unsafe conditions if the actual unsafe condition was created by him or her, i.e., extra slippery wax used to clean the floor, or if he or she was aware of the condition and did not take the necessary steps to fix it. The injured party is responsible for proving that the store knew about the poor conditions that caused the accident, or should have reasonably known about it, and failed to take care of it. The injured party would also need to find a way to show that the condition was not obvious to them to the point where they could have avoided the accident. For instance, if the injury happened because you tripped over a large item that was very clearly on display in the store, you will not likely have a case. Customers are expected, within reason, to have the common sense to protect themselves in situations that are very apparent and noticeable.

How to Prove Slip & Fall Negligence?

In the case that the accident could have been prevented due to the property owner’s negligence, this is where having a good personal injury lawyer comes in handy. You need a lawyer who can prove the level of duty that is owed to you by the property owner or renter, and that this level of duty was breached, making the property owner or renter negligent of the situation that directly caused an injury which led to some kind of financial or physical loss that you, the victim, should be compensated for.

What are the Common Slip & Fall Injuries?

Common injuries that can result from a slip-and-fall accident include broken bones or fractures of the arms, legs, wrists, hands, ankles, feet or hips, back or neck injuries, concussions, traumatic brain injuries, knee injuries, spinal trauma, herniated discs, and in the most severe case, even paralysis. If you have experienced any one or more of these injuries due to the negligence of a property owner or renter, Wolf & Pravato is ready to handle your case, and maximize your recoveries. We provide each client with the highest level of personalized respect and attention. Every client’s case is different, and every client deserves unique care for their individual situations.

Our Team Has Handled Thousands of Personal Injury Cases

For 21 years, our team has handled thousands of personal injury cases, many of which have involved slip-and-fall accidents. With each case comes more knowledge about our community and how to best serve our clients. Our four office locations in Fort Myers, Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, and Miami allow us to conveniently and efficiently serve people in communities all over South Florida, including Aventura, Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Cape Coral, Coral Gables, Deerfield Beach, Delray Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Hallandale Beach, Hialeah, Hollywood, Homestead, Jupiter, Lake Worth, Margate, Miami, Miami Beach, Pembroke Pines, Pompano Beach, Port Charlotte, Port St. Lucie, Tamarac, Tampa, West Palm Beach, and Weston.

Contact the Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato For Help:

If you or a loved one have been the victim of a slip-and-fall accident in South Florida, it’s time you reach out to the law offices of  Wolf & Pravato so our team can thoroughly review your case and explain your legal options. You should not have to suffer at the hands of someone else’s negligence. Contact us today to schedule a consultation, and let our skilled team of attorneys help get you the compensation you deserve.

We also help the victims of slip and fall accident in the following cities:

Eric RosadoSlip and Fall Accident FAQs
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Tips for an Effective Premises Liability Case in FL

Accidents can and often do happen. However, if you’re on another person’s property when an accident occurs and it is a result of negligence on the part of the property owner, then you’re entitled to compensation for the injuries sustained in that accident.

Such a claim is referred to as a premises liability case. When bringing such a case before a judge or jury, it is important that you have all of your facts and information lined up and all your “ducks in a row” (http://www.law360.com/articles/753960/how-to-prepare-a-premises-liability-case). Even one element can tip the scales against you. That’s why you should check out these tips for an effective premises liability case so you can be prepared when you go to court (http://baltimore.legalexaminer.com/property-owners-liability-slip-fall/premises-safety-stairs-and-stairwells/).

Eric RosadoTips for an Effective Premises Liability Case
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