Slip and Fall Accident Attorneys in Tampa, FL
Downtown Tampa is rich in history, arts, and architecture, allowing visitors and residents to visit many of the city’s most beloved sites on foot. However, every owner or manager of properties in Tampa—whether the property is a historical building, a brand new apartment complex, or a retail venue—has a responsibility to protect their visitors from injury due to hazardous property features.
A slip-and-fall accident is one of the most common accidents resulting from property hazards. While slips and falls are often considered minor or even frivolous, these accidents often result in severe injuries and even death.
If you’ve been injured due to a slip and fall accident, the Tampa slip and fall accident lawyers from Holliday Karatinos Law Firm can evaluate your case for free, tell you about the personal injury claims process, and help you seek compensation for the financial and psychological costs of your injury. With our help, you can navigate the confusing process of personal injury claims.
What Should I Do After a Slip and Fall?
Legal Experience You Can Trust
The attorneys at Holliday Karatinos Law Firm have more than 50 years of collective experience helping the injured in Florida obtain the compensation they need. Attorney James Wayne Holliday has been named a “Best Attorney” Lifetime Charter Member in Florida, a rare and prestigious honor.
Attorney Theodore (Ted) Karatinos is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and a well-read author whose work has been featured in several legal magazines. Together with their legal team, they have recovered more than $125 million for their clients.
How Slip and Fall Accidents Happen in Tampa
According to information provided by the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly 13 percent of Tampa’s 387,000 or so residents are over 65. While slip and fall accidents can happen to people of all ages, they’re prevalent among the older population, as people often experience declines in vision, strength, and balance as they age. Each year in the U.S., one out of every three individuals over 65 will suffer a fall. Half of them will be repeat fallers.
Tampa sees about 51 inches of rain each year, a lot more precipitation than many areas receive. Rain contributes to slip and fall accidents because it is easily transferred onto tile floors on people’s shoes, creating slippery surfaces. Beach sand can also be tracked into retail locations, making surfaces ripe for a slip and fall.
Other common causes of slip and fall accidents in Tampa include:
- Cluttered walkways
- Defective staircases
- Loose, worn, or torn flooring material
- Potholes in parking lots and cracks in pavement
- Poor lighting, particularly in stairwells
The Injuries Incurred in Slip and Fall Accidents
As noted by the National Floor Safety Institute, slip and falls account for over a million emergency room visits every year in the U.S. One of the most common serious injuries incurred in a fall is a bone fracture, which happens in about 5 percent of all falls.
Older individuals commonly suffer broken hips from slips and falls. Half of all elderly adults who suffer a hip fracture due to a fall will be unable to live independently after the injury.
Other broken bones commonly experienced in slip and fall accidents include the bones in the arms and wrists as a result of the instinctive urge of people to outstretch their arms when falling.
Other types of injuries commonly incurred in Tampa slip and fall accidents include:
- Catastrophic injuries such as traumatic brain injuries or spinal cord injuries.
- Soft tissue damage, including damage to the tendons and ligaments of the knees or ankles.
- Damage to the spinal vertebrae and discs.
Who Can You Hold Liable When a Slip and Fall Accident Occurs?
As mentioned, the owners and managers of Tampa’s residential, commercial, and public properties have a responsibility to protect their guests from harm. This responsibility requires them to inspect their property in search of hazardous features regularly.
When hazardous features are discovered, the property owner or manager is required to promptly mitigate the hazard. If they cannot fix the hazard immediately, they’re required to warn guests through prominently placed hazard signs, barriers, or other protections meant to keep visitors away from the feature.
For a property owner or manager to be liable for compensating the expenses and impacts of an injury suffered by a guest of the property, you need a lawyer to prove:
- The property was in the control of the owner or manager.
- The owner or manager was negligent in their care and property maintenance.
- Someone was injured in a slip and fall.
- The injury was the result of the property owner’s negligence.
Is the Property Owner or Manager Always at Fault for a Slip and Fall Accident?
Insurance companies responsible for compensating victims of slip and fall accidents will often seek to show that the injured party slipped and fell because of their own issues, such as wearing the wrong shoes or walking while distracted. Sometimes, these situations are true.
Additionally, property owners are often found not liable because they had no reason to know a hazard existed. This scenario can happen when a slip and fall occurs in a retail environment immediately after liquid has been spilled and before store employees notice the hazard and clean it up.
For the most part, property owners or managers are also not responsible for compensating injuries to trespassers who entered the property without their knowledge or permission.
Seeking Compensation for Injuries Sustained in a Tampa Slip and Fall Accident
Individuals who have been injured in a Tampa slip and fall accident resulting from a property owner or manager’s negligence can seek compensation for the expenses of their injury through Florida’s personal injury claims process. Slip and fall accidents are premises liability matters. Personal injury claims are generally filed against the owner or manager of the property’s homeowner’s, renter’s, or property liability insurance policy.
Once the insurance provider who services the at-fault party’s policy receives the claim, they assign the case to an adjuster. An insurance claims adjuster is an insurance company employee tasked with protecting the company’s bottom line by evaluating claims and finding ways to reduce or eliminate them. While they commonly tell injured parties that they’re working on getting them the compensation they need, it is essential to understand that claims adjusters work for the insurance company. Their goal is not to fairly compensate claimants.
The insurance company can either pay the claim outright, deny it, or offer to settle the claim out of court for less than its established value. If a settlement is offered, it will often be far lower than the claim’s value. The claimant’s attorney can negotiate on behalf of their client in an attempt to get the claims adjuster to increase their offer.
If the adjuster makes an offer that the claimant determines fairly compensates the expenses and impacts of their injury, then the two parties enter a settlement agreement. This agreement includes the amount of compensation to be paid to the client, any other conditions of the agreement, and a waiver of the claimant’s right to seek additional compensation for the injury through the court process.
If the insurance company fails to resolve the claim, it can be filed as a personal injury lawsuit, which is a civil claim that requests a judge or jury hear the case and make decisions about liability and compensation.
The Type of Compensation Available
Slip and fall accident claimants in Tampa can seek compensation for both the expenses and the psychological impacts of their injury, including:
- All medical expenses associated with the treatment of injuries sustained in the slip and fall.
- Lost wages incurred while the claimant was too injured to go to work.
- Loss of future earning capacity if the injury resulted in permanent disabilities that impair the sufferer’s ability to earn an income.
- Physical pain and suffering, emotional distress, and other psychological impacts.
How an Attorney Can Help You With Your Slip and Fall Accident Claim
Having an attorney is a crucial part of the personal injury claims process.
Here is a look at some of the services a lawyer from Holliday Karatinos Law Firm and their legal team can offer to a client who has been injured in a slip and fall accident.
- Determining the source of liability and the liable party’s relevant insurance policy. While the source of liability is the owner or manager of the property, in many cases—particularly involving retail slip and fall claims and those occurring on public property—it is not always immediately clear who is liable. Public property claims often involve a governmental agency, which usually means a shorter filing deadline and a different process for filing the claim.
- Valuing the claim. Claims are valued based on the economic hardship the claimant faced due to the injury and the psychological impacts of the injury. To determine the claim’s value, a Tampa slip and fall lawyer will consider several factors, including insurance resources to provide compensation, the injury’s severity, and the injury’s permanence.
- Managing communication with the at-fault party’s insurance claims adjuster to protect the claim from known insurance company tactics, such as pressuring claimants to accept ridiculously low settlement offers or convincing them to release their entire medical history so that the claims adjuster can look for pre-existing conditions to blame the claimant’s current medical condition on. Insurance companies are only responsible for compensating claimants for worsening a pre-existing condition, not for the condition itself.
- Settlement negotiations with the claims adjuster to render a fair settlement offer on behalf of the client.
- Providing guidance and information to help the claimant make important decisions about their case, such as accepting an offered settlement. While the vast majority of slip and fall accident claims are resolved through settlements rather than litigation, accepting a settlement offer means the claimant waives their right to further pursue compensation for the accident through the courts. Because of this waiver, it is crucial that the claimant understands how their claim was valued so they can determine if the settlement is enough to cover the past and future costs they incur due to the injury.
- Filing a personal injury lawsuit within the statute of limitations. In most slip-and-fall accident cases, claimants in Tampa have four years to file a lawsuit in court. It is vital to the claim’s success that the lawsuit is filed within the statute of limitations. Failing to do so generally results in losing the right to seek compensation through the court process.
- Litigation services, including gathering the evidence and witness testimony needed to prove the claim in court, preparing evidence exhibits, filing motions, and responding to motions filed by the at-fault party or their insurance representatives.
- Collecting the compensation received by the claimant through either a negotiated settlement or court award. Because slip and fall accident lawyers work on a contingent fee basis, your attorney will not be paid for their work on your claim until this compensation is received.
Injured in a Tampa Slip and Fall Accident? Let Us Help
Have you experienced injury in a Tampa slip and fall accident? The Tampa personal injury lawyers from Holliday Karatinos Law Firm can evaluate your claim for free. Call us to learn about Florida’s personal injury claims process and services we can provide. You deserve to receive compensation for your injuries. We can help.
For your free case evaluation, contact the legal team at Holliday Karatinos Law Firm at (813) 868-1887 or contact us via our online form.
“Attorney James Holliday is the best attorney I have ever worked with. I went to him after an auto accident and I was impressed with his knowledge of the situation and judgement on how to proceed. In the end, Mr. Holliday was able to obtain full compensation. He was also a pleasure to work with.”
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ – Barb C.
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