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Slip And Fall Case Question – Expert Advice

May 7, 2009

The following is an expert answer given by Florida Premises Liability Lawyer, Joseph M. Maus, and taken from AllExperts.com, a free Q & A service on the internet

Subject: Slip and fall case

Question: I had some pre-existing problems with sciatica under control and I fell down in someone’s garage 11/08/08 because there was  a step which I didn’t see because of lack of lighting. My injuries were to my knee, my face, I broke my  eyeglasses, and  few days later my back started hurting me a lot and then sciatica returned. I’m still having problems and keep going to the doctors. They can’t inject my spine with cortisone because I am on Coumadin and aspirin. My question is, since I had a preexisting condition,  can I sue the owner?

Answer: The answer to your question depends on what state you are in. I am an attorney in Florida specializing in car accident, slip/trip and fall, and workers compensation cases.  I can tell you whether you have a slip and fall case in Florida, but you should speak with an attorney in your area to find out whether a claim for an aggravation of a pre-existing injury is allowed. Florida allows a claim for aggravations of pre-existing injuries.  In fact, there is a jury instruction that has been approved by the Florida Bar that specifically deals with aggravations of pre-existing injuries.   Most people, once they reach the age of 30 years old, start to develop degenerative conditions, especially in their neck and back.  You will need to discuss with your attorney how to distinguish the extent of your injury before you fell down, versus how bad it is now.  If you injury has become worse, your medical records and diagnostic tests should document that.  One issue you will have in your case is how it happened.  There is case law in Florida that says changes in elevation in a house are to be expected, and because of that, it is going to be difficult to bring a claim such as yours even if there was poor lighting.  You will need to speak with an attorney about how and where your accident happened.  For instance, there may be code violations that exist in the area where you fell that may provide a basis for you to recover against the homeowner.  You should also speak to an attorney about whether "medical payments" insurance coverage exists.  Most homeowners have insurance coverage for their house, and most homeowners policies have medical payments coverage.  This is insurance money that will pay for your out of pocket medical expenses that result from being injured on the property.  Most slip and fall case lawyers handle cases such as yours on a contingent basis.  That means that you do not owe attorneys fees unless the attorney recovers a settlement or verdict for you.  The attorney’s fee would be a percentage of the money recovered, usually 33-40%.  If you are in the South Florida area, please give me a call.  I have been specializing in personal injury claims including slip and fall cases for 16 years.  If you’re in an area other than South Florida, I can probably still refer you to an experienced slip and fall case attorney in your area.  Good Luck.

For more information about a slip and fall case, contact Florida premises liability lawyer Joseph M. Maus at 1-866-556-5529 or email him today.

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