Florida Builder (Questions About Personal Injury Cases) – Expert Advice

August 14, 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 & fall

Question: I was at a prominent builder’s design center and caught my foot in the back of an open chair and fell upon a closed door. Upon getting my balance back, I proceeded to open the door and walked a few feet down the hall and there was a huge cracking sound. So loud in fact, that peopled came out of their offices. It was the sound of my ankle breaking. I was down flat on the floor and the ambulance was called. In the interim, my foot swelled to the size of a grapefuit. I spent the night in the hospital and was put in a cast up to my knee. I had to walk with a walker for 6 weeks when it finally came off. Do I have a case for negligence on their part?

Answer: The answer to your question is that you may have a claim. It depends on the State you live in, and laws that may apply to your claim. I am an attorney in Florida specializing in car accident, slip and fall (premises liability) and workers comp claims.  Laws vary from state to state so the law in Florida may be different than your state.  As far as Florida personal injury cases, you probably have a claim, but you should consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer in your area to find out what laws may apply to your claim.

Your email is not really specific as to how your ankle got caught in the back of an open chair, and I’m having difficulty envisioning it.  Keep in mind, at least in Florida personal injury cases, just because a person falls at a business, it does not automatically mean the business owner is responsible for injuries which result from the fall.  You have to be able to prove that the business owner knew or should have known of the dangerous condition that caused the fall, i.e. something that was wrong with the back of this chair; or that the store acted unreasonably in maintaining their chairs so as to allow the dangerous condition to remain.  Generally, a business owner such as a only owes two duties to persons lawfully on the property – maintain the property in a reasonably safe condition, and to warn persons on the property of dangerous conditions that the person may not be able to appreciate themselves.

Florida personal injury cases are evaluated based upon the degree of liability that exists against the business, the specific nature of the injury, the amount and type of medical care and bills that you have had, and that you may continue to require in the future, and the amount of pain and suffering you have experienced in the past, and future.  Lost wages and loss of future earning capacity can also be recovered in Florida.  A broken bone in your ankle is a significant injury that a claim can be made for if you can establish liability against the design center.

The best advice I can give you is to speak with an attorney that specializes in premises liability claims, i.e. slip and falls.  The lawyer can advise you what the law is in your area for premises liability accidents such as yours.

You should contact an attorney in your area that specializes in premises liability claims.  Many attorneys say they do "personal injury" claims, but after asking around, you’ll find they take anything that walks in the door. Ask how many claims like yours they have handled.  Ask them if they have tried any cases like yours.  Maybe this is not the first time an accident like yours has happened at the design center, or maybe the design center has a pattern of leaving many dangerous conditions on the premises which have resulted in many claims for injuries being made against it.

You should contact an attorney soon.  There are many steps your attorney should take now, i.e. notify the insurance company for the business, find out what types of coverage are available, preserve and obtain the chair and any photographs of the chair, etc, that should all be done now.

Most attorneys specializing in premises liability claims handle the claims on a contingent basis,i.e. their attorneys fee is a percentage of any money they recover for you, and offer a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss whether you have a viable case.

For more information about Florida personal injury cases, contact Florida premises liability lawyer Joseph M. Maus at 1-866-556-5529 or email him today.


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