Florida Restaurant Slip and Fall Injury – Expert Advice

January 16, 2010

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

Subject: Slip & Fall Injury

While leaving a fast food restuarant in Florida, I tripped on some uneven pavement in the parking lot and fell down.  The manager came out about three minutes later with some ice for my injuries, inquiring about an ambulance.  We declined and my husband drove me to a local ER.  Nothing was broken, however, I have a badly sprained ankle and contusions on my knee (used to break my fall). I was discharged with crutches and pain meds (and was also given a tetanus shot). The restaurant insurance company phoned me the next day but I did not answer.  The ER Doc thought I might be out of work for two weeks if there were no additional problems, however I am experiencing additional problems – foot spasms and a stiff and sore knee.  I am a waitress and am always on my feet.  I cannot afford to be out of work uncompensated.  Please tell me my options.  Thank you.

Your option is to pursue the company responsible for maintaining the parking lot, through its insurance company, for whatever damages you may have.  This would include a claim for your lost wages, whatever injuries you suffered, medical bills, and any other out of pocket expenses you incur as a result of the fall.  Your problem in pursuing your claim is that the insurance for the property will not have any type coverage that will reimburse you on a weekly basis for your lost wages.  To recover your damages, you will want to negotiate a settlement with the insurance company once you have a better idea of what injuries you have, and you have received sufficient medical care to allow you to return to work full time.

Generally, a landowner 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.  Uneven pavement in a parking lot is a pretty common sign that a property owner failed to maintain the property in a reasonably safe condition. Uneven pavement is not a condition that occurs overnight. It usually occurs after months, if not years, of wear and tear or due to a condition nearby such as a tree root pushing the pavement up.

Many people will wait to see if the injury disappears over time, but often times it does not.  Your case is a perfect example.  You’re now two weeks after the fall, and not only does your foot still hurt, but now your knee hurts too.

You should contact a Florida slip and fall injury attorney soon.  There are many steps your attorney should take now, i.e. notify the insurance company for the restaurant/parking lot, find out what types of coverage are available, obtain photographs, help coordinate medical care, identify witnesses, etc, that should all be done now.  It is very possible that other people have fallen in the same area. Your Florida accident lawyer should investigate whether similar accidents have occurred on the property.  People’s memories fade over time, conditions in the parking lot get fixed, and evidence of your claim can disappear.  You will have a better chance of making a full recovery for all your damages if the claim is investigated properly now, rather than later.

Most accident attorneys specializing in premises liability (trip and fall) 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.  So, you have nothing to lose by meeting with an accident lawyer to discuss the claim.

You have a difficult situation that you are going to have to make the best of.  That is, you can’t afford to miss work, but you have an injury that could affect your ability to work for a fairly significant period of time. Don’t try to get a small settlement now to cover your lost wages over the last two weeks, when your injuries could affect your income for the next few months, or longer.

There are a few steps I would recommend you take immediately:

1.  Speak to an experienced Florida slip and fall injury lawyer – have a detailed discussion about how and where your accident occurred, and what is the best way to pursue a claim.  I offer a free, no obligation consultation to discuss your claim, and evaluate what your options are.


3.  Get pictures of the area where you fell;

4.  Get back into the doctor and get an updated diagnosis for your foot, and to report the soreness in your knee – it could be from overcompensating for your foot, or could have occurred in the fall.  Either way, you should probably be getting treatment such as physical therapy, or x-rays or MRI’s to find out what is causing the spasm and soreness.

For more information about a Florida slip and fall injury, contact Florida premises liability lawyer Joseph M. Maus at 1-866-556-5529, visit his website at http://www.mauslawfirm.com, or email him today.

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