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Post Office Parking Lot Slip And Fall Injury – Florida Expert Advice

February 12, 2010

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

Question:

I recently fell in the parking lot of a post office by stepping on a cracked area in the pavement. I fell face forward. I did not hit my head. Both of my hands (my left hand more so) were hurting and both my knees. My pinky finger on my left hand was torn and bleeding. A witness to the accident notified the manager of the post office who took down my info and the witness info. I went to the emergency room and was told to follow up with my PCP . I called my PCP for a follow up visit the next day because now I am also experiencing neck and back pain along with a burning sensation in my lower back. My PCP refused treatment stating she does not do personal injuries. I called a Medical Facility and was basically told the same thing with an exception that if I was not going to file a claim then they would see me. In the mean time, I was mailed a claims form from the post office. My questions are: (1) Why am I refused medical treatment because I fell?  (2) Should I involve an attorney? (3) What are my chances the post office would at least pay part of my medical bills?

Any information would be greatly appreciated. My main concern is getting further treatment for my injury. What do I need to do in order to get further treatment? I am being treated as an out cast.
I am in pain and no one wants to see me. I’m not sure if I asked all the questions I need to. Please give me all the information you can. I have never been in a predicament such as this. I sincerely thank you in advance for your help!!!

Answer:
I can try to provide you with some helpful information about your fall, but please consult with an attorney in your area to determine whether you have a valid claim.  Your email does not indicate where you live.  I am a Florida slip and fall injury attorney specializing in serious accidents such as car accident, trip and falls, and work accidents.  Laws vary from state to state so the law in your area may be different that in Florida.

What happened to you is a fairly common occurrence – tripping over uneven pavement.  I currently represent several people that have similar claims, either in a parking lot or on a sidewalk.  There are several laws that may apply to your claim.  Because you fell in the post office parking lot, your claim may be affected by federal claims laws, county and city municipal codes, and existing state laws on trip and fall accidents.

Keep in mind that in Florida, a person or company is not automatically responsible for your injuries and medical bills just because you tripped and fell on on their property.  A property owner in Florida owes two duties to persons legally on the property – 1. to maintain the property in a reasonably safe condition, and 2. to warn people of dangerous conditions that are not obvious or apparent.  The Post Office, or the person or entity that owns the property may be responsible to you for your injuries and medical bills if the condition that caused you to fall was one that they knew about, or existed for a long enough period of time that they should have known about it.  Uneven pavement is a condition that usually occurs over time, either due to erosion or tree roots growing nearby, so it is most likely that the Post Office knew about this dangerous condition.

One possible reason you were told by your PCP that he does not treat "personal injuries" is that he does not want to get involved in your claim. The good news is that he is a minority, and there are always plenty of quality doctors that will get involved and provide you treatment.

The best advice I can give you is to speak with an attorney specializing in trip and fall injury accidents in your area to see whether you should pursue a claim.  An experienced trip and fall lawyer is going to know the laws in your area and how best to proceed.  Most slip and fall lawyers handle cases on a contingent basis which means if the lawyer does not recover any money for your claim, there is no charge for costs or attorney’s fees.  Most Florida slip and fall injury lawyers will also offer a free, no-obligation consultation, so you have nothing to lose by meeting to discuss your claim.

An experienced accident injury lawyer will also know how to assist you in getting, and paying for, medical care.  You can use your health insurance if you have it, the insurance company for the property owner may have medicalpayments coverage which would pay for some of your bills, or the lawyer may be able to arrange for your medical care to be reimbursed out of the proceeds of any settlement you receive.

It is best to explore making a claim soon after the accident occurred.  In Florida, you have four years from the date of the accident to bring a claim.However, you don’t want to wait that long as witnesses disappear and their memories fade, employee witnesses move on to different jobs, and evidence can be lost.  Your attorney will also want to get pictures of the area where you fell before any repairs are made to it.

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.jmmlaywers.com, or email him today.

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