Palatka, with a population of 11,000, is situated in the Palatka Metropolitan Statistical Area, home to over 72,000 residents. Palatka has strong historical ties and hosts the Putnam County seat.
Even though this town is small, slip and fall accidents can still occur here.
If you or someone you love recently sustained injuries from a slip and fall, make it a point to speak with an experienced Palatka slip and fall attorney as soon as possible. Our team at Steven A. Bagen & Associates, P.A. has recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for clients injured in various accidents, and we can assess your rights.
Table of Contents
- Proving Negligence is Crucial for Compensation
- Injuries at Someone’s Home
- Slip and Falls on Commercial Properties
- Government Premise Liability for Slip and Fall Claims
- Palatka Slip and Fall Accident FAQs
- Turn to a Palatka Slip and Fall Attorney You Can Trust
Proving Negligence is Crucial for Compensation
Slips and falls can happen just about anywhere in Palatka, including:
- Save A Lot
- Publix Supermarkets
- Florida Azalea Festival
- Palatka Cinema
- The St. Johns River Center
- St. Johns River State College
- Larimer Memorial Library
- Blue Crab Festival
- Putnam Community Medical Center
- Putnam County Schools
- The Old Atlantic Coast Line Union Depot
Unfortunately, not everyone who sustains an injury from a slip and fall accident will receive compensation for their damages. Only injured individuals who can show that another person or party was negligent in causing their slip and fall accident have a right to financial recovery.
You won’t have a viable claim unless you can establish negligence on the part of the property owner, agent, or occupant.
No matter what type of insurance policy might pay for your injuries, you must demonstrate:
- A hazard existed on the property
- The property owner or their agent knew about or reasonably should’ve known of the hazardous condition
- You had permission to be on the property
- The hazard caused your injuries
- You incurred damages due to the property owner’s negligence
If these elements aren’t present in your claim, no insurance policy will cover slip and fall damages. This is why it’s essential to hire a well-practiced and knowledgeable Palatka slip and fall lawyer. With an attorney on your side, you don’t need to prove these things while healing from your injuries. Slip and fall lawyers are skilled in crafting cases and know how to use evidence to prove each factor.
Injuries at Someone’s Home
If your accident occurred at someone’s home, you might file a claim with the owner’s homeowner’s insurance company. Most homeowners have this type of insurance coverage.
Homeowners who still have a mortgage need homeowner’s insurance under the terms of most loans. However, if they have paid off their home, they may or may not have this coverage.
You or your Palatka slip and fall attorney will need to ask if they have this type of policy. If they refuse to provide this critical information, your Palatka slip and fall lawyer can use legal action to get the information from them.
Once you report your slip and fall claim to the insurance carrier, they will assign an insurance adjuster to your claim. The adjuster will reach out to the homeowner to hear their description of what happened. Then they will contact you to get your story.
Insurance adjusters frequently ask claimants to provide a recorded statement regarding what happened to them to cause their injuries. If you don’t yet have a Palatka slip and fall lawyer, it’s in your best interest to politely decline to give a recorded statement. Nothing positive happens to personal injury claimants who don’t have legal representation and naively agree to provide recorded statements to insurance adjusters. If you already obtained legal counsel, don’t give a recorded statement until you speak with your lawyer.
Slip and Falls on Commercial Properties
Most businesses have commercial property insurance. It’s pretty similar to a homeowner’s policy, but it generally has much higher coverage limits. The process is nearly identical to filing a homeowner’s insurance policy claim. For example, commercial property insurance policies cover almost all accidents at a business when negligence was a factor, including slip and fall accidents.
Negligence can be a factor if:
- Employees don’t clean spills, leaks, and drips promptly.
- Businesses do not clear water or weather from walkways and parking lots in a reasonable time.
- Walkways aren’t kept in good repair or have uneven surfaces, holes, or cracks.
- Parking lot surfaces aren’t adequately maintained to avoid cracks and potholes.
- There are physical obstacles present such as loose cords.
- Other hazards exist, such as sharp edges on shelves and racks or improperly stacked merchandise.
- Doors prevent easy customer movement in and out, especially customers with assistive devices like walkers, wheelchairs, or baby strollers.
Liability insurance gives business owners protection from slip and fall claims and lawsuits. However, insurance companies don’t routinely issue a check every time there’s an injury on the premises. Even if a business has premises liability or general liability insurance, the insurer can still deny your claim.
You or your Palatka slip and fall attorney must show them:
- Why you were on the property
- That you were there legally
- How the business owner is at fault for your damages
If customers, vendors, contractors, or subcontractors caused your slip and fall accident, you can seek compensation through each negligent third party. However, the applicable commercial property insurance will also provide coverage under some circumstances.
Government Premise Liability for Slip and Fall Claims
Suppose your slip and fall accident occurred on government property or somehow involved a government employee. In that case, your only option is to file a claim against the government.
Generally, you will need to prove that:
- The government entity knew or should have reasonably known about the hazardous condition on the property
- A government employee caused your slip and fall accident through their negligence—for instance, not mopping up a spill or reporting a hazardous condition.
It’s critical to note that most government premise liability laws have a shorter statute of limitations than other types of premise liability claims. For example, in Florida, injured individuals have four years to file legal claims against other parties but usually only have three years to file a proper notice of claim against a government agency.
Missing this deadline will invalidate your claim. As a result, you can no longer seek compensation for your damages. However, when you work with an experienced Palatka slip and fall attorney, they will know what statute of limitation or other deadlines apply in your case and act accordingly.
Potential Slip and Fall Injuries
All fall accidents have the potential to cause injuries, both minor and significant. About one million Americans receive medical care in the emergency room every year because of slip and fall injuries. These injuries can range from scratches, bruises, and soreness to broken bones or even traumatic brain injuries (TBI). Some injuries are fatal.
Most slip and fall accidents are easily preventable. Government, commercial, private property owners, and caretakers are responsible for preventing and removing dangerous conditions on their property. They are negligent if they know about potential danger or should have reasonably been aware of it but don’t act. As such, you can hold them legally accountable or liable for any injuries and damages that result.
Falls can cause nearly any bone in the body to break. Bone fractures can be simple and heal with only four to six weeks in a cast. However, they can also be severe, requiring surgery, the implantation of plates or screws, and months of physical therapy.
The most common areas for broken bones after a fall include:
- Hips and pelvis
- Wrists and elbows
- Ribs and collarbones (clavicle)
- Neck, back, and tailbones
Sprains and Strains
Sprains and strains commonly occur in the wrist, ankle, and shoulder. A sprain stretches or tears a ligament. A strain stretches or tears a muscle or tendon. Both can be painful and limit mobility for several weeks.
Sprains and strains can occur in many different body areas and are among the most frequent fall injury types. Sometimes, they require more time than broken bones to heal.
Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)
One of the most serious and potentially long-term injuries a fall victim might suffer is a TBI. A TBI can occur if someone hits their head or the head otherwise undergoes brutal force.
Individuals with a TBI can have:
- Permanent brain damage
- Difficulty focusing
- Memory loss
- Personality changes
Spinal Cord Injuries (SCI)
Broken or dislocated bones of the neck or back can cause the spinal cord to bruise, swell, tear or even sever. SCIs have the potential to cause severe and permanent injuries. Falls that are especially forceful or those where the victim twists or doesn’t land on a flat surface have a higher risk of ending in an SCI.
The spinal cord is a pathway for the brain and the rest of the body to communicate. Damages to this pathway can lead to several problems. SCIs can also cause long-term disabilities or even death.
Falls are frightening and can even leave psychological injuries in their wake. Young children and elderly fall victims are particularly at risk of developing a fear of falling and nightmares after a fall. Some will even develop PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) if their slip and fall accident is highly traumatic.
You deserve full and fair compensation for your medical bills and pain and suffering from your injuries. When you hire a well-versed Palatka slip and fall lawyer to represent your claim, you can maximize your financial recovery and rest easy with a trusted advocate on your side.
Palatka Slip and Fall Accident FAQs
What Causes Slip and Fall Accidents?
Many different hazardous conditions cause slip and fall accidents.
The most common ones include:
- Recently waxed or treated floors.
- Wet floors caused by spills, leaks, or wet weather
- Debris on the floor such as dirt, small toys, marbles, produce, and rice
- Unsafe floor surfaces such as wrinkled carpets, uneven transitions from one surface to another, buckled or pitted floors, and loose or broken floorboards
- Inadequate lighting
- Broken stairs or handrails
While Florida property owners or those acting on their behalf cannot know about all potentially dangerous conditions on their property every second of every day, they must make reasonable efforts to keep their property safe. If alerted to a potentially dangerous condition, they should promptly correct it, place a warning sign, or ensure people stay away from the area—such as by fencing or roping it off. If they don’t, you may hold them liable for any damages.
Who Pays for Slip and Fall Claim Damages?
Slip and fall victims have a legal right to compensation for their damages. The source of compensation varies depending on where the accident happened and who owns or takes care of the property.
Slip and fall injuries can result in tens of thousands of dollars in medical and out-of-pocket expenses plus other damages for a single incident. In one recent year, the estimated medical costs for fatal and nonfatal falls in older Americans alone hit about $50 billion.
Most individuals who experience a slip and fall lack the financial resources to get the medical care and treatment they need on their own. In that case, who pays for these expenses, especially when the slip and fall resulted from someone else’s negligence? It shouldn’t have to be the injured individual who didn’t do anything to deserve their injuries.
Turn to a Palatka Slip and Fall Attorney You Can Trust
After suffering injuries in a slip and fall, you need time to rest and physically recover. Speaking to insurance adjusters and trying to prove your own claim won’t work. In fact, it can create more stress and delay your healing.
The Palatka slip and fall lawyers at Steven A. Bagen & Associates, P.A., can manage all aspects of your injury claim, allowing you the time and space you need to heal and make the best recovery possible.
Contact us today at (800) BAGEN LAW or online to schedule a free slip and fall case review and get your claim started.
My experience was more than great, from the moment I acquired about their services to the moment my case was finalized and settled, there was steady communication, and I was consistently in the loop. They explain things to you in a way that you can understand and ensure that you are involved in the decision making. Everyone is super kind and stays in contact with you even after settling. They truly care about your well being and I will definitely keep them at the top of the list for any other cases.