Tampa Slip & Fall Attorneys
A slip and fall accident occurs almost every day in Tampa, from a wet floor in a grocery store in Westchase, to a dangerous stairway in restaurants or apartment complex in Brandon. Walkers trip and fall and sustain injury on dangerous uneven sidewalks in older or declining subdivisions in North Tampa and kids fall on playgrounds which are unsafe or in need of regular maintenance or repair.
At worst many falls leave behind minor scrapes and, perhaps, bruised egos. Some falls, however, inflict significant personal injuries which can include broken bones, torn ligaments, fractured vertebrae resulting in spinal cord damage, traumatic head injury and other neurological injuries even causing death. These falls and the resulting injuries can force innocent victims to incur hundreds or thousands of dollars in unexpected medical expenses, keep you out of work for extended periods of time and cause pain and suffering which may interfere with every aspect of your daily life.
Victims of falls, often referred to by personal injury attorneys as slip and fall or trip and fall accidents, may have the right to receive compensation for the injuries and economic damages they have suffered. If a dangerous condition on someone’s property leads to a fall, the owner and any tenants using the property may face legal liability for allowing the unsafe condition to exist. Thus, to win a slip and fall case, you must establish that the property owner or tenant allowed a potentially dangerous condition to exist which causes injury.
For more than 25 years, Frank and Jennifer Fernandez have represented hundreds of Tampa Bay residents, workers and visitors in slip and fall accident injury cases. If contacted immediately, the Fernandez Firm’s Tampa slip and fall attorneys can quickly begin their investigation of the case, interview important witnesses and photograph the scene, all designed to help their clients to increase their recovery and secure the compensation they deserve for the harm caused by a preventable fall. Contact us online or call (813) 278-1032 today for a free case evaluation.
About The Fernandez Firm
The Fernandez Firm and our senior attorneys Frank and Jennifer Fernandez are well known throughout the local community and State-wide as experienced trial lawyers who live in the area and have served Tampa personal injury victims for years. Personal injury law is all we do! Our mission is to obtain the maximum financial compensation for our clients who have been wrongfully injured and help them regain their health and rebuild their lives.
Over the years we have secured more than $100 million in settlements and verdicts for our clients in a wide range of personal injury cases, including slip and falls. While we cannot guarantee a favorable outcome for every client, we can point to our impressive results and long-standing record of success as a reason to have confidence when you hire our legal team to represent you in a Tampa slip and fall case. When you hire the Fernandez Firm, you get a team of investigators, paralegals, construction experts and seasoned personal injury trial attorneys all with the know-how and financial resources to win your case.
If you slip and fall and are injured on someone else’s property in Tampa, the Fernandez Firm can help you get the compensation you deserve.
Clients sometimes come to us wondering if they have a slip and fall case when they did not actually slip before they fell and sustained injury. So, let’s clear up that potential confusion immediately.
As personal injury lawyers, we typically refer to cases in which people fall and get hurt as slip and falls cases. However, we handle all types of premises liability cases involving falls in Tampa, no matter if our client slipped, tripped, lost their balance or fell down due to another’s negligence (like an inattentive nurse or negligent health care worker) and suffered personal injury.
- Falling in parking lot potholes or on business premises;
- Tripping on cracked or upturned walkways, pavement, broken or uneven floors;
- Slipping on spilled liquids or a wet floor;
- Sliding on sand, gravel or objects left in a public walkway that should have removed;
- Falling down uneven or poorly constructed stairs;
- Losing your balance or falling due to loose or broken stair railing or banisters;
- Stumbling over trash or debris that should have cleaned up;
- Losing your footing because of inadequate lighting; and
- Falling while in a hospital, medical center, nursing home or assisted living facility due to the negligence of a health care worker.
To Repeat: You don’t need to actually slip to have a slip and fall case. Any preventable fall sustained on someone’s property in Tampa which results in bodily injury may give you the right to seek financial compensation. The Fernandez Firm has the resources and experience to help you make a recovery.
Falls are the leading cause of accidental injury in the United States, their impact on Tampa residents, business invitees and visitors is no exception. Older Floridians, in particular, face significant health risks from falls. Forty percent of all fatal injuries in people over the age of 65 are a result of slip and fall accidents. Falling is the fifth leading cause of death for the elderly.
At the Fernandez Firm, we are familiar with the statistics related to fall injuries and have years of experience handling slip and fall claims. Our collective knowledge and trial skills in this specialized field of legal practice has helped many of our clients secure significant compensation for a wide variety of serious fall injuries, including, the following:
- Traumatic brain injuries, for which falls are a leading cause, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC);
- Hip fractures, are a devastating and all-too-common injury, for Floridians over the age of 65;
- Broken bones, especially arms, wrists, ankles and legs are very common injuries suffered among the elderly and children who trip and fall;
- Spinal cord injuries, also commonly caused by falls sustained by older Floridians;
- Orthopedic injuries, especially damage to knee ligaments; and
- Back and neck injuries such as fractured vertebrae, ruptured and herniated discs.
Our legal team has also represented families of fall victims who have tragically died from their resulting injuries.
The above-listed injuries only represent a small few of the different types of negligence cases which might bring someone to consult with and retain the Fernandez Firm, in Tampa. No matter what type of injury you or your loved one suffered in a preventable fall in Tampa, we have the experience to determine the property owner’s liability for an unsafe condition and fight for your rights.
Seeking Compensation for Fall Injuries in Tampa
When you suffer injury in a slip and fall accident, you need an experienced trial lawyer on your side to succeed. Many lawyers who regularly handle auto accidents and personal injury cases in Tampa, rarely accept, much less go to trial on slip and fall cases. Primarily because over the past 20 years, Florida business owners working in conjunction with the State’s Legislature have taken drastic action — known as “Tort Reform” — to make it much more difficult for members of the general public to receive compensation for slip and fall injuries. At the Fernandez Firm, our primary goal is to make sure our clients get paid for their injuries, in even the most difficult liability cases.
Florida law places hurdles in your path when it comes to proving liability for a slip and fall injury in Tampa. You need a lawyer who understands how to clear them.
Most significantly, the law places a heavy burden of proof on victims and their lawyers in cases where someone falls and gets hurt at a business establishment because of a “liquid or solid substance, item or object located where it does not belong.”
In those cases, to obtain compensation for fall injuries, victims and their lawyers must prove “by a greater weight of the evidence” that the business owner had “actual or constructive knowledge of the dangerous condition and could or should have taken action to remedy it.”
That means that the evidence a lawyer presents must conclusively show that the unsafe condition was present for long enough that the business establishment should have known about it, or that the dangerous condition “occurred with regularity and was therefore foreseeable.”
At the Fernandez Firm, our skilled slip and fall lawyers are up to the challenge in these specialized cases. We have the financial resources and experience needed to gather all evidence critical to prove actual or constructive notice of any dangerous condition by any business owner no matter how large the corporate defendant.
We also understand that property owners are not always the only parties who may be legally laible for your loss, injuries and damages.
Depending on the circumstances, other persons, firms or business entities may also be wholly or partially at fault for your slip and fall injuries. These include the following (for example):
- The property management company employed by a property owner to maintain or repair a premises such as an apartment complex or condominium where you fell and got hurt because of an unsafe condition on the premises;
- The manufacturer of building fixtures like railings or floor tiles, if their products contained dangerous defects that led to your fall; or
- Individuals whose negligent or unreasonable actions caused you to fall.
At the Fernandez Firm, our Tampa legal team understands the responsibilities of property owners when evaluating a slip and fall claim. With years of premises liability litigation experience, our attorneys know which additional third-parties may properly be held at fault for your damages and included in a lawsuit to maximize your recovery. We have recovered millions in compensation for clients injured in falls during our 25 years of practice.
Slip and fall accidents cause significant personal injuries in 20 to 30 percent of cases. Even a minor fall can have major physical, emotional and financial consequences for victims and their families.
At the Fernandez Firm in Tampa, we understand that our most important jobs, as your legal counsel in any case, but particularly in a slip and fall case, is to listen to you, the Client. As your legal representative, it is critical we obtain a full understanding of exactly how your fall occurred and how your fall-related injuries impact your daily life. Gaining this detailed knowledge, assists us to determine a property owner’s liability and helps us identify and calculate the full amount of monetary damages our clients are entitled to recover.
Every case we handle involving a Tampa slip and fall has unique facts. However, in the typical case, our injured clients have the right to recover compensation for the following economic and non-economic damages:
- Medical Costs in treating slip and fall injuries, including for the cost associated with emergency medical care, hospitalization costs, physical therapy and rehabilitation costs, necessary medication and medical equipment expenses (such as crutches, walking boots, wheelchair expenses, canes, hand and bathroom rails, etc.);
- Wages and Income Lost because a slip and fall injury may cause our client miss time from work or leaves our client permanently disabled;
- Out-of-Pocket Expenses incurred because of an fall, such as the cost of hiring in-home caregivers or household operations workers including hiring persons to clean your home, to launder, grocery shop, cook or perform yard and maintenance work while you regain your health;
- Pain and Suffering and other non-economic damages like, mental anguish and diminished quality of life; and
- In rare cases, punitive damages to punish wrongful conduct that led to a preventable fall and severe injury or preventable wrongful death in Tampa.
No lawyer should promise a Tampa slip and fall victim results or suggest they will receive compensation for even a portion of the damage categories listed above. However, the best way for an injury victim to recover full compensation after a fall is to hire an experienced slip and fall attorney, in Tampa. If you have questions regarding your right to compensation after injury in a fall, the Fernandez Firm attorneys are available 24/7 to help.
In the aftermath of a preventable fall, you think you need to hire a lawyer but you may not know exactly what a lawyer can do for you.
Every slip and fall case is different, so what a lawyer does for a slip and fall client can vary considerably depending on the client’s needs and priorities.
In general, the first step the Fernandez Firm takes in any slip and fall case is to determine who caused the accident and who is responsible by:
- Investigating the causes of a preventable fall in Tampa, whether it occurs at a business, in a home, or on private property;
- Identifying responsible parties whose decisions, actions or inactions caused or contributed to the slip and fall and may be legally at fault;
- Collecting important evidence necessary to prove liability for a fall, including moving quickly to photograph the scene immediately after the fall, requesting preservation of all security camera footage showing the fall before this critical evidence is deleted or taped over by negligent businesses and obtaining recorded statement from all eye witnesses before their memories fade;
- Communicating with fall victim clients about their rights and options for securing compensation, and answering all of their questions regarding their ability to make a recovery — which is not guaranteed if liability problems exist;
- Presenting comprehensive insurance claims and timely filing lawsuits seeking compensation for our clients’ losses, injuries and damages;
- Negotiating with insurance companies, their adjuster and corporate defense lawyers whose clients owe damages to ours, in hopes of securing a full settlement of our clients’ claims when possible;
- Trial advocating for our clients in Tampa courtrooms and arguing their cases to local judges and juries, when necessary, to achieve the financial outcome our clients deserve.
At the Fernandez Firm, we treat every Tampa slip and fall case as a unique event deserving of our fullest attention. There is no such thing as a cookie-cutter injury claim for our skilled team of attorneys. Our continued success is not an accident. But don’t take our word for it, listen to our former clients. Most believe our personalized customer service, professionalism, clear communication skills and commitment to serving their best interests is the secret to getting them exceptional results in and out of the courtroom.
It All Starts With a Free Consultation
The Fernandez Firm team understands that after suffering injuries and losses in a slip and fall accident in Tampa, the last thing most people want to worry about is figuring out how they can pay a lawyer to represent them. Most personal injuries cause financial strain on our clients and their affected family. This is no time to add the additional expense of a pricy attorney to your stretched budget.
At the Fernandez Firm, there is no charge for you or a family member to speak with a member of our legal team in order to discuss the circumstance of your slip and fall accident and the extent of the injuries suffered. At our free consultation, potential new clients can learn more about our professional experience, working style and our team of attorneys commitment to customer service. We, in turn, can learn a little about the potential client’s case and answer any questions you may have regarding the hiring of a lawyer. Even if we decide not to work together, our discussions and everything we are told about the matter will remain strictly confidential and we will not charge you a dime for our time and service.
If you decide to hire the Fernandez Firm, our lawyers will represent you on a contingent fee basis. That means, our lawyers will work on your slip and fall case without requiring any payment up-front. Our attorneys do not request or receive any money unless they successfully win your case. By working on a contingency fee basis, the Fernandez Firm makes our legal services affordable to any Tampa slip and fall victim who needs our help. At the Fernandez Firm, we don’t get paid unless we win and …We Want to Win!
In our free consultations, we find that potential clients often have many questions regarding their legal rights to seek compensation for their losses, injuries and damages.
We have collected some of our most frequently asked questions below, to which we give generalized answers. Of course, our legal team is always available to answer your specific questions about a fall in Tampa that injured you or a loved one. Please contact us directly, we are happy to meet with you personally at any time and talk with you about your case.
How do I know if I am entitled to recover damages for the injuries I suffered in a fall in Tampa?
Every injury case is different. However, at the Fernandez Firm we believe you have a right to recover full damages for all injuries wrongfully sustained in a fall, if an at-fault party could or should have, corrected the dangerous condition on the property condition which led to your fall and resulting injury.
Property owners, businesses and governmental entities in and around Tampa owe a basic duty of care to anyone who comes onto their properties. That duty usually consists of keeping visitors and others safe from known, preventable dangers by removing those dangerous conditions, keeping visitors away from them, or, at a minimum, warning about people of the potential danger.
So, to determine whether you may be entitled to recover money damages for the harm done when a property owner failed to safely maintain the premises, ask yourself: Should a reasonable property owner have corrected the dangerous condition prior to my fall and injury or, at the very least, warned me of the potential danger that led to my fall and injuries? If your answer is yes, maybe, or even “I don’t know”, then we encourage you to contact our attorneys at the Fernandez Firm today for a free consultation. You may have valuable rights to compensation for your injuries and damages.
How much money can I get for my Tampa slip and fall injuries?
As stated above, every personal injury case is different. There is no fixed amount of damages that injured victims are required to receive. Instead, the value of your slip and fall case is determined by the economic losses (medical expenses, wage loss, etc..) and non-economic damages (pain & suffering) your lawyer is able to prove to a 6-member jury at trial.
That is one of the many reasons it pays to hire lawyers, like The Fernandez Firm, with decades of trial experience, to represent you in a Tampa slip and fall case. Lawyers with a long history of success, who can evaluate your case and provide you with a good estimate of how much money your case is worth and how much you can realistically expect to recover before filing a lawsuit, at mediation and at trial.
That being said, the amount of damages you receive for your injuries and losses usually depends on the answers to these questions:
- How bad are your injuries and how deeply do they impact your life? The worse the injuries and the greater the impact, the higher your medical expenses, out-of-pocket costs, and lost wages, and the more significant your pain and suffering. Those are the core categories of damages you may have the right to receive, and so, the value of your case tends to depend, in large part, on how high they get.
- How strong is your case? No two Tampa slip and fall claims are identical, and their economic values can differ considerably based on the strength of the evidence and the skill of the presenting lawyer. A strong case stands a better chance of achieving a top-dollar result. In cases where the evidence is weaker, defense lawyers and insurance companies tend to fight harder reducing their value.
- How much money does the party with liability have to pay your damages? In most Tampa slip and fall cases, liability insurance carried by the party at fault pays the injured person’s damages. In some cases, a liable party may be forced to pay out-of-pocket damages to satisfy a claim. Either way, the more money that exists to pay for your injuries and losses, the greater the chances that you will receive every dollar you deserve.
To maximize the potential value of your Tampa slip and fall case, it is important to hire experienced slip and fall lawyers like Frank and Jennifer Fernandez of the Fernandez Firm who have significant jury trial experience and have proven results for clients like you in this specialized field.
The Tampa hotel where I slipped and fell offered me a free stay to make things right. Is it ok for me to accept it?
It is common for property owners and businesses to offer perks like free stays, free meals and other gifts as a way to avoid responsibility by apologizing to a customer who slipped, fell and got hurt on their premises. Businesses do this to keep their customers happy.
However, accepting such free perks can come with a potentially-costly downside. Depending upon the context of how the business offers them and how you respond, those freebies could be regarded as an offer to settle your claim. Worse, in the hands of a skilled insurance defense attorney, your agreement to accept such benefits could convincingly be argued to be a waiver of your rights to sue for future money damages. At the Fernandez Firm, we strongly recommend that anyone who falls on a business premises sustaining injury politely refuse any such offers. However, if you are confronted with this situation, you can also always contact our Tampa attorneys for immediate assistance and a free consultation.
The insurance company for the Tampa business where I fell and got hurt offered me a cash settlement. Should I take it?
This is a variation on the question above, and our answer to it is basically the same.
Be very, very careful. If an insurance company, representing the business where you fell, contacts you and offers you settlement money, that’s generally a sign they believe they have significant liability exposure for your damages. It’s also a clear sign that the insurer wants to minimize its financial exposure for your slip and fall claim before you hire a personal injury lawyer.
Insurance companies facing this situation often make low, inadequate settlement offers directly to injured slip and fall victims. They offer the quick settlement hoping that the injured victim needs money to pay for their medical expenses and hoping they have not (yet) hired an attorney who has calculated the amount of money the victim truly deserves to receive.
Accepting a settlement offer means giving up potentially-valuable legal rights to sue for damages. By-and-large, you cannot take back a settlement once you have received money from an insurance company or signed an agreement to settle your case.
To protect yourself against accepting a settlement that falls short of the amount of money you need and deserve, say “no, thanks” to any settlement offer made directly to you by an insurance agent or insurance company, and immediately contact The Fernandez Firm to learn your rights. In many instances a skilled Tampa slip and fall lawyer can negotiate a settlement that is three times the amount the insurance company offers to you directly.
How long will it take to get money in my Tampa slip and fall case?
That’s difficult for an experienced lawyer to predict without knowing the details of your case.
Timelines for slip and fall cases in Tampa can vary widely. Some settle quickly and quietly. Others take time to investigate, develop and resolve.
In general, the factors that affect the length of time it takes to resolve a slip and fall case from beginning to end (hopefully in a favorable financial outcome) include:
- The injured client’s medical care timeline. Specifically, how long it takes treating doctors to diagnose the extent of your injuries and give a reasonably reliable prediction of the client’s prognosis for maximum physical recovery.
- The number of parties with potential legal liability for your injuries. On average, a one defendant case tends to move quicker than a case involving multiple liable parties.
- The degree of dispute over the core questions in your case, namely whether your lawyer can prove a party’s legal liability for your damages and whether your lawyer can prove the damages claimed and compensation due to you.
- Court and administrative timing factors. Some Judges and parties simply move faster through cases than others.
For the most part, you cannot control the timeline affecting your Tampa slip and fall case. You, however, can control one very significant factor in moving your case forward and bringing it to a conclusion. The faster you reach out to an experienced team of lawyers like the Fernandez Firm, the sooner the process can begin.
How much time do I have to contact a lawyer and file a Tampa slip and fall claim?
When it comes to contacting a lawyer, please bear in mind that Florida has a statute of limitations on Tampa slip and fall injury actions. This simply means that you have a specified time from the date of the incident in which to bring a claim, or it will be forever barred, regardless of its merit. Should you wish to seek the advice of an attorney, we would urge you to do so immediately to allow that person adequate time to investigate your claim and protect your legal rights.
Why is it so important to contact a lawyer immediately when injured in slip and fall cases in Tampa? One word: Evidence. As we noted above, Florida law requires injury victims to prove that the business premises where the fall occurred had actual or constructive knowledge of the dangerous property condition. Over time, key evidence to be used to prove your case at trial may quickly disappear.
Key pieces of evidence lawyers commonly use to prove a slip and fall case include:
- Security camera footage (often deleted regularly by businesses);
- Cell phone photographs and videotape;
- Witness statements;
- A business’s policies and procedures; and
- Internal business reports of the incident.
In ideal situations, most experienced lawyers want to start collecting all available evidence immediately, before it disappears or fades from memory. However, once on notice of your injury or the incident, some businesses may delete, destroy or alter evidence to protect themselves from liability and fire workers responsible for repairing and maintaining the subject property.
As for how much time you have to file a claim, a Florida law called a statute of limitations sets an expiration date on your legal rights to compensation for slip and fall injuries. Missing that deadline will result in the loss of your right to bring a liability claim for damages. In most cases, the time limit for filing a legal action in a slip and fall case is four years from the date of incident for an action founded in negligence and and two years for a claim for medical malpractice, nursing home or assisted living abuse or involving a victim’s wrongful death.
It’s simple: First, make sure you immediately go to a hospital for treatment or consult with a medical doctor and follow their advice for all future treatment. Following your doctor’s professional recommendations, more than anything else, can help protect the value of your claim, not to mention your health.
We strongly encourage anyone who has fallen at a business premises or on someone else’s property in Tampa to seek immediate medical attention after falling even if they do not feel injured. The stress and embarrassment of falling in a public place, and the human instinct to shake off bumps-and-bruises, often interferes in our ability to sense whether we have suffered a serious injury. Additionally, some serious injuries may not show symptoms right away.
Please be safe, not sorry. Go to the doctor and get examined for any potentially serious injuries. Then make sure you follow your treating physician’s recommendations and advice. Perform any physical therapy exercises, take all medication prescribed, rest and avoid any activities which cause increased pain or additional injury.
Seeking medical care and treatment, in addition to promoting your health and well-being, ensures the creation of a detailed medical record documenting your injury and confirming your fall. Following doctor’s orders protects you against an insurance company adjuster or defense lawyer who later calls into question your injury claim on the basis of your failure to treat for injuries alleged.
The impact from a slip and fall accident can cause serious physical, emotional and financial pain. If you have been injured, you deserve compensation. We can help.
If you or a loved one has suffered a slip and fall injury at a commercial business, public place or on residential property in Tampa, contact The Fernandez Firm online or call Frank and Jennifer Fernandez for a free case evaluation at (813) 278-1032.
At the Fernandez Firm, we do not get paid unless we win and … We Want to Win!