Your Complete Guide to a Slip and Fall in Florida

Your Complete Guide to a Slip and Fall in Florida

Property owners have a legal obligation to provide for the reasonable safety of people who might visit their premises. The property owner, or the manager or staff of a commercial property, is expected to ensure the premises is free of safety hazards or that existing hazards are marked in a manner that warns people of the existence of that danger. When a property owner or their staff is negligent in removing or warning about safety hazards, people can get hurt. And when they are hurt, they can seek compensation.

If you or a loved one has been injured or disabled due to dangerous conditions on public or private property, you need to speak with the dedicated law firm of Perry & Young with over 70 years of combined experience that takes great pride in protecting your rights. People who suffer from a premise’s liability accident in Florida may be inexperienced in what qualifies for a case. Many people who slip and fall in public suffer from the immediate embarrassment factor, however, the majority of the time it is not your fault, but the fault of the negligent owner or business. In Florida, many of the personal injury lawsuits stem from dangerous conditions.

Plaintiffs who prevail in their slip and fall lawsuits may be awarded compensatory damages to pay for their:
• medical bills, including payment for future treatments
• lost wages, of which include unrealized future earnings
• Funeral and burial expenses if you lost a loved one in a fatal fall
• pain and suffering including loss of consortium or companionship
• Punitive damages in cases involving extreme misconduct

When the court finds that the defendant’s behavior was malicious or otherwise shocking, the defendant may have to pay punitive damages as well to the plaintiff. Depending on the case, punitive damages can amount to three times or more than the compensatory damages. Even falling victims who were partially to blame for their injuries may still be able to win a personal injury lawsuit. Under Florida Negligence law, property owners or tenants owe accident victims damages whenever they were at least 50% at fault. The law considers this as Comparative Negligence of which basically states that when both parties are at least somewhat at fault the jury allocates fault, usually as a percentage (for example, a jury might find that the plaintiff was 30% at fault and the defendant was 70% at fault). Then each pays their share of the other’s damages (in the above example, the plaintiff pays 30% of the defendant’s damages, and the defendant pays 70% of the plaintiff’s damages).

We now need to bring to your attention the burden of proof for a slip and fall case. For many victims, a slip-and-fall case may seem clear cut. However, there are certain elements that must be established in order for a personal injury claim to be successful, and evidence of what caused your fall can disappear quickly. Our lawyers will need to be able to show that:
• You were on the premises legally (i.e., you were not trespassing).
• A hazardous condition on the premises caused your fall.
• The property owner knew about or should have known about the hazardous condition and failed to mitigate its danger in a timely manner, either through cleanup, repair, or an adequate warning.
• The existence of the hazard was not so obvious that a reasonable person would have realized that he or she should steer clear.

While slip-and-falls are quite common and may be considered to some as a facet of slapstick humor, real slip-and-falls are no joke. They can be the cause of broken bones, soft tissue damage, and a variety of other potential injuries. Some examples of this could be wet floors, snow or ice-covered sidewalks, potholes, clutter, trash, or debris, damaged or lose flooring, damaged or loose paving stones or cement, poor lighting, or damaged or missing handrails. Many of the times a slip-and-fall accident claims hinge on what is “reasonable” and “timely”. A particularly good example of this is, store owners must be allowed a reasonable amount of time to realize a hazard exists and then to clean it up, such as a bottle of ketchup or salad dressing that fell from a shelf.

Another example, a retail store, parking lot, sidewalks at a condo complex the owner is allotted a reasonable amount of time after a snow or freezing rain stops falling to de-ice or shovel the area in question. With this being said it would not be reasonable to make a claim if you decided to run down a potentially icy sidewalk or across a parking lot, into a building where floors may be wet from tracked-in rain. In addition, the property owner’s insurance may be able to shift the blame or partial blame if you were texting or looking at social media on your phone when the fall occurred. This would be what is called “contributory negligence” of which allows the compensation to be reduced depending on the role the victim played in the accident.

It goes without saying the sole purpose of the property owner, through their insurance company will almost always challenge your claim for compensation and that is why it is crucial to contact a law firm that has attorneys that specialize and have decades of experience in premises liability such as Perry & Young. We will be able to obtain several keys of evidence that maybe difficult for you to get if you were to take the case on independently such as:

• The ability to gather all the evidence about your accident. It is imperative to secure evidence for it is destroyed or “lost”, or before a property owner repairs the hazard that caused your accident.

• Surveillance camera footage in this day and time is usually everywhere we go when it comes to commercial or public property. This footage can help to illustrate how long the hazard existed and how the negligent party took to deal with it or neglected it.

• Medical and financial experts work to make projections for anticipated medical needs and any future income losses due to long-term injuries or disabilities in addition to all the costs and losses you have already incurred. These professionals work with our attorneys to examine your records and provide detailed reports to substantiate your cost and losses.

• Obtain statements from any witnesses, including anyone who was with you when you fell, as well as friends, and family that have witnessed the struggles you have endured due to the accident. This would include the progress and the setbacks in your recovery, any family events, or gatherings you had to miss due to your injuries.

If you have been hurt in a slip-and-fall or trip-and-fall accident, schedule a consultation with Perry & Young at no cost to you to discuss your options for pursuing the compensation you need to recover call 850-215-7777 or fill out our intake form. The worst thing you can do is nothing at all.

Going Back to Work after the Pandemic

Going Back to Work after the Pandemic

Many states are beginning to reopen, and people are starting to come back to work. Being this is a very usual situation right now there can be uncertainty and sometimes fear that accompanies the thought of going back to the way it was before the pandemic. When workers are afraid to return to the worksite during the pandemic, an important question is why they are afraid: a generalized fear versus a specific, protected reason. Despite an employer’s best efforts to create a safe work environment, some of the employees might refuse to return to the workplace based on a basic fear of rejoining public life while the pandemic is still in full force. Because Covid-19 cases and death are still on the rise in many of our states and there is a steady trend that is allowing more and more opportunity to go out and practice social distancing. This is a matter of choice such as where we choose to go and where we do not feel comfortable going. To go to the grocery store is a far cry from sitting in a crowded movie theater. To some, the thought of sitting in an office building for extended periods of the day followed by another day and then another is enough to cause serious stress and fear in many of us.

According to the division vice president of human resources at ADP in Florham Park, N.J, Tara Wolckenhauer “Keeping all associate safe is paramount and should be the guidepost for decisions surrounding returning to work{places}.” “Employers should prepare for heightened levels of general anxiety as workers return to the worksites and adjust to a new normal.” After the final decision is made by the employer on who can continue to work remotely and who can not a decision is to be made by the employee if they choose to return to the workplace. Employers are not usually required to allow employees to make their own decision on if they return or if they do not. With that being said there are laws to protect the employee if the choice is made to not to return to their job at this time and to continue to work from home.


The employee’s legal rights are usually pretty cut and dry when they violate the attendance policy. However, during this time it might be a better choice to put hesitant employees on leave instead of firing them. On the other side of the coin allowing many people to take vacation time or PTO (paid time off) will most certainly have a ripple effect when it comes to an effective workforce sufficient to maintain operations.

According to the Occupational Safety Health (OSH) Act, it will allow employees to refuse to go to work if they reasonably believe they are in imminent danger. In order to be protected under this act the employee must have a reasonable belief that there is a treat of death or serious physical harm likely to occur immediately or within a short period of time to qualify for this type of protection. In this situation it can not be because there is a fear of contracting COVID-19; it is more for people who have an underlying condition and as a result, contracting COVID-19 could cause more injury to them than people who have no underlying conditions. This becomes very tricky when speaking with the employee because an employer may not legally address the preexisting underlying illness that would qualify them for the OSH Act it would be a violation of their medical rights.

The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) protects employees that are nonunionized and unionized in that they are able to band together and can not be disciplined or discriminated against based on protected concerted activity, which can include refusing to come to work for safety reasons. This will not protect a single employee but if two or more employees join and speak out in regard to the unsafe situation they are protected. A good example would be that the employer refused to allow their employees to wear a mask at work.

Another Act that is similar to the OSH Act is the Americans with Disability Act (ADA). When an employee has an underlying medical condition that puts them at a greater risk from COVID-19 the employer must accommodate their request to an altered worksite, remote work, or time off. Providing previsions for the employee such as Plexiglass separators or other types of barriers might suffice for the employee.
Thanks to COVID-19 there is a Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) which states the employee may be eligible for paid sick leave if a healthcare provider advises the employee to self-quarantine because the employee is particularly vulnerable to COVID-19. A letter of documentation must be provided to the employer from the medical personnel.

Call a firm that is committed to obtaining full compensation on your behalf. Call Perry & Young, P.A., at 850-215-7777 to schedule your free consultation.

What Not to do After an Accident

What Not to do After an Accident

The choices you make after an accident can affect you far into the future. Directly after the wreck happens you might be confused on what to do next and this could be a new experience for you so are uneducated on what not to do afterward. Perry & Young pray that you are never in an accident, however, if you are it would behoove you to take a little time and read this article to know exactly what to do if you ever encounter this stressful situation.

There are a lot of “what if’s” that happen after an accident; people go into panic mode with worry.

What if the police report is not written accurately according to your point of view, what if the accident is not handled correctly, what if my insurance refuses to pay, and what about my medical bills?

Perry & Young are here to answer all your questions and concerns and by representing you we will make sure that you do not have to worry about the “what if’s”.

Here is the top list of things that you should never do after falling victim to someone else’s negligence.

  1. Not Calling the Police

If you are involved with another driver and are involved in an accident always call the police especially if there are any damages to your property. Injuries do not always show their face until later and a police report will assist you in obtaining medical care at a later date. It is always better to be safe than sorry. The police are there to assist you in collecting important evidence and determine the cause of the accident. This will be immensely helpful when it comes time to file your insurance claim.

  1. Not Taking Pictures

It is very advantageous that the majority of us have cell phones with us at all times because of the camera feature. It is a particularly good idea to take as many pictures as possible providing you are not seriously injured.  Take pictures of the accident, injuries, location, negligent parties license plate, any cameras that are on a building near the crash site, and skid marks. The pictures may come in handy for gathering information for the insurance company and possibly an attorney.

  1. Not Getting Witness Statements and Information

Many people fall short on obtaining witness names, phone numbers, and possibly a written statement. A witness statement might be the determining factor when a negligent party attempts to deny being at fault to avoid insurance and legal ramifications. It is not uncommon that a witness doesn’t have the time at the scene to write out exactly what they saw so it is perfectly fine to just get their name and number and contact them at a later date. It is best to try and obtain a written statement in a reasonable amount of time because the incident is fresh in their mind.

  1. Admitting Fault

Regardless of how you feel about “what happened” never admit fault after a car accident, even if you feel like you might have been a contributing factor. For example, you were changing the radio station while going through a green light and were hit by someone who ran the red light. Although it was not a good idea to be distracted by the radio ultimately the accident was not your fault. There are a vast range of emotions that flow after an accident and some people’s first reaction is to apologize- Do not do it for admits fault.

  1. Not Filing an Insurance Claim

Many people are concerned that their insurance will go up after an accident and do not file the claim. If you end up being responsible for the accident and there are expensive damages or injuries involved; filing with your insurance company can keep you safe from bankruptcy at a later date.

  1. Not Seeing Your Doctor

If you do not seek medical attention within 14 days, you could lose your PIP benefits that you pay for as part of your insurance premium. It is incredibly common for someone to “feel fine” after an accident and as time goes on, they notice spasms or strains in the body as a direct result of being in an accident.

Perry & Young can help you get the most from your insurance claim and assist you in obtaining the compensation that is due to you. Call us for a free consultation 850-215-7777 and also visit us on our Facebook Page.

COVID-19 and the Effects on Personal Injury Cases

COVID-19 and the Effects on Personal Injury Cases

As the coronavirus surges through the United States countless people will continue to be a victim and suffer injuries in car accidents, slip and falls, medical malpractice, personal injury, and defective products. The injured party still can bring a personal injury claim to fruition during the COVID-19 to obtain compensation for their injuries. Although, the methodical legal system has been altered a bit during this pandemic and as a result clients need to be aware of how this will affect their claim.

The court system being closed is one of the issues resulting in personal injury cases being delayed in their ability to go to trial. Although the majority of cases settle prior to going to trial it is quite common for the case to see at least one hearing in court. On a positive note technology is on our side and depositions, mediations, arbitration, or settlement negotiations are being implemented via teleconference in lieu of personal appearances.

Due to the financial hardships, the COVID-19 has caused for many individuals victims are wanting to settle their case sooner than they normally would have. Some have lost their jobs or receiving unemployment benefits due to the COVID-19 might be a decrease in pay and as a result, causing the client to feel financial pressure. Insurance companies and their adjusters might be inclined to use this situation to their advantage and offer an unrealistic settlement offer. This virus has caused a trickledown effect in respect to who is affected financially. It is probable that the insurance companies have taken a hit as well as their profits have diminished, and they may provide more resistance than usual when it comes to attempting to minimize a claim. If they cannot get you to settle too soon it will be probable that more cases, go to trial or at least see a longer litigation period.

Being that the majority of Americans have taken a punch to their pocketbook some have had to allow their insurance to lapse. With that being said there is more uninsured motorists on the roads. Victims that are faced with someone who does not carry insurance is less likely to recover compensation from the driver’s personal assets. That is why we should all review our insurance policies to make sure it includes uninsured/underinsured motorist policy.

Personal Injury cases require a victim to receive medical treatment as recommended by their healthcare providers in order to receive the compensation they deserve. This is the primary way to prove the extent of the victim’s injuries and cost. The Covid-19 has caused many of us to question even going to a doctor’s office, physical therapy facility much less a hospital for testing or treatments. Although this is a reasonable concern it is important for the sake of the victim’s health as well as vital to the case.

The Law Office of Perry & Young will aggressively represent you and protect your rights against efforts by insurance companies to minimize our clients’ financial losses and pain and suffering. Call us for a free consultation 850-215-7777.

 

Medical Malpractice and Prescription Errors

Medical Malpractice and Prescription Errors

Unfortunately, we MUST have an advocate with us when we enter a health care facility. Regardless if it is a doctor’s appointment, lab work, outpatient surgical center, hospital, or just everyday care from a practitioner. It is not safe to be a patient and not have a second set of ears with us to direct our care. When we do not feel well and entrust in another’s care for us; there is a certain amount of trust given and we should not extend that trust. It is just not safe to be a patient alone because there are many patients; nurses and doctors have lives that can’t help but affect their decisions and efforts, we should have someone we trust with us to keep us safe. The National Coordination Council for Medication Error Prevention considers a medication error as any preventable event that may cause or lead to inappropriate medication use or patient harm. As humans we know their intent is good and it takes an incredibly special person to be a healthcare worker/advocate; however, we are human and mostly we mean no harm. Regretfully, humans take on too many responsibilities and errors do occur. Even though they are not intentional, it happens. Therefore, there are consequences because families are affected.

There are many reasons that Prescription errors occur:

  • Failure to properly read the doctor’s handwriting
  • Putting the wrong prescription into the pharmacy computer
  • Dispensing the wrong medication
  • Dispensing the wrong instructions on the medication
  • Failing to detect new medications adverse interaction with existing medications
  • Medication administration errors
  • Entering inaccurate or incomplete information about the patient

There are several people who can be held liable for the prescription error. It could be the doctor who wrote it wrong or his/her handwriting may not be legible. It is more common that there is inaccurate dosing. Too much or too little of a drug could cause grave harm to a patient. Prescribing a drug for an accurately diagnosed condition is the ultimate goal, however, to prescribe a drug for a misdiagnosed condition could cause permanent damage and possibly death. In a hospital or a nursing home, the majority cause of prescription errors is by the nurses and staff. Incorrectly administering of medications is the leading cause of overdoses in these facilities. Different medications must be administered in certain ways. Such as if a drug needs to be given by a shot in a specific location, it is the nurse that must administer the medication properly. Giving a shot in the wrong location or wrong method is considered negligent and the licensed nurse will be held liable.

 

Medical malpractice law in Florida is complicated and strictly specific. Proving medical negligence is difficult.  The litigation process is exceptionally long, and the compensation is very costly. The Law Office of Perry & Young has over 70 years of experience and we will strive to ensure that you receive full and fair compensation. Call us or contact the law firm through our email site for a free consultation. https://perry-young.com/  850-215-7777

Perry & Young Are Ready To Go To Trial For Your Personal Injury

We service Florida, Georgia, and Alabama in the areas of Personal Injury and Medical Malpractice. We have 4 offices locations throughout the Florida Panhandle and we are always available to travel to you.

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