Brandon Personal Injury Attorney
It's Like Having a Lawyer in the Family
Follow Us Facebook Twitter Linked In

Call For a FREE Consultation Handset 813-438-5960 Serving Brandon, Tampa and all of Florida

I Fell. Who Pays My Medical Bills?

SlipFall7

This question is significant. In a head injury or other serious injury claim, the hospital bill might exceed $100,000. This figure does not include subsequent medical care, such as physical therapy. This figure also does not include noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering. Victims deserve compensation for all these damages.

Legally, the insurance company has a duty to pay these damages. That insurance policy could be a homeowners’ insurance policy or a commercial liability policy. However, insurance company lawyers have a right to contest these claims in court. These disputes typically involve one of the four defenses discussed below.

Insurance company lawyers look for any possible loophole to deny fair compensation. So, it’s important that victims have an equally aggressive Brandon personal injury attorney. Otherwise, the playing field is hopelessly uneven.

Assumption of the Risk

This legal doctrine often involves warning signs, like “Wet Floor” or “Construction Area.” Some people think if the owner deployed a warning sign, they cannot obtain compensation for fall injuries.

But that’s not true. These signs simply make the assumption of the risk defense easier to prove in court. Insurance company lawyers must still establish both prongs of this defense, which are:

  • Voluntary assumption of
  • A known risk.

Most people voluntarily walk down a hall or across a parking lot. However, the mere presence of a sign does not mean the victim assumed a known risk. The insurance company must prove that the victim saw the sign, could read the sign, and could understand what it meant. These items are difficult to prove, in many cases.

Open and Obvious Hazard

The inability to see a sign also applies to the open and obvious doctrine. This defense often comes up if the victim fell over a grocery store display in the aisle or a large crack in the sidewalk. Compensation is generally unavailable if the defense applies.

That’s a very large “if.” Many people have medical conditions, such as Age-related Macular Degeneration, which affect their vision. Furthermore, most open and obvious hazards are essentially invisible in the dark or in a dimly-lit room.

Lack of Causation

Cause is one of the basic elements of a negligence case. If the insurance company disproves this element, the victim/plaintiff is ineligible for compensation. Frequently, cause is an issue in fall cases, especially if there was no witness.

The res ipsa loquitur (the thing speaks for itself) doctrine often applies in fall causation disputes. Negligence is presumed if:

  • The defendant had exclusive control over the area, and
  • Negligence normally causes the injury.

This doctrine has limited applicability. So, attorneys usually need to present additional evidence on this point.

Contributory Negligence

The aforementioned doctrines usually excuse liability altogether. The fourth major fall defense, comparative fault, only reduces compensation in Florida.

Contributory negligence comes in many forms. Distracted walking and reckless conduct, like sliding down a stairway rail, spring immediately to mind. Much like assumption of the risk, comparative fault is relative. For example, some people have gait disorders. When they lose their balance, they almost always fall.

Florida is a pure comparative fault state. Even if the victim was 99 percent responsible for the fall injury, the landowner is still responsible for a proportionate share of damages.

Contact Dedicated Attorneys

Fall injury victims are usually entitled to significant compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced Brandon slip and fall attorney, contact Reed & Reed, Attorneys at Law. We have four area offices (St. Petersburg, Lakeland, Tampa, and Clearwater).

Resource:

ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3217554/

Brandon Personal Injury
Reed & Reed, Attorneys at Law, is located in Brandon, FL and serves clients in
and around Brandon, Tampa, Apollo Beach, Sydney, Gibsonton, Balm, Valrico, Wimauma, Sun City Center, Lithia, Ruskin, Durant, and Hillsborough County.

Our Locations

Brandon

101 East Lumsden Road
Brandon, FL 33511
Tel: 813-438-5960
Fax: 813-438-5995

St. Petersburg

1700 66th Street North, Ste. 104-1008
St. Petersburg, FL 33710
Tel: 727-362-7520
Fax: 727-362-7521

Lakeland

248 N Kentucky Avenue #72
Lakeland, FL 33801
Tel: 863-274-7715
Fax: 863-274-7716

Tampa

401 E Jackson Street, Ste. 2340
Tampa, FL 33602
Tel: 813-440-6678
Fax: 813-440-6682

Clearwater

13575 58th Street N, Ste. 200
Clearwater, FL 33760
Tel: 727-767-9914
Fax: 727-767-9915

Memberships

The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.

No content on this site may be reused in any fashion without written permission from www.NeedReed.com

MileMark Media - Practice Growth Solutions

© 2014 - 2020 Reed & Reed, Attorneys at Law. All rights reserved.
This law firm website is managed by MileMark Media.

Contact Form Tab