According to Florida Health, the leading cause of death due to injury among residents of Florida who are 65 or older is falls. Among people of all ages, falls are the fourth leading cause of fatal injuries. Falls are also the single biggest reason for non-fatal injuries resulting in admission to Florida hospitals. Over the course of 2012 alone, 2,475 Florida residents died after suffering fatal fall injuries and 62,541 residents had to be hospitalized because of injuries resulting from a fall. Almost 3/4 of the injuries sustained occurred among people aged 65 and up.
While falls can be especially dangerous for older Florida residents, visitors and young people can also be at risk of suffering injuries due to a fall. Falls can happen from heights; for instance, construction workers may fall from scaffolding or equipment. Falls can also happen on the same height, when people are walking on a walkway and there is debris or uneven tiles. It is also common for people to fall down the stairs, and senior nursing home residents may fall out of bed if proper precautions are not taken.
Whenever a fall happens, victims or their families need to understand their rights to make a personal injury claim. If someone else could be held accountable for the fall, like a nursing home operator or a property owner, the fall could give rise to a case which allows victims to get compensation. If the fall happened while at work, it could also be possible for the victim to pursue a workers' compensation claim.
Proving Liability After a Fall Happened
If a fall happened at work, the injured employee could make a workers' comp claim without having to prove negligence or liability. In all other cases where victims wish to pursue a case for compensation for a fall, the victim will need to prove a defendant breached some legal obligation or failed to fulfill some duty in a way which caused the fall to occur.
Premises liability laws apply to establish the duty or obligation which property owners owe to a visitor to property. The highest duty is owed by those who run commercial enterprises, like restaurants and stores. These property owners have to inspect the premises, identify hazards, and correct or warn visitors. An intermediate duty is owed by people who invite friends or acquaintances over. These people must correct hazards or warn about hazards they should know about if they were reasonably careful to maintain a safe property. Finally, a very limited duty is owed by property owners when they know trespassers are coming onto a property uninvited.
It is up to the victim of the fall to make a premises liability claim or other personal injury claim and show a property owner should be held liable for conditions which caused a fall. Maintenance logs, expert witnesses, and eyewitness testimony could all be useful evidence in a slip and fall personal injury claim.
If you or a loved one is injured in an accident, visit http://www.davidglatthornlaw.com or contact David J. Glatthorn at 800-990-9394 to discuss your rights. Serving West Palm Beach, FL, Palm Beach County and all of South Florida.