If you were injured in a slip and fall accident in Tampa, Florida, you may be uncertain about the legal implications of your situation. Indeed, there are several considerations, many of which are specific to Florida law, that do not occur to most people. A seasoned team of local, litigation lawyers can help you navigate the complexities of Florida’s legal code, secure all the compensation that you are due, and help you obtain otherwise unavailable medical and loan assistance. Attempting to quickly settle your case with an insurance company* without an attorney will likely lead to a smaller settlement amount and disallow you certain medical and loan-related benefits.
Jack Bernstein, Injury Attorneys stand ready to assist with any slip and fall case in the greater Tampa area and we handle such cases on a contingency basis, meaning that you do not pay attorney fees unless we win your claim through an out of court settlement or through a complaint filed in court.
Without an experienced, local Tampa slip and fall lawyer, it is not prudent to give any statement to an insurance company. Laws governing such cases in Florida can affect your rights in ways that may not be obvious, and a seasoned personal injury lawyer can help you present case facts to an insurance adjuster in a manner that best protects your interests.
The law of Comparative Negligence, for example, permits the insurance company of the Tampa establishment at which you fell to hold you responsible for a share of any injuries and, thereby, deny you the opportunity to receive one-hundred percent of the monetary damages that you may otherwise be due. An experienced injury lawyer who is familiar with slip and fall cases can help you best navigate this particular law.
If your accident in Tampa warrants a lawsuit, it must be filed in the Miami Dade County Courthouse by a Florida-licensed attorney. In any pre-trial settlement negotiation, insurance adjusters can take advantage of this requirement (and the fact that it will be difficult for a non-local lawyer to attend hearings, depositions, and any trial in Miami) to offer you less money if you decide to work with a lawyer based outside of the area. Jack Bernstein, Injury Attorneys’ experienced team negotiates and, if necessary, litigates our clients’s cases, and it has extensive experience with this court. (Some firms, if they are unable to secure a satisfactory settlement, refer clients to a separate litigating attorney to follow-up. This can be an incentive for a lawyer to quickly settle for less remuneration to prevent having to split attorney fees with a litigator.)
There are short term and longterm medical advantages to hiring a local slip and fall attorney. For instance, many Tampa area physicians will treat your immediate needs, even if you lack health care, after accepting a letter of protection from a local attorney. This document, sometimes called a “lien letter,” ensures that the doctor receives payment for your medical bills from any eventual settlement, and local doctors are aware that the ethics rules governing Tampa-area lawyers require the affiliated law firm to pay the doctor, irrespective of settlement outcomes. This assuages any concern on the behalf of the physician regarding possible non-payment and a need to sue the patient over unpaid bills. Our attorneys are experienced in drafting these invaluable letters to cover services ranging from MRI scans to orthopedic surgery. (Similarly, our firm drafts lien letters for loan institutions that may otherwise refuse to advance funds to you. This helps guarantee you access to needed money, should you require a loan during your recovery.)
Longer term, for any follow up or extended medical treatment, we will help you locate a doctor close to your residence and will execute a lien letter with that physician as well. Inability to work as a result of slip and fall accidents sometimes complicate a patient’s ability to pay medical bills, and our letter of protection will put your hometown doctor at ease about payment.
Another long-term medical consideration is that, under Florida law, you cannot ask an insurance company for additional compensation if your condition worsens and you have already signed a release. Our attorneys will ensure that your medical issues and insurance needs are resolved entirely before your case is closed out. For some clients, this means follow up care–sometimes to include more advanced diagnostics, like CT scans, and even surgery–by medical doctors and chiropractors to clear up nerve and brain injuries, herniated or bulging discs, and other serious problems that are typical in slip and fall accidents.
Jack Bernstein, who overseas slip and fall cases for the firm, has over 35 years of experience with personal injury cases in the Tampa area and the particular Florida laws relevant to slip and fall cases. He personally works on most negotiations of slip and fall settlements handled by the firm, reviewing offers and demands with the office’s other attorneys. He has settled thousands of cases and has a keen sense for the value of slip and fall injuries.
Tactics that we may take by letter, phone, and in court to further your case include:
– Subpoena copies of maintenance files to review how frequently floors were cleaned
– Determine how much time passed after the area was last inspected and cleaned
– Secure copies of video surveillance showing the accident
Jack Bernstein, Injury Attorneys prides itself on strict adherence to the rules of professional conduct and, so, always puts a client’s interests first. We would appreciate the opportunity to speak with you about the facts of your accident or personal injury case.
Following your free initial consultation, if you decide to allow us to assist you, you will be assigned a case manager and an experienced slip and fall attorney from our staff. Depending on your preferences, we will email to you the paperwork needed to start, or deliver the documents in person to your home, office, or hospital room. The forms are easy to fill out and our office staff stands ready to assist you.
Do not delay. Under Florida law, accident victims usually have four years to file a case in the Miami Dade Court, but shorter time limits can apply to claims against government buildings or cruise ships. Once these time limits or other statute of limitations pass, you are prevented from winning money for a slip and fall accident claim. Hospital lien laws, which require payment to the hospital out of any money you win, can also apply.
Companies that insure Tampa businesses for slip and fall accidents hire insurance adjusters licensed by Florida to investigate your case. The adjusters work to protect the insurance company’s interests; they aim to pay you as little as possible or deny your claim altogether. Adjusters are more likely to pay the top value range for your personal injury when an experienced lawyer negotiates your case.