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Key West to Settle Trip-and-Fall Lawsuit for $30k

In 2014, Florida broke the record for the most tourists ever – more than 97 million for the year.

Many hotels reported that for the first time in a long time (and for some, ever), occupancy rates exceeded 70 percent on a steady basis. Some 1.15 million Floridians are employed in the tourism industry, and many of those are in hospitality.

In addition to out-of-town guests, it’s estimated Floridians made a record 20.2 million trips inside state borders that same year. Gov. Rick Scott has vowed to continue marketing campaigns and other efforts to further build on these records and draw a record 100 million people to the state this year.

These destination communities benefit a great deal from the people who flock to this state for sunshine and sand. In turn, companies and cities owe the utmost duty of care to ensure their guests are safe from unreasonable hazards, or are warned about those dangers that might not be open and obvious.

When an entity fails in its duty to shield patrons from unreasonable risk of harm, those injured as a result may seek recompense through a premises liability lawsuit.

This was what allegedly occurred in Key West when a woman tripped and fell while walking along a sidewalk in Key West.

According to news reports, a 65-year-old woman was leaving a beauty salon on 1st Street when she tripped over a broken piece of sidewalk. When she fell, she struck her face on a large tree. Apparently, city staffers had broken part of the tree and pushed up the sidewalk just prior to her fall.

The woman was rushed to the hospital by salon workers.

Photographs of the scene and the woman’s injuries were shot by police and detailed in a report. A photograph later presented to city council revealed black-and-blue bruising around her eyes and a large lump on her forehead.

At mediation, the woman’s attorney demanded $70,000 in compensation. While agreeing to settle the case for $30,000, council members heard from legal counsel, who advised if the case went to trial, they could be looking at damages of $100,000 or more – and that is before legal costs. The attorney advised the case could be expensive because they would advise independent neurological testing for the woman – for which they would have to pay (and would include travel expenses) – and close examination of alleged orthopedic injuries would require extensive investigation.

The $30,000 will cover the cost of the woman’s medical expenses, though she won’t receive much additional for pain and suffering.

Many injury cases result in settlement as opposed to trial. This is often beneficial for both parties, who reduce their overall risk.

That doesn’t mean it’s a given that a settlement will be extended, and it’s really imperative for a plaintiff attorney to negotiate aggressively during this stage to ensure a favorable outcome for his or her client.

Those who are injured while visiting from out-of-state have special considerations and needs that must be weighed, and our experienced Palm Beach injury attorneys are prepared to answer those questions. We also work to limit the amount of time and expense our clients will incur in traveling back-and-forth for various court appearances and depositions.

Call Freeman Injury Law — 1-800-561-7777 for a free appointment to discuss your rights.

Additional Resources:

City to settle slip-and-fall for $30,000, July 7, 2015, By Gwen Filosa, The Citizen

More Blog Entries:

Sarkisian v. Concept Restaurants, Inc. – Slip-and-Fall on Wet Dance Floor, July 6, 2015, Palm Beach County Injury Lawyer Blog

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