Pregnant women are some of the most aware people. To avoid harmful toxins or unnecessary harm to their unborn child, pregnant women are often very conscious of their actions and surroundings, considering things like whether or not a place is a smoke-free environment or if her steak has been adequately cooked. Needless to say, most pregnant women take special precautions to avoid harm to themselves or their unborn baby. However, pregnant women cannot always account or prepare for another person’s negligence. Slip and fall accidents are particularly threatening to pregnant women because trauma from such a fall can result in preterm labor or placental abruption, which can be life threatening to a fetus (and the woman / mother).
Homeowners, business owners, and commercial property owners have a duty to their visitors to provide property conditions (both inside and outside) that are reasonably free of danger. If a property owner or occupant fails to adequately maintain or clean their property and a pregnant woman falls and slips, she can bring a claim against property owner to recover damages. Examples of property conditions that exhibit a breach of care are listed below.
- Torn carpet
- Inadequate lighting
- Cluttered passageways
- Debris on passageways
- Broken / missing hand rails
- Malfunctioning doors
Proving negligence in a premises liability claim in Florida can be tricky. One must prove that the property owner / occupant knew or should have known of the dangerous condition, failed to repair or give warning of the condition, and that the person injured must have been injured by the dangerous condition. This type of claim can prove even more challenging because Florida is a pure comparative negligence state meaning that negligence can be assigned to both parties and recovered damages can be limited by the percentage you are determined negligent.
In a slip and fall case, a property owner in Florida will likely try to prove that the injured person was at least partially if not fully to blame for their own injury. Florida also has a statute of limitation (or time-frame) for bringing a claim against a property owner in a slip and fall case of 4 years since the incident. A pregnant woman involved in slip and fall accident needs an extra level of care to ensure that she and her child are healthy and safe. The implications of being pregnant and wanting to protect the health of the unborn child can sometimes result in overwhelming costly medical bills and emotional stress.
Although these cases and claims are often very stressful, Franco Law Group encourages mothers not to be silent if they have been injured by another party during pregnancy. It is reasonable for a pregnant woman to pursue and recover the damages that she and her baby deserve. Damages that can be recovered in a slip and fall personal injury case are property damage (clothing, accessories etc.), medical treatment (current and future), income (current and future), pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment (like in hobbies, exercise, recreational activities), and loss of consortium (impact related to a spouse). Since proving the FL property owner is totally at fault for your injury can be challenging, we recommend following the below tips to help in recovering damages or maximizing a possible settlement.
Take Precautionary Measures When Out
This common sense strategies will help avoid some of the blame being placed on you.
- Wear comfortable, sturdy, closed toe, non-slip shoes
- Walk at a reasonable pace
- Pay attention to your surroundings – avoid being on the phone
- Bring someone with you when you go out (if you can) – this will help there to be a witness if you should fall
- If you are in a grocery or department store, please hold onto a shopping cart for extra balance (if applicable).
Immediately Following a Slip and Fall Accident involving a Pregnant Woman
- Seek medical attention immediately if experiencing any cramping, abdominal pain, increased pelvic pressure, vaginal bleeding / discharge / leaky fluid. If you seem okay and are not experiencing any of the above symptoms, either request a witness or you yourself can complete the following items.
- NOTE: Even if you feel fine at the scene, it is still recommended to seek medical attention as soon as possible.
- Identify your status as a visitor. Are you an invitee, trespasser, or licensee (has permission to be on property, but is visiting for their own purposes)?
- Take notes of date, time, location of incident. Photos that can document the setting or conditions which may have caused the fall would be helpful.
- Note what you were doing, the way you fell, and what you slipped or tripped on – note particularly if you were in a place you were allowed to be, paying attention, were not warned of danger, and if there seemed to be any illegitimate reason for thing you tripped or slipped to be there.
- Take pictures of where you fell and your clothing.
- Gather phone numbers, email addresses, and statements from any witnesses who were at the scene and willing to cooperate / help.
- Do not give a statement or accept any blame (either to a police officer, security guard, insurance company, or agent of the property owner)
- Report the facts of the incident to necessary persons (property owners, law enforcement, etc.)
Speak to a Florida Personal Injury Attorney
Based in Tampa, FL and established in 1997, Franco Law Group is an experienced law firm comprised of female attorneys who are waiting to take your call. Our attorneys and staff understand that each case deserves the highest-quality representation. We are committed to giving clients the individualized attention that they deserve. As female attorneys, pregnant women can feel comfortable talking about the more intimate details of their case. Not only do we provide a unique level of empathy regarding your case, but we will also fight for you to ensure that you are not undermined in any way by an insurance company or corporate legal team. Call Franco Law Group to schedule a complimentary consultation at (813) 873-0180.
All Female Legal Team
Christine Franco and her experienced personal injury team have been practicing law in Tampa, Florida since 1997. Franco Law Group represents only the injured and disabled. Our firm consists of personal injury lawyers, case managers, paralegals, and assistants that are all committed to managing your case efficiently and to protecting your legal rights. Christine Franco, Esq. has been practicing law ever since she received her J.D. from Stetson College of Law in 1995. Megan Williams, a social security attorney at our firm, received her J.D. from Duquesne University School of Law.