Florida Slip & Falls
While many people see falling-type injuries as the province of the elderly, the truth is that falls are one of the leading causes of injury even for younger adults. Falls that happen at home tend to be family matters, but if you are unfortunate enough to slip and fall in a business establishment or on someone else’s land, seeking compensation from the business or landowner can be difficult. Enlisting a Florida premises liability lawyer can help ease the process.
What Is Premises Liability?
Slip and fall accidents come under the legal theory of premises liability, which in itself is based in negligence law. Negligence is a legal concept that means that a person or company did not exercise the reasonable care they ought to have exercised. If a plaintiff can show that the defendant in their case acted in a way that breached the duty of reasonable care, and that the action caused harm to the plaintiff, then the defendant can be declared negligent, which usually leads to monetary liability.
Premises liability is a specific branch of negligence law, under which a business owner has to take certain precautions to make their property safe for the people who come there, and if they do not, they can be held liable. Florida law categorizes visitors into three categories – invitees, licensees, and trespassers – and more specifically, business customers are usually invitees. This means that a business owner has to make their premises as safe as possible for customers, and if they cannot make something safe, they must warn customers of the risk. Anyone who has seen a ‘wet floor’ sign in a supermarket has seen evidence of this.
Florida Law Is More Narrow
A business customer who slips while inside a business would, in theory, have a claim against the business owner if they can show that the business owner failed to make their property safe, or warn against hazards. However, Florida law has narrowed the requirements that customers must meet in order to hold a business liable, ostensibly to prevent against frivolous lawsuits. The relevant statute holds that in order to hold a business liable after slipping on a “transitory foreign substance,” the injured person must show that the business had “actual or constructive knowledge” of the condition, and should have taken steps to remedy it.
This means, in other words, that the injured person has to show that the business either knew or should have known of the substance on their floor, and it was serious enough to require specifically fixing it. This is a very tall order for a customer who might only have been on the premises for mere minutes before slipping and being injured – they simply might not have the ability to discover that information. It does not mean that you have no hope of showing liability – but it does mean that you need the right attorney, who knows how to handle what can be a difficult situation.
Call A Tampa Premises Liability Lawyer
If you are injured on someone else’s property, you have the right to seek redress if you believe you were hurt due to someone else’s negligence. Contacting the Tampa premises liability attorneys at the Rinaldo Law Group can be a good first step toward getting you the compensation you deserve. Call our office today for a free consultation.