Miami Slip and Fall on Private Property
Premises liability is a general term which covers all types of injuries or accidents that may take place on private property. In the state of Florida, owners of private residences and operators of businesses have a duty to make sure that their property is safe for visitors and guests. As it pertains to business owners, the law in Florida states that owners have a continuing duty to maintain their premises in a reasonably safe and prudent manner in order to avoid injuries to their patrons as well as anyone they invite to come onto their property. Overall, a private property owner is liable for another person’s injuries if they either produced a hazardous condition that caused the injury at issue or were aware of a hazardous or dangerous condition on their property and failed to take steps to correct the condition in a timely fashion. Additionally, a private property owner may be found to be liable if they were unaware of a dangerous or hazardous condition but would have discovered said condition if they were to have inspected their property prior to an accident or incident occurring. If you or someone you love sustained an injury due to the negligence of a private property owner, you may be entitled to damages for the following: medical treatment, pain and suffering, lost wages, etc.
Determining Liability for a Slip and Fall on Private Property
Whether you sustained an injury in a big box retail store or in your friend’s private residence, injuries sustained in slip and fall accidents on private property are compensable in a slip and fall premises liability claim. The principle idea here is that property owners and operators owe a duty to lawful guests to maintain the site in reasonably safe condition. To begin, to establish a claim for negligence, the plaintiff must establish (1) a duty was owed, (2) duty breached; (3) breach was cause-in-fact (but for) and proximate cause of plaintiff’s injuries; and (4) breach caused injuries. A duty is owed only to foreseeable plaintiffs. The plaintiff must show that “but for” the defendant’s breach (cause-in-fact) the plaintiff would not have been injured, and the defendant’s actions were the proximate (or legal) cause of the injuries and that such injuries were a foreseeable consequence of the defendant’s actions.
Types of Slip and Fall Cases on Private Property
According to data from The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), around 30% of persons injured in slip and fall accidents on private property sustain moderate to severe injuries. A smaller percentage of persons also suffer more serious injuries such as Traumatic Brain Injury or Spinal Cord Injury. Some of the most common types of slip and fall accidents are listed below for your reference:
• Disorderly hallways, aisles and other walkways
• Poorly maintained hallways, aisles and other walkways
• Poorly lit floors
• Defective ladders and scaffolding
• Unstable flooring such as uneven tiles or bricks, or paving.
• Uneven surfaces
• Slippery floors caused by spills, rain, or mud.
• Slick surfaces like stone or glass
• Loose handrails or broken staircases
Filing a Slip and Fall Personal Injury Claim
If a private property owner breaches their duty of care and is found to be negligent, an injured victim is entitled to sue for damages. If you are injured on a private property in Florida and want to pursue a premises liability claim against the private property owner, there are some important things you should know in order to be successful in your efforts. For starters, know what type of visitor/guest you are in relation to the private property owner. For example, if you sustain an injury on a private property, you must figure out what status you have as a visitor to determine if the landowner owed you a duty of care and if so, what standard of care. In Florida, the categories include trespassers, licensees, and invitees. A licensee is a person who enters or remains for his own convenience or to advance his own interests, pursuant to the landowner’s permission or consent, and includes social guests and invitees. An invitee is a person who transacts business in which the parties are mutually interested or when the public is expressly or impliedly requested or intended to enter or remain. As our Miami slip-and-fall accident attorneys can explain, the expected level of care can fluctuate depending on the designation of the visitor. Generally, a duty is breached if a defendant fails to conduct himself as a reasonably prudent person would in the same circumstances. The standard is applied as though the reasonable person possessed the experience, knowledge, and mental capabilities of an average member of the community, even if the defendant did not actually possess it. Plaintiff must affirmatively prove actual damages for a negligence claim. In Florida, the injury must be a foreseeable outcome, a prudent human must be able to expect that similar harm is likely to be substantially caused by the act or omission at issue in the slip and fall case. A plaintiff will prevail in a slip and fall case when it can prove that the private property owner’s actions or inactions were the direct cause of the injury sustained.
Frequently Asked Questions
Every personal injury case is distinct but overall, it doesn’t hurt to get advice from a skilled slip and fall lawyer who can give you some proper advice and help you avoid hurting the odds of recovery in your particular case. While in some instances an attorney may not be necessary, slip and fall cases are complex and the best job can be performed if you get a lawyer involved early on in the claims process.
Yes. As it pertains to slip and fall cases, the law in Florida requires the plaintiff to prove actual or constructive notice of the condition that caused the fall. Specifically, the law in Florida provides that “a person who slips and falls on a transitory foreign substance in a business establishment must prove that the business establishment has actual or constructive knowledge of the dangerous condition and should have taken action to remedy it.
When you hire a slip and fall accident lawyer to represent you, they will be in charge of handling your slip and fall claim from start to finish. Here is a list of some of the tasks a slip and fall accident lawyer can do for you: gather evidence, visit the scene of the slip and fall, obtain medical bills and records on your behalf, locate and interview witnesses, review insurance policies, research liability issues, determine who needs to be sued, communicate with the opposing party, negotiate settlement of your claim on your behalf, draft and send all documents and/or letters, to name just a few.
Yes, honesty is the best policy. It is important that you share information about any prior accidents, insurance claims, legal claims, or work injuries with your slip and fall accident attorney. Oftentimes, insurance companies and other attorneys have tools to find out about any prior claims or lawsuits and will use this information. It is important to get ahead of it as it can hurt your case if they are able to show you were dishonest.