Anyone who owns property has a responsibility to keep it safe for others to use. This forms the basis for premise liability law. If you sustain an injury while on someone else’s property, you may be able to collect damages to compensate for medical bills and other lost wages.
Florida’s slip and fall law is more complicated than most. Learn the basis for Florida slip and fall law and if you might have legal grounds for a personal injury lawsuit. For specific questions or to schedule a free, private consultation contact our Miami slip and fall accident attorneys.
Points to Consider in Slip and Fall Cases
There is no federal standard for slip and fall liability, though most states follow similar standards. Like the laws in most other states, slip and fall law in Florida relies on the theory of negligence. According to Florida law, negligence represents a failure to do as someone else would, given the same circumstances. In other words, people may commit negligence when their action (or inaction) leads to someone else’s injury, and a reasonably prudent person would have acted differently.
Proving negligence in a slip and fall case in Florida requires providing sufficient evidence for the following:
- A property owner owes you a duty of care. A property owner does not owe you a duty of care, for example, if you were trespassing or committing a crime when you sustained the injury.
- The property owner breached his or her duty of care (committed negligence). In terms of premise liability law, property owners breach their duty of care when they did or should have known that an unsafe condition existed, but they failed to remedy it.
- The breach of care led to your injuries. In other words, your injuries were the direct result of an unsafe condition on someone’s property.
- Owners could have foreseen your injury. If owners know there’s an issue on their property, they could have predicted an injury. One could reasonably assume, for example, that a broken staircase would eventually lead to injury.
- You incurred damages (medical bills, lost wages) as a result of your injuries.
Classifications Under Florida Law
How do you know if a property owner owes you a duty of care? This is often the most confusing part of Florida’s complex slip and fall law. If you are a patron of a store or public place, the law offers you certain protections as an “invitee.” Invitees are people who enter a home or business with express or implied invitation. Property owners owe a duty of care to all invitees, so they must keep their property reasonably safe from foreseeable hazards.
In other cases, a property owner might not owe you a duty of care. This most commonly applies to private property where you have no express permission or public places with some exclusions. For example, if a public park has posted signage saying the park closes at dusk, and you hurt yourself in the dark, they are unlikely to be liable for your injuries.
Slip and fall cases in Florida are complex and require a knowledgeable attorney. If you recently sustained an injury in a slip and fall accident, speak with an attorney about your legal options as soon as possible.