Although they may seem innocuous, falls can cause serious, long-lasting injury. In fact, they are one of the leading causes of injury in the United States, according to the National Safety Council. The Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorneys of Cecere Santana, PA have litigated injury claims for many Floridians. If you fell because of a dangerous condition on property owned by a business, we can help you seek compensation for your injuries from the property owner.
Property Owners Owe a Duty to Customers
A Floridian injured by a dangerous condition on property owned by another person or business may be able to file a claim in state court. These types of lawsuits are called premises liability claims. The viability of a premises liability claim depends on two important factors: The relationship between the parties and the circumstances of the case.
Business owners who invite customers freely onto their property owe the highest standard of care to those customers. On the opposite side of the scale, private landowners owe trespassers the lowest standard of care, and there are varying levels in between.
Many slip-and-fall cases occur on the property of businesses such as grocery stores, retail stores, and restaurants. These businesses owe their customers the duty to regularly inspect the premises for dangerous conditions and then repair them quickly.
What constitutes a dangerous condition depends on the circumstances of the case. Slippery produce in a grocery store or a spilled drink in the public area of a restaurant are two examples of dangerous conditions. If the store is unable to clean up the spill or slippery substance quickly, it must place signs that warn customers of the possible danger. This is the reason that grocery stores display the yellow “wet floor” signs after mopping. Decaying, broken concrete in a store parking lot might also constitute a dangerous condition.
If the property owner knew or should have known about the condition and failed to remedy it, block off the area, or provide an adequate warning, she may be liable for customer injuries that occur as a result. Note that because of a property owner’s duty to regularly inspect the property, actual knowledge of the hazard is not required. So long as the owner should have discovered the hazard — which would have occurred had a regular inspection been completed — it is enough for liability. Remember that this is true only for property owners who owe their guests the highest duty of care.
Successful plaintiffs are entitled to collect damages from liable defendants. These damages are the usual personal injury damages, such as reimbursement for medical expenses and lost wages. Noneconomic damages, such compensation for as pain and suffering, loss of life enjoyment, and mental anguish, are also available.
Hold Negligent Property Owners Accountable for Their Behavior
Florida law tasks property owners with certain responsibilities. These include taking care to avoid subjecting guests to hazardous and potentially dangerous conditions. If you were injured by a negligent property owner in Sunrise, Davie, or elsewhere in Florida, the Fort Lauderdale premises liability attorneys of Cecere Santana can help you seek the compensation you deserve. To schedule a free case evaluation, call 800-753-5529 or visit our contact page.