Slip, Trip, And Fall Lawsuits: What Constitutes Negligence?
Just because someone gets hurt on someone else’s property, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the property owner or manager is responsible for their injuries. However, slip and fall lawsuits require that the injured party prove that the property owner was negligent in the maintenance of their own property. So how can you know if a property owner is negligent? In this article, we’ll discuss elements of negligence in slip and fall lawsuits.
Who are you in relation to the property?
The law states that property owners owe a duty of care to those they invite onto their premises. But are all duties of care the same? Not at all. Trespassers, for example, are owed almost no duty of care. Unless the property owner sets up traps or something, trespassers usually aren’t going to win a premises liability lawsuit.
On the other hand, customers are owed the highest duty of care. They are considered invitees to the property and are there for the financial benefit of the property manager. Property managers are responsible for ensuring that their premises are safe for those invited onto them. However, they can only be responsible for dangerous conditions that they either knew about, should have known about, or caused.
Why did the slip and fall occur?
If the dangerous condition occurred as a result of the property owner’s negligence, then you have a successful slip and fall lawsuit. But what constituted negligence. To prove negligence, you must show that the property owner either caused the dangerous condition, knew about the dangerous condition and failed to remedy it, or should have known about the dangerous condition, but due to a general lack of caring, only figured it out until someone was injured.
The plaintiff in such cases generally attempts to prove that the slip and fall occurred because of the property manager’s carelessness. However, it is equally likely that the defendant property owner will turn around and say that you slipped because of your own negligence.
Signs and slip and fall lawsuits
Often, when a spillage occurs, it is mopped up and a sign is placed on top of the clean area stating that the area is unsafe. In these cases, the property manager attempted to remedy the dangerous condition and inform future customers that the dangerous condition was present. If someone still comes in and slips, they can claim that the individual was not paying attention to where they were walking. In that case, the property manager was not negligent, the injured party simply failed to see the warning sign.
Similarly, those glued to their cellphones as they traverse commercial areas can face similar complications when filing slip and fall lawsuits. However, Florida law permits a party to recover damages even when they contribute to their own injuries. The fact that the injured person was negligent does not automatically prove that the property owner was not negligent. In these situations, damages are reduced by the percentage of the injured party’s own liability.
Talk to a Miami Slip and Fall Accident Attorney
If you’ve been injured due to a dangerous condition on another’s property, you may be able to recover damages for your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Call the Miami personal injury lawyers at Payer Law today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how we can help.