Slip & Fall Accidents In Florida Businesses
Slip-and-fall accidents are more common than one might believe, and when they happen, they can cause serious injuries. They happen most often in businesses or on commercial enterprises, and when this occurs, it is important that you know that you do have the right to file suit against the business under a theory of premises liability. That said, Florida law places a high burden on an injured plaintiff, and without the right legal help, it can be hard – though not impossible – to prevail.
Different Duties Of Care
In general, a Florida landowner or business owner has the responsibility to keep their premises reasonably safe for visitors, particularly for those classified as invitees (that is, people who are present due to the owner’s express or implied invitation, such as customers). This is the cornerstone of a legal theory known as premises liability (under the wide umbrella of negligence law) – in short, that depending on the status of the visitor, an owner must take certain precautions to help visitors avoid injuring themselves on the owner’s property. If they do not, they may be held liable for their negligence.
In a slip and fall accident that occurs in someone’s home or on other non-commercial premises, the injured person must establish that the owner of the property owed a duty of care toward them (which, in most cases, they do), and that the duty was breached as a direct result of the owner’s actions. For example, a guest in someone’s home who slips on a wet floor can file suit against the homeowner if they can show that the homeowner failed to warn them of the danger.
A “Transitory Foreign Substance”
Most of the time, a slip and fall accident can be handled under common law principles. However, if your accident occurs in a business establishment, Florida’s legislature has enacted a law which shifts the burden of proof from the business to the plaintiff, intending to protect business interests in the state. At common law, the burden of proof was on the business to establish that they had taken sufficient precautions to help visitors avoid injury.
The law protecting businesses states that if a person slips or falls on a “transitory foreign substance” in a business establishment, they must be able to show that the business had “actual or constructive knowledge” of the dangerous condition, and should have taken action to remedy it. In other words, the plaintiff must be able to show that the danger had existed for enough time that the business knew or should have known about it, and should have corrected it. For a customer who may only have been present in a business for mere minutes, this can be a tall order.
Contact A Slip & Fall Attorney
If you have slipped and fallen on someone else’s premises, the idea of filing suit against the owner can feel very overwhelming – but you need not do it alone. An Orlando Park slip & fall attorney from the Hornsby Law Group can help to guide you through the legal process, and hopefully to get you the compensation you deserve. Contact our office today at (407) 499-8887 for a free consultation.