Every day, people’s unsafe premises cause other people to slip and fall, resulting in traumatic bodily and emotional losses, including injuries to the hip, brain, spinal cord, and death.
Premises liability laws make property owners, including homeowners and business owners, keep property in a reasonably safe condition. Property owners must warn visitors, even trespassers, of any hazards such as barking dogs, when they create a dangerous condition on property, or allow a dangerous condition to persist. Examples of defective conditions:
- Ground opening
- Slippery floor
- Crack on the ground
- Bump on the ground
An unreasonably long period of time for a property owner to allow a defective condition to exist depends on the type of property and the time another landowner in the same situation would recognize and repair or remove the danger. For example, for a grocery store, the reasonableness of time would be less than for remote place where there is little traffic. In a PetSmart a man got to settle a lawsuit brought when he slipped and fell on dog poop. The victim was a customer at the PetSmart in 2009 when he slipped, suffering a wrenched back, knocked out false teeth, and head injuries. The customer needed back surgery, and sued for $1 million. PetSmart denied wrongdoing and said the customer did not fall down. Often property owners, in slip and fall cases claim the injured person was not paying attention, assumed the risks of an accident by entering the unsafe situation, or contributed to the fall.
Luckily, this PetSmart customer got compensation for his injuries through a settlement.
Whether someone can make a claim against a landowner for a slip and fall depends on the relationship of the injured person to the property owner. For instance, if someone gets injured at work, if the person is an employee of the property owner, s/he is not able to sue if s/he can collect workers’ compensation.
Usually, the property owner has insurance to offset the risks of slip and fall lawsuits. This makes it easier to settle a case because the victim does not need to rely on the finances of the property owner. Damages the injured person may recover in a slip and fall include:
- Medical care
- Loss of earnings
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
Often the legal aspects of slip and fall accidents require a prepared Florida personal injury attorney who does not surrender to the negatives.