Property owners have a responsibility to make sure their premises are safe for visitors to walk through. Statistics compiled by the National Safety Council suggest that slip and fall accidents result in nine million emergency room visits each year.
If you or a loved one recently suffered an injury in a slip and fall accident, it may be wise to contact a knowledgeable Palm Harbor slip and fall lawyer. A dedicated injury attorney can help you with your claim today.
Establishing Liability in a Slip and Fall Case
In a slip and fall case in Palm Harbor, the injured plaintiff must prove that the property owner is at fault for their accident. More specifically, an accident victim must establish that there was a dangerous condition on the premise that a reasonable property owner would or should have known about and addressed.
To be viewed as a dangerous condition, the hazard in question must create a risk of injury to people on the property and must be the type of condition that a reasonable person would not expect to encounter. A reasonable property owner must then take steps to ensure that no one is injured on their property because of that condition.
Property Owner Classifications
The exact duties a property owner has to maintain a premise depend on the various relationships they may have with visitors to their property. For any individual visitor, this relationship will fall into one of these three categories.
- Invitees- a person who is on the premises with the express or implied permission of the property owner, for a purpose in which the property owner has an interest, is considered an invitee. The property owner has a duty to maintain the premises in a safe condition, and either repair dangerous conditions or provide notification about these dangers to invitees
- Licensees- a licensee is a person who enters the property of another person with that property owner’s implied permission. In order to protect licensees, a property owner is required to maintain property in a reasonably safe manner and repair any unsafe conditions
- Trespassers- a trespasser is a person who enters the property of another without permission to do so. A property owner has a limited duty to a trespasser which only encompasses the prevention of intentional or reckless injuries
New Florida Law About Slip and Falls
In 2012, Florida passed a law that required slip and fall victims to prove that the responsible party knew about the conditions that resulted in the accident, or that the responsible party should have known that an accident would happen. This change had several effects on how slip and fall cases proceed.
Slip and fall cases are sometimes more difficult to win now because there are more elements that must be proved to establish another party is responsible for the accident. Because of this, responsible parties are also less likely to settle, since slip and fall cases are now much harder for accident victims to win.
Speak with a Knowledgeable Palm Harbor Slip and Fall Attorney
If your slip and fall accident occurred due to someone else’s negligence, a Palm Harbor slip and fall lawyer could take whatever steps are necessary to ensure you obtain the compensation you deserve. Call today to schedule a consultation.