Fort Lauderdale Slip & Fall Accident Attorney
The “slip-and-fall” case is a common tort liability action. If you have ever walked into a restaurant or other business and fallen on a slippery floor, you might have a cause of action against the establishment. However, the level of legal protection afforded to you depends on your legal categorization.
Duty of Care Owed to Customers, Business Associates and Social Guests
Florida law permits an injured party to bring a legal claim against a property owner whose actions, or failure to act, caused the party to slip and fall. The type of claim you may bring depends on your legal categorization. There are three general categories: invitees, licensees and trespassers. An invitee is a public person (such as a customer) or a business person (such as a business associate). A licensee can be either a social guest or someone who enters the premises without invitation. Note that the law distinguishes between an uninvited licensee and a trespasser.
Property owners generally owe a duty of care to their customers, business invitees and social guests. The owners must maintain a reasonably safe environment and warn against dangers that he knows – or should know – about. Under Florida premises liability law, if a person slips and falls on a “transitory foreign substance” in a business establishment, the injured party must prove that the establishment had actual or constructive knowledge of the dangerous condition and should have fixed the problem. (A “transitory foreign substance” is something that is not supposed to be there, such as spilled water.) The injured party can use circumstantial evidence to prove that the establishment had constructive knowledge by showing that:
- The dangerous condition existed long enough that the business, in exercising ordinary care, should have discovered it; or
- The dangerous condition was foreseeable because it regularly occurs.
Duty of Care Owed to Uninvited Licensees and Trespassers
While property owners also owe a duty of care to uninvited licensees and trespassers, the standard is much lower. The owner has a duty to prevent willful or wanton injury. For example, the owner cannot leave a trap for potential trespassers, such as engineering a bucket of water to fall when someone opens the door after hours or leaving a pile of marbles in front of the entryways.
We Can Help
Scott Newmark is prepared to help you seek compensation for injuries you have suffered on someone else’s property. Contact him today if you have suffered a slip-and-fall injury. We are here to help you. Call 954-850-4977 for a free case evaluation.