A property owner or lessee could be held liable for a slip and fall accident. While some falls are unavoidable, many of these accidents occur when a property owner refuses to take the necessary steps to protect visitors from falling.
It is critical to note that other parties often are at fault for a slip, trip, or fall accident beyond the property owner. At Dismuke Law, we help you pursue justice against any party responsible for your injury. Let a Lakeland premises liability lawyer from our firm review your case and assist you with your pursuit of compensation.
The Location of a Fall Affects Who Is at Fault
If your slip and fall injuries resulted from negligence, you have a legal right to seek compensation. Identifying the party responsible for your injuries is an essential step in that process. Determining who you can hold liable for your slip and fall injuries starts with looking at where the fall happened. Responsibility will vary depending on who owns, occupies, or cares for the property.
Falls in Retail Locations
Slip and fall accidents regularly occur at retail businesses. Falls happen in restaurants, grocery stores, and other establishments when you least expect it. High-traffic businesses are a prevalent location for falls for a few reasons. Often, the staff in these locations has less time to patrol the store, looking for spills or other hazards. Additionally, many customers obscure dangers that would otherwise be obvious.
In these situations, the property owner is often liable for a fall. However, other parties could also be at fault. Specifically, a party that leases the property from the owner could be at fault if they operate a business open to the public. Our team can evaluate the ownership situation to determine who is at fault for your injuries.
Falls in Private Homes
Falls are a common occurrence on private property. If you slip and fall at the home of a friend or acquaintance, the property owner might be liable for your injuries. Many factors, such as loose handrails or frayed carpeting, could lead to a fall in a private home. The property owner’s homeowner’s insurance policy could cover your losses in these situations.
Falls on Sidewalks
Many falls happen on sidewalks that are open to the public. These public sidewalks have countless hazards, from cracked pavement to slippery surfaces after a heavy rain or ice storm. The party tasked with ensuring these walkways remain safe for public use could be liable for your injuries after a fall.
When a sidewalk is on public property, municipal governments often manage it. Filing an injury lawsuit is an option, even when the government is involved. However, additional requirements in these cases could dramatically reduce your time to file a claim.
Some sidewalks—like those that lead to the front door of a building—are on private property. In that case, you could hold the property owner or occupier responsible if their negligence resulted in a slip and fall injury.
For a free legal consultation, call 863-250-5050
When Do Falls Result in a Viable Case for Compensation?
It is important to remember that while multiple parties could be liable for your injuries, not every accident will result in a viable case for compensation. Sometimes, you cannot hold anyone accountable for your losses.
Florida law places a duty on property owners or lessees of the location where you fell to maintain safe premises. This duty generally involves making a reasonable effort to address dangerous hazards as soon as possible. For example, Florida Statutes § 768.0755 requires a business to take steps to remedy a known risk, such as notifying visitors of the hazard or removing the threat entirely.
Reasonableness and How It Affects Liability
The concept of reasonableness plays a big part in premises liability cases like slip and fall accidents. Property owners are not expected to recognize and resolve a hazard the second it occurs. The time the property owner or lessee has to respond to a threat is a relevant factor.
Thus, when a hazard is only present for a matter of seconds, the burden on the property owner could be quite different regarding a danger that has been in place for months or regularly occurs (e.g., water pooling on a sidewalk any time there is a heavy downpour).
Another issue to consider is whether you received notice of the hazard prior to the injury. If the property owner made you aware of the risk of falling and you did not adjust your behavior, it could affect your ability to recover compensation for your injuries.
Take Advantage of a Free Consultation for Your Slip and Fall Accident
Fall accidents are complicated legal matters that an experienced slip and fall attorney can manage for you. The first step involves availing yourself of the opportunity to receive a free consultation with our firm. This is a no-obligation consultation; however, we believe our experience and skill will show we can help you get the compensation you deserve.
Dismuke Law also takes slip and fall cases on contingency, meaning you owe us nothing unless we win your case. So, whether your accident occurred on a public sidewalk or within a private residence, we can advise you on your legal rights.
Learn About Liable Parties in a Slip and Fall Accident During Your Free Consultation
If you have sustained injuries in a fall, multiple parties might be responsible for your losses. The team at Dismuke Law is here to help you hold those parties accountable. By filing a claim on your behalf, we will fight for the financial compensation you need to recover and move on with your life.
A free consultation with our firm could answer your questions and help you plot a path forward. Contact us today to discuss who you could hold liable for a slip and fall accident.