In the state of Florida, premises liability laws make property owners responsible for certain injuries on property, including those caused by slip and fall. A property owner is not liable in every situation where a fall happens on a slippery or wet floor or in a parking lot. Victims must determine, with help from a slip and fall accident attorney, whether they can prove a claim against a property owner after a fall happens.
A property owner has an obligation to maintain his property in a reasonably safe manner, with the specific nature of the obligation determined by who is visiting the property. Owners of commercial properties who invite in customers for their economic benefit have a higher duty of care than owners of residential properties inviting over casual friends.
If a property owner fails to fulfill an obligation and a slip and fall happens due to that failure, the property owner is liable for all resulting losses. Whether a slippery floor, wet floor or parking lot is considered a failure on the part of a property owner is going to vary depending upon the circumstances.
Relevant factors determining liability include why the floor is slippery; whether there was adequate warning to visitors; whether the property owner knew of the slippery floor; and whether the slippery floor or parking lot was the cause of the fall.
For example, if a floor was slippery because something spilled on it, Florida Statute 768.0755 explains the circumstances under which a property owner could be held responsible for a fall caused by the transitory foreign substance in the business establishment. The statute explains that the injured person must prove the business had actual knowledge of the foreign substance or had constructive knowledge, which means the property owner should have known about the foreign substance.
Constructive knowledge can be proved by showing the substance was there for a long time or by showing that the condition of slippery floors occurs with sufficient regularity that the risk was foreseeable. A premises liability lawyer can help victims to prove a property owner knew, or should have known, of dangerous conditions and should thus be held liable for a resulting fall.