Are You Liable If Someone Falls on Your Property?

If someone falls on your property, one of the first thoughts that may come to mind is “will I be responsible if that person gets hurt?” It is not always clear how liability will play out when it comes to slip, trip and fall cases. When determining liability, certain conditions must be met. For you to be legally liable if someone slipped and fell on your property- you, as the property owner, must have either caused the condition on the premises that resulted in the fall, must have known of the dangerous condition and done nothing about it, or should have reasonably known of the condition that caused the harm. Many times, this question is one of common sense. A judge or jury will look to whether the owner or occupier of the property took proper measures to keep the property reasonably safe. This question of reasonableness centers on whether the owner makes regular efforts to ensure that the property is up to code and is safe for those invited to come onto the property. If a dangerous condition has been brought to the owner or manager’s attention, such as a wet or slippery surface in a department store or mall or a supermarket, and nothing was done to correct it, the business will likely be held liable if someone slips and falls as a result. Sometimes, however, a dangerous condition cannot be quickly fixed. In these situations, if the property owner closed off the area or put a warning sign up but someone still proceeded to walk in that area, the property owner may not be found liable....

What Steps do I need to take to pursue an injury claim if I suffer a slip and fall at Publix?

Publix is the largest supermarket chain in Florida with over 700 locations throughout the state. Countless individuals shop their stores daily, and every single day, someone slips, trips and falls while shopping at Publix. The reason for the fall could be anything from a slippery surface to an uneven floor. Not every slip, trip and fall at Publix is a legitimate personal injury case. In Florida, to hold Publix accountable for your injury, you must prove that Publix knew or should have known of the dangerous condition, such as a piece of fruit or plastic on the floor, or a slippery surface that caused the fall to occur. As soon as the fall occurs, you need to report the incident to the property owner or to someone who is responsible, such as a manager or supervisor on staff at Publix. This first report will likely be made verbally while on the Publix premises, but the next report should be in writing and should include the name and contact information of the Publix supervisor to whom the report was made. As soon as the slip and fall has occurred, it is important that the area be inspected by the victim or anyone who witnessed the fall. Usually, something on the area is the reason for the slip and fall, whether it be loose flooring, uneven flooring or liquid on the floor. Do not assume that Publix employees will document any of this. It is all important evidence for your case. Take pictures for yourself in the event an attorney needs to be hired to back up the claim. It is...

The Most Common Types of Slip and Fall Injuries

The idea of simply slipping and falling may seem minor but slip and fall injuries can range from serious to life-altering. Not only can these injuries be painful, they can end up being costly in terms of medical bills and lost wages due to having to miss work due to injuries.  The following are some of the more common types of injuries we as attorneys see in slip and fall cases. Cuts and Bruises Some of the more common injuries that result from a slip and fall are cuts and bruises, also known as abrasions. Cuts and bruises to the leg and arm are common, but other parts of the body can be affected as well, depending on the injury. Some of these only require first-aid type of treatment but others may need stitches or more serious treatment. Broken Bones If the fall is severe, broken bones can result. These breaks can be minor fractures to severe breaks or even dislocation of bones. If the individual who falls has weaker bones, the breaks can take more time to heal and require casts and ongoing physical therapy. Broken hips are common injuries when it comes to older individuals falling.  Broken bones require immediate treatment and can be painful and debilitating. Swelling will almost always occur, and if the swelling gets out of hand, this can make it difficult to treat the break. Therefore, if you have any suspicion that you broke a bone, it is extremely important that you go to an emergency room to be properly diagnosed and treated. Soft Tissue Injuries Soft tissue injuries also result from slip...

Premises Liability Law and a Business Owner’s Duty 

Premises liability is a legal term that often comes up in personal injury and slip and fall cases when a person is injured on someone else’s property, whether that be at a business or on someone’s personal property. This injury is usually due to an unsafe condition or undetected hazard on that property. Premises liability cases are based on laws of negligence. In order to have a successful claim, the injured person must show that the business owner was negligent in his or her ownership or maintenance of the property. Negligence means the property owner failed to use reasonable care with respect to the condition of the property and because of this failure, an injury occurred. The dangerous or hazardous condition does not have to be specifically known by the business owner. All that has to be shown is that the property or business owner knew or should have known of the unsafe condition and failed to take the steps necessary to fix it. This means that the property or business owner has a duty of routinely inspecting his or her property to ensure that there are no unforeseen hazards that could hurt others while on their property. Property owners are charged with the duty to ensure that the property is safe for anyone who enters his or her property, but this duty extends even further for those who are considered invitees and licensees on the property. An invitee is someone who has the property owner’s express or implied permission to be there, such as friends, relatives or neighbors. A licensee is a person who has the property owners...

Common Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents

Slip and fall accidents can happen anywhere, at any time. Many times, falls happen through the negligence of the injured person, but other times, they occur because of the negligence of the property owner or business. Here are some of the most common causes of slip and fall accidents.  Floors The most obvious reason why someone slips and falls is due to something being on the floor causing the individual to lose his or her balance. Property owners have a duty to maintain their common areas, specifically the floors. All floors are expected to be clean of liquids and debris, and if the property owner fails to maintain the floors in a safe manner, he or she can be held responsible. Some of the more common ways flooring can lead to injuries include: The property owner not putting up adequate warnings or notices that the floor was being cleaned, was still wet or damp or had any other hazards; If an area was damp or wet, the property or business owner failed to put up adequate barriers to close off the area; The property or business owner used too much wax or polish on the floor or applied it unevenly, leaving one area too slick; The property or business owner applied a floor treatment to a part of the floor that was on an incline or slope, leaving it dangerous to walk upon; or The property or business owner failed to use a “non-skid” floor treatment if that type of floor treatment is required. Essentially any time the property owner is negligent in maintaining carpeted floors, rugs or mats...

Important Steps to Take After a Slip and Fall Accident

After being injured in a slip and fall accident, it can be confusing and unclear what you should do to protect your legal rights and receive compensation for your injuries. However, taking the proper steps immediately after a slip and fall can make all the difference if you find yourself having to file a lawsuit after the accident.  Timing is critical. Get Medical Treatment for Any Injuries: First and foremost, if you are injured in a slip and fall, no matter how minor the injuries are, it is important that the injured individual seek medical attention as soon as possible. Most slip and fall accidents result in relatively minor injuries, but more serious injuries, such as trauma to the head or broken bones, can occur. Additionally, many injuries do not manifest until after the accident, so it is important to document what happened by seeing a medical professional and getting a professional diagnosis in writing of any injuries that may have occurred. It helps to see a doctor quickly, as well, while the incident is fresh in your mind in terms of what happened and how you were injured. Report the Accident to the Property Owner: If you are hurt in a slip and fall accident, it is important that you notify the property owner or at least someone responsible, such as a supervisor or manager who is present. If you suffer a slip and fall while on public property, such as in a city building or park, the injury needs to be reported to the city or town as soon as possible. The first report may be made...
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