Slips and falls are common premises liability injuries that happen to Miami residents every day. Often times, these slip and fall injuries result from a failure of a landowner to keep their property safe.
In order to succeed in a slip and fall lawsuit that occurs on someone else’s property, it must be proven that the proprietor was negligent in their actions, which led to the injury.
A Miami slip and fall lawyer could help injured individuals to pursue their claims for damages following slips and falls. Defendants may allege that the victim is also partially at fault for the injuries. An attorney could explain any laws that may apply to a case and gather the necessary evidence to demonstrate the landowner fault.
In order to assemble a compensable lawsuit, an injured plaintiff must establish that the landowner owed them a duty of care, and then failed to live up to that duty. There are several classifications for visitors on property, and owners have various levels of responsibility accordingly.
The first class of visitors is invitees. These are people who enter land for the benefit of the owner, for business transactions, or as employees of the owner. Shoppers in a store or patrons at a movie theater are all invitees as they are there for the profit of the proprietor. The property owner must repair known dangers, routinely inspect their land, and provide proper warnings about hazards. Additionally, Florida Statute §768.0755 says that plaintiffs bringing claims against store owners must prove that the owner had actual or constructive notice of any hazardous conditions.
Another type of visitor is licensees. These people enter land for their own benefit, such as being guests at a party or entering the land to sell something to the landowner. Landowners owe a duty to licensees to not intentionally harm them, as well as to either correct or remedy known dangers or sufficiently warn the licensees of their existence. Generally, licensees enter a property and assume risk of injury from risks they should be aware of.
Finally, trespassers are people who enter or remain on land before the possessor gives them permission to enter (either explicitly or implicitly). Trespassers are only able to claim damages in situations where a property owner inflicts intentional damage. If the landowner knows, however, that trespassers regularly enter their property, then the landowner may owe the trespasser the duty of care required for a licensee.
Regardless of a plaintiff’s classification, defendants may argue that the plaintiff’s own carelessness contributed to their losses. Because courts use a pure comparative negligence standard under Florida Statute §768.81, courts may reduce a plaintiff’s award by their share of the blame for the slip and fall.
Successful claims for damages seek to collect the compensation necessary to offset the costs of medical care and other expenses caused by the injury. However, claims must evaluate the total impact of the event on the plaintiff’s life. Many of these injuries require extensive rehabilitation or hospital stays that could keep a person out of work for some time. A claim for damages might also require payment of lost wages and damages for pain, suffering, and other intangible losses.
No matter the exact reason for the fall, a landowner may be liable to a person injured on their land. A Miami slip and fall attorney could help protect your legal rights, discover key evidence, and help explain applicable laws. Contact a Miami slip and fall attorney today to learn more about how they might be able to help you.