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Get Compensated For Your Slip-And-Fall Injuries

Despite a name that conjures images of people slipping on puddles of liquid, slip-and-fall cases actually encompass a wide array of injuries caused by hazardous conditions on a business premises. This includes things like uneven flooring, sharp or pointy surfaces, falling items, and hazardous materials out in the open.

All of these scenarios fall under the general umbrella of premises liability, specifically premises liability for business owners.

Duty To Business Invitees

Business owners are required by law to keep their properties safe for customers, a class of people the law considers to be “business invitees.” Business owners are required to maintain their properties in a reasonably safe condition, repair any dangerous conditions on the property, and if they cannot immediately repair or remedy a dangerous condition, must warn customer of the dangers on the property that have not been repaired.

For example, most businesses now use “Caution: Wet Floor” signs to warn customers of both spills as well as recently mopped floors that could present a hazard.

But this duty actually applies to all property owners, not just business owners. Business owners have an even higher duty towards their customers: they are required to inspect their properties on a regular basis to ensure check for new dangerous conditions. As a result, they are liable for injuries caused by dangerous conditions they didn’t even know about, but should have known about through reasonable inspections.

How It Works In Practice

So how do you prove that a business owner did not take reasonable steps to maintain his property in a reasonably safe condition or failed to perform reasonable inspections of his property for dangerous conditions?

Let’s take the classic example of a gallon of spilled milk in a large supermarket. You are walking down the dairy aisle and you fail to notice the milk on the floor because there are no warning signs and you are looking at the products on the shelves rather than the floor. You slip on the milk and injure your head in the fall.

In Florida, there are two ways to establish premises liability for the owner of the supermarket. You can prove that the owner or manager of the supermarket actually knew about the spilled milk on the ground, but did not take reasonable steps to clean it up. Proving actual knowledge can be a little difficult in cases like this involving temporary spills.

Business owners are much more likely to have actual knowledge of permanent problems such as uneven flooring or unstable shelving.

Luckily, even if the supermarket owner did not have actual knowledge of the spilled milk, there is a second way to establish premises liability. You can prove that the supermarket owner had constructive knowledge of the dangerous condition and should have taken action to remedy it.

Constructive knowledge is a purely legal device that can be unintuitive and unpredictable to establish, but a good personal injury attorney will know how to successfully establish constructive knowledge based on the specific hazardous conditions involved in each case.

To establish constructive knowledge in the spilled milk example, you must prove that the milk had been on the ground for so long that the supermarket should have known about it if they were conducting routine inspections. Proving that the milk had been on the ground for several hours without any attempt at a clean-up would likely be sufficient to establish constructive knowledge.

Attorney David Goldman has a strong belief that everyone should be treated fairly and those with the means should do what they can to bring justice in all areas of our society. That belief has led him to help Florida's injured from being taken advantage of by corporations and insurance companies. Since 1989 David Goldman has been fighting for the rights of Floridians both as an attorney and by personally supporting our community.

Get Compensated For Your Slip-And-Fall Injuries

Goldman Babboni Fernandez
Murphy & Walsh

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