A Miami Slip and Fall Attorney Can Help You
Slip and fall accidents normally occur because of a property owner’s failure to remove or warn of dangerous conditions that result in a visitor’s injuries. An owner will usually be liable for an individual’s slip and fall for the failure to exercise reasonable care under the circumstances. Determining whether an owner acted reasonably usually relies on whether he or she knew or should have known of the dangerous condition that caused the individual’s injuries. Another important consideration is who created the unsafe or dangerous condition. If the property owner created the condition, they can hardly argue later that they were unaware of its existence.
While an owner’s negligence is the cornerstone of every premises liability case, the type of property owner involved (or the location of the accident) and the accompanying standard of care may vary from case to case. The areas where slip and fall accidents occur can usually be characterized as commercial, residential or governmental properties.
Commercial Property Owners
A commercial property owner, the entity or person that owns or occupies the premises, owes a duty of care to the individuals it opens its doors to, who are generally considered “business invitees.” These types of premises expand well beyond restaurants and retail stores, including amusement parks, hotels, and resorts. Florida requires these owners to maintain their properties in a state that is reasonably safe for its invitees.
Accordingly, Miami business owners must keep the grounds free from transitory conditions and foreign objects that might foreseeably harm visitors, such as a puddle of water. Liability arises when the owner knew or should have known about these conditions. The following factors may prove that the owner should have known:
- The duration or length of time that the dangerous condition existed for. If the business establishment should have known of the condition, through the exercise of ordinary care, liability will likely attach.
- If the condition occurred frequently or regularly, then the owner should have foreseen the injury caused.
Residential Property Owners
Unlike the applicable law in cases involving business premises such as a retail store or restaurant, the owner may be the landlord of certain residential property. In these cases, Miami landlords may be liable for the injuries sustained by tenants and other third parties. In order for liability to attach, a tenant must prove that:
- The landlord had control over the dangerous conditions that caused the accident (i.e., wet floor in apartment hallways without a warning sign).
- The removal or repair of the condition would have been reasonable.
- The injury was a foreseeable result of the landlord’s failure to address the condition.
- The harm caused would have never happened but for the landlord’s omission (i.e., failing to repair a damaged surface in a residential building’s public area).
Government Property Owners
Lastly, a slip and fall, or trip and fall, could also occur on government property, such as a post office. Moreover, the premises could be owned by a local or state government. Because a governmental entity is involved, rules of immunity will likely apply. More specifically, special rules under Florida’s statutory law and constitution may limit the compensation sought and any relief an individual may obtain altogether. Notwithstanding the complex rules involved in tort actions against government entities, a Miami slip and fall attorney at Brais Law Firm is prepared to help you with your case.
Unsafe Conditions that Lead to Injuries
After determining the applicable law, a slip and fall lawyer must determine what unsafe conditions caused the injury. Slip and falls, and in other similar cases, trip and falls, include but are not limited to:
- Wet or oily surfaces
- Slippery floor mats
- Unleveled walkway surfaces (i.e., sidewalks, curbs, access covers, drainage grates, stairs)
- Defective handrails and guardrails
- Faulty ramps
- Loose carpets
- Uneven elevator entry points
Regardless of where your accident takes place or what your injuries were a result of, the property owner, landlord, or governmental entity responsible will likely assert a defense. These defenses include:
- The owner adequately warned of the dangerous condition.
- The owner could not have reasonably known about the unsafe condition and could have not discovered it upon reasonable inspection.
- The person’s negligence, not the owner’s, was the result of the accident.
Review Your Case with a Slip and Fall Attorney at Brais Law Firm
You can schedule a free consultation with Brais Law Firm in our Miami office. Our firm has more than 75 years of collective experience. We encourage you to review our Results page to see the outcome of similar cases. When you’re ready complete our online contact form, or call 888-238-5637 to speak with an experienced slip and fall attorney.