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Premises Liability

Premises Liability / Slip and Fall Lawyer Group

premisesliability“Slip and fall” is a term for personal injuries that are caused when a person slips and falls on a floor, sidewalk, stair, or other surface. An attorney that specializes in lawsuits resulting from these injuries is known as a premises liability or slip and fall lawyer. As a broad general rule, if you are the owner of a house, a building, a parking lot, or other premises, you are responsible for injuries resulting from a slip and fall on the premises. An occupier of the premises, such as a tenant in an apartment building or a store owner who leases a store, may also be liable for injuries if the occupier has control over the premises in which the injury occurred.

A “slip and fall” accident may be caused by:

  • an uneven floor
  • an unseen danger such as a hole covered up by a rug poor lighting
  • a slippery floor surface

The specific circumstances surrounding a “slip and fall” accident are important in determining who may be legally responsible for any injuries. A slip and fall lawyer can advise you with the specifics as well as the laws specific to Florida. For example, if you are an invited guest on a property, the owner or the occupier who invites you has the responsibility (a duty of care) to keep the premises safe, and to warn you if there are any dangerous conditions that might cause you harm. However, if you are on a person’s premises for a business purpose, the owner or occupier may owe you a higher duty of care.

The situation is somewhat different if you are not invited onto someone else’s property and you are a trespasser. The “standard of care” that a property owner owes to a trespasser is usually less than the standard of care that is owed to a person who has permission to be on the property. There is a significant exception to this lower standard of care in the case of children; however the law recognizes that children may not recognize potential danger in the same way that adults do, and requires adults to take greater care to protect against harm to children. For example, if you know that children play in your back yard, even without your permission, you have a duty to take precautions preventing injury to them from any condition that you may have created. This is especially true if the condition that you have created is attractive to children. If a child is injured by an attractive nuisance on your property, such as a swimming pool, you may be liable for their injuries. In states such as Florida, swimming pools are especially popular, and a slip and fall / premises liability lawyer is especially important to consult when considering the standard of care for your property.

Specific laws governing the liability of employers often cover a “slip and fall” accident occurring at a person’s workplace. These laws include the federal Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) and state workplace safety laws, which impose a duty on employers to keep workplaces safe. These laws continually change, and it’s important to choose a slip and fall lawyer that is up-to-date. Additionally, state workers compensation laws usually govern lawsuits brought by employees against employers. Under these “workers comp” laws, employers are held strictly liable for injuries suffered by employees. In return for this strict liability, the workers compensation statute limits the amount of damages that an employee can recover.

Sometimes the government is responsible for keeping premises safe. For example, the city is responsible for maintaining a public parking lot it owns. If you slip on broken pavement in the city’s parking lot, the city government may be liable for your injuries. However, there are strict rules usually applying to lawsuits brought against federal, state, and local governments. For example, the laws for Tampa, Florida may be different than those of a small town in Montana.

  • “Slip and fall” lawsuits against the federal government are usually covered by the Federal Tort Claims Act.
  • “Slip and fall” lawsuits against state and local governments are covered by similar state “tort claims acts.”

Often these statutes require lawsuits to be brought within a very short period of time, and only after a written notice of the injury has been given to the government.