Premises Liability / Slip and Fall Lawyer
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 your area in 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
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.
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. See Employment
Law: Workers Compensation.
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
- "Slip and fall" lawsuits against state and
local governments are covered by similar state "tort
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.