Beyond Slip and Fall: Premises Liability Lawsuits in Florida
Not everyone who causes an accident does so by mishandling their car, truck, or motorcycle in such a way as to collide with another vehicle or a pedestrian. Sometimes the party who is responsible for causing the accident is not even present when the accident happens. If the accident happens on a commercial property, or even if a guest gets injured in an accident at a private residence, the injured person can sue the owner of the property for failing to prevent the accident. This is called a premises liability lawsuit, and the plaintiff can only win if they can show evidence that there was something the defendant could have done to prevent the accident. Slip and fall lawsuits are one of the most common kinds of premises liability lawsuits, but they are not the only kind.
How Premises Liability Law Works
How much responsibility a property owner has to prevent injuries from occurring on their property depends on the type of property and why the injured person was present.
- Business owners must take every precaution to prevent accidents on their property. The business must undergo safety inspections regularly. If any part of the property is deemed unsafe, it must be closed to customers until the hazard is removed by cleaning or repairing the unsafe area. Businesses must post signs warning guests of dangers; this is why businesses place “wet floor” markers on newly mopped floors and post signs that say “caution; door opens outward.”
- Homeowners do not have the same obligations for safety inspections and prompt repairs, but they must verbally warn guests about potential dangers such as slippery floors.
- Even trespassers can file premises liability lawsuits, but only if they can prove that the owner of the property intentionally injured them. This applies to premises liability lawsuits against homeowners and business owners.
Drunk Driving and Premises Liability
Drunk driving is a factor in many personal injury lawsuits, usually the ones where a person injured in a car accident sues the drunk driver who caused the accident. According to premises liability laws, though, if you get injured while you are driving drunk, you can sometimes file a premises liability lawsuit. According to Florida’s dram shop laws (“dram shop” is an old term for an establishment that sells alcohol), you can sue the bar where you drank before driving drunk if the bartender continued to pour drinks for you when he or she could have reasonably known that you planned to drive and were too drunk to do so safely. According to social host liability laws, you can also sue the owner of a house where you got drunk at a party and then drove while intoxicated.
Let Us Help You Today
Business owners and, to some extent, homeowners have a legal responsibility to protect their guests from slip and fall injuries. Contact a Sunrise slip and fall attorney at the Law Offices of David M. Benenfeld in Sunrise, Florida to discuss your slip and fall case.