Comparative Negligence in Premises Liability Lawsuits: You Can Still Sue If You Fail to Heed Safety Warnings
Slip and fall accidents are the classic case of premises liability lawsuits. In a premises liability lawsuit, a customer who got injured at a place of business sues the company for causing unsafe conditions. The court must decide whether the company truly failed to maintain a safe environment or whether the guest only got injured because of his or her own risky behavior. Many times, both parties bear some of the responsibility for the accident; this is known in legal terms as comparative negligence. What this means for injured people is that you still have a chance to recover damages in a premises liability lawsuit even if the court decides that the accident that caused your injuries was partially your fault.
Man Fails to Keep Arms and Hands Inside the Vehicle, Loses Fingers, and Sues
During post-hurricane power outages, Floridians often entertain themselves by exchanging tales of freak accidents that took place at Florida theme parks, and the ensuing premises liability lawsuits. Some of them are downright tragic and obviously the theme park’s fault, like when an alligator killed a child who was sitting near a pond at a Disney resort. Meanwhile, in others, there is more of a gray area as to whether the guests were taking an unnecessary risk. For example, a four-year-old at the Dinosaur Egg Scanner exhibit at Universal Studios Florida stood right over a dinosaur egg as it was hatching, and the animatronic hatchling hit her in the face with its arm. A court ruled against the family of the man who got out of his vehicle on the Splash Mountain ride and was hit by the next vehicle, even though the man only got out because he was sick.
A case of comparative negligence in a premises liability lawsuit against a theme park was that of the British journalist who lost the tips of two fingers while riding the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disney’s Magic Kingdom in 2014. An audio recording that plays throughout the ride warns guests to keep their arms and hands inside the boat at all times. The journalist clearly was not doing this when the ride ran over his fingers.
How Much Money Can You Get If It Was Partially Your Fault?
The fact that the accident was due in part to your negligence does not stop you from receiving money, but it reduces the money you can receive. If a court determined that the Pirates of the Caribbean finger-chopping accident was 10 percent the journalist’s fault and 90 percent Disney’s fault, the journalist can only be awarded 10 percent of the damages he would have gotten if the accident had been entirely Disney’s fault, such as if he had just been minding his business inside the vehicle when an animatronic pirate went rogue and bit his fingers.
Let an Attorney Help You Today
If you were injured at a place of business, you may still have a case against the company even if the accident was partially your fault. Contact a Sunrise slip and fall attorney at the Law Offices of David M. Benenfeld for help today.