Sarasota and Tampa Slip & Fall Accidents
Premises liability is an area of civil law that makes property owners responsible for slip and fall injuries sustained on their property in some circumstances. Property owners or anyone who has control of the premises, such as a homeowner, business, government agency, or an agent representing the owner, could be subject to a personal injury claim if they don’t take reasonable steps to prevent injuries. However, the injured party must prove that their negligence caused your injuries. Since Florida premise liability laws are complex, it’s best to have a Tampa personal injury lawyer on your side who can hold the appropriate parties accountable for what has happened.
Licensee, Invitee, or Trespasser
Whether someone has a premise liability claim or not depends on their purpose for being on the property.
An “invitee” visitor is typically invited onto the premises for business reasons. Examples of invitees include a shopper, a visitor to public property, and social guests.
The property owner has a duty to their invitees to keep the property in a safe condition. If danger is present that cannot be immediately remedied, they must warn invitees of the condition, such as by placing a “wet floor” sign near a freshly mopped floor. The property owner also has a duty to inspect the site routinely. For example, a grocery store owner or their agents must regularly check floors for substances to help prevent anyone from slipping and falling.
A “licensee” is on the property for a reason that directly benefits them. For instance, if an individual enters a store to get change but not to shop, they are a licensee. Even though they weren’t there to benefit the property owner, the property owner still must post warning signs and remove hazards to keep them safe when appropriate. Otherwise, they can be held liable for any injuries that result.
Finally, people who enter the property without permission are known as trespassers. Even though they don’t have permission and could be on the property for nefarious purposes, they are still legally entitled to an extent of reasonable protection. For example, an unmarked open hazard could make a property owner liable.
Responsibility of Property Owners
Property owners have specific legal responsibilities no matter the visitation status of the individual entering the property. Some of these responsibilities are:
- Providing appropriate notice of any hazardous conditions that the property owner is or should be aware of;
- Maintaining the property in a reasonably safe state;
- Posting proper “no trespassing” signs or warning of harmful or dangerous conditions that exist on the property;
- Not intentionally or unintentionally creating a hazardous or unsafe condition on the property.
Were You Injured in a Slip and Fall Accident? Call a Tampa Personal Injury Lawyer Today
Suppose you recently sustained an injury as a result of slipping and falling on property belonging to another party. In that case, you could be owed compensation for your damages. The best way to find out is to reach out to an experienced Tampa personal injury attorney. You can find out more about your legal rights and options by calling Matthews Injury Law today at 813-530-1000 or contacting us online.