Personal Injury Video Law Tip
“Property owners have a general duty to keep premises safe for the patrons that come to their businesses, for the patrons that spend their money in their businesses, and for the people that are in the general area. They have a duty to keep their floors clean, free of spills and free of safety hazards, if they know about a spill or they know about a danger, it is their duty to make sure that the danger is cleared right away so that people are not harmed.”
– Dena Sisk Foman, Florida Personal Injury Lawyer at McLaughlin & Stern LLP in West Palm Beach
Additional Information about what level of safety property owners are responsible for in slip and fall injuries.
Property owners can be residential or business property owners but the reasonably safe standard applies in both cases. A property owner, business or residence, has a duty to warn of all known dangers they should know about to people (known as invitees) on their premises. Invitees are any guests that are on the premises legally. This could be guests of a homeowner or patrons of a business.
Businesses will sometimes shortcut safety in the name of profit or saving money. They will delay putting the non-stick flooring down until a later time when cash flow is greater. The plaintiff then has the ability to argue that the business has chosen profit over safety. In many circumstances this is the case. Most larger property/business owners have safety guidelines and policies that govern how the property is to be kept and the steps that are required to keep the premises reasonably safe. In many circumstances procedure is not followed and unfortunately, someone is injured.
Some dangerous conditions come about as a result of the actions of a person legally on the premises. For instance, a shopper can spill a drink on the floor of a business that causes a customer to fall and be injured. The question then becomes how long the substance was on the floor and whether the property owner was aware that the substance was on the floor. If there is no way to prove that the property owner had actual notice of the substance, the plaintiff is left to argue that the property owner should have known that the substance was on the floor. This is typically demonstrated by the amount of time the substance remained on the floor. For instance, if a property owner does not check the floors for hours when they know that people come into their property with liquids or they sell liquids, the plaintiff will have a good argument that the property owner should have known the substance was on the floor. However, in most cases a property owner is not going to admit that they did not check their floors. Proving constructive notice (that the property owners should have known the substance was on the floor) is a very difficult thing for a plaintiff to demonstrate.
This is the reason that slip and fall cases have become so hard to pursue. If a property owner can prove that they had no way of knowing the substance was on the floor, then a person suing them will lose their slip and fall action regardless of the injuries.
Personal injury law video number 100036: Video: In a slip and fall injuries what level of safety are property owners responsible for?