Friday, February 24, 2017

Who Is Liable if I Slip and Fall on Someone Else’s Property?

Slip, trip, and fall accidents are some of the most common accident types, happening every year to people of all ages throughout the state of Florida. Liability for a slip and trip accident - and who will be responsible for paying for your medical bills and other losses - depends upon the location of the accident, the circumstances surrounding the accident, and the duty of care that a property owner owes to you.

Property Owners’ Duty of Care

Those who enter onto a property that is not their own are characterized in three different ways under Florida’s law, with each being associated with a different duty of care on the part of a property owner. These are:

  • Invitees. An invitee, as the name implies, is someone who is invited onto a property and therefore has the right to be on that property. There are two types of invitees: public invitees and business invitees. Public invitees are those who are invited, by nature of being a member of the public, to enter public lands and buildings (i.e. parks, post office, etc.); a business invitee is a person who is invited to enter a property for the purpose of conducting some sort of business (i.e. buying groceries).

  • Licensees. Licensees, according to the Florida Bar Association, are “social guests” when the licensees are invited by the property owner to be on the property. A licensee might also be someone who has the legal right to be on the property, but wasn’t expressly invited onto the property by the owner, such the company responsible for checking a utility meter.

  • Trespassers. Finally, trespassers are those who enter the property without license or invitation for their own purposes.

The duty owed to invitees and licensees by property owners is the same: to keep the property in a reasonably safe condition, to correct any hazards on the property that could lead to a slip and fall (or other injury type), and to warn of any existing hazards.

On the other hand, property owners have no duty to a trespasser other than to refrain from causing the trespasser harm willfully or wantonly.

Who Will Pay for My Injuries?

If you slip and fall on someone else’s property and you were on the property as an invitee or a licensee, and the slip and fall occurred as a result of a hazardous condition that the property owner knew or should have known about and should have remedied, then the property owner may be held liable for your damages. If, instead, you were trespassing at the time of the accident or you were on the property legally, but the slip and fall was not caused by a hazardous condition that a property owner should have remedied, then you may be responsible for your own medical bills.

How Our Florida Slip and Fall Law Firm Can Help

At the Dolman Law Group, our experienced Clearwater Attorneys are very knowledgeable about slip and fall laws and know how to best represent you. If you need help recovering compensation after a slip and fall, call our law firm today or contact us online for your free consultation.

Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33756