A business owner may not be liable for a slip and fall if they have taken all the necessary actions to prevent accidents. In the state of Florida, a business owner is legally responsible to keep their property safe for public use. The tricky part is determining the standard or most reasonable expectations that a business owner needs to uncover and fix any dangerous situations before an accident happens.
In the state of Florida, if a slip and fall caused an injury and the plaintiff can prove negligence on the part of the business, the owner may be responsible for compensating the victim, including paying past and future medical bills and past and future lost wages. Though, a business will not be held liable for a slip or fall if they can demonstrate they carried out reasonable steps to prevent the incident.
When a Business Owner Is Not Responsible for a Slip and Fall
Here are a few examples of when a business owner would not be liable for a slip and fall:
Plaintiff is Not Able to Prove Negligent Conditions Caused the Injury
There is no business liability for a slip and fall when the property is free of negligent conditions.
Some slip and fall cases are caused naturally, by things beyond anyone’s control. Just because someone slips or trips in public, does not mean the business will automatically be liable. For example, when there is no obvious hazard, such as a dry floor, but a slip still happened, the slip might just be an accident. Both parties must carefully investigate the evidence and facts of each case. For the business to be liable, the plaintiff will need to demonstrate the reason that the accident happened was a direct result of something the business could have prevented.
Business Owner Inspected the Property and Repaired Hazards
It is relatively impossible for business owners to avoid all dangers that can happen on their property. Business owners do not have strict liability for every danger, instead, the reasonability is determined by many factors. For example, a property owner needs a reasonable amount of time to inspect the property and make repairs. Say a shopper knocks over a glass jar of sauce, the jar breaks and a second shopper is on the way down the aisle at the same time and simultaneously slips on the sauce, causing injury.
In that scenario, the store is not legally liable for the slip and fall, the event happened too fast, for the store to realistically be able to do anything. However, if say a shopper dropped a glass jar full of sauce on the floor, informed an employee, and the employee ignored it or did not clean it up for several hours, it would be much more likely that the business owner would be held responsible. How much time is reasonable, often depends on the case and the jury’s interpretation of the events.
Negligent Conditions did not Cause the Injury
The business owner has no liability for an accident if the damages were not a direct result of the negligent conditions. In other words, if there’s ice on the sidewalk outside, but the slip and fall occurs in the produce aisle, there’s no legal liability based on the hazardous sidewalk.
Legal liability for a business will only occur when a negligent condition caused the slip and fall. Also, there is no legal liability if a dangerous condition doesn’t cause any harm. For example, if a customer tries to sue a business simply because they have ice on their sidewalks, but no injury resulted, the case would likely be dismissed.
Attorneys for Slip and Fall Accidents
There are important things to know about slip and fall cases in the state of Florida. If you have questions about a business owner’s liability for slip and fall accidents contact an experienced Florida attorney today. Schedule a consultation with Leonard Valdes today by calling our office at 305-567-0910.