People who are injured because of hazardous conditions on someone else’s property may be able to recover damages for their injuries. Florida property owners have legal duties to people that they invite or allow into their homes or businesses. This includes, at a minimum, a duty to warn about dangers on the premises. The term “slip and fall” refers to injuries caused by hazards on someone’s property. It evokes the image of a person slipping on a wet floor and suffering injuries. It can also refer to almost any accident caused by a defect or hazard in the floor, on the ground, or on a set of steps or stairs.
Slip-and-fall accident claims are a type of personal injury claim. They require evidence that the person allegedly at fault owed a duty of care to the injured person, along with evidence that they did not fulfill this duty, and that the injuries were the result. The goal of a slip-and-fall claim is to recover compensation for the injured person. Property insurance or general liability insurance typically cover slip-and-fall claims, so knowledge of the insurance business is just as important as legal expertise. Cordova Law Firm PLLC’s team of personal injury lawyers have extensive experience in both fields. Contact us online, or give us a call, to learn more about your rights and options in your slip-and-fall case.
In Florida, many personal injury claims require the injured person to establish “fault.” This means that they have to show that the person they claim is liable for damages either caused the accident, or is legally responsible for it. Most personal injury claims are based, to some extent, on the legal principle of “negligence,” which requires proof that a person failed to fulfill a legal duty of care to another person, and that this caused that other person’s injuries. Slip-and-fall cases are based on a related principle known as “premises liability.”
Personal injury claims usually begin with a demand to an insurance company. Most personal injury cases result in an insurance settlement. If the insurance company will not settle, the next step is to file a lawsuit. Most lawsuits end in a settlement. Very few ever go to trial.
Premises liability requires the injured person to prove that the property owner owed them a duty of care. The exact duty of care depends on the relationship between the property owner and the injured person. Florida law identifies four types of relationships based on whether the injured person was invited to enter the property and, if so, the reason why they were invited:
One additional category that is worth mentioning is children who trespass onto property under certain circumstances. The “attractive nuisance” doctrine states that if a property owner knows, or has reason to know that something on their property is likely to attract children, they have a duty to add safeguards to prevent unauthorized access to dangerous areas. Swimming pools are a common source of attractive nuisance claims.
Insurance companies must cover valid claims made against their policyholders. Many, perhaps most, property owners would not be able to pay for the full amount of damages in a slip-and-fall case out of their own pockets. Insurance is supposed to provide assurance to policyholders that a single accident will not send them into bankruptcy. Making a claim on a person’s insurance is therefore much more likely to result in a settlement than a demand that they pay the damages themselves.
Homeowners’ insurance policies typically include liability coverage for injuries sustained on the property. Businesses often maintain general liability insurance coverage, which includes coverage for premises liability claims like slip-and-fall. Businesses that lease office or retail space are usually required to have this type of coverage as a condition of their leases.
If you have been injured because of a hazardous condition on someone’s property, you need an advocate on your side to fight for your rights. The Orlando personal injury attorneys at Cordova Law Firm are available to help you. Please call us at (321) 267-3682 (CORDOVA) or contact us online today to speak to someone about your case. Your first consultation is always 100% free.