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An Overview Of Premises Liability

slip fellOwners or tenants of commercial and residential properties in Florida, have a duty to use reasonable care to maintain the premises in a safe condition for its invitees, licensees, and even trespassers to a lesser extent. This duty entails: (1) the obligation to use reasonable care to learn of the existence of any dangerous conditions on the premises; and (2) to give the invitee warning of concealed dangerous conditions which are or should be known to the landowner. The duty to warn arises when the invitee could not have discovered the peril through the exercise of due care. Once a landowner knows of the existence of the condition, they have a duty to correct the defect. Examples of conditions that are fixed in nature and may give rise to a premise liability case include, among many others, cracks on sidewalks, defective steps and holes in floor.

If an individual slips and falls on a transient substance in an establishment, such as water or a banana peel, the injured party must prove that the business establishment had actual or constructive knowledge of the defect and that they should have taken action to remedy it but failed to do so.

Constructive knowledge may be proven by showing that: (1) the dangerous condition existed for such a period of time that the landowner, its’ employees or agents, in the exercise of normal care should have known of the existence of the defect; or (2) the condition occurred with regularity and was therefore foreseeable. Fla. Stat. Ann. § 768.0755 (West)

A premises liability suit may also arise when a person is injured by a homeowner’s chattel; i.e., dogs. If a homeowner fails to post a sign warning of a “bad dog” in the premises and an invitee is bitten by said dog, the homeowner will be held liable for the injuries sustained by the guest. The dog would be considered a defect which the homeowner had a duty to correct, by restraining the dog properly, or warn about, by posting a sign.

Ultimately, a Plaintiff, in a premises liability case, must prove that the injuries sustained were caused by the property owner’s failure to remedy the defective condition. A landowner cannot be held responsible if they didn’t know nor had they reason to know about the defect that created the dangerous condition. It is important, especially when the dangerous condition is caused by a transient substance, that the injured party gathers as much evidence as possible at the time of the accident. Miami attorney Alexis Izquierdo recommends getting the names of witnesses or taking pictures with your phone of the substance that caused your fall. It is also important that you don’t accept any compensation or sign any waivers at the scene of the accident.

At The Izquierdo Law Firm, we will work with physicians, hospitals and non-medical experts to build your case and establish the liability of the negligent party.

If you suffer an accident as a result of a landowner’s failure to correct a defect and to arrange a free initial consultation to further discuss how we can help you through this difficult time in order to protect your rights, please contact Miami Personal Injury Lawyer / Hialeah Car Accident Lawyer Alexis Izquierdo at our Florida office today at (305) 985-7800. Se Habla Español / Spanish language services available. Our staff is ready to help you.

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