If you sustain a personal injury in a slip and fall accident at a Tampa Bay area business establishment, you may be eligible to seek compensation by filing a claim for compensation. It is important to recognize that property owners have a duty to keep their premises free of hazards, and to warn guests when there is a potential danger that could result in a slip and fall accident. If you did get hurt, an area of personal injury law known as premises liability law allows you to file a claim against the property owner to seek compensation for your losses.
What does a plaintiff need to prove in order to be eligible for compensation in a premises liability lawsuit? And how do slip and fall accidents happen at Tampa Bay establishments?
Understanding Florida Law and Slip and Fall Accidents
Under Section 768.0755 of the Florida Statutes, a business can be liable in a premises liability case if "a person slips and falls on a transitory foreign substance in a business establishment." This type of claim falls under a theory of negligence, meaning that the property owner did not intentionally aim to create a condition that would lead you to slip and fall, but rather the property owner was negligence, or did not take sufficient care in ensuring that the business did not pose an unnecessary risk of a fall.
What does a plaintiff need to prove under the statute in order to be eligible for compensation? As the statute explains, the injury victim must be able to prove the following:
- Business had actual or constructive knowledge of the dangerous condition; and
- Business should have taken action to remedy the dangerous condition.
Actual knowledge is relatively straightforward, meaning that the business owner or manager knew that a dangerous condition existed (such as a liquid spill near the restroom, or a piece of damaged flooring). What, though, does the statute mean when it refers to constructive knowledge? Constructive knowledge refers to a situation in which a business owner, for instance, should have known about a dangerous condition if she or he were taking reasonable care of the premises. The statute specifies that a plaintiff can prove constructive knowledge in one of two ways:
- Dangerous condition existed for such a length of time that, in the exercise of ordinary care, the business establishment should have known of the condition; or
- Condition occurred with regularity and as a result was foreseeable.
Preventing Slip and Fall Accidents
What can you do to avoid a slip and fall accident if you are a customer at a business establishment? A tip sheet from the National Restaurant Association suggests the following:
- Wear nonskid shoes;
- Watch where you are walking and keep an eye out for tripping hazards; and
- Pay attention to "Caution" signs that refer to a spill.
Contact a Tampa Bay Personal Injury Attorney
If you or someone you love sustained personal injuries in a slip and fall incident at a Tampa Bay area business establishment, an experienced Tampa Bay area personal injury lawyer can help with your case. Contact the Wells Law Group, P.A. today to learn more about filing a claim for compensation.