If a hazardous situation like a faulty guardrail, a wet floor or a torn carpet led to your trip, slip and fall, you may be entitled to some form of financial restitution through a premises liability lawsuit. This is because every property owner has a legal duty to ensure that visitors are safe from preventable harm.
However, like any other legal matter, there are crucial elements that you must prove to win your premises liability claim. And since Florida is a comparative negligence state, these elements also play a crucial role in determining how fault is apportioned and damages awarded.
Elements of a premises liability claim
Here are key elements that you will need to prove when litigating your premises liability claim in Florida:
- You must be legally on the property at the time of the slip-and-fall. With a few exceptions, your premises liability claim may be denied if you slipped and fell while trespassing on someone’s property.
- The defendant must have owed you a duty of care. In other words, the defendant had a duty to ensure that any hazards that are likely to cause injuries are fixed or adequate warning issued.
- The defendant’s failure to fix hazards or issue a sufficient warning (like a slippery floor warning) led to your slip-and-fall. As a result, you suffered damages that required hospital visits or caused you to miss work and, thus, lost income.
Pursuing damages following a slip-and-fall
If your slip-and-fall is attributable to the property owner’s negligence, you need to act fast. Once you have sought treatment and gathered evidence, you need to file your premises liability claim within Florida’s statute of limitations period, which is four years from the date of your trip, slip and fall. Do not let this statute of limitations run out.