Naples Premises Liability Lawyer
Florida property owners who invite others onto their property are required to take certain steps to ensure that their premises are safe. Those who fail to do so can be held liable for their negligence, so if you were recently hurt in a slip and fall accident, you should speak with an experienced Naples premises liability lawyer who can walk you through your legal options.
Slip and Fall Accidents
Premises liability is a legal concept under which negligent property owners can be held liable for unsafe or defective conditions on their property if those conditions caused a visitor to sustain an injury. These types of accidents are commonly referred to as slip and fall accidents, which, as their name suggests, occur when a person sustains an injury after slipping (or tripping) and falling as a result of a dangerous condition. While most slip and fall accidents involve slipping on standing water, ice, or spills, this broad term actually encompasses any type of accident caused by a property defect, so if you were injured while visiting someone else’s property, it is important to speak with an attorney about recovering compensation from the at-fault party.
What Qualifies as a Hazardous Condition?
Property owners who invite others on to their premises must make sure that their property is safe for those visitors. This includes the responsibility to conduct regular inspections, fix hazardous conditions, and warn visitors of dangerous conditions that they have already discovered, but have not yet addressed, such as:
- Wet floors or spills;
- Broken or missing railings;
- Uneven stairs;
- Poor lighting;
- Icy, wet, cracked, or crumbling sidewalks;
- Cluttered walkways;
- Warped or uneven flooring; and
- Torn, frayed, or bulging carpet.
Proving that a property owner knew about a defect can be difficult, unless the hazard is obvious or permanent, like a broken railing or a hole in the floor. Otherwise, a court will be tasked with assessing the length of time that a condition allegedly existed when determining whether a reasonable property owner would have known about and addressed the hazard. If, for example, a spill in a grocery store aisle only existed for a few seconds before a fall, the owner of the store would most likely not be held liable for resulting injuries, unless there is also evidence that an employee saw the spill happen or similar accidents had occurred in the same location.
Whether a property owner can be held liable for a visitor’s injury will ultimately come down to the strength of the evidence presented by the injured party, including:
- Photographs from the scene of the accident;
- Eyewitness testimony;
- Video recordings of the accident;
- Injury-related medical records;
- The property owner’s written policies regarding visitor safety;
- The incident report completed by the property owner; and
- Other reports of similar accidents on different occasions.
It can also be helpful for injured parties to consult with an expert who can testify about the cause of the fall, as well as the severity of the resulting injuries.
Schedule a Free Case Review With Our Naples Premises Liability Lawyers Today
For help investigating your own slip and fall claim, please contact the experienced Naples premises liability lawyers at Smith & Ball Injury Law today. We can be reached at our office by calling 800-500-1530 or via online message.