If you or a loved one has been involved in a premises liability incident, and suffered bodily injury, the law firm of Jeffrey R. Rollins, P.A. can help you. Jeffrey R. Rollins, P.A., strives to take some of the pressure off you and your family, which allows you to concentrate on the recovery of your personal injury. The objective is to get you the financial compensation you deserve and to navigate you through the complex legal process as simply as possible.
Compensation that may be available to you for premises liability:
Medical treatment whether you have insurance or not.
Past medical expenses
*Future medical care
Past lost income
Future lost income or loss of capacity to earn money in the future
Reimbursement for out of pocket expenses
Past physical pain
Future physical pain
Past emotional suffering
Future emotional suffering
Past loss of life’s pleasures
Future loss of life’s pleasures
*No future medical expenses unless your treating physicians express the opinion in writing or in sworn testimony that you, the patient, are reasonably certain to incur expenses for future medical treatment.
In any Florida slip and fall case, every case will have certain elements that have major impact on the successful or failure of your case under Florida law. As the party in pursuit of a cause of action for slip and fall against another person or business, you are known as the plaintiff. In the pursuit of your claim you need to understand these factors in a premises liability case and be ready to provide proof or evidence in order to establish your right to recovery. The following factors are of critical importance to the success or failure of your case:
Determination of your Legal Status
(2) Invited Licensee;
Why were you at that particular person’s home or at that grocery store, home improvement store, department store or convenience store? If you are an invited guest or a store patron or customer, then Florida law gives you greater rights to be entitled to compensation for bodily injuries and damages while you are there at someone else’s home or at a business as a customer or grocery shopper.
As a victim of personal injury due to a slip and fall, you must be prepared to show that you were on the property as an invitee or a licensee, or a foreseeable trespasser, and therefore proving that you were owed or due a legal duty by the home owner or business or grocery store or department store or home improvement store.
Invitee and Invited Licensee
In order for you to fit into the above category, you need to have been invited onto or into the property or premises by the owner or operator of the home or business premises. When you enter on the invitation of the owner (one who owns the premises) or operator (one who is in possession and control of the premises) of the home or business premises, then a duty of care to maintain the premises in a reasonably safe condition is owed to you. See, Post v. Lunney, 261 So. 2d 146 (Fla. 1972).
What Legal Duties are owed to Invitees and Invited Licensees?
Under Florida’s premises liability law, a property owner or operator has two legal duties to an invitee: (1) to use reasonable care in maintaining the premises in a reasonably safe condition, and (2) to give the invitee warning of concealed perils which are or should be known to the landowner or possessor, and which are unknown to the invitee and cannot be discovered by the invitee through the exercise of due care. See, Knight v. Waltman, 774 So. 2d. 731 (Fla. 2d DCA 2000).
As to trespassers, only trespassers whose presence on the premises is foreseeable by the homeowner or business owner or operator may have a claim for damages for bodily injuries, if at the time and place of the injury incident the homeowner or business owner or operator who owned or had possession of the premises knew or with the exercise of reasonable care should have known of the existence of a dangerous condition that created an unreasonable risk of harm to you.
If so, then the property owner or operator will have a legal duty to you to use reasonable care and warn you, the trespasser, of the condition and the risk involved. However, if your presence as an uninvited person was known or reasonably foreseeable by the owner or possessor of the property while you, the trespasser, neither knew nor with the exercise of reasonable care should have known of the dangerous condition and risk of harm. See, Cockerham v. Vaughan, Inc., 82 So. 2d 890 (Fla. 1955).
The Key to Defining Duty by Landowner or Operator is Foreseeability.
Foreseeability of harm is a legal principle well established in Florida law critical to every slip and fall premises liability claim. If the danger or risk of harm was not reasonably foreseeable, then no legal duty exists in the first instance. If there is no legal duty, then the owner or operator of the property cannot be shown to be in breach. See, McCain v. Florida Power Corporation, 593 So. 2d 500 (Fla. 1992).
What do you as a Victim of a Slip and Fall Have to Prove to Get Compensation for a Slip and Fall Claim?
When you are injured and hurt on a business premises, but not in a slip and fall on transitory foreign substances like a liquid substance accumulated on the floor, squashed fruit, a banana peel, broken eggs on the floor, olive oil, salad dressing, liquid spills, etc.), then you have to establish that that the business failed to keep you safe while you were there on the premises. Generally, to prove fault you must show evidence that: (1) the business (theatre, home improvement center, hospital, shop) knew or should have known of the danger; (2) failed to repair; (3) failed to warn; (4) you were injured because of the dangerous condition; and (5) you exercised reasonable care for yourself at the time of the injury incident.
Slip and Fall on a Transitory Foreign Substance
The Florida Legislature, after complaints from business interest and lobbyists that businesses like grocery stores, convenience stores, home improvement centers and hospitals were being held legally responsible for having to pay far too many slip and fall injury claims, passed Florida Statute §768.0755. This law makes it easier for businesses in slip and fall premises liability cases to defend against liability and harder for business invitees to establish their right to damages and prove fault.
- 768.0755 states as follows:
Premises liability for transitory foreign substances in a business establishment————
(1) If a person slips and falls on a transitory foreign substance in a business establishment, the injured person must prove that the business establishment had actual or constructive knowledge of the dangerous condition and should have taken action to remedy it.
Constructive knowledge may be proven by circumstantial evidence showing that:
(a) The dangerous condition exited for such a length of time that, in the exercise or ordinary care, the business establishment should have known of the condition; or
(b) The condition occurred with regularity and was therefore foreseeable;
This section does not affect any common law duty of care owed by a person or entity in possession or control of a business premises.
What this means is now you, the business invitee, and not the owner or operator of the premises has the burden to provide evidence through witness testimony or store security surveillance video or documentary evidence (floor maintenance cleaning logs and the like) of actual or constructive knowledge of the dangerous condition.
A slip and fall accident injury can be mentally and physically excruciating. The resulting events caused by the accident, can add even more physical and economic hardships to accident victims and the family of an accident victim’s recovery efforts. Insurance companies will try to settle a victim’s premises liability slip and fall accident injury claim to the insurance companies’ advantage.
If you were not at fault, but rather the victim in a slip and fall, or you were only partially responsible for a slip and fall, Jeffrey R. Rollins, P.A can help guide you through the legal process. You should consider hiring an experienced personal injury trial lawyer after a car crash as the insurance company claims process can potentially be unfair. Therefore, to protect and preserve your rights, it is essential that you have proper legal counsel to deal with the legal issues that will arise from a slip and fall premises liability accident.
Unfamiliarity with personal injury laws can place victims of slip and fall accidents and personal injury at disadvantages and hinder their rights to recover fair, just and reasonable compensation from the at fault party’s insurance company.
Take advantage of the free consultation offered by personal injury attorney Jeffrey R. Rollins, P.A.
Jeffrey R. Rollins, P.A., is a personal injury attorney in private practice and has spent many years exclusively representing personal injury victims and their families, holding insurance companies responsible and honoring the terms of their insurance coverage.
Personal injury attorney, Jeffery R. Rollins, Esquire of Jeffrey R. Rollins, P.A. spent the first 16 years representing those insured by insurance companies in the defense of personal injury claims, insured motorists, insured physicians, insured hospitals, insured pharmacists and pharmacies , insured nursing homes, and through that vast experience, developed an intimate knowledge of how insurance companies adjust claims and defend lawsuits against their insured. Take advantage of the free consultation offered by personal injury attorney, Jeffrey R. Rollins, Esquire for any premises liability questions.
Jeffrey R. Rollins, P.A. is a personal injury attorney representing premises liability cases, car accident injury, medical malpractice, surgical mistakes, product liability, nursing home neglect, pharmacy negligence and wrongful death serving Florida and the surrounding areas in Ft. Pierce, Okeechobee, Vero Beach, Port St. Lucie, Stuart, Palm City and West Palm Beach.