Florida law generally lets you file a slip and fall claim against the party in charge of the premises if you are an invitee. Under premises liability law, an invitee is someone who is legally allowed on the property. As such, the property owner, business, or any other tenant could be responsible for their safety. Examples of invitees include customers buying from a store or professional technicians doing repairs inside an establishment.
However, the rules on who can file a slip and fall claim in Florida depend on several other circumstances, as well. If you suffered a slip and fall, an attorney can determine whether you are qualified to file a claim for your injuries.
Can Trespassers File Slip and Fall Claims?
Under Florida’s premises liability laws, a property owner or tenant’s liability is limited if a trespasser gets injured on their property. Those limitations also extend to slip and fall accidents. For instance, they typically have no duty to warn trespassers of any hazards on their property. However, when someone is discovered trespassing, the property owner should warn them of any potential danger. It would then be up to the trespasser to heed the warning or not.
A trespasser might be able to file a slip and fall claim if:
- They can prove that the property owner or tenant deliberately set up the hazard to harm trespassers.
- The property owner expressly invited the trespasser after detecting them on the premises.
A trespasser cannot file a slip and fall claim if they were inebriated or under the influence of drugs when they had the accident. Moreover, they cannot take legal action if they committed a crime – or were about to commit one – on the premises.
What If the Slip and Fall Victim Is a Child?
Just as an adult who suffers slip and fall injuries may qualify for compensation from the liable property owner, children may do so as well. However, as minors, they would not be able to take legal action themselves. Instead, the child’s parents or legal guardian can file the slip and fall claim on their behalf.
Keep in mind that Florida gives some leeway for injury claims and cases involving minors. For example, while a typical slip and fall case would have a four-year filing deadline, the state gives you up to seven years if you are filing a claim on your child’s behalf.
Can a Slip and Fall Victim Still File a Claim If They Are Partly at Fault?
Yes, partly liable slip and fall victims can still sue the property owner or tenant here in Florida. Unlike some comparative fault states that bar you from compensation if you are more than 50 percent liable, Florida Statutes § 768.81 will still let you do so. However, the actual amount you can recover depends on the amount of liability shared.
As an example, suppose you slipped and fell on a recently mopped floor at a store. The claims adjuster then determines that you are 40% at fault for walking hurriedly, while the company is 60% at fault for failing to post a warning. This means that you would be entitled to collect just 60% of your total losses.
How do You Prove the Property Owner’s Fault in a Slip and Fall Accident?
A slip and fall claim works similarly to other negligence-based claims in that you must prove that the liable property owner owed you a duty of care. By breaching that duty of care, the party in charge of the premises caused the slip and fall.
For example, under Florida Statutes § 768.0755, a business establishment should protect customers and other guests from foreign substances that could cause slip and fall accidents. A victim could hold the establishment liable for negligence if they have proof that:
- The dangerous condition happens regularly in the establishment.
- The business already had ample time to know about the hazard and address it accordingly (such as by providing warning signs and fixing the issue).
However, you will also need to prove that the slip and fall accident caused your injuries. That would mean providing medical records and, if possible, footage of the incident.
Consult with a Florida Slip and Fall Lawyer Today
If you are unclear about who can file a slip and fall claim in Florida, our team at the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine can help. We have slip and fall attorneys to guide you through the procedures. We can also represent you when facing insurance providers and attending court proceedings.
For over 15 years, our personal injury lawyers have served clients throughout Florida, helping them to get justice and fair compensation. If you have any inquiries about our legal services, speak to a team representative now at 1-800-747-3733. We are available 24/7.
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