Legal Guidance for Premises Liability Claims in West Palm Beach
Thousands of people are involved in slip and falls every year. These accidents may result in injuries ranging from minor to catastrophic. They can be caused by slippery floors, cracks in concrete, uneven surfaces, or broken stairs or decks. Depending on your status on the property, you may be able to recover compensatory damages from the property owner or occupier. They cannot ensure the safety of those who are invited onto the property, and all people have a responsibility to watch where they are going, but there are often circumstances in which it is appropriate to sue for compensation. Residents of West Palm Beach can consult the premises liability attorneys at Anidjar & Levine for assistance in asserting their rights.
Holding Negligent Property Owners Liable for Damages
Many slip and falls take place in areas where customers are invited to be. Property owners and occupiers owe the highest duty of care to customers, who are their business invitees. The issue in a slip and fall is whether the property owner acted reasonably carefully to reduce the foreseeable risk that the customer would trip and fall.
A property owner can be held responsible for a slip and fall if it or an employee caused the condition resulting in a fall, knew about the condition but failed to take action to fix it or warn customers about it, or should have known of the dangerous condition in the exercise of reasonable care and yet failed to remove or repair the condition. For example, a grocery store could be held responsible for a slip and fall if it was caused when an employee allowed a bag of ice to leak onto the floor and then failed to clean it up. In another example, a shopping mall could be held responsible for failing to post a sign that a step is loose, resulting in a woman falling off the step and getting injured.
Whether or not a property owner or occupier “should have known” about a dangerous condition can be difficult to determine. Generally, common sense guides the issue of whether an occupier should have known and whether any steps taken to avoid injury were reasonable. If a dangerous condition existed for a long period without being discovered or fixed by the property owner, it is more likely that a jury will find that the owner should have known about it. Similarly, if the property owner has no regular procedure for examining the property for dangerous conditions, or has a regular procedure that employees never follow, a jury is more likely to find that the owner breached the appropriate duty of care.
Often, a business owner tries to shift the blame to the customer to avoid liability. If you had a reason for being where the dangerous condition was, there was no warning of the dangerous condition, and you were looking where you were going, it is less likely that the property owner can shift responsibility for your injuries onto you. However, if you were partly at fault for the accident, you may be found comparatively negligent, and your damages would be reduced according to your percentage of responsibility.
Discuss Your Slip and Fall Accident with a West Palm Beach Attorney
If you have been harmed in a slip and fall in the area around West Palm Beach, the capable injury lawyers at Anidjar & Levine are ready to assist you. Our office also represents individuals from other communities throughout Palm Beach County, including Boca Raton, Wellington, Palm Beach Gardens, and Jupiter. For a free consultation, call us at 800-747-3733 or contact us via our online form.