Is It Always The Business Owner’s Responsibility When A Customer Gets Injured At A Place Of Business?
You have probably seen billboards and TV advertisements for slip-and-fall accident lawyers, but the laws regarding slip-and-fall accidents apply to a much wider range of accidents than just the ones that involve slipping and falling on a wet or slippery floor. The legal doctrine that holds the owners of commercial and residential properties responsible for injuries to visitors resulting from preventable accidents on the property is called premises liability. In order to collect damages in a premises liability lawsuit, you must show that the accident was a result of the property owner’s negligence. If you were injured at a place of business or at a house that you were visiting, contact a Florida premises liability lawyer.
Premises Liability for Businesses and Social Hosts
Premises liability laws require the owners of places of business to keep their property free from dangers that could cause injury to business invitees. This is why you often see employees walking around the store, checking for water spills on the floor and items that might fall on customers or over which customers might trip. To get an idea of the various kinds of accidents covered under premises liability laws, think of the accidents that have happened at the theme parks in Orlando, triggering premises liability lawsuits or speculation about them. These include incidents where an alligator killed a child, theme park rides malfunctioned and injured guests, and even an incident where a bird that was nesting near a dock flew at high speed at the head of a woman who was walking toward a boat. In other words, businesses have a responsibility to ensure that their employees are aware of hazards caused by structures, equipment, surfaces, and animals so that the employees can make the hazard safe or at least warn people of the hazard.
The owners of private residents can also be liable for accidents on their premises, but the standard of safety to which they must adhere is not as high. They do not have to go out of their way to detect hazards, but they must notify guests of known dangers.
Exceptions to the Rule of Premises Liability
Premises liability does not apply if the person was injured while doing something dangerous. For example, if there were signs outside a lake that said “no swimming” and “beware of alligators,” but you jumped the fence and went swimming, anyway; it is unlikely your injury case would be successful. Trespassers have the right to sue for premises liability in some circumstances but not others. Entering a property through unauthorized means is, by nature, dangerous; business owners must prevent dangers to people who use the premises safely, but that does not apply to areas of the property not open to visitors. Conversely, trespassers can sue for premises liability if the property owner intentionally injured them.
Contact an Attorney for Help
A premises liability lawyer can help you if you were injured in a preventable accident at a restaurant, retail store, recreational facility, or other place of business. Our lawyers can analyze your premises liability accident and tell you if you have a case. Contact Douglas & Douglas in Jacksonville, Florida for a free consultation.