Orlando Slip & Fall Attorney
Each year, serious slip-and-fall injuries send about eight million Americans to hospital emergency rooms. Older people and younger children are especially vulnerable to fall injuries. Generally, landowners have a duty to keep their property safe. If a fall occurs, the landowner is usually liable for damages. Because of the serious nature of these injuries, this compensation may be substantial.
At HD Law Partners, our Orlando slip & fall attorneys work hard to obtain the compensation our clients deserve. We collect evidence that supports their claims. In many cases, we find vital evidence that other investigators may have overlooked. Then, we continue working hard until the case is successfully resolved. Since we routinely handle slip-and-fall cases all around Orange County, we are familiar with all the local procedural rules, even the ones that are unwritten. So, you can trust us to deliver positive results.
Legal Responsibility in Orlando Slip and Fall Cases
To determine duty, Florida uses a variation of the common-law classification system that’s been in use for generations. This system divides victims into:
- Licensees, and
Most fall victims in Orlando are invitees. They come to a commercial building, private residence, or other such place after they receive the owner’s express invitation (“come over next Thursday”) or implied invitation (an “Open for Business” sign). Furthermore, their presence benefits the landowner in some way. That could be a financial or a non-financial benefit.
If the victim was an invitee, the owner has a duty to keep the location reasonably safe. The owner also has a duty to inspect the premises for safety.
Furthermore, if the victims were invitees, owners also have a duty to prevent certain third-party crimes. Such crimes include things like armed robberies, bar fights, and muggings. Liability attaches if the crime was foreseeable, based on things like prior similar incidents in that same area.
Other fall victims are licensees. These individuals have implied permission to be on the land, but their presence does not benefit the owner. A guest of a hotel guest is a licensee. In these cases, the landowner’s duty only extends to warning of latent (hidden) defects. That could be an uneven walkway or a burned-out security light.
Trespassers do not benefit the landowner and do not have permission to be on the land. Unless an exception applies, landowners usually have no duty to trespassers. Some common exceptions include the frequent trespasser doctrine, which Florida lawmakers have restricted, and the attractive nuisance rule.
Establishing Knowledge in Orlando Slip and Fall Cases
Owners are only liable for property defects that they know about. That knowledge can be actual or constructive (should have known).
Sometimes, there is direct evidence of actual knowledge. Evidence like this includes “cleanup on aisle two” announcements and bathroom inspection reports. If an owner’s employee knew about the hazard, the law imputes that knowledge to the owner.
Typically, the victim must use circumstantial evidence of constructive knowledge. As in most other jurisdictions, Orange County courts use the time-notice rule to determine constructive knowledge. This doctrine is like considering a banana peel on the floor. If the peel is yellow, it probably just fell on the floor, so there is no liability. But if the peel is black and flat, it has probably been on the floor for a while, so liability attaches.
Contact Aggressive Orlando Slip & Fall Attorneys Today
Landowners are usually legally responsible for slip and fall injuries. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney in Orlando, contact HD Law Partners. We have offices in Tampa, Orlando, Sarasota, Bradenton, and Fort Myers.