What To Know About a Slip and Fall Case
In a slip and fall case, one of the first questions attorneys ask is whether or not the liable party had or owed the injured party a duty. A legal duty is specific in that it imposes an obligation on people to act in a reasonably prudent manner. I know that this on its own is confusing to most people, so in order to simplify the term I like to ask the question “what would a reasonable person do in my position?” If there’s a dangerous condition on my property should I conceal it? Or should I mark it off with something warning people so they are not injured by it? What would I like for others to do to ensure I don’t get hurt? I’m sure with a little thought most of us could and would do what was necessary to protect people who come into our homes.
Businesses owe people who shop in their places of business a duty as well. The people that are invited shop in these businesses are called business invitees. In Florida business owners owe invitees the duty to keep their premises safe by removing foreign substances or objects that might cause a slip/trip and falls. Recently the law has changed so that if there is a wet surface on the floor of the business the plaintiff has the burden to prove that the business knew or should have known of the condition and that it should have fixed it. When we say that someone “should have known” we speak of what is called “constructive knowledge”, and in order to show constructive knowledge we must find circumstantial evidence to show that the dangerous condition existed for such a period of time that had the defendant exercised due care it would have known of the dangerous condition or that the condition occurs with enough regularity to impose knowledge upon the business.
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