Were you injured after falling down a flight of stairs at a business, public area, or on someone else’s private property in Florida? If so, you might be entitled to recover compensation for your medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and other losses. But how can you tell whether the fall is purely an accident or if you have a potential legal claim? Here’s what you need to know.
Premises Liability in Florida
Florida property owners are required to take reasonable precautions to ensure their premises are safe for visitors. Failing to inspect, identify, and address known hazards or warn others of the dangers could expose the property owner to liability for any accidents that occur due to their carelessness. Victims could file a premises liability claim against them.
Property owners have differing legal obligations to visitors based on their reasons for being on the property. Under Florida law, visitors are classified as:
- Invitees – Individuals who are invited onto the property for the benefit of the owner. Property owners owe the highest duty of care to invitees.
- Licensees – People who are lawfully on the property but for their benefit, such as a person who enters a convenience store to get change or a door-to-door salesperson. Property owners still have a duty to warn licensees of potential hazards.
- Trespassers – People who are on the property without permission are trespassers. Property owners still have a degree of responsibility for ensuring trespassers aren’t injured on their property unless the trespasser entered the property to commit a felony.
When Can You Sue for Falling Down Stairs?
You could sue a property owner if their failure to protect you or warn you of a hazard led to you falling down a flight of stairs. For instance, if you fell because the owner failed to fix a damaged step or railing ― or to put up a sign warning of a hazard ― you could be eligible to file a claim or lawsuit against the at-fault individual.
Proving a Premises Liability Claim
To prove a premises liability claim, you must show that:
- The property owner had a duty of care to prevent you from being harmed. If you were a lawful visitor to the property, the owner is responsible for taking reasonable steps to ensure your safety.
- The property owner breached that duty through reckless or careless actions. For example, a failure to maintain a broken step or stair railing could be evidence of a breach if that’s what caused you to fall down the stairs.
- The owner’s negligence led directly to your injuries. You will need evidence showing that the property owner knew (or should have known) that the stairs were dangerous.
- You have suffered quantifiable losses as a result of the accident. Losses can be financial (e.g., hospital bills, lost wages, lost earning potential, property damage, etc.) and non-economic (e.g., pain and suffering, lost enjoyment of life, emotional distress, etc.).
How Brooks Law Group Can Help
Filing a premises liability claim in Florida can be stressful. Get Brooks Law Group on your side. Our team of proven personal injury lawyers can push for the results you deserve while you recover from your injuries. Call or contact us today for a free case evaluation.