Can Property Owners be Liable for Weather-Related Slips and Falls?
When most people consider slip and fall claims, they picture a shopper in a grocery store slipping and falling in a puddle of milk. Or, they may picture an individual in a shopping center who trips over merchandise that has fallen into an aisle. However, did you know that property owners may also be liable for slips and falls that are primarily caused by the weather? Miami personal injury attorneys help these individuals recover for their injuries.
For example, consider a clothing store that has linoleum or tile flooring. On a summer afternoon, the sky turns dark and a thunderstorm rolls in. A period of heavy rain lasts for about thirty minutes. After the storm clears, shoppers begin trickling into the store. They carry umbrellas that are dripping wet, and their rain jackets and shoes also spread water on the floor. Employees do not mop the wet floor for an hour, and a man enters the store, slips, falls and breaks his hip. The store is can be legally responsible liable for the man’s injuries if it can be proven that the employees waited an excessive amount of time to mop up the water, or failed to warn of the hazard. If store employees had only waited a short period of time to correct the condition the claim could be more difficult to bring. That is unless, it can be proven that condition was one that happened with regularity that the store was on notice and should have entertained more corrective measures. In other words, the store and or employees did not act in a reasonable manner to remove safeguard the premises from a known hazard.
As another illustration, consider what may happen if the weather is especially windy. Stores often have merchandise on display on the sidewalk just outside of their entrances. On windy days, this merchandise may topple over. If employees do not pick this merchandise up out of the sidewalk and any other walkways in a reasonable period of time, the store owner may be liable if an individual trips and falls. A slip and fall lawyer in Miami will carefully examine the claim and determine if and how a property owner is liable for a victim’s injuries.
Although ice and snow are very rare in Florida, especially in south Florida, property owners may be liable if they do not take actions to prevent precipitation that accumulates around high traffic areas such as a stores entrance. In many situations, the store owner may be liable if an individual slips and falls on the sidewalk outside of the store due to a slippery surface. Store owners have a duty to keep their premises safe and free from hazards and walkways safe and this often applies to common areas on their premises such as walkways, isles and other high traffic areas.
Were you injured on someone else’s property?
If you were injured while you were lawfully visiting someone else’s property, you need a personal injury attorney experienced in premises liability claims. At Gerson & Schwartz, our attorneys are skilled in a variety of premises liability claims, including both those against individual homeowners as well as national shopping centers. To schedule a free consultation to discuss your claim, call 877-475-2905 or visit our website at www.injuryattorneyfla.com.