Daytona Beachm FL — (WiredPRNews.com) — It is the well-settled law in Florida that a plaintiff will be barred from recovery if he/she sustains an injury on a commercial enterprise’s property when the injury-causing condition is classified as “open and obvious.” However, when a plaintiff sustains an injury caused by a hidden, concealed or other inherently dangerous condition on a business owner’s property, the plaintiff will generally be entitled to an award. The debate over whether the injury-causing condition serves to establish liability is often the primary battleground in slip-and-fall and trip-and-fall cases.
Florida courts have applied the “obvious danger doctrine” to a myriad of factual situations in which the condition which caused the injury was simply so open, obvious, common, and ordinarily innocuous that it did not constitute a hidden, dangerous condition as a matter of law. In accordance with the aforementioned principles, Florida courts have held that ordinary sidewalk curbs, uneven floor levels and uneven parking lot surfaces do not fall under the categorization of latent, concealed, or inherently dangerous conditions.
Although, these principles and labels are not so rigid that they are free from all exception or are totally independent of the particular facts and circumstances of each individual case. To the contrary, our state’s judges have recognized that facts and circumstances may exist which make such conditions inherently dangerous, therefore giving rise to liability. For example, while a mere difference in floor levels or ground surface conditions does not of itself constitute negligence, accompanying circumstances such as inadequate lighting, surface area depressions in the immediate vicinity, and insufficient storm drainage may serve to transform a normally non-negligent condition into a negligent one. Moreover, some laypersons believe that curbs and driveways are dangerous conditions where the color of the roadway or street blends into the edge of the curb or driveway. While this may make the condition not quite as obvious as a comparable situation where yellow paint, for example, draws attention to the curb or drop-off, blending alone does not make the condition inherently dangerous.
Furthermore, where the landowner has been notified of the likelihood or propensity of a condition on his/her property to cause injury, a plaintiff stands in a much better position to make a recovery. Such notice not only shows knowledge on the part of the landowner that his/her property is in need of repair, it also serves as evidence of further negligence by choosing to ignore prior complaints and failing to take any affirmative steps to remedy the danger.
It is critical that the general public know that they have the duty to use ordinary care for their own safety and to observe where they are going when in a business establishment. The plaintiff is charged with taking minimal precautions to guard against harm that may result from obvious hazards. That being said, though, the plaintiff is oftentimes entitled to an award under Florida law even when he/she is comparatively negligent in bringing about his/her harm.
Slip-and-fall or trip-and-fall cases often involve questions of liability, landowner duties, and comparative negligence that require dedicated and knowledgeable lawyers to sort out. At Daytona Beach & Orlando Slip and Fall Attorneys Rue & Ziffra, your case will receive the commitment necessary to optimize your claim and deliver the compensation you and your family deserve. Contact our Florida trip-and-fall accident lawyers if you have sustained an injury while on the property of another so that our legal team can work for you.The Rue & Ziffra Law Offices: 1-888-246-8613
The Rue & Ziffra Website: www.RueZiffra.com