Property owners have a legal obligation to protect the people who visit their property. For example, if a landowner notices a hazardous spill, they are expected to direct visitors away from that danger. A property owner who fails to do so or who neglects the integrity of their property opens themselves up to premise liability suits. That said, proving a property owner’s liability is a tricky process. Matters grow complicated when you consider how long hazardous conditions may have impacted the property in question.
If you or a loved one has been injured on another person’s property and believe hazardous conditions are to blame, you have the right to pursue financial compensation for your injuries. Baker Legal Team is a team of premise liability lawyers with experience helping clients who have been injured in accidents involving safety hazards. The length of time that a safety hazard has existed on the premises may affect your premises liability claim.
What is Premise Liability in Florida?
Property owners owe certain individuals on their land a duty of care. This duty requires property owners to implement certain protections to ensure the safety of their visitors. You have to prove that you were owed a duty of care on another person’s property if you want to file a claim after the appearance of hazardous conditions. Part of this process involves proving that a land’s conditions were hazardous for long enough to merit a reasonable response from management.
How Long Does a Safety Hazard Have to Exist to File a Premises Liability Claim?
What is a “reasonable” amount of time for hazardous conditions to exist on a piece of land? The answer varies on a case-by-case basis. The versatility of the term “reasonable” comes to light in cases like Hernandez v. Sam’s East, Inc. In this Miami case, the plaintiff suffered from a slip and fall accident at a local Wal-Mart. After reviewing the plaintiff’s suit, the attending judge determined that the ten minutes between the store’s last inspection and the plaintiff’s accident did not provide the property owners with a reasonable amount of time to react to the spill that allegedly caused the accident. This ruling subsequently sets a precedent for box store liability in cases involving hazardous conditions. It notes that box stores are entitled to some flexibility in premise liability cases due to their size and the nature of employee rounds.
Addressing Time Constraints in a Premise Liability Complaint
You should consider the following when debating whether or not you should file a premises liability claim in Florida:
- How large was the property on which your accident occurred?
- Was the property a box store, a mom-and-pop shop, or something in between?
- How many employees were on duty when your accident occurred?
- What were staff members’ responsibilities at the time of your accident?
- Did the property have any emergency protocols in place?
With these questions in mind, you can theorize as to how time might influence your own premise liability case. Where large box stores may not be expected to respond to hazardous conditions too quickly, smaller shops may have less legal leeway. The conditions in a smaller shop may not have to be hazardous for long to merit a legal response from injured visitors.
Contact a Boca Raton Premises Liability Lawyer
The amount of time a property owner has to react to their land’s hazardous conditions varies based on several unique factors. If you or a loved one has been injured in a Boca Raton premise liability accident, you deserve financial compensation for any losses you may have suffered as a result.
Baker Legal Team has extensive experience helping clients in Florida who have suffered as a result of a negligent property owner. Attorney Robert B. Baker has represented injured parties throughout Florida for over 30 years and is proud to be one of the one percent of Florida board-certified attorneys. Schedule your free case evaluation by calling (561) 320-0000 or filling out our online contact form.