Is a business responsible for my damages if I slip and fall outside its building?
When a business opens its doors to the public, it takes on a duty of care. It must keep its property in a reasonably safe condition for customers or guests. Failure to do so is negligence. If someone slips and falls outside the building due to negligence, the business might be responsible for that person’s damages, including medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
If you fall inside a business property, determining liability is fairly simple, but if you fall outside, it’s more complicated. To figure out who’s liable, you have to ask some questions:
- Does the business own the property? If so, it has a duty to keep sidewalks, parking lots, and other outdoor areas reasonably safe for customers.
- Does the business rent its space from the property owner? If it does, you have to find out whether the business or the owner is responsible for the upkeep of outside areas.
- Is there a third party responsible for keeping up the outside of the building? A landscaping or snow removal service could be partially responsible for hazards outside the building.
- Are you partially responsible for your own accident? If you were wearing inappropriate footwear or ignored signs of a hazard on the property, the answer could be yes.
Because Florida is a comparative negligence state, any or all of the above parties could be partially liable for your damages. If you’re found partially liable, any award you receive in court will be reduced according to your percentage of fault. The insurance company will try to use your partial fault to reduce its settlement offer to you. This means that figuring out whom to file claims against or sue, and for how much, requires the services of an experienced attorney.
Have You Been Injured in a Slip and Fall Outside a Business?
An experienced premises liability lawyer can help you hold the liable parties responsible. Contact us online, start a chat, or call us at 594-755-7308 to schedule a free consultation. You pay no attorney fees until we win your case.