If you have been in an accident and have incurred medical expenses or lost income as a result, there may be a chance you have a claim for damages. The law varies with regard to this, and in Florida there are provisions that say an accident has to be “foreseeable” for the property owner to be liable, but the fact is that “foreseeable” means different things depending on the kind of business you had the accident in, the nature of the accident, and that business’s record of attempting to deal with the issue.
What does the actual law say?
- Florida statute 768.0755 says that property owners should be held responsible for an accident being foreseeable if:
- The problem has persisted for long enough that the business should have been aware of it during the course of regular business
The condition occurred with enough regularity to be foreseeable
This means events that occur regularly in certain establishments should be things the owners of those establishments take measures to warn you about and to prevent you from being affected by. For example, a wet floor that is wet from mopping is something caused by the establishment directly, which means there needs to be signage that warns guests. The same would be true if there was a freezer that regularly leaked and was not repaired, but it might not be true if it leaked for the first time the day of the accident. It would depend on a variety of factors.
Obtaining legal advice
The “foreseeable” part of the law is not the only part that might seem a confusing or more than a little unfamiliar to you. There are also provisions about the duties that people who operate different businesses have to their guests and customers, and those can sometimes affect the points discussed above. All told, the best way to know whether you have a claim for damages is to schedule a consultation and talk to a lawyer.
An experienced attorney with practice in this area of the law will be able to review the facts of your situation with you, which will give you a better idea of how to move forward. There are also certain kinds of accidents that are regularly covered by business insurance, which might make collecting damages easier under certain circumstances. The only way to know is to seek out legal advice specific to the facts of your case and learn about your legal options.