What Is the Difference Between Premises Liability and Slip and Fall?
Bill Allen | March 24, 2023 | Premises Liability
Slip and fall and premises liability are two interrelated types of personal injury claims. In fact, slip and fall claims are one kind of premises liability claim since it is possible to have a premises liability claim that is not a slip and fall claim. It is also possible to pursue a slip and fall claim that is not a premises liability claim.
Premises Liability Claims
The owner or operator of real property (land, buildings, and fixtures) owes a duty of care to guests on the property. The property owner can breach this duty in many different ways. A store employee might mop the floor but fail to erect a “Wet Floor” sign, for example.
The owner owes the highest duty of care to an invitee, which includes a customer of a commercial establishment that is open to the public. If the owner breached their duty of care to you, and if that breach of duty caused you to suffer a personal injury, you likely have a viable personal injury claim against the owner.
Slip and Fall Accidents
Slip and fall liability can hinge on the existence of a premises liability claim (as described above) or on some other kind of personal injury claim. A slip and fall claim might arise, for example, if:
- You slipped and fell on a wet floor in a retail store; or
- You are a construction worker who slipped and fell at work because of an unsafe condition on the construction site.
Liability for slip and fall accidents does not always fall on a negligent property owner. If you slipped and fell at work, for example, you might file a workers’ compensation claim even if the accident wasn’t anybody’s fault. This is because the workers’ compensation system is “no-fault,” meaning you can claim against your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance policy without proving fault.
If you enter someone’s property you might suffer a bite from the owner’s dog.
In Florida, a dog owner is strictly liable for a dog bite. This means that you can win compensation without proving that the dog owner was in any way negligent.
Contrast this with the dog bite laws of states that apply the “one-bite rule.” In one-bite rule states you cannot win compensation unless the dog had previously shown aggressive tendencies – thereby putting the owner on notice that the dog was dangerous.
If you suffered an electrical burn or a similar injury because the property owner left a live wire in a place where it shouldn’t be, you might win compensation.
Suppose you were a customer in a parking garage and you suffered a criminal assault in the parking lot. Even if the criminal got away, you might sue the property owner for failing to provide adequate security to customers. This type of claim would be especially strong if the parking garage was located in a high-crime neighborhood.
Industrial activity on a property might generate toxic chemicals. You might even suffer an injury without entering the owner’s property, by breathing contaminated air.
The Attractive Nuisance Doctrine
A property owner usually owes no positive duty of care to a trespasser. Their only duty is to refrain from deliberately injuring a trespasser. Under the attractive nuisance doctrine, however, a property owner can bear liability to child trespassers if a dangerous condition attracts the child to the property – an outdoor swimming pool, for example.
Schedule a Free Initial Consultation With a Seasoned Personal Injury Lawyer
If you have suffered a slip and fall accident, it might not be obvious who is responsible. Who should you file your claim against? Why are you entitled to compensation? How long will it take to resolve your claim? An experienced personal injury lawyer can answer all of these questions with at least an estimate.
Contact Our Ocala Premises Liability Law Firm in North Central Florida
If you need legal assistance, contact the Ocala premises liability lawyers at Allen Law Firm at your nearest location to schedule a free consultation today.
We have three convenient locations in North Central Florida:
Allen Law Firm, P.A. – Ocala Office
112 S Pine Ave
Ocala, FL 34471
Allen Law Firm, P.A. – Gainesville office
2550 SW 76th St #150
Gainesville, FL 32608
Allen Law Firm, P.A. – Downtown Gainesville
621 W University Ave
Gainesville, FL 32601