Failure to Timely Warn and Clean Spills
In grocery stores, restaurants, and convenience stores, spills are common. Numerous Florida residents suffer injuries each year in slip and fall accidents caused by liquid or debris on the floor of a business. Many falls could have been prevented if the property owner had cleaned up a spill or warned visitors of the potential dangers. Thus, in some instances, a property owner that knew or should have known about a spill can be held accountable for falls caused by the spill. If you were injured in a slip and fall accident caused by a failure to timely warn and clean spills, the Boca Raton slip and fall attorneys at The Grife Law Firm can help you assert your rights.Causes of Spills and Slip and Fall Accidents
A spill can occur anywhere, but some businesses are more prone to them than others. For example, restaurants, especially those with self-serve stations, experience a high volume of spilled beverages and condiments on their floors. Similarly, spills often occur in convenience stores where customers obtain their own beverages. Grocery stores frequently deal with spills, due to dropped produce or food items.
Typically, businesses in which spills are likely to happen have plans to identify and clean up spills before they can cause people to fall. These plans may include regularly inspecting an area, assigning a person to clean regularly, and placing warning signs near known spills if they cannot be mopped up immediately. If a property owner permits a spill to remain on the floor, it is more likely to cause a person to slip and fall. Slip and fall accidents caused by a failure to timely warn and clean spills can cause significant trauma, including fractures, strains and sprains, brain injuries, and spinal cord injuries.Holding a Property Owner Accountable for Injuries Caused by a Fall
People harmed in slip and fall accidents will often pursue damages from the owner of the property where the fall occurred via a premises liability lawsuit. Generally, a plaintiff in a case arising out of a slip and fall accident will allege that the defendant’s negligent acts caused the fall to occur. Proving negligence requires a plaintiff to prove a duty, a departure from the duty, and actual harm that is directly attributable to the departure.
In matters involving slip and fall accidents caused by a failure to timely warn and clean spills, the duty owed will usually be the duty to maintain a property that is free of spills, promptly clean spills, and warn of spills prior to cleaning them. According to Florida Statute 768.0755, a plaintiff who seeks to prove that a defendant business establishment breached this duty must establish that the defendant knew or should have known of the spill and should have taken measures to remedy it.
A plaintiff’s attorney can prove that a defendant should have known of a spill by showing that spills occurred regularly at the defendant’s business and were therefore foreseeable, and that the spill in question existed for such a duration that if the business had exercised reasonable care, it would have learned of the spill. This is typically established via circumstantial evidence, such as eyewitness reports regarding the subject spill, testimony from the business owner and its employees regarding the occurrence of spills and standard procedures for remedying them, and surveillance footage of the area where the fall occurred.Speak to a Seasoned Boca Raton Attorney
Property owners are not expected to ensure the safety of visitors, but they must take reasonable steps to avoid harm, such as cleaning up or warning people of spills. If they do not, they may be deemed liable for any injuries that ensue. At The Grife Law Firm, our premises liability lawyers are well-versed in what it takes to prove liability for harm caused by negligent property owners. We frequently represent people in lawsuits in Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, and West Palm Beach. You can reach us through our form online or at 855-998-0770 to set up a free consultation.