Does a Business Owner Need To Be On Notice Of A Dangerous Condition?

Does a Business Owner Need To Be On Notice Of A Dangerous Condition?

Does a Business Owner Need To Be On Notice Of A Dangerous Condition?

If you have injured yourself on the premises of another person or on a business’s property, you may be able to make a premises liability claim for your injuries and other losses. To successfully bring a slip/trip and fall claim, you must establish that the property owner, owed you a duty to exercise due care and that the owner breached this duty. You also must prove that the breach of the legal duty was the proximate cause of your injuries. The occurrence of an injury does not make the property owner liable.  Bringing the claim forward properly is a key component of a successful premise liability claim. 

The Notice Requirement of Premises Liability Cases

Not everyone is aware that a property owner must know or have reason to know of a dangerous condition on the property before being liable for injuries caused by the dangerous condition. This is what is referred to as the “notice requirement” in a premises liability claim. The property owner must have notice of the existence of a dangerous condition. 

Property owners have an affirmative duty to exercise reasonable and ordinary care to protect the safety of people expected to be on the property. This includes protecting against risks associated with dangerous conditions and actions that the owner must do like inspecting the premises regularly or other affirmative steps to be aware of property conditions. However, you must still prove that the owner knew or should have known that a dangerous condition existed.

If you are bringing the claim, you have the burden of proving that the owner had either actual or constructive notice of the dangerous condition and breached their duty to provide ordinary care. Knowledge of the dangerous condition may have been actual or implied. Actual knowledge refers to when a property owner is aware of the condition because they saw the condition, or a third party told them of the condition prior to the accident. Constructive knowledge relies on the fact that the owner should have known of the dangerous condition because it was obvious or the dangerous condition had been around for a period of time where the owner had ample opportunity, considering a property owner’s affirmative duty to inspect the property for hazards, to see the dangerous condition and also to remedy the situation.  As you would expect, this burden is complicated and driven by ever-changing caselaw. Your approach needs to be up to date with applicable caselaw and compliant with Florida statute.

Premises Liability Attorneys

Proving all necessary elements of a premises liability case as well as fulfilling the notice requirement can be an uphill battle. At Quattrochi, Torres and Taormina, our attorneys are well versed in the area of premises liability claims and know what it takes to be successful. We are here to fight for you and your right to compensation for your injuries.