Posted on February 22, 2019 in General
Slip and falls are some of the most common personal injury accidents in Florida. Wet, oily, or greasy floors can cause broken bones, muscle sprains, and head injuries. If you slipped and fell at a hotel, you may have a liability case against the establishment’s owners. Hotels owe their guests the highest standards of care in terms of safety. Failure to reasonably prevent a slip and fall, resulting in guest injuries, is negligence.
Florida Premises Liability Laws
According to Florida state laws, premises liability refers to a landowner’s legal responsibility to maintain a safe premises. All property owners have a duty to uphold accepted health and safety standards in terms of property control, care, and maintenance. What these duties involve depends on the type of visitor. A hotel guest is an invitee, or someone the hotel owner invites onto the property for business purposes. Property owners owe the highest duty of care to invitees.
- Duty to repair known hazards: If the property has known dangers, such as obvious damage to a staircase railing, the owner must make repairs within a reasonable amount of time.
- Duty to inspect the hotel for unknown hazards: The owner must make regular hotel or resort inspections to check for hidden or unknown safety risks. If the owner finds any, he or she must make repairs or warn the public.
- Duty to warn of potential hazards: Hotels have a duty to post warning signs and use other measures to adequately warn guests and visitors of potential existing hazards on the property. An example is posting a “Caution: Wet Floor” sign.
The precise duties a hotel owner owes guests depends on the situation. A court will examine what a reasonable and prudent property owner would have done in similar circumstances, and compare this to what the hotel owner did in the event in question. If the owner should have done something to prevent the slip and fall, he or she may be liable for a guest’s damages. A Fort Lauderdale slip and fall accident lawyer, can help you answer questions that are not clear.
Common Causes of Slip and Falls
A hotel stay in Florida should not end with a trip to the emergency room. Unfortunately, negligent and careless property owners and hotel employees can cause preventable personal injuries to guests. Slip and fall accidents send around one million people to emergency rooms in the U.S. every year. Many different hazards can cause a harmful slip and fall, but some are more common than others in Florida hotels.
- Plumbing leaks
- Rain or ice
- Spilled drinks
- Food debris
- Freshly waxed floors
- Unsafe pool or spa areas
It is the hotel’s responsibility to maintain a safe premises. While this does not necessarily mean preventing all accidents, it does mean taking appropriate steps to keep guests reasonably safe from harm. Failure to do so could lead to hotel liability for guests’ damages under Florida’s premises liability laws.
How to Prove Hotel Liability for a Slip and Fall
If you believe a Florida hotel or resort should be liable for your slip and fall accident, contact an attorney. Florida Statutes Section 768.0755 states the injured victim and his or her attorney must prove the hotel or other business establishment knew or should have known of the dangerous condition, and should have remedied it. You and your lawyer will need to prove four main elements to have a successful claim to damages from the hotel.
- Duty of care to you as an invitee at the hotel.
- Breach of duty of care, through a failure to remedy a property defect.
- The hotel caused your injury by failing to fix the condition.
- Damages, in the form of personal injuries, property damage, or medical bills.
Hotels typically have lawyers and resources to help them combat personal injury claims in Florida. Hiring a lawyer improves your odds of winning your case and securing a settlement or verdict for your hotel slip and fall accident.