After a slip and fall accident on a sidewalk, you may be wondering whether there is someone that can be held responsible. Property owners in Florida have an obligation to keep their premises reasonably safe for visitors. As a result, they can potentially be held liable if a dangerous condition on their property caused your fall. However, determining who you can sue can be complicated and often depends on where the sidewalk fall occurred.
Who is Liable for a Sidewalk Fall Accident?
Who is liable for a sidewalk fall accident must typically be decided on a case-by-case basis. In some cases, the owner or lessor of the property adjacent to a sidewalk is responsible for maintaining it and keeping it reasonably safe from hazards. Therefore, the adjoining property owner or lessor may be liable when an injury occurs.
That being said, the victim will have to prove the owner or lessor’s negligence caused the unreasonably dangerous condition which led to their fall. In other words, the property owner or lessor knew of or should have known about the hazard that resulted in your fall. Some examples include installing a sidewalk ramp, planting a tree, fixing a hole left by the city after removing a fallen tree, mowing or watering a strip of grass between the street and the sidewalk, overgrown trees or bushes, etc.
Who is Liable for a Sidewalk Fall on Government Property?
Many sidewalks are “public,” and the responsibility to maintain them belongs to the city. When an injury occurs on a public sidewalk, liability may fall on a government entity, whether that be the city, county, or state. Although special protections are typically afforded to government agencies, you can pursue a lawsuit against the state of Florida in these circumstances. The first step in suing a government agency is filing a “notice of claim” regarding the fall with the Florida Department of Financial Services.
Who is Liable for a Sidewalk Fall Outside a Business?
Business owners owe visitors a higher duty of care to keep their premises safe from preventable accidents. If they fail in their duty to regularly inspect and keep their premises free of hazards and any potential dangers, they can be liable for a slip and fall, even if it occurs on the sidewalk.
Who is Liable for a Sidewalk Fall at Work?
If you fall on the sidewalk while on the job, you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. In addition, if a third party contributed to or caused your fall, you may also be able to sue for additional compensation. For example, if you were running an errand for your boss and slipped and fell on a sidewalk outside a grocery store.
Speak to an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer
If you have suffered an injury from a fall on a sidewalk, contact the West Palm Beach premises liability lawyers at LaBovick Law Group. We will help you determine who can be held liable and recover the compensation you deserve.