Understanding How “Duty Of Care” Applies To Slip And Fall Accidents

We’ve all had a slip and fall in our lives. Sometimes we’re just clumsy. Other times, we weren’t watching where we were going. However, sometimes we have a slip and fall accident as the result of someone’s else’s negligence. In these cases, under Florida law we have the right to pursue financial compensation for any of the damages we’ve incurred like medical bills, lost wages, and trauma. In order to prove a slip and fall case, you have to prove liability which requires proving a “duty of care.”

What Is A “Duty Of Care”?

Duty of care is a legal term that falls under Tort Laws in the state of Florida. Essentially, it is the legal obligation of a person to provide a reasonable standard of care to prevent harm or injury to others. For example, if you own a grocery store, you have a duty of care to ensure that all your customers are provided a safe place to shop. If you neglect your duty of care and someone gets hurt, then you would be held liable for the damages. In the case of slip and falls, the duty of care includes everything from mopping up spills to ensuring that the pavement in front of your entry is free of cracks to posting signage when there is a known hazard that hasn’t been remedied.

How Does Duty Of Care Factor Into Liability

In order to determine liability, you have to first determine if someone had a duty of care. If you are a customer and slip and fall at a retail store, the owner of the store would hold a duty of care. However, if you broke into a retail store and had a slip and fall, the owner did not have a duty of care because you were not an invited guest. Next, you will have to prove that they were negligent in their duty of care. For example, if the slip and fall at the retail store was because there was no warning sign about a spill that hasn’t been cleaned up, then they were negligent in their duty of care.

However, if you had a slip and fall because you ignored posted signage about the presence of a spill, they may not be negligent in their duty of care.

Why Proving Liability And Negligence Is Important

In any personal injury case, you have to prove both a person was liable for the accident and they were negligent in their duty of care. Proving negligence is a little more challenging than proving who is liable. This is where duty of care really matters. You will have to prove that the person liable was negligent in their duty of care, meaning they did not take the reasonable steps necessary to prevent your injuries. In the case of a spill that caused a slip and fall, not immediately cleaning up the spill or at the least, putting up signage warning about the spill, could be considered negligence in their duty of care.

The duty of care is one of the key legal concepts that are required for proving liability and negligence in a slip and fall case. This can be very legally complex, but if you work with a knowledgeable attorney like Michael Babboni and his team, they can collect all the evidence you need to prove the negligence in the duty of care. If you’ve had a slip and fall accident and have sustained injuries, give us a call at 1-727-381-9200. We’ll review your case for free and answer any questions about how we can help your case.