Slip and Fall Accidents: FAQ
Answers to Frequently Asked Questions
Here at Klemick and Gampel, we believe that knowledge is power. During our years of experience practicing personal injury law, we have answered thousands of questions about accidents and injury claims. We have provided some of the common questions about slip and fall accidents below, and have taken the time to answer these questions for your benefit. Don’t hesitate to call our team for additional information about your rights and if you have a case.
Q: Can I sue a landowner if I fall on a broken sidewalk?
A: The answer is yes if you are an invitee onto the property (tenant, guest of tenant, shopper in store, or person walking on public sidewalk). A landowner must maintain their property in a reasonably safe condition and provide warnings of any hidden dangers.
Q: If I slip/trip and fall on a broken sidewalk can I recover damages?
A: In Florida, a landowner owes a duty to people lawfully on their property to maintain their property in a reasonably safe condition and to give the people warning of any concealed dangers known to the owner or which should be known to the owner. These concealed dangers must be unknown to the invitee and cannot be discovered by him through the exercise of due care.
A very recent case handed down by the Court illustrates the rules of law and duties owned by a landowner. In the case Fieldhouse v. Tam Investments, a tenant was injured when she tripped over a broken sidewalk caused by roots. The tenant knew that the sidewalk was broken and had, in fact, given notice to the landowner. On the day that the tenant fell, the broken portion of the sidewalk was hidden by leaves. The tenant sued her landlord for failing to remove the exposed root or warn her of the dangerous condition of the premises. Ultimately, the Court held that the landowner did not have to give the tenant a warning of the fact that the sidewalk was broken, but they did have to maintain the sidewalk in a safe condition. The ruling stated that liability did not exist because the common area was not used for a special purpose and the root was open and obvious.