Tampa Retail Store Premises Liability Lawyer
When you enter a store to shop, you are legally considered an “invited guest” of the property owner. This means that the ownership and management of the store accept a duty to keep the property in reasonably safe condition so that you are not injured by certain hazards, such as loose pieces of carpet or an item falling from a display. If you are injured by such hazards, you then have the right to sue the owner and seek financial damages as compensation for your accident-related losses.
The rules governing such lawsuits are actually quite a bit more complicated than you may realize. That is why you should always work with an experienced Tampa retail store premises liability lawyer. Florin Gray is a team of dedicated Florida personal injury attorneys who represent clients looking to get back on their feet after a trip and fall or similar accident while shopping at the store. We can advise you of your rights under the law and help ensure that you are treated fairly by the insurance companies and the legal system.
When Is a Florida Retailer Responsible for a Customer’s Injuries?
Premises liability is the legal term used to describe a property owner’s responsibility for injuries that occur to others on their land. Premises liability does not mean that owners are liable for every accident that occurs. Rather, it establishes the legal relationship between the owner and various persons who may be present on the property at a given time.
Basically, if a store owner invites members of the public onto the premises during regular business hours, these people are considered invitees. Florida law imposes the highest duty of care on property owners with respect to invitees. This duty includes taking proactive steps to identify and remedy potential safety hazards in areas accessible to the public. It also means warning customers of potential problems, such as posting a “WET FLOOR” sign near a puddle of water on the floor.
Indeed, an owner cannot automatically escape a premises liability claim by arguing they did not know about the hazard. Even if that was the case, a retail store owner must conduct regular inspections of any aisles, entrances, or public areas to ensure there are no problems. The owner must also take prompt action to remedy any known safety issues, such as a broken handrail on a staircase or torn carpeting.
At the same time, a retail store owner (or their insurance company) may try to shift blame for an accident onto the customer. A common defense argument in premises liability cases is that a hazard was “open and obvious” and the victim simply did not pay attention to where they were walking. Even if a jury ultimately believes a store patron was only partly at-fault, that can affect that patron’s ability to recover any compensation for their injuries.
Injured at the Store Today? Contact Florin Gray
Retail store accidents can lead to some serious injuries. These victims have a right to demand compensation for their medical bills and other losses if the ownership and management of the store were at-fault for what happened. If you need to speak with a qualified Tampa retail store premises liability lawyer, contact Florin Gray today to schedule a free consultation.