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How contributory negligence affects a premises liability lawsuit

Every day businesses in Florida open their doors and welcome in customers. This daily ritual is part of what keeps the business operating. However, it also comes with responsibility. In welcoming customers inside, owners must keep the property free of dangerous conditions. Unfortunately, this does not always happen and accidents may occur, often resulting in injuries to customers.

When a person is injured in a slip-and-fall accident, the injuries can create numerous problems for the victim. They may incur significant medical bills and may lose wages if they are not able to work as they recover. The injured party may be entitled to compensation, though, if they can show that the property owner was negligent and at fault.

In some cases, though, the victim may be blamed for contributing to an accident. The property owner may have been negligent, but a resulting accident can also raise the question of whether the victim could have potentially avoided the accident. Other times, someone other than the property owner may have been at fault even though the accident happened on their property.

In Florida, the law takes into account that the victim or third parties may also have some blame for the accident. In these cases, the award that the victim could receive, based on the injuries and economic loss, could be diminished based on their percentage of fault for the accident. The property owner may also be able to show a different person or entity also contributed to the dangerous property condition or accident and therefore that third party may be liable for a portion of the damages, depending on their percentage of fault for the accident.

Unfortunately, many Floridians suffer injuries in slip-and-fall cases every year. While they may be entitled to compensation, the award could be diminished if they also contributed to the accident occurring. Also, property owners may be able to deflect some of the blame to a third party. Experienced personal injury attorneys understand these principles and can assist injured parties in obtaining the compensation to which they are entitled.

Source: Florida Legislature, "Florida Statute 768.81," accessed March 24, 2015

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