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Who is responsible for maintaining sidewalks outside a business?

People in Florida enter into businesses every day. People need to buy groceries, clothes, household goods and many other products. They also like to enter into businesses for entertainment purposes or go to restaurants and bars to eat and drink. Once inside these businesses, it is clear that the business owner would be responsible for keeping the premises free of dangerous conditions.

If it did not comply with this duty, the business could be liable for any slip-and-fall accidents. However, it is not as clear who is responsible for keeping the sidewalks next to their buildings free of dangerous conditions.

In Fort Lauderdale, it is the responsibility of the business owner to maintain safe conditions on the sidewalks near the business. The city ordinance states that it is the duty of the business owner to maintain the sidewalks "in front of or abutting" the property. The business owner must keep the sidewalk in a condition that allows pedestrians to use it safely and conveniently. If the business fails to do so, it is violating a municipal code provision.

In addition, the business also may be responsible for any accidents that occur due to the unsafe condition. Injuries resulting from these accidents can be severe and may change a person's life for a period of time or permanently. It may also cost the victim a lot of money in medical bills and lost wages. The business owner could be responsible for compensating the victim due to any negligence in failing to maintain the sidewalk properly.

In Fort Lauderdale, business owners are responsible for maintaining their own property and any sidewalks on or next to their property. Failure to do so may result in them being ordered to compensate the victim of an accident for injuries suffered as a result of the accident. Experienced attorneys understand the problems associated with slip-and-fall type accidents and may be able to protect one's rights.

Source:, "Fort Lauderdale, Florida - Code of Ordinances Sec. 25-56" accessed June 1, 2015

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