A Business’s Liability for a Slip and Fall May Extend to Areas Outside Its Property Line

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Premises liability attorneys

Did you know that businesses can actually be liable for injuries that occur off of their actual property?  In fact, in addition to keeping their actual property safe for customers, businesses in certain circumstances have a responsibility to keep an adjoining property safe as well.  Not convinced?  Read on.  

In our previous article, we discussed that customers are considered invitees and, as such, are owed a high standard of care by the businesses they visit.  We also discussed how the responsibility to prove what the business knew or should have known has shifted to the customer.  

Given how the law now favors businesses in Florida, it is interesting to note that business owners can be responsible for injuries that happen in places like the sidewalks and curbs in front of their business location.  If you have fallen in or around a business and were injured, then you may want to call a premises liability attorney in Stuart, FL to see if you can be compensated for your injuries.

In this article, we will go into how a business could be liable for a fall that is just outside its property.  If, after reading this article, you have additional questions about your own situation, then we welcome you to contact the premises liability attorneys in Stuart, FL at Crary Buchanan.  At Crary Buchanan, we are proud of our standard of excellence, which has allowed us to thrive as one of the oldest law firms on Florida’s Treasure Coast.  

Our premises liability attorneys in Stuart, FL are passionate about giving you the highest quality representation.  Call us today at 772-287-2600, or schedule a free estate consult online with our online contact form.

1. How Far Does Business Liability Spread Beyond the Front Doors?

The business property does not only include the inside of the store.  It encompasses the outside as well.  How much of the outside area is the business’s responsibility depends on multiple factors and will be specific to each business location.  If you are injured from a slip and fall outside of a business, then you should contact a premises liability attorney in Stuart, FL to determine if the business had a duty to keep that area safe.  

Businesses are typically required by law to make sure that the common areas outside of their business location are safe.  The level of proof that the customer needs to show fault is the same as if someone fell inside.  They need to prove that the business failed to exercise reasonable care in maintaining its premises and that the business knew or should have known of the dangerous condition. 

2. What Outside Premises are Included?

Walkways, sidewalks, and curbs are locations where people tend to slip or trip and fall.  When entering and leaving a business, customers often have to leave the property and traverse a sidewalk or a curb area to get to parking or a bus stop.  Florida courts have held that business owners are responsible for those locations and some injuries resulting from falls on cracked sidewalks, for example.

Other places that fall under the purview of the business include parking lots, shrubbery and landscaping, as well as fountains and pools.   

As you would expect, there are factual issues and legal hurdles to proving fault in court.  For example, if something is considered an open and obvious danger then it is not the responsibility of the business owner.  Determining if something is open or obvious, or something the business owner should be responsible for and had a duty to exercise reasonable care in maintaining, can be tricky.  There is case law that will help the courts determine which side of the equation an issue with a curb, sidewalk, or other location will fall. But don’t just shrug it off if you are injured outside a business because you tripped on a cracked sidewalk.  Contact a premises liability attorney in Stuart, FL to discuss the facts of your case.

3. Prove a Slip and Fall Case Outside the Business with the Help of Premises liability attorneys in Stuart, FL

At Crary Buchanan, we are committed to providing clients with exceptional service in every aspect of premises liability and personal injury law.  You can depend upon our 85 years of experience in the Florida legal industry. 

Our legal team is passionate about maintaining the high standards of professionalism and legal service that were established and practiced by founding attorneys Evans Crary Sr. and Evans Crary Jr.  Evans Crary Sr. began his law practice in Stuart in 1927 at a time when Martin County was only two years old.  He became a municipal judge at the age of 25 and served as County Attorney for 23 years. 

During his time as County Attorney, he was elected to represent Martin County in the Florida Legislature.  In 1945 he was elected to the Florida House of Representatives. He served in the House for nine years and even served as Speaker of the House before he went on to become a member of the Florida Senate.  Today, the Crary Buchanan law firm continues to practice the example of integrity, professionalism, energy, and devotion that was clearly illustrated in the lives of both Evans Crary Sr. and Evans Crary Jr.

Our clients are more than case numbers; they are people. We recognize that you are an individual with unique needs and expectations. Our team is here to meet your needs and exceed your expectations.  When you work with us, you can have confidence that a caring legal advocate is on your side.

If you have more questions or want a dedicated premises liability and personal injury attorney in Stuart to help you, call 772-287-2600 or schedule a free consult online with our online contact form. You can always depend on Crary Buchanan for community, experience, and trust.  Call today.  

The information in this blog post is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice.  You should not make a decision whether or not to contact an attorney based upon the information in this blog post.  No attorney-client relationship is formed nor should any such relationship be implied.  If you require legal advice, please consult with an attorney licensed to practice in your jurisdiction.