While many people might have heard about someone slipping and falling on commercial property and suing the owner, they might not have a full understanding of the law that governs these types of actions. Known as premises liability, this legal claim arises out of negligence law, a type of civil claim. In order for a property owner to be responsible for injuries that someone sustains on their property, the plaintiff must show that the injuries were the result of the owner’s negligence.
Proving negligence can be difficult, but under certain circumstances, if an owner has violated clear building codes and regulations, this can provide solid evidence to substantiate a claim for negligence under premises liability.
Florida has a litany of building codes and regulations designed to keep occupants safe. These codes can range from everything stair height to the use of handrails. For instance, Florida law requires that certain types of stairs have handrails installed and, if they don’t, the owner can be on the hook for any injuries sustained as a result of the lack of handrails. It is not enough for a person to injure him or herself on stairs without the appropriate handrails; the injury must be due to the lack of handrails for the plaintiff to successfully bring his or her cause of action.
When most buildings are constructed, their contractors are familiar with local codes and follow them closely. Upon completion of the building, the structure must be inspected to make sure it meets codes before it can be occupied. However, these codes are updated regularly, and often times, older buildings are not renovated to stay current with appropriate safety codes. In these cases, the failure to observe building code can reflect a degree of negligence on the part of the owner and may help substantiate a claim for negligence.
If you believe you have been injured due to a building owner’s failure to following building codes, contact the Florida personal injury attorneys at Shapiro, Goldman, Babboni & Walsh right away.