What happens if someone slips on a broken or cracked sidewalk outside your business or home? And what if that person breaks a leg or injures an ankle?
According to Florida law, the person who falls on a sidewalk outside your business can sue you for medical damages. And that can cost you plenty of money. It’s also why you might need to hire an Orlando personal injury attorney if you do face a slip-and-fall lawsuit stemming from a damaged sidewalk.
Florida law — which we specialize in at Payer Law Group — states that a property owner owes two duties to the people on their properties. First, they must take reasonable care in maintaining their properties in a reasonably safe condition. Secondly, they have the duty to warn of dangers that are known to them but are hidden from others.
Say someone trips on a sidewalk on your property that is cracked and uneven. The person who fell would be within his or her legal rights to sue you for the damages. That’s because you did not complete the first duty under state laws, the duty to maintain your property — your sidewalk in this case — in good, safe condition.
If someone does fall on your cracked sidewalk, then, it might be a wise move to hire an Orlando personal injury attorney to protect you financially.
Say there is damage that is hidden from view. Perhaps your sidewalk is sinking, a condition that is not visible to the naked eye. But when someone steps on it, and the concrete gives way, that person falls and breaks a leg. Again, you might face legal action.
In this case, you failed to uphold your second legal responsibility: You didn’t warn passersby of a potential danger that they couldn’t reasonably be expected to notice. Perhaps a traffic cone or a roped-off area would have alerted the passerby to this danger, and would have shielded you from future legal action.
But if you did nothing to point out the danger? Once again, you might need to hire an Orlando personal injury attorney — like the ones working at Payer Law Group — to represent you.
You might think that these kind of slip-and-fall lawsuits are rare in Orlando. You might think that the odds are against one ever being filed against you. But think again. Sidewalk falls are surprisingly common, in Orlando and across the country. There’s no guarantee that you won’t ever face legal action because of one.
Running a business — or even maintaining a household — requires plenty of work. You don’t need the fear of a lawsuit to add to your stress. A single legal action could cost you enough dollars to put your home or your small business in jeopardy.
Make sure, then, that if you notice that the sidewalks outside your home or business are buckling or cracking, you take action quickly. Hire a general contractor to fix the problem, removing the potential hazard. And until the problem is fixed, rope off the dangerous area or find some other way to warn passersby of the potential danger. Doing this will pay off in the long run.