Staying Safe As Florida Reopens
As Florida begins to navigate phase one of reopening, there is one thing certain – people are eager to return to the routines of daily life prior to Covid-19. Since we are focused on preventing the spread of the virus, our attention may be diverted away from dangerous conditions that are unrelated to the pandemic. These dangerous conditions existed prior to Covid-19 and will continue to exist as Florida reopens its doors. If you are injured due to any of the following, make sure to report any dangerous conditions to an employee/owner and document evidence of the dangerous condition and your injuries.
#1 – DANGEROUS CONDITIONS AT STORES
Store owners have a duty to protect its business invitees from dangerous conditions. A business invitee is a person who is invited to enter the store with the purpose connected to the store’s business. Examples of business invitees are people entering a grocery store to buy groceries or a department store to buy clothes. Store owners must keep their stores in a reasonably safe condition and either repair or provide notice of any known dangers. These dangerous conditions can consist of slippery substances on the floors or improperly stacked merchandise on shelves.
#2 – BROKEN/UNEVEN SIDEWALKS
As a runner, I become increasingly frustrated when I suddenly trip on a broken or uneven sidewalk. Typically, most people become embarrassed and their first response is to get up and move on from the fall. However, these falls may result in serious injuries. Depending on the location of the sidewalk will determine who is responsible for maintaining it. If the sidewalk is open to the public, such as a sidewalk along a public road or in front of a business, it will be important to determine if a business or sovereign entity, such as a city or county, is responsible. If the sidewalk is in a neighborhood, the responsibility may fall on the homeowners’ association or the homeowner.
#3 – GYMS
Due to the shutdown, gym owners may not have kept up with appropriate maintenance procedures. Most gyms require a member to sign a waiver upon joining which will limit the gym’s liability should a member become injured on the premises. However, these waivers do not provide gyms an escape from all liability. Gym owners are still responsible for maintaining their premises in a reasonably safe condition. Any dangerous condition that a gym owner knows about, or should reasonably know about, such as a defective exercise machine or improperly maintained floors, can result in the gym owner being held liable for injuries to its members.
If you or a loved one is injured through the negligence of another, please contact the West Palm Beach personal injury attorneys at Lesser Lesser Landy & Smith at 561-655-2028 to see if we can help.
This blog was written by attorney Ashley Eagle.