Accidents can happen anywhere, and slip and fall cases are among the most common types of personal injury cases in Florida, including Deerfield Beach. Understanding the legal framework surrounding these cases is crucial. In this article, we explore premises liability, the responsibilities of property owners, and the steps you should take if you’ve experienced a slip and fall incident.

Understanding Premises Liability

Premises liability refers to the legal concept where a property owner is responsible for injuries sustained by individuals on their property due to unsafe conditions.

Types of Visitors

Florida law classifies visitors into three categories:

  • Invitees: People invited onto the property for business purposes, like customers in a store.
  • Licensees: Social guests invited for non-business purposes.
  • Trespassers: Individuals on the property without permission.

Generally, property owners owe a duty of care to invitees and licensees but not to trespassers, except in specific situations.

The Duties of Property Owners

Property owners have responsibilities to ensure the safety of their premises. These responsibilities differ depending on the classification of the visitor:

  • For Invitees: Property owners must regularly inspect the property and fix or warn of any dangers.
  • For Licensees: Owners must warn of known dangers that the licensee is unlikely to discover on their own.
  • For Trespassers: Generally, owners only need to refrain from intentional harm.

What to Do After a Slip and Fall Accident

If you’ve been involved in a slip and fall accident, take these steps:

  1. Report the Accident: Inform the property owner or manager.
  2. Document Everything: Take pictures of the scene, your injuries, and anything that contributed to the accident.
  3. Gather Witnesses: Collect names and contact information of witnesses.
  4. Seek Medical Attention: Get checked even if injuries seem minor at first.
  5. Consult an Attorney: Contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your case.

Establishing Liability

To establish liability in a slip and fall case, you must prove:

  • The property owner owed you a duty of care.
  • The property owner breached that duty.
  • You were injured as a result of the breach.

Example Relevant to Deerfield Beach, FL:

Let’s say you are shopping at a grocery store in Deerfield Beach and slip on a spilled liquid that wasn’t cleaned up or marked with a warning sign. As an invitee, the store owes you the highest duty of care. If it can be shown that the store neglected to inspect or clean up the spill in a reasonable amount of time, they could be held liable for your injuries.

Common Challenges and Defenses

Be aware that property owners may claim:

  • The dangerous condition was obvious.
  • They didn’t have enough time to fix the issue.
  • The victim was careless (comparative negligence).

Florida follows a pure comparative negligence rule, meaning your compensation may be reduced by your percentage of fault in the accident.


Slip and fall cases in Florida are governed by premises liability law. Understanding the duties of property owners and the steps to take after an accident is vital. If you’ve been injured in a slip and fall accident in Deerfield Beach or elsewhere in Florida, consulting an experienced personal injury attorney can help you navigate the legal process.

Please note: This article is intended for informational purposes and should not be construed as legal advice.


  1. Florida Statutes, Chapter 768 – NEGLIGENCE 1
  2. The 2017 Florida Statutes – Title XLV TORTS [^2^]


  1. Florida Statutes