A Few Personal Injury Concepts For Superbowl Weekend

Attorney Jared Newman of South Florida Law wishes everyone in South Florida a safe and injury-free Super Bowl weekend. 

As we celebrate and watch the game, let’s be mindful of three very important legal concepts that help us to limit our liability and look after the best interests of others as well as of ourselves: Duty of Reasonable Care, Invitee vs Licensee vs Trespasser and Comparative Liability.

Duty of Reasonable Care

In Florida, you are required to act thoughtfully and dutifully to others as well as being mindful of your own well-being. It is important to note that you have a responsibility to protect yourself and others and to observe and react reasonably in response to hazardous situations.  It is important to know that although the owner of the house, restaurant or bar is required to provide the highest duty of care to his or her guests, there is still a degree of legal duty born by everyone involved.  This is true even if the injury happens to oneself. In other words, you can always be at fault at least partially for being negligent in your care of others or yourself.

Super Bowl Party example:

If you notice that there has been drink spilled on the hardwood floor at your party you have a duty to clean it up, warn others until it is cleaned up and to avoid slipping and falling on it yourself.  If you a fall short of this duty of care – you or someone else may suffer a personal injury for which you may be held at least partially at fault.

Invitee vs Licensee vs Trespasser

As a host, business owner or organizer of an event you have a particular duty to ensure that the premises where the event is held is free of hazards or that at least all potential hazards are clearly marked.  Legally, you must make more of an effort to protect those you invite to the event than others who just happen to be there.  These invitees must be in an environment which is free from hazards and always vigilantly patrolled to prevent hazards from arising.  Those who just happen to be there, but who are not particularly invited must also be protected in the usual sense, but their welfare does not have to be constantly looked after.  You have the least duty to protect trespassers, or those who should not be there and you have actively prohibited from being there.  However, you must not actively promote injury to a trespasser or you may be held at fault.

Super Bowl Party example:

You run a small bar and charge admission on game day.  Several people enter the bar, pay admission order drinks and food and start watching the game.  These are considered to be invitees because they are fee paying customers of your business.  One person sneaks in and eventually slips and falls on a drink spilled on a hardwood floor.  This person is a trespasser and you did not have the duty to actively look out for their welfare.  However, you may be held at fault if it can be shown that you shoved, chased or otherwise caused them to tread on the wet floor where they had their slip and fall accident.

In Florida, you are required to act thoughtfully and dutifully to others as well as being mindful of your own well-being.

Comparative Liability

Florida is a comparative liability state.  This means that you or any other party can be held partially liable  for injuries caused by an accident.  You may be liable based on the degree to which you actively caused the accident, or failed by being negligent even if you did not personally intend to cause the accident.  This is true even if the personal injured is yourself.  In other words you have a duty of care for yourself and can be held liable for failing that duty in a court.

This could result in reduced damages due to a petitioner by the degree to which the petitioner have been “comparatively negligent”.

Super Bowl Party example:

In the sports bar example above,  the running trespasser eventually decides to sue for damages since they broke their nose and arm in the slip and fall accident.  They claim that they were chased out of the restaurant causing the accident that caused the injury.  The owner, the defendant, argues via his attorney that the petitioner chose to run across the bar when there was no reason for them to do so.  In this situation, the decision to run may have put himself in danger.  It may be said that 40% of the liability should be borne by the petitioner/trespasser.  If this is the case, and $50,000 is the total amount of liability, then only $30,000 (or 60% of the damages) should be paid to the petitioner.

As you can see, it’s important to consider the facts in every personal injury case.  The concepts of invitee/licensee, comparative liability and duty of care can make personal injury cases very complex.  This Super Bowl weekend be sure to avoid hazards yourself and be mindful of your duty of care to protect others.  However, if you are injured in any accident call Jared Newman at South Florida Law immediately on (954) 900-8885.

Jared Newman, Esq. is a seasoned attorney at South Florida Law, with an emphasis in Personal Injury Law. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Criminology from the University of Florida. Mr. Newman attended and received his Juris Doctorate from the South Houston College of Law.

Mr. Newman understands insurance companies tactics and has the experience to counter them. This background allows South Florida law to fight smart against the Big Insurance Companies. If necessary, we are prepared to meet insurance companies in court and recover the compensation you deserve.