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Slipping And Falling With Latent Defects And Patent Defects


The majority of slip and fall cases result from the negligence of a certain party that was supposed to make sure there were no hazards that could potentially harm a person. Sometimes, slip and fall victims get injured because of the property itself having a defective condition. Who would be liable if a person were to slip and fall because of a defect on a property? The party that designed and built the property? Or the party that was responsible for maintaining it? Whether it was the result of a patent or latent defect that caused the slip and fall, the answer would show who is liable for the accident.

What Are Patent Defects?

Patent defects are defective conditions that are visibly seen with just a glance or with a reasonable inspection. Some examples would be when there is insufficient lighting in a stairway or uneven surfaces that are very noticeable when a person looks at it. These flaws are noticed by any reasonable person and are considered patent defects. A person who is considering to buy a property would notice these defects prior to buying it and would not be able to place the blame on the architects or construction workers because they already knew that that flaw existed. The person liable for a patent defect would be the property owner.

What Are Latent Defects?

Latent defects are defective conditions that are not apparent like a patent defect. Most of the time, latent defects are flaws that are discovered after long-term use. A property owner inspecting a place before considering to buy it may not see these defects until an accident has already occurred. A great example of a latent defect would be a handrail that did not have long enough screws to maintain it. At first glance, a person cannot see the defect because the screws that have already been drilled inside the wall and everything might appear fine. It isn’t until someone who is about to fall grabs onto the handrail when it just falls off from the wall.  Because a property owner has no reasonable means to discover latent defects, they would not be held liable for a slip and fall claim. An attorney would have a stronger case against the builders who should have known that those screws would not last very long.

Now, if the owner has constructive notice of the defect or the defect starts to make itself visible and they do nothing about it, then they could be held liable as well. Otherwise, a latent defect typically does not fall on a property owner.

Miami Personal Injury Legal Practitioners

The law knows that a defect in a building can take some time to appear, which is why a statute of limitation of 10 years is in place for latent defects in a property. The slip and fall lawyers at Percy Martinez Law firm have had victims who have been injured by patent and latent defects. They know every law surrounding buildings and have assisted thousands in recovering the damages that they endured. Get in touch with a skilled slip and fall Miami Attorney.

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