After an accident occurs on or with another individual’s property, the property owner may take steps to ensure the accident does not happen again. Under Florida rule F.S. §90.407, these measures may not be used in court to prove negligence or culpable conduct. It is generally recognized that performing subsequent remedial measures is sound public policy and effective in preventing future incidents and injuries. The rule is meant to encourage property owners to immediately rectify any hazards while helping owners feel confident that their actions will not be used against them.
Subsequent remedial measures may include the improvement of hazardous conditions, product design changes, and the use of warning signs or labels. These measures, when taken, make the possibility of an accident less likely to occur. The following are examples involving two of our recent clients.
Client Example One
As our client was exiting a local mall into the parking lot through a bridge overpass from the store into the parking structure, she was injured. The bridge overpass was on a high slope with insufficient differentiation in the walkway. The steps were the same color going downhill as uphill and no painting or other indications to delineate the steps.
This individual tripped and fell over the steps that were not clearly marked. Shortly after the incident, we notified the mall and management company of our client’s claim. The steps were promptly painted bright yellow to alert customers of the stairs. The property owners took the necessary steps to ensure a similar accident does not occur in the future. The fact that these repairs were made after our client was injured is not admissible in our claim, with certain exceptions, but it helped the next person from being injured. The goal of the subsequent remedial measure laws is to encourage property owners to fix a negligent condition, and in this case, it worked.
Client Example Two
In another case, our client was injured while riding his bicycle on a local sidewalk. There were remnants of a yield sign on the sidewalk which was not marked and barely visible. The only remaining evidence that any sign had been installed was a metal stub about six inches off the ground. The actual yield sign, attached to the longer portion of the pole, had been thrown into nearby shrubbery.
Our client struck the stub and was thrown from his bicycle, which resulted in serious injuries. We notified the property owner and instructed them to fix it immediately. The owner was then aware of the problem and would be liable for any further injuries. Following our call, the owner came out to the scene, fixed the pole, and painted a big orange ring around the area so that no one else would be injured. As in the previous case, these repairs were generally inadmissible in our client’s case, but the community has been protected and our actions have led to the safeguarding of others.
Speak to an Attorney About Subsequent Remedial Measures
Panter, Panter & Sampedro is a leading personal injury law firm dedicated to protecting Florida’s families. For over 30 years, our experienced trial attorneys have worked one-on-one with clients to successfully get the justice, recovery, and compensation they deserve. If you have been injured on another person’s property, discuss your options with one of our premises liability attorneys at (305) 662-6178.