Accidents happen all the time, and it is often nobody’s fault. In some cases, however, an accident can be caused by a property owner failing to deal with a hazard – also known as a dangerous condition.
Under Florida’s premises liability laws, a person has the right to seek compensation if they suffer an injury on another person’s house, land, or business. Premises liability is a legal term that refers to the responsibility for an injury on another person’s property.
In particular, a property owner can be found liable if they fail to remedy a ‘dangerous condition’ on the property within a reasonable period of time. Examples of dangerous conditions include, for example, spilled food or drink on the floor, poor lighting, or uneven floor.
If you have been injured on someone else’s property and you think it was caused by the owner failing to deal with a dangerous condition, then you could be eligible for compensation. Contact The Law Place today to find out more about filing a lawsuit. Our personal injury attorneys have extensive experience in cases just like yours and form part of a team with over 75 years of combined legal experience.
Call us today to arrange a free consultation, and one of our lawyers will be happy to give you free legal advice regarding your case, answer any questions you might have, and give you an estimate of the amount of compensation you could win if your lawsuit is successful. Premise liability cases can be complex, which is why you need a personal injury by your side. Contact us today to find out how we can help you.
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In This Article
- Premises Liability Laws in Florida
- Common Causes of Florida Premises Liability Cases
- Common Injuries Caused By Dangerous Conditions
Premises Liability Laws in Florida
In the State of Florida, property owners have the duty of care for visitors to their homes or commercial buildings. This refers to the moral and legal responsibility for a person to act “as a reasonably prudent person in their position would.” In the context of premises liability, this means that if the property owner failed to take reasonable measures to ensure the safety of customers, visitors, or guests on their property, then they could be required to pay for the consequent damages.
Premises liability laws state that a business or homeowner must make a “reasonably informed, good faith, rational judgment” regarding the maintenance of their property in a state that is safe for visitors. If they fail to do so, and a person is injured on their property because of unsafe conditions, then the injured person may be entitled to claim compensation for the damage caused.
A visitor to a property also has certain responsibilities. Specifically, a visitor has the responsibility to “be aware of conditions” on a given property. They are expected to be aware of their surroundings and take reasonable precautions to prevent accidents and injuries. This is known in legal terms as ‘mitigation.’ This means that if you were injured by a hazard that was ‘open and obvious,’ then you may not be eligible to claim negligence on the landowner’s part. If, for example, you were injured on someone else’s property while you were not paying attention (e.g., while you were talking on the phone), then an attorney might argue that the owner was not responsible. This could also be argued if the victim was wearing unsuitable footwear. Finally, if you were injured in an area of a property that is not open to visitors or customers, then the owner would not be responsible.
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Common Causes of Florida Premises Liability Cases
Hundreds of thousands of accidents happen every day in the United States, where most do not lead to serious injuries. Unfortunately, however, many of these accidents can lead to long-lasting injuries and can seriously impact the victim’s quality of life. A person might choose to file a premises liability case if they injured themselves because of a hazard on another person’s property. It might be, for example, that you slipped on a wet floor in a restaurant or cut yourself on a badly maintained fence.
A property owner has the moral and legal responsibility to make their buildings reasonably safe for visitors, whether it be a home or a commercial building. If a property owner fails to do so, they are acting negligently and should be held accountable for their actions.
There is a wide range of factors that can lead to an injury on someone’s premises, and the type and severity of the injury will vary from case to case. Some of the most common causes of injury that lead to premises liability claims are:
- Slip-and-fall accidents – The most common type of premises liability case. They can be caused by floors or sidewalks that are slippery with water, food, ice, oil, or grease. Falls could also be caused by uneven, loose, or rotten stairs or floor or unsafe stairs that lack adequate lighting or handrails. Finally, the fall could result from trip hazards on the floor such as loose carpet, tree roots, wires, or merchandise.
- Falls from a balcony or stairway collapse – This is, unfortunately, common in Florida due to the high moisture conditions that cause wood to rot.
- Swimming pool accidents – These can range from slipping and falling to drowning, being exposed to toxic chemicals, or being electrocuted. If the pool owner fails to take the proper steps to ensure your safety, then they should be held accountable.
- Dog bite accidents – Florida has specific laws related to the ownership of dangerous dogs (Florida Statute 767.04), where a dog owner can be liable for dog attack injuries of another person if the victim was on the property lawfully. The exception to this would be if the property owner displayed a clear, readable sign to warn visitors of the dog.
- Injuries resulting from inadequate security – This type of case often arises in office buildings and apartment buildings, where the property owner has the duty to provide adequate security to its inhabitants, such as security guards or doormen. If someone breaks into a building through an unlocked door and injures or kills someone inside, then the building owner could be found liable for failing to secure the building adequately.
This is only a small selection of the possible causes of injury on another person’s dangerous property. If you have been injured on another person’s property in Florida because of a dangerous condition, then you could be eligible to claim damages from the negligent property owner. Individuals are legally required to regularly inspect and maintain their properties and to warn visitors of any potential dangers. If they fail to do so, they can be held liable.
Contact us today to go through the details of your incident with a premises liability lawyer. In this free case consultation, they will be able to answer any questions you have regarding premise liability cases and advise you regarding your next legal steps.
Common Injuries Caused By Dangerous Conditions
Although you may feel safe on a person’s personal or commercial property, there are various types of hazards that can lead to injuries ranging from minor to life-changing. Even seemingly small accidents can sometimes cause serious injuries, and some injuries may develop with time.
Every case is different, but some of the most common injuries caused by dangerous conditions include:
- Cuts, lesions, and bruising.
- Broken and fractured bones.
- Concussion, which can lead to chronic traumatic encephalopathy.
- Traumatic brain injuries.
If you or a loved one have suffered any of these injuries or any other injuries because of the negligent behavior of a property or business owner in Florida, then you should not be expected to deal with the consequences alone. Injuries such as these can seriously impact your quality of life and may force you to take time off work. Don’t suffer in silence. Our team of dedicated lawyers has many years of combined experience helping clients just like you to seek justice and claim thousands of dollars in compensation. Call The Law Place today to talk to a premises liability lawyer in a free case evaluation. You will receive no-obligation legal advice to help you decide whether you want to pursue a personal injury lawsuit.
Who Can Be Liable in a Premises Liability Claim?
In a premises liability injury case, there are a number of different people with rights or control over the property that can be held liable. This can include:
- Home or business owners.
- Leased property owners.
- Property managers who oversee commercial properties, even if they manage a number of properties.
Who Is Eligible to File a Premises Liability Lawsuit?
Premises liability laws specify that a business or property owner has the duty of care to invitees and licensees on their property. In legal terms, an ‘invitee’ is defined as someone permitted to enter a commercial or professional property, for example, a grocery store or retail establishment. This means that if you were injured in a shop, restaurant, or another commercial establishment, then the owner of that establishment can be held accountable for your injuries if they are found to have acted negligently.
You could also be entitled to open a premises liability lawsuit if you are a ‘licensee’ on a person’s property. In legal terms, this refers to a person who has been granted express or implied invitation by a homeowner to be on the property. For example, if a person invited you around to their house for dinner, then you would be considered a licensee under common law. If you were injured because of the homeowner failing to take the appropriate steps to make the establishment safe for guests, then you could be eligible to claim compensation from them for your injuries.
The type of visitor who would not be able to claim compensation for their injuries is a trespasser. In legal terms, a ‘trespasser’ is someone who knowingly enters another person’s property without permission. If you were injured while on a property illegally, for example, breaking into a house or business, then you will generally not have the right to file a premises liability claim. The exceptions to this would be if the trespasser can prove that there was “willful and wanton conduct” on the part of the property owner that led to their injury.
If you are unsure about whether you would qualify for filing and premises liability claim, the best thing you can do is to contact a reputable law firm such as The Law Place. Call us today to arrange a free case evaluation with one of our premises liability lawyers, who would be happy to advise you regarding your case and answer any questions you might have. If you decide to pursue a premises liability lawsuit with us, then we will support and advise you throughout the entire process.
What Do I Need to Prove for a Premises Liability Claim?
For a premises liability case to be successful, you or your personal injury lawyer must be able to prove a number of things. Firstly, it must be proved that the victim was injured as a direct result of dangerous conditions on the property. A personal injury attorney will be able to help you gather relevant evidence for this, but we recommend that you take pictures of any hazards that you spot immediately following your accident. You should also keep any relevant medical records for injuries caused by the dangerous condition.
Secondly, you or your personal injury lawyer must provide evidence that the liable person was aware of the hazardous condition on their property or that they should have been aware of it. If there was a foreseeable risk, then the property owner has the duty to make visitors to the property aware of this dangerous condition.
For a successful premises liability case, you must also prove that the property owner or liable person failed to fix the condition and/or warn other people of the danger.
Insurance companies will always try to avoid paying out in order to make more money, which can involve attempts to discredit your claim. If you have been injured on someone’s property as a result of a dangerous condition, then we recommend that you contact a reputable law firm as soon as possible. Our personal injury attorneys have experience with many premises liability cases just like yours and can guide you through the entire process. Call us today for a free case evaluation, where a dedicated lawyer can give you free advice regarding your case to help you decide if you want to pursue a premises liability lawsuit.
What Damages Can I Claim Following an Injury on a Dangerous Property?
If you were injured on someone else’s property, and you believe that it was caused by a dangerous condition that the property owner knew about, or should have known about, then you should not suffer in silence. It is a property owner’s duty to take reasonable care to ensure the safety of visitors. If you were injured, then you are no doubt facing economic uncertainty with mounting medical bills. If your injuries were caused by the negligence of a personal or commercial property owner, then you could be eligible to claim financial compensation. A personal injury lawyer can help you calculate the total damages caused by your injury. These damages could include:
- Lost wages – If your injuries have required you to take time off work, we understand that this can cause financial insecurity and stress. A lawyer could help you to claim financial compensation for lost wages, as well as loss of potential future wages.
- Medical bills – A personal injury lawyer can help you to claim back medical expenses such as medication, surgery, and rehabilitation.
- Pain and suffering- An experienced lawyer can also help you to calculate the suffering that is more difficult to quantify but no less important. This could include insomnia, post-traumatic stress, depression, and emotional distress.
- Wrongful death – Under Florida Statute 768.21, if a loved one passed away due to injuries caused by a premises liability accident, then you could be entitled to compensation for funeral and burial costs, as well as compensation for loss of household income.
There is no limit to the amount you could claim in compensation for your injuries if they were caused by the negligent actions of a property owner. An experienced premises liability lawyer can help you to recover by easing your financial stress. Call us today to arrange a free consultation with one of our attorneys.
Is There a Time Limit to File a Premises Liability Lawsuit?
If you wish to file a personal injury claim, there is a statute of limitations in Florida. Florida Statue 95.11 states that the injured person must file their claim within four years of their accident. However, we always advise that you contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible following your accident. This will make it easier to collect evidence to support your case, as your memories of the event might fade. The longer you wait, the harder it will be to track down CCTV footage and witnesses.
There is also a time limit in which you must seek medical treatment for your injuries following your accident if you wish to recover compensation for medical bills and other damages. Under Florida Statute 627.736, you must seek medical attention for your injuries within 14 days of the accident in order to claim that the accident was the cause of your injury.
How Can The Law Place Help Me?
Here at The Law Place, we understand how stressful it can be to recover from an accident and how frustrating it can be when your injuries could have been prevented.
If you are considering filing a liability claim, the best thing you can do is to contact a reputable law firm like The Law Place. Our team of personal injury lawyers has over 75 years of combined legal experience with cases just like yours and can help you to calculate how much you could be entitled to in compensation following your accident.
Call us today for a free legal consultation with an experienced premises liability lawyer. In this consultation, your attorney will go through the details of your case and give you personalized legal advice to help you decide whether it is worth pursuing a premises liability claim. If you decide to work with us after this initial case evaluation, then we will be upfront about the legal fees, which you would only need to pay if your case is successful. Your assigned lawyer would guide you through the entire process, gathering evidence to build your case and being the point of contact with all relevant parties.
Why not call The Law Place today to see how we can help? Our phone lines are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call now at (941) 444-4444.