Both public and private property owners in Florida have a responsibility to keep their property safe for any visitors and take all necessary measures to ensure that no injuries occur due to dangerous or hazardous conditions. When a property owner fails to implement these safety measures and a person is injured as a result, they can be held responsible for any damages of the injured person.
Slip and fall accidents are the most common type of premises liability cases, but it is possible to make a premises liability claim for many types of accidents on public or private property, including a fire, dog bite, swimming pool accident, chemical incidents, or flooding, for example.
If you have been injured on someone else’s property and are wondering whether you can file a premises liability claim against the property owner, you should contact our law firm today. Here at The Law Place, we have over 75 years of combined experience in multiple practices, including many premises liability cases, and we have established a great attorney-client relationship through these years of practice. Our law firm is experienced in handling cases involving negligence, and we can advise you on whether you are entitled to compensation for your personal injury. We offer a free consultation for you to receive honest legal advice from a personal injury lawyer from our firm about your case.
Call us today to schedule a free consultation at (941) 444-4444. Our phone lines are always open.
Premises Liability Laws in Florida
As noted above, the legal concept of premises liability is that a property or business owner has a duty of care to ensure that all visitors who are on their public or private property are not injured due to negligence on the owner’s behalf.
Essentially, the law requires that all property owners take reasonable care and have rational judgment when assessing whether their property is safe for visitors. In the event that there is a dangerous condition or a safety hazard on their property, owners are required to put warnings in place until the condition can be fixed.
If a property owner failed to put safety measures in place or failed to repair the dangerous condition, and a person was injured as a result, they can be held responsible for these injuries under the laws of negligence.
It is important to be aware that visitors also have certain responsibilities when visiting a property, and they must take adequate care to ensure their own safety. For example, if you were talking on the phone and slipped down the stairs, or you entered into a property that was not open to visitors, you will not be eligible to file a premises liability case against the property owner.
Causes of Premises Liability Cases
There are numerous situations that can give rise to a premises liability case in Florida, and a large amount of these cases happen every day, often resulting in serious injuries. Some of the most common premises liability cases seen by the personal injury lawyers from our firm include:
- Slip and fall cases – This is the most common type of premises liability case, and could result from a wet floor, slippery or broken stairs, poor lighting in a stairway, or icy sidewalks.
- Falling – Many premises liability cases involve situations where a person has fallen from a rotten or broken balcony or staircase in apartment complexes or construction sites.
- Swimming pool accidents – This could include being exposed to toxic chemicals, drowning, or being electrocuted in public or private swimming pools.
- Inadequate or negligent security – It is possible to file a premises liability case against a property owner that doesn’t provide adequate security for the building when they are required to do so, and burglary or assault happens as a result.
- Dog bite accidents – Although Florida Statute 767.04 regulates accidents involving dangerous dogs, it is possible to file a premises liability case in the event of a dog bite accident when it occurred on a property with visible warnings about the presence of a dog.
- Amusement park accidents – This can include being injured while on an amusement park ride or when some other automated technology caused you to suffer injuries.
These are just some examples of premises liability cases, but if you were injured on someone else’s property due to a dangerous or hazardous condition, then you should schedule a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer from our office to assess whether you can recover compensation for your injuries.
What Damages Can I Claim in a Premises Liability Case?
If you have suffered injuries due to the fault of a property owner and you are filing a premises liability case, you may be wondering what type of damages you can claim for your injuries. The damages you can recover will depend on your particular circumstance, but an injured party can usually claim the following damages in a personal injury case:
- Medical bills – This includes costs of hospital appointments and transport to and from these appointments.
- Lost wages – You can recover compensation for any lost wages as a result of the premises liability accident.
- Pain and suffering – If you have suffered emotional or physical distress as a result of the accident, you can claim compensation to cover this in the form of pain and suffering damages.
- Wrongful death – If you have lost a loved one due to a hazardous situation on someone else’s property, a lawyer from our firm can help you file a wrongful death case to get compensation for funeral costs and loss of consortium.
Who Can File a Premises Liability Lawsuit Against a Property Owner?
Property owners have a duty of care to all licensees or invitees that enter onto their property, and they are required to exercise reasonable care to ensure that they are not injured on their property. Under the law, an ‘invitee’ is a person who has express or implied permission to enter onto someone’s property, including a hotel guest, a customer at a store, or a guest at a house. Property owners can be held liable for any injuries to invitees that occur on their property due to an unsafe condition that they were aware of or should have known about.
A ‘licensee’ is a person who enters someone’s property for their own benefit and is allowed to enter onto the property by the property owner. Examples of licensees could include a friend who stops by your property or a construction worker doing public work in your garden. Proving fault as a licensee is more difficult, and an injured party must show that the owner knew about the dangerous situation and failed to notify them of this danger, which resulted in them being injured.
In general, those who have been given express permission to enter onto a property, such as a shopper or a customer in a restaurant, are afforded the highest standard of care in premises liability cases. The lowest standard of care is afforded to trespassers on a property, and in general, injury victims who were trespassing at the time of their accident will be refused compensation.
The main exception to this rule on trespassers is when a child trespasses onto a property and injures themself due to an “attractive nuisance,” for example, a swimming pool or a waterpark. In this situation, the trespasser can recover compensation as they are owed a higher standard of care.
Proving Negligence in Premises Liability Cases
To get compensation in premises liability cases, the injured person must demonstrate that they were owed a duty of care, that the owner of the property breached this duty of care by acting negligent, they suffered damages as a result, and that the negligent behavior of the third party directly resulted in them suffering injuries.
In order to prove that an owner of a property is liable for your injuries, you must provide sufficient evidence that supports your claim. Evidence in these cases could include witness testimony, photos or video evidence from the accident, and medical records from your injuries.
Once you have this evidence, you must demonstrate that the property owner knew about the dangerous situation on their property or should have been aware, and they failed to take the necessary measures to remedy the hazard, or that the measures they took were not necessarily secure.
Just like in all personal injury cases, proving negligence can be a lengthy process, and trying to recover damages from an insurance company can be extremely difficult. Often, when a slip and fall accident happens, insurance companies are reluctant to pay out victims the compensation they are owed and will do everything in their power to try and prove that the injured person was not owed a duty of care. For this reason, we recommend hiring an experienced lawyer who can help you with your premises liability case and ensure that you get the compensation you are owed for your injuries.
Contact The Law Place Today
If you have been injured on another person’s property and believe that you may have a valid premises liability case in Florida, you should contact our law office buildings today. Here at The Law Place, we have a lot of experience in dealing with cases involving premises liability, and we have built up a very strong attorney-client relationship through our 75 years of practice.
Once you contact us, we will put you in contact with a passionate lawyer from our firm who will assess whether you have a valid case and whether you are entitled to receive compensation for your injuries. We know that these cases can be extremely stressful, which is why we want to help you get justice. Our firm offers a free evaluation so you can speak with us with no strings attached, and we always provide a confidential relationship, even from the initial consultation.
Don’t hesitate to schedule a free consultation. The sooner you do, the better chance we have at winning your case.
Call us today for a free case evaluation at (941) 444-4444. Our phone lines are always open.