Every state has a legal statute that defines the specific duty of care owed by a landowner to those who come on to their property. These laws serve to protect those who fall victim to a property owner’s negligence by allowing the injured party to pursue compensation for a variety of damages. This is referred to as premises liability.
Personal Injury & Premises Liability
The concept of premises liability typically arises in personal injury cases where a person seeks compensation for injuries and losses caused by a defect or hazardous condition that exists on someone’s property that resulted in them being injured. Like a personal injury case, proving a premises liability case is based on negligence.
Examples of Premises Liability Cases
There are a variety of circumstances that can give rise to a premises liability case–-For example:
- a slippery surface such as a spill in a store
- a construction defect, such as exposed electrical wires or a hole in concrete where people walk
- a poorly maintained stairway, such as a broken stair
- an unmarked broken handrail in a poorly lit hallway
- and many more
Some of the most common examples of premises liability cases involve:
- Slip and fall accidents
- Elevator/escalator accidents
- Swimming pool accidents
- Snow and ice accident
- Accidents caused by faulty, flooring, bad steps, loose handrails and other instances of poor maintenance
- Negligent security
Common Premises Liability Injuries
When property owners fail to make and/or keep their premises safe from hazards, the consequences for guests and visitors can be serious. Some common types of injuries seen in premises liability cases include:
- Head and brain injuries
- Back and neck injuries
- Dog Bites
- Broken, fractured, or dislocated bones
- Foodborne illnesses
If you have been involved in a premises liability accident, get checked out even if you feel OK. Back and neck injuries are not always perceptible in the immediate aftermath of an accident and may prove to be significant in the days and weeks following. Seek medical attention for early diagnosis, then call an experienced premises liability attorney to assist you with documenting your injuries and medical expenses and preparing your case.
What Needs To Be Proven For Recovery In A Premises Liability Case?
In order to have a valid premises liability claim, you must be able to show that the property owner (or tenant) is somehow responsible for your injuries and damages. In other words, you must show that they were negligent in their actions or inactions and that this caused you to be hurt. In addition, you will need to show that the property owner knew or had a reasonable time to discover the defect or hazard that resulted in your injuries but did not take reasonable steps to address it or warn you about it.
Premises Liability Negligence
In order to succeed in a premises liability case, you will need to show that the owner’s negligence caused you to be injured and that if that owner had not been negligent, you would not have been injured. The elements necessary for negligence to the exits in a premises liability include:
- A reasonable duty of care owed by the property owner, especially in public spaces;
- A breach of this duty of care
- Causation between the property owner’s breach of duty and your injuries
- Actual damages
However, while in most cases, the plaintiff in a premises liability accident will need to prove that the property owner was somehow negligent, there are a few situations where the property owner can be held strictly liable under the law, regardless of negligence. The most common examples of this are dog bite cases, where a dog owner may be held strictly liable under the law for any injuries his or her dog causes, regardless of any attempt to prevent the incident from occurring.
An experienced Florida premises liability attorney can help you gather the evidence needed to prove negligence in a premises liability case.
What is Duty of Care?
As it relates to personal injury law, duty of care means that an individual has a legal obligation to behave in a manner that reasonably ensures the safety or well-being of others. Businesses and homeowners have a duty to keep their premises free and clear of any defects or hazards that pose a threat to those who may visit their property and to exercise reasonable care to protect them from harm.
To determine the specific duty of care a property owner owes under Florida’s premises liability law and how much legal responsibility they have, visitors are grouped into 3 categories:
- Trespassers – people who enter the property illegally or without the property owner’s consent. A property owner may not be held responsible for the injuries sustained by a person who was on their property illegally or without consent.
- Licensees – people, such as houseguests, who enter the property with the property owner’s consent, but for their own convenience or purposes. If the homeowner has knowledge of a hazardous condition in their home and does not to warn the visitor, they may be held legally responsible for any injuries the person suffers as a result.
- Invitees – people, like customers in a department store or patrons in a restaurant, who have been invited to enter into the property to transact business with the property owner or for shared interests. Businesses have a legal duty to keep their premises safe, protect their customers, and to prevent injuries from occurring
What Compensation Can I Receive For A Premises Liability Claim?
Victims of premises liability accidents can receive monetary compensation to cover the expenses that arise from the accident and more, including:
- The cost of past and future medical care
- Past and future lost wages
- Compensation for damage to property
- Pain and suffering
Always seek the assistance of an experienced premises liability attorney if you intend to sue the property owner or negotiate a payout with the insurance company.
Why You Need An Experienced Premises Liability Lawyer To Handle Your Claim
If you have been injured in a premises liability accident, it is important that you speak to an experienced attorney as early as possible. This is important because there is evidence that has to be preserved and communications that have to be sent to the owner of the property in order to preserve your right to compensation.
Furthermore, you need an attorney to appropriately evaluate your case, determine what it is worth, and identify the types of compensation you are entitled to. You need someone to make sure that you receive fair compensation for your losses with careful analyzation of what occurred on the premises to prove it was the result of negligence and not a personal fault.
Without an attorney, you may end up not being fully compensated for your losses because you are simply unfamiliar with Florida law and can’t prove your case without help from those with legal expertise. It is therefore really important that you hire a competent, experienced, and qualified attorney who has experience with premise liability cases and has helped many clients receive the compensation they deserve.
At SteinLaw, we have been handling premises liability cases for years and know how to obtain the best results. In addition to being costly, we understand how getting injured can make carrying out your daily life and career extremely difficult. With this understanding, we give each of our clients the individual attention they deserve. You are not a name or number, but a person who deserves compensation for getting injured when it wasn’t your fault.
For assistance with your Florida premises liability case contact our Florida premises liability attorneys to find out how we can help you recover the compensation you deserve. Call us at 877.STEINLAW or fill out our contact form to arrange a free and confidential consultation.