Each time you lawfully visit someone else’s property, you have every legal right to expect that they have addressed any potentially dangerous conditions. They should ensure that your visit is safe and free from serious injuries or wrongful death stemming from hazardous conditions that the property owner has a legal responsibility to address.
Working with a Florida premises liability lawyer is one of the best ways to navigate this process while also prioritizing your personal needs and physical recovery. The Florida personal injury lawyers of Fasig | Brooks are ready to help you take the next steps toward healing and getting things back on track.
Property Owners Have A Responsibility to Keep The Premises Safe
Whether through warning visitors of a hazard (such as a wet floor sign), partitioning off an area, or fixing the issue, a business owner has a legal obligation to their visitors and is often held accountable for accidents that occur because of their failure to do so.
If you have been injured due to a property owner’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for a wide range of damages that go beyond your medical expenses and short-term effects on your income. However, working directly with an insurance company is often fraught with roadblocks.
Whether or not you need to file a lawsuit, working with a Florida premises liability attorney is one of the best ways to work aggressively toward the compensation you rightfully deserve without taking on the stress and anxiety yourself.
Where Do Premises Liability Accidents Typically Occur?
Every property owner owes a duty of care to keep their property safe. If you are hurt in any of the following locations, you may have the legal right to pursue financial compensation:
- Rental properties and apartments
- Shopping malls
- Business establishments
- Restaurants and hotels
- Amusement parks
- Any commercial property
- Private properties
What You Need to Prove Negligence in a Premises Liability Claim
The burden of proof rests on the injured person to demonstrate that all essential elements of negligence occurred. These include:
- Proving that the property owner had control over the property in question
- Showing that they owed a duty of care to you as a visitor
- Proving that they failed to take reasonable care in addressing unsafe conditions present on their property
- Proving your own injuries were caused by their negligence
- Proving the extent of your injuries and damages
In some cases, the defendant may argue that you were partially responsible for your injury due to your own negligence or improper behavior. This is known as “comparative fault” and could potentially reduce how much compensation is owed by the defendant.
A Florida premises liability attorney can help to ensure you have the evidence needed to prove your claim and defend you against allegations of fault.
What Are Some Examples of Premises Liability Claims?
Here are some common premises liability claims in Florida:
- Slip and fall accidents: These are the most common premises liability claims. They involve someone slipping on a wet floor, tripping over an object, or falling due to a structural defect on the property.
- Swimming pool accidents: Drownings, injuries from diving into shallow water, chemical burns, and impacts with pool features and equipment can all lead to premises liability claims.
- Assault by third parties: If a business failed to provide adequate security and a patron was assaulted by another person on the premises, it can be a premises liability issue.
- Dog bites: Animal attacks and dog bites can cause serious injuries that may result in premises liability claims
- Criminal acts by third parties: If a business did not take reasonable measures to protect patrons from foreseeable criminal acts by third parties that occurred on the property, it could be premises liability.
- Parking lot and sidewalk accidents: Tripping in potholes, falling due to poor lighting, and collisions with objects in parking lots and sidewalks are also common premises liability claims.
- Negligent security: If a business did not provide adequate security for patrons and an injury resulted, it could be grounds for a premises liability lawsuit.
The key element for all premises liability claims in Florida is proving that the business or property owner did not take reasonable measures to ensure the safety of patrons. An experienced Florida premises liability attorney can evaluate your claim and provide guidance on how to best proceed.
Why Do I Need a Premises Liability Attorney to Handle My Claim?
Premises liability laws are complicated, and insurers use this complexity to their advantage as they work to overwhelm claimants and reach a cheap settlement as quickly as possible.
Working with a Florida premises liability lawyer from the start (ideally, before even contacting the insurance company) will give you a significant advantage. That is because you will partner with a legal professional with experience handling a range of premises liability claims and an explicit understanding of Florida premises liability law.
While your attorney manages the entirety of your Florida premises liability case, you can stay focused on your personal needs, medical care, and getting your life back on track.
What to Do if You Have Been Hurt on Someone Else’s Property
After any accident, the most important thing to remember is that your health should be your absolute top priority. If you have been injured due to someone’s premises liability negligence, the following steps are meant to give you general guidelines.
But if any of the following steps interfere with your health, your Florida personal injury attorney can fill in the blanks after the fact. Ignoring your pain can lead to even more serious injuries, longer recovery time, and will provide the insurance company with another reason to blame you for as many damages as possible.
Any premises liability lawyer will tell you the same thing: after an injury, either call 911 yourself or have someone else call for you as quickly as possible. Many people feel self-conscious about “overreacting” or inconveniencing others, but the reality is that having law enforcement and EMTs at the scene will help you in many ways in terms of both your health and your legal future.
When an officer arrives at the scene, they will be able to compile an accident report that will discuss many different key facets of the situation, such as the conditions that led to the accident, contact information for eyewitnesses, and a variety of other information.
Get Medical Attention
When the EMTs arrive, allow them to look over your injuries and give you an examination, whether you believe your injuries to be serious or not. Many soft tissue injuries may take days or weeks to show their true extent, and adrenaline can effectively mask pain in a way that could cause you to overlook your condition in the excitement of the moment.
Having a trained professional look you over will ensure that you get appropriate care and will establish documentation about your injuries early into your premises liability case.
If the EMTs encourage you to take an ambulance to an emergency room, it is wise to heed their advice. Many people worry about the costs associated with an ambulance ride and emergency room visit, but your Florida slip and fall attorney will work to recover that money for you.
Gather Evidence and Eyewitness Contact Information
Negligent property owners may attempt to obscure evidence of their failings after an accident, so it is important to gather evidence and documentation as soon as possible. If you cannot do so on your own because of your injuries, ask someone else to do it for you.
While your account and eyewitness accounts will help piece together the details of your accident, photographic and video evidence are irrefutable and far more reliable than memory. If you contact a Florida premises liability attorney quickly, they may be able to protect this evidence by sending a spoliation letter or sending their own investigators to the scene.
Follow Up With Your Doctor
If you take an ambulance to the emergency room, you may not need to take this next step on your own, but regardless of what happens, it is essential that you get ongoing medical care to address all the injuries you have sustained.
Concern about medical bills is one of the biggest reasons why victims choose to suffer through their injuries, but you can be confident that the premises liability attorneys at Fasig | Brooks in Florida will be fighting to recover these costs — as well as a multitude of other damages — on your behalf.
Hire an Attorney
There is a limited window of time that you have to open a claim. This time constraint depends on various specifics about your situation, such as the type of property you were injured on and more. Regardless of these constraints, working with an attorney who has experience with premises liability cases can give you a leg up as you begin your work with the insurance companies.
When you open a claim or a premises liability lawsuit with a Florida attorney from the start, the defense attorneys and insurance adjusters know that you mean business. Insurance companies across Florida know that our law firm has the experience necessary to get the money our clients deserve.
Stay Diligent in Your Recovery
While your attorney is fighting for fair compensation through your premises liability suit or claim, your top priority should be recovery and getting your life back on track.
Slip and fall accidents, dog bites, assaults, and all other sorts of premises liability cases can result in serious injuries, both emotional and physical, that require time and attention for recovery. Trying to manage a claim at the same time as your recovery can be difficult — if not impossible — which is why the Florida premises liability lawyers at our law firm are here to help.
We will stay focused on getting you fair compensation, and you can remain focused on your own needs while we take on the property owners and insurance companies that owe you money.
Frequently Asked Questions About Premises Liability in Florida
The following are a few of the many questions that our premises liability attorneys are prepared to answer during your free consultation — and in greater detail during our work together. The answers provided below are not intended as legal advice but are meant to give you a general idea of how we may handle your situation.
How Much is My Premises Liability Claim Worth?
There is no easy way of telling how much premises liability claims are worth without first sitting down with your premises liability lawyers and going through a detailed investigation of the damages you have suffered. Things like the amount of your medical bills, the extent of your lost wages, and a wide range of emotional and psychological impacts that can come from a slip and fall or other premises liability accident are highly specific. They will be important variables in determining the total amount that you are entitled to.
Should I Accept a Direct Payment Offer From a Property Owner After an Accident on Their Property?
Property owners know their legal obligations to keep visitors safe on their property. In the event of an accident, they may attempt to take matters into their own hands to avoid serious legal ramifications. Suppose a property owner fails to provide a safe visit and an accident occurs. In that case, they may try to get the victim to sign a waiver or statement releasing the owner from any liability or premises liability claims against them in exchange for a small sum of money.
Politely explain that you will not be signing anything or accepting any offers until you have consulted with a Florida premises liability lawyer. They will ensure you get a clear sense of your rights and protect your needs and interests.
Is Premises Liability the Same as Negligence?
Premises liability is the legal concept that property owners are liable for the conditions on their property and are liable for accidents on said premises that stem from negligence, recklessness, or malice.
In most cases, negligence is a significant factor in premises liability cases against property owners who have failed to take the appropriate measures to keep their visitors safe, but there are other instances where a property owner may engage in malicious behavior that may not be considered negligent, but still qualifies a victim for personal injury damages.
Our law firm will help you make sense of your situation as we begin our work together and will fight for a fair settlement regardless of the specific way that a property owner failed their duty of care to you.
How Can a Premises Liability Attorney Help?
Working with an experienced attorney like the team at our law firm is one of the best ways to ensure that you take the necessary steps to recover the compensation you deserve while also giving you the time and space required to make a recovery.
Emotional stress and anxiety — common for people trying to handle their personal injury claims — can have a major negative impact on the recovery process from physical injuries, so outsourcing this work to an attorney can help you stay focused on your recovery.
Recovery aside, the reality is that personal injury law and premises liability issues are complicated, and insurance companies have spent decades developing playbooks to settle claims for as little as possible, as quickly as possible, and with little regard to the actual extent of damages the claimant has suffered.
Working with a Florida attorney familiar with premises liability claims gives you access to years of experience in this world and will improve your chances of walking away with the money you deserve, not just the money the insurance company hopes to pay.
Contact Fasig | Brooks for a Free Consultation About Your Premises Liability Accident Today
The sooner you contact our team, the sooner you can stay focused on your recovery and getting your life back on track without taking on the added anxiety and stress of managing your claim. Questions about the future of your finances, your ability to earn an income, and how you will pay your medical bills back can lead to rash decisions like accepting low settlement offers from insurers.
But working with an experienced attorney can give you a broad view of the situation and help you identify different measures that will help you navigate this process and hold out for a fair settlement. Our law firm offers a free consultation to discuss the situation and provide specific legal advice on how best to move forward.