Florida property owners and businesses must take reasonable measures to ensure the safety of all visitors to their premises. Property owners may be responsible for compensating injured parties if they fail to correct or remove a temporary hazard.
If you or someone you loved was injured or killed because of a danger on someone’s property, Florida law allows you to seek compensation from the property owner by filing a premises liability claim. The premises liability attorneys with Nessler & Associates can help you understand how the law affects your case, how we prove your claim, and the damages you can seek.
What is Premises Liability?
Premises liability refers to the legal responsibility of a property owner for injuries caused by unsafe conditions due to their negligence. For example, they can be negligent if they don’t provide warnings of any hazards or clean them up. If someone suffered injuries because of their negligence, they could be held responsible for those costs.
Premises liability can factor into personal injury cases, including:
- Slip-and-fall accidents
- Swimming pool accidents
- Dog bites
- Elevator and escalator incidents
- Amusement park accidents
The consequences of an injury on someone else’s property can be deadly. In Florida, accidental injuries are the most common cause of death for people between the ages of 1 and 44.
Our attorneys can work with you to determine what happened in your accident, so we can help you file your premises liability claim. If you were injured while visiting someone else’s home or business, we can help you file a lawsuit against them in civil court. We’ll work with you to determine what happened in your case and gather evidence to build your claim.
How to Prove a Premises Liability Claim in Florida?
A premises liability claim must prove all of the following to establish liability:
The Owner Had Possession and Control Over the Property
Since the owner is considered responsible for the property, you must prove that the property owner owned or at least controlled its access. According to the Florida court’s ruling in Bovis v. 7-Eleven, anyone who manages access to property must maintain it in a reasonably safe condition.
You Were Allowed on the Property
The Florida Supreme Court ruled in Post v. Lunney classified visitors to a property into trespassers, licensees, and invitees. The court stated that the property owner has different duties and responsibilities based on the type of visitor injured by the premises.
- Trespassers do not have the property owner’s permission to be on the property. The owner has no legal obligation to warn them of dangerous conditions.
- Licensees are allowed on the property by the owner for the licensee’s benefit, such as a salesperson. Whenever the owner or controller knows of a dangerous property condition that is not open and obvious to the licensee, they must alert the licensee to the danger.
- Invitees are those invited by the property owner for mutual benefit. These invitees range from grocery store shoppers to neighbors. A property owner must ensure the property is safe, correct any hazards they should have known beforehand, and warn invitees of potential risks.
For the property owner to be liable for your duty of care, you must prove that you were a licensee or invitee. You may need to explain why you were on the property in your testimony. Promotional flyers or invitations can verify whether you were an invitee or licensee. As a licensee or invitee, you can have other witnesses testify to your presence on the property.
The Property Owner Knew About the Danger On their Property
Florida law holds that the owner must have actual or constructive knowledge of the issue. This means you and your lawyer must demonstrate the dangerous condition has these characteristics:
- Long existence for the owner to have known about it
- Regular recurrence for the owner to foresee the condition
Injuries Occurred as a Result of Negligence
Because there was no warning about the dangerous conditions, you must show that you suffered injuries from the accident. Therefore, you need to document your injuries and their severity. This documentation includes doctor’s reports, photos of your injuries, and witness testimonies that support your claim of injuries from the accident.
Your Injuries Caused Damages
As a result of your injuries, you must have suffered financial damages, including medical bills and lost wages. Your lawyer can use any out-of-pocket medical expenses for medications and imaging tests to prove your losses. Pay stubs and bank statements can demonstrate the loss of wages while recovering from your injuries.
Your lawyer can work to establish a strong premises liability claim for compensation on your behalf. They can let you know the damages you can pursue in your lawsuit against the property owner and their insurance company.
What Kind of Damages Can I Seek for a Premises Liability Claim?
Your premises liability claim can include these economic and non-economic damages.
The compensation you receive depends on the severity of your injuries, how long they took to heal, and whether there were any lasting complications. For example, you might need physical therapy to regain strength and balance if you suffered a spinal cord injury in a slip and fall accident. Other costs may include hospital bills, follow-up visits, and ambulance costs.
Pain and Suffering
Your lawyer can use the accident’s impact on your life to calculate the cost of pain and suffering. They can refer to your medical records, out-of-pocket medical expenses, and psychiatric records of your mental condition to calculate pain and suffering. Medical experts can also testify about the pain and suffering you endured from your injuries and help determine the damages for pain and suffering.
Wrongful Death Claim for Premises Liability
If a loved one dies due to unsafe property conditions, you can seek recovery for damages through a wrongful death claim. This claim can compensate you and your family for economic damages, like funeral expenses and loss of financial support. Non-economic damages like loss of companionship and mental pain and suffering are also available in the claim.
Contact a Florida Premises Liability Lawyer for Legal Help
If you sustained injuries in a business or home, you can file your premises liability claim with the Florida attorneys at Nessler & Associates. We can help you understand your rights under Florida’s premises liability law and work on your premises liability case. Our attorneys help clients receive compensation for their injuries caused by negligent property owners.
We have successfully won millions of dollars for our clients, including:
- $1.1 million for the wrongful death of a minor who fell into a mobile park’s sewage treatment lagoon
- $1 million for a slip-and-fall accident outside a restaurant
Our law firm works on a no contingency fee policy, meaning you only have to pay us if your case is successful. Contact our law firm at (800) 727-8010 to schedule a free consultation.