Understanding Property Owner Responsibility For Injuries

If you were hurt on a business property or at someone’s home, you may have a premises liability case. Before you can recover compensation for the injuries and losses you’ve sustained, it is important that you understand the laws in Florida regarding premises liability.

Premises liability laws state that a property owner may be legally responsible for injuries on their property. However, you will be the one who needs to prove that negligence was a factor in causing the accident that led to your injuries.

What Kinds Of Accidents Are Common For Premises Liability Cases?

It stands to reason that you could hurt yourself on someone else’s property without them being liable. The key to premises liability is that a dangerous condition existed and the owner either knew or should have known about it and taken the proper steps to protect visitors.

Perhaps the most common premises liability case involves slip and fall accidents, which can arise from slippery substances, such as water, being spilled on the floor. Premises liability also covers trips and falls over uneven surfaces like sidewalk cracks or torn carpets, negligent security measures, amusement park accidents, elevator accidents, dog bites, swimming pool accidents, and daycare injuries.

When Is A Property Owner Liable For Your Injuries?

In a premises liability case, it must be proven that the property owner owed you a duty of care. You must be an invited visitor to be extended this duty. Invitees are always granted a duty of care because they are permitted to be on the property.

Landowners have a duty to repair any known hazardous conditions or warn invitees about them if they cannot immediately fix the danger. However, those who are trespassing are not granted the same extension of owner liability. This means if you are at a business after hours without permission, you would not have a valid case. The only exception is when the person trespassing is a child.

Once a duty of care has been established in your premises liability case, you will need to show there was a breach of this duty. The neglect in maintaining the property to keep it safe must have caused the accident that led to your injuries and damages.

You may think this will be easy to demonstrate, especially if you were grocery shopping or dining at your favorite restaurant. However, premises liability cases are never straightforward. The liable entities will have attorneys who will try to prove that your claim is invalid.

How Property Owners Protect Themselves From Liability

Since property owners will likely have legal representation, you should too. A personal injury lawyer can help you when a property owner tries to avoid their obligations to you.

The majority of property owners will claim that they didn’t know about the hazard that caused your injuries. It can be difficult to prove that a property owner was aware of or should have known about the hazard that led to your accident. While they may try this tactic, property owners should inspect the grounds regularly to look for and repair anything that could cause harm.

Others will claim the hazard was obvious and in plain sight. The property owner would then be able to deny liability for any accidents on their property.

Another common way to shift the blame is to put it squarely on the injured party. A property owner may not be able to deny all aspects of their responsibility in the premises liability case. However, they may be able to reduce their payout by claiming that you were partially to blame for your injuries.

What Can An Attorney Do To Help You In A Premises Liability Case?

Since there are people who will fake injuries to file a premises liability lawsuit, it is imperative that you have plenty of evidence to back up your claim. Many injured victims in these situations are hurt so badly, they must immediately go to the hospital. In these cases, it may not be possible to get evidence from the accident scene.

A personal injury attorney can get to work tracking down surveillance footage and witnesses. They can also present your medical records and expert medical testimony about your injury to prove your injuries and your claim are valid. If you were hurt because a business or personal property owner neglected their duty of care to you, your attorney can help you get the compensation you deserve for your medical bills and other financial losses.