Premises Liability Lawyer in Fort Lauderdale

Every time you step on to someone else’s property, you face the risk of injury. Even a simple trip to the store or a friend’s apartment can turn into a traumatic event. If you have been injured on another person’s property, you may eligible to file a premises liability claim against that person, depending on the circumstances of the accident.

A Fort Lauderdale premises liability lawyer from Farmer, Jaffe, Weissing, Edwards, Fistos & Lehrman, P.L. can investigate your accident, assist you with your claim, and help you recover the compensation you deserve.

Call us today: 954-524-2820.

What are some common types of premises liability accidents?

There are many ways to suffer injury on someone else’s property. Some potential accidents include:

  • Slip and falls: Slip and falls are some of the most common premises liability accidents. Uneven flooring, poorly designed staircases, broken handrails, icy sidewalks, and other property conditions make it easy for a visitor to fall and injure themselves.
  • Elevator accidents: Faulty elevators can cause serious injuries to visitors. These accidents often result from poor maintenance, incomplete repairs, and defective wiring.
  • Animal attacks: Even the most well-mannered pets can escape their yards and attack people nearby. Pet owners are responsible for maintaining control of their animals and may be liable if their pet bites or otherwise injures someone.
  • Swimming pool accidents: Both private and public pool owners can be liable for injuries that occur at a pool.

What injuries may occur?

Injuries that occur on someone else’s property can be serious and impact victims and their families for years to come. Some of the most common injuries that occur are:

  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Spinal cord injury and paralysis
  • Neck and back sprain
  • Broken bones
  • Loss of limbs
  • Contusions
  • Burns
  • Drownings/near-drownings
  • Death

People that suffer these injuries may require years of hospital visits, physical therapy, surgeries, medications, and in-home care. For some, the injuries are permanent and prevent accident victims from returning to work or caring for themselves without assistance.

Building a Case for Premises Liability

If you have been injured on someone else’s property, Fla. Stat. § 95.11 (3)(a) allows you to file suit against negligent property owners within four years of the injury.

Once you have determined your liable party, the first step will be determining which legal category you belonged to at the time of the accident. The duty of care the at-fault party owed you depends on your category: invitee, licensee, or trespasser.

  • Invitees

When a home or business owner invites someone on to the property for any reason, the person is an invitee.

For example, business invitees (e.g., customers in a store) are on a property for a purpose related to the owner’s business interests. Public invitees (e.g., people at a public park) enter a property for the purpose for which the land is intended. Social invitees are those whom a homeowner invites for a social purpose (e.g., dinner, party, etc.)

Property owners have a duty to exercise reasonable care to maintain the property and ensure that the property is safe for all invitees. This duty of care requires property owners fix any hazards as well as conduct regular searches to find any potential hazards.

  • Licensees

Licensees have permission to be on the property but have no contractual dealings with the property owner, e.g., you entered a store to use the bathroom, you went to see your friend without a specific invitation, etc.

Property owners have a duty to exercise care to protect licensees from dangerous conditions that they know of or could be reasonably expected to know about.

  • Trespassers

Trespassers are people who have entered onto a property without the right to do so or without permission from the owner.

Property owners have no legal responsibility to keep trespassers safe, but this does not mean they can intentionally harm a trespasser. However, if the property owner was alerted to the presence of a trespasser, s/he must exercise ordinary care to protect the trespasser from injury on the property.

Breach of Duty

Once you have proven your status at the time of accident, your next step will be proving that the property owner breached his/her duty to you. For example, if the owner (who invited you onto the property) had actual or constructive knowledge about a dangerous condition on the property but failed to use reasonable care to fix it or warn you of the condition, s/he may be liable for your injuries.

To prove that the property owner had constructive knowledge of a condition, you must show that:

  • The dangerous condition existed for a long enough period of time that the owner should have known about it; and
  • The condition was reasonably foreseeable.

Causation

If you can prove that the property owner breached the duty s/he owed you, and that the breach caused your injuries, you may be able to hold the property owner liable for your damages.

Damages

You also need to prove that you suffered damages in the accident. Medical bills, W-2s, pay stubs, and other accident-related receipts will help establish your damages.

Available Compensation for an Accident

Accidents on another person’s property can cause damage that you and your family might be feeling for years to come. Filing a claim against the parties responsible for your injuries allows you to recover damages for your accident-related expenses.

If your suit is successful, you can receive damages for the following expenses:

  • Medical expenses (past and future)
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional trauma

Contact Farmer, Jaffe, Weissing, Edwards, Fistos & Lehrman, P.L. at 954-524-2820 for a free consultation with a Fort Lauderdale lawyer who can help with your premises liability case. Let our team be your path to justice.