Children on Property
Palm Beach County residents must keep their premises in reasonably safe conditions for visitors. They owe a special duty of care to children. When a property owner’s negligence injures a child, his or her family may be able to take legal action. At Frankl & Kominsky, we offer compassionate guidance and representation in these potentially challenging cases. Our lawyers are available to advocate for your child if he or she was hurt near West Palm Beach or the surrounding area by someone else’s careless conduct.Common Injuries Suffered by Children on Property
Children fall prey to accidents on a daily basis. According to the Centers for Disease Control, approximately 8.7 million minors are treated in emergency rooms for these injuries each year, and over 9,000 tragically lose their lives. Among the most common types of unintentional injuries are those caused by falls, fires, and drowning.
Property conditions that can pose an elevated level of risk to children are:
- Unfenced or uncovered swimming pools;
- Property defects, including loose steps and uneven pavements;
- Lack of, or inadequately trained, lifeguards; or
- Loose or worn out electrical wires.
Even if the victim survives, nonfatal injuries can often lead to permanent disability, chronic pain, and a significant deterioration in his or her lifestyle. A child may need extensive medical treatment, and a parent or other caregiver can be forced to scale back on work to provide the needed care.Hold Negligent Property Owners Accountable
Under premises liability law, an accident victim can seek compensation from a property owner if the individual had permission to be on the premises, and if the injury was caused by the defendant’s failure to meet the appropriate standard of care. People or entities who own or control property owe varying degrees of care to visitors. For example, they owe the highest duty of care to invitees, or individuals on the property for a business purpose. These include diners at a restaurant, customers in a store, or patrons of a hotel. Property owners owe a slightly lower duty of care to licensees, or social guests, and a very limited obligation to trespassers.
To hold a defendant accountable in a premises liability claim, a victim would normally have to show that he or she was either an invitee or licensee, that the property owner failed to exercise the appropriate level of care, and that injuries resulted. Children, however, are owed a special duty of care under Florida common law and statutes. A property owner may be liable for a child’s injury even if he or she did not have permission to be on the property.Attractive Nuisance and Swimming Pools
Property owners have a duty to protect children from artificial conditions on their premises that are likely to capture the interest of young people and could threaten their safety. This is called the attractive nuisance doctrine. Property owners who are in this position must take reasonable measures to either remove or warn of the hazard. These dangerous conditions include swimming pools, trampolines, and lawn equipment.
Property owners must take particular steps to protect children from accidents in a pool. The state’s Residential Swimming Pool Safety Act requires them to equip these areas with at least one safety measure, such as a fence, in order to prevent injury to a young person. If your child has fallen victim to this type of accident, you can pursue compensation from a property owner who was at fault. You can potentially recover damages for current and future medical costs, rehabilitative care, pain and suffering, and other harm. You can file a wrongful death claim in the tragic event that your child was fatally injured on someone else’s property. There is a time window of four years to pursue a personal injury lawsuit, and two years to bring a lawsuit for wrongful death.Lawyers Fighting for the Rights of West Palm Beach Children
Frankl & Kominsky offers dedicated representation to children and their families in premises liability cases. Our injury attorneys are prepared to try and help you hold a negligent property owner accountable in West Palm Beach. We are committed to providing aggressive advocacy during settlement negotiations or at trial and will tenaciously fight for compensation. We serve accident victims in communities such as Delray Beach, Boca Raton, Palm Beach Gardens, and Lake Worth. Please call us at (561) 609-1948 or complete our online form to schedule a free and confidential consultation. We speak Spanish and Creole.