Fort Lauderdale Premises Liability Lawyers

Accidents are bound to happen now and again; sometimes, it’s no one’s fault. In such cases, counting your losses and moving on is okay. However, in other situations, such as in a Fort Lauderdale premises liability case, your accident can be due to someone else’s negligence. These are the cases where the right thing to do may be to seek justice via a personal injury claim.

In Fort Lauderdale, a property owner is responsible for your safety when you are on their property. Therefore, they have a legal duty to ensure that their premises are safe. As such, they must ensure that no hazardous conditions can predispose you to an accident. Additionally, they must warn you of dangers if they cannot fix a known dangerous situation.

Under Florida personal injury laws, property owners who fail in these obligations will be responsible for injuries. We suggest contacting our office immediately if you believe that you may be eligible for a premises liability claim. Our Fort Lauderdale premises liability lawyers at Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers can help you seek justice.

What Is Premises Liability?

As previously mentioned, premises liability cases cover circumstances where a property owner’s negligence caused your injuries. For example, if the property owner’s wet floor made you slip and fall, you can seek compensation for your injuries. However, premises liability cases aren’t always straightforward.

Many factors could impact your eligibility for compensation. For example, in Fort Lauderdale, the law recognizes invitees and licensees as claimants in a premises liability case. Trespassers don’t have this privilege.

Your status while on someone else’s property can be:

Invitee

If you’re an invitee, the property owner explicitly permits you to be on the premises. Usually, your presence on the property will benefit the owner in one way or another. A perfect example of an invitee is someone on the premises to transact business.

Common examples of invitees include customers at grocery stores, bars, restaurants, department stores, etc. Other examples include a nail technician performing home service, a fitness establishment client, a clinic patient, etc.

Property owners owe invitees a high degree of care since they’re the ones who invited them onto their premises. As such, they must ensure that nothing can potentially harm their guests. For example, if a rod on the floor is positioned in a way that can hurt you, they must move it away. If they don’t, you could seek compensation for injuries that the rod caused you.

Licensee

Many people confuse licensees with invitees because both categories of persons are on premises with the owner’s permission. However, the difference lies in their reasons for being there. While an invitee is usually there to transact business, a licensee is there for other purposes besides business. For example, a claimant can be a party guest or visitor.

Property owners must keep licensees safe from danger. You could sue the property owner as a licensee if a reasonably foreseeable dangerous condition caused your injury. Note that salespersons and maintenance workers who go from door to door in search of clients are licensees.

Trespasser

Unlike licensees and invitees, a trespasser is someone on another person’s premises without permission. These people are often there for illegal activities such as theft or vandalism. The law doesn’t mandate property owners to warn trespassers of hazardous conditions on the premises. However, unlike what some people believe, property owners still owe trespassers some duty of care, to a small degree.

For example, property owners cannot purposely make the property more dangerous for the trespasser without good reason. As such, setting up traps or attacking a trespasser is against the law. In some cases, premises owners may have to warn the trespasser of dangerous conditions when they become aware of their presence.

There are special cases you need to consider before filing a Fort Lauderdale premises liability claim:

Children

Sometimes, the import of the term “trespasser” doesn’t apply to children. That’s especially true when an attractive nuisance on the premises is likely to call for the child’s attention. For example, homeowners with swimming pools should mount a barricade to prevent children from straying into it.

Tenants and Landlords

As a tenant in an apartment, you may be able to seek compensation from your landlord in certain situations. Usually, this is when the party responsible for the premises failed to maintain a hazardous condition on the property.

Third-Party Actions

Sometimes, you can hold a property owner responsible for the actions of a third party that caused your injuries. This happens when they fail to do something they should have done to prevent the third party from harming you.

For example, places such as nightclubs should invest in security to avoid cases of theft, assault, rape, etc. If their lack of adequate security personnel makes it easy for a third party to attack, you may be able to hold them liable.

Government

Special rules cover cases where you sustained an injury on government property. You may also have to keep up with special timelines and other conditions. Our Fort Lauderdale premises liability attorney will walk you through the process if you wish to file a claim against the government (by appointment).

Types of Fort Lauderdale Premises Liability Cases

These are the various premises liability cases our personal injury lawyers can handle on your behalf:

Slip, Trip, and Fall Cases

According to National Floor Safety Institute’s Quick Facts, slips and falls account for more than 1 million hospital emergency room visits in the country. Additionally, many premises liability cases in Fort Lauderdale result from a slip and fall accident.

This kind of incident occurs when a wet floor causes you to slide and hit the ground. Common causes of slips and falls include spilled liquid, unsafe ladders, uneven floors, inadequate lights, etc.

Swimming Pool Claims

Property owners with swimming pools must take adequate precautions to protect visitors from pool accidents. This is especially necessary when children can get in and drown.

Swimming pool owners should take safety measures such as putting up a fence around the pool or hiring divers/rescue guards in commercial settings. Property owners may also warn people of danger via signposts or provide life jackets for swimmers.

Dog Bites Claims

Dog bites can be very painful and debilitating. In Fort Lauderdale, every dog owner must watch and control their pets.

To this end, property owners must put signs in conspicuous places to let visitors know to beware of dogs. A visitor could seek compensation from a careless dog owner if the owner’s negligence led to their injury.

Assault Cases/Negligent Security Cases

There are many ways a negligent security claim may arise. Rape, assault, battery, and mugging are typical examples of negligent security cases in Fort Lauderdale. Property owners are liable for injuries under this type of premises liability if they fail to provide adequate security for the premises.

What amounts to negligent security depends on numerous factors. For example, premises owners in high-risk areas should generally offer more security to guests than those in low-risk areas.

Examples of actions leading to negligent security include neglecting to replace broken locks and a lack of security cameras. Property owners could have also employed inadequate and inexperienced security guards.

Elevator and Escalator Cases

Escalators and elevators can cause some of the most dangerous premises liability accidents in Fort Lauderdale. As such, property owners and guests must be careful around these areas. In addition, premises owners must maintain or fix them when the need arises or risk personal injury claims from injured victims.

Theme Park Accidents

Theme parks are among the most exciting places to have fun in Fort Lauderdale. Unfortunately, these places are also prone to accidents. To prevent unfortunate occurrences, theme park managers must warn visitors of dangerous areas and provide other security measures.

If you are a regular visitor to theme parks, you may notice waivers on the theme park tickets. However, note that these waivers cannot stop you from seeking justice for your injuries via a personal injury lawsuit.

The injuries you may sustain in a Fort Lauderdale premises liability case range from mild to moderate to severe. They include:

  • Fractures/broken bones
  • Burns
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Back and neck injuries
  • Spinal cord damage
  • Cuts and lacerations
  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Internal bleeding, etc.
What Should I Do After a Fort Lauderdale Premises Liability Accident?

Since accidents such as these are unplanned, you’ll likely be in shock when it happens. It’s also normal to feel a wide range of emotions, including fear, regret, anger, etc. However, regardless of the nature of the accident, you should try to compose yourself as best as possible. This is because the actions you take at this point will go a long way to determine your case’s outcome.

These are the proper steps to take after a premises liability accident in Fort Lauderdale:

Stay Calm and Avoid Panicking

It’s essential to remain calm after an accident so that you can think properly and make the right decisions. You can try to maintain calmness by taking deep breathing exercises and not moving immediately. Taking the first few seconds after an accident to calm down can help in the long run.

Assess Your Environment

After calming yourself down, you may want to access your environment and note details. First, inspect the dangerous condition that caused your accident, and check if anyone witnessed it.

Speak With the Property Manager

If the property owner isn’t around, ask to speak with a manager, supervisor, or the highest person in charge, regardless of the location, and report the accident. This step is critical and can significantly impact your case. If possible, put the report in writing and keep a copy.

Gather Evidence

All civil claims require ample evidence to win, especially premises liability cases. You can improve your chances of success by gathering as much proof as possible.

This includes taking photos and videos of the accident scene. Make sure to capture your injuries and the dangerous condition clearly.

Get Witnesses' Contact Information and Statement

Another way to have sufficient evidence for your case is by politely asking any eyewitness for their account of the accident. If possible, record their statement and ask them for their contact information.

Seek Medical Attention

Your speedy recovery is of paramount importance after a premises liability accident. As such, requesting medical help is vital to avoid complicating your injuries.

Even if you don’t think you sustained severe injuries, medical assistance is vital to confirm that you don’t have internal injuries. Moreover, your medical report is an essential document that can indicate the extent of your injuries.

Call Our Office

Our experienced Fort Lauderdale premises liability attorneys are always available to see you through this challenging time (by appointment only).

Will I Obtain Compensation for My Injuries?

A premises liability claim aims to seek compensation for the damages you have incurred following an injury, which may include:

Economic Damages

Also called special damages, economic damages refer to the compensation you seek for the money you lost due to the accident. This includes your medical bills (past and future), lost wages, lost earning potential, rehabilitation costs, etc.

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages are also called general damages. This refers to compensation for losses that are not financial. Examples of non-economic damages include emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of companionship, pain and suffering, etc.

Punitive Damages

Courts can decide to award punitive damages in some exceptional cases as punishment to the at-fault party. This typically happens when your accident results from gross negligence or intentional misconduct.

Note that Fort Lauderdale uses the pure comparative negligence rule. This means that the compensation you may ultimately earn will depend on your percentage of fault in the accident. Therefore, the defendant may still be liable for compensation if you were partially responsible for the sustained injuries.

However, the damages you'll receive will be less by your percentage of fault. For example, if you were 10% at fault for your injury, your damages will reduce by 10%.

How to Prove a Fort Lauderdale Premises Liability Claim

While no two premises liability cases are the same, they can all be complicated to handle. However, our personal injury lawyers have the experience and skills needed to help prove who was negligent. We'll access the facts and evidence in your case to prove (when applicable):

  • The presence of a dangerous condition on the premises at the time of your visit.
  • The property owner was aware of the hazardous condition but failed to eliminate it. They also neglected to warn you about the existence of the dangerous condition.
  • You suffered severe physical and emotional trauma.
  • The injuries you suffered were due to the property owner's failure to fix or warn about the dangerous condition

For negligent security, the elements to prove are different. You have to show that:

  • You were a licensee or invitee on the premises,
  • The property didn't have enough security,
  • The property owner ought to have known or reasonably foreseen the assault, theft, etc.,
  • You sustained injuries due to the property owner's inability to provide adequate security.
Why Do I Need a Fort Lauderdale Premises Liability Attorney?

A lawyer’s help will help your chances of reaching a fair outcome. Here is a breakdown of the services we provide:

Investigation

Our Fort Lauderdale premises liability lawyers will investigate your case and gather the needed evidence. Moreover, we can negotiate on your behalf and provide compelling arguments.

Legal Advice

Premises liability cases are so complex that it's easy for claimants to make simple yet damaging mistakes. However, when you work with us, we're with you every step of the way to help you make the right decision. We'll evaluate your case and provide sound legal advice/guidance.

Settlement Negotiations

Our premises liability lawyers are skilled negotiators who know how to speak with insurance adjusters. As a result, your chances of an out-of-court settlement offer can be higher.

Documentation

Premises liability cases require a lot of paperwork, filings, and documentation. This is one of the most complex parts of these kinds of issues. However, it's something our attorneys do best. We take the burden off our clients so they can focus on recovery while we prepare and deliver all the necessary documents on time.

Consult With Us at Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers ASAP

Are you a victim of a Fort Lauderdale premises liability accident? Did you suffer severe injuries in the process?

Speak with our dedicated personal injury attorneys at Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers as soon as possible. We will begin working on your case immediately. Call us today at (561) 800-8000 for more information on how we can help you seek compensation.

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