Premises Liability Serving Pembroke Pines
People visit different places in Pembroke Pines daily. For example, you could go shopping for groceries or shop at the mall. Similarly, many people often take their kids to parks and recreational centers.
We expect to be safe when going to and leaving these places without sustaining injuries or loss. The law imposes a duty on premises owners or controllers to keep the environment safe for visitors.
Unfortunately, many premises are in hazardous conditions. Several Pembroke Pines residents can suffer from different accidents with injuries annually. Fortunately, Florida law grants you a right to seek compensation.
You don't have to bear the consequences of your accident. Instead, you can seek to recover monetary compensation from the negligent premises manager. First, you should consider speaking with an excellent Pembroke Pines premises liability attorney.
You can hire skilled and experienced attorneys for your case at Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers (by appointment). Contact us today.What Is Premises Liability?
Premises liability is a legal principle that protects visitors when they visit someone else's premises. The law aims so that visitors don't sustain injuries because of unsafe or defective conditions on a property. Premises liability cases are primarily based on negligence.
Here, the injured victim argues that the premises manager was negligent. For example, it could be that the premises owner knew about the hazardous condition and didn't fix it. Conversely, the property manager may be unaware of the dangerous situation.
This lack of awareness would be because they didn't conduct frequent and proper property inspections. However, premises controllers aren't always liable when people sustain injuries on their property. Suppose they can't be reasonably expected to know of the danger. Then, they cannot bear liability.Types of Premises Liability Cases
Premises liability claims arise in different ways. We explain some of them below.Slip and Fall Cases
These occur when the victim slips and falls on the property floor. For example, suppose you're shopping, and a cleaner pours water on the floor. You'll have a premises liability claim if you slip and fall because of that water when it could have been prevented.
Several elements can cause slips and falls, such as water, oil, banana, and other fruit peels, etc. Falls are the second leading cause of unintentional injury-related death.Trip and Fall Accidents
Trips and falls are also popular sources of premises liability claims. However, this class of accidents involves the victim tripping over an object. Usually, the property manager would have wrongly placed the item.
For instance, imagine that while you're shopping, a cleaner suddenly drops the mop on your way. If you don't see the mop, you may trip over it and fall. The mall may then be held liable for the cleaner's conduct.Snow and Ice Accidents
Snow rarely falls in Pembroke Pines. However, if it does snow, it can cover walkways, parks, and other roads. However, property managers have a responsibility to shovel off this snow.
This is usually the case if it's a business premise. Residential premises owners should also clean up the snow. Therefore, suppose they leave the snow on the premises. Visitors can slip and fall because the floor will be wet.Concert Accidents
Pembroke Pines residents often attend entertainment venues and concerts. These concerts can be in clubs or outdoors. Notably, the organizers of these events have a legal duty of care over the attendees. This means that they must ensure that the venue is free of hazards.
Sadly, accidents sometimes occur at these concerts. Some of these mishaps include:
- Robberies and assaults because of negligent security
- Seat collapses
- Flying projectiles, such as microphones
- Fire outbreaks
If the organizers foresaw or ought to have foreseen these events, they may be liable to the victims.Other Sources of Premises Liability Claims
Several other ways a premises controller may be liable for visitors' injuries include:
- Poor property maintenance
- Elevator or escalator accidents
- Staircase mishaps
- Swimming pool accidents
- Amusement park accidents
- Hazardous fumes
- Animal attacks
- Negligent security claims
Premises liability accidents often result in multiple injuries. These wounds could be minor or devastating. The type and nature of your injuries depends on the accident's severity.
Anyone in a premises liability accident may sustain any of these wounds:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Internal organ injuries
- Soft tissue wounds
- Neck and shoulder injuries
- Fractures and dislocations
- Broken bones
- Bruises, scrapes, and abrasions
Unfortunately, many premises liability accidents result in death. Therefore, the law classifies this as wrongful death. It's wrongful because the victim wouldn't have died but for the premises controller's negligence.Proving Liability in Pembroke Pines Premises Liability Claims
We already stated that premises liability claims are based on negligence. Therefore, the usual principles of establishing negligence apply. You must prove the following to recover any compensation:
- The legal status of the visitor. You must show that you had the right to be on the property.
- The property owner knew or ought reasonably to know of the premises' hazardous condition.
- That the premises manager neglected to fix or warn about the property's poor condition.
- This hazardous condition caused your accident.
- The occurrence directly caused your injuries and other losses.
Once you establish these facts, you'll have proof of the defendant's liability. This is the only way you can seek compensation.Legal Status of Premises Visitors
Understanding your legal status is vital when you're on someone's property. Your status determines the legal duty the property owner owes you. Therefore, it also determines the existence or extent of their liability if accidents occur.
Below are the four classes of visitors in Pembroke Pines.Invitees
An invitee is someone that the property owner invites onto the premises. This invitation could be expressed or implied. Furthermore, the visitor's presence on the property is usually for the property owner's commercial benefit.
An express invitation would be where a contractor is invited to a construction site for inspections. Conversely, supermarkets impliedly invite shoppers onto the property. Therefore, since you're on the owner's property, they owe you the highest duty of care.Licensees
A licensee enters a property with the owner's permission, whether oral or written. However, licensees differ from invitees because they're on the property for personal benefit.
A typical example of licensees is a neighbor inviting you to dinner at their home. Similarly, you'll be a licensee when you visit family members. The premises owner is only liable for dangerous conditions they knew about for licensees.Trespassers
Trespassers are those on a property without the owner's permission. This includes express and implied consent. Therefore, the property manager owes this person the lowest legal duty of care. Premises managers don't have to keep their property safe from trespassers.
However, they must not create or exploit dangerous conditions to hurt a trespasser. The trespasser's safety depends on their conduct. They must identify and avoid hazardous spots on their own.Children Trespassers
The law protects children who trespass on a property. This holds the premises owner liable in some limited circumstances. This is because children are too young to understand legal concepts such as trespassing.
In addition, they cannot easily recognize hazardous conditions as adults can. In Pembroke Pines, the law of attractive nuisance protects children. This principle implies that children are attracted to big and shiny objects.
Furthermore, this attraction often leads them toward such objects. Therefore, premises owners must take steps to eliminate dangers. Popular attractive nuisances include:
- Swimming pools
- Abandoned vehicles
- Spoiled refrigerators
- Washers and other abandoned electrical appliances
- Airtight objects with active doors
Failing to remove these objects may make premises controllers liable for negligence.Can a Visitor Be Partially Responsible for Their Injuries?
Yes, premises liability victims aren't always free of responsibility. Instead, they're often wholly or partly responsible for the accidents that hurt them. For example, suppose you're running around in a grocery shop.
You're partly responsible for the accident if you slip and fall on a wet spot. However, this doesn't mean you're no longer entitled to compensation. Instead, the law merely reduces the compensation that you may be awarded.
For example, suppose your medical bills are $20,000, and you contributed 10% to your accident. Then, Florida's comparative negligence law provides that you can only claim 90% of the damages. You'll therefore walk away with only $18,000 if the property owner is deemed liable.Essential Evidence in Pembroke Pines Premises Liability Claims
You cannot establish the elements of premises liability without solid evidence. The evidence convinces the court or the other party of your position. It's vital to know the sources of evidence for premises liability claims.
Some of them include:
- Photographic evidence
- CCTV video footage
- Accident reports
- Eyewitness accounts
- Medical records, including laboratory results
- Medical bills
- Expert witnesses
- Lease agreements and property records
Premises liability accidents often happen in enclosed spaces. Most of the evidence will be in the property owner's possession once you leave the environment. It'll help take preliminary steps to protect the evidence.
For instance, you can take photos and videos of your injuries. In addition, taking a video of the condition that caused your injuries is also vital. After this, it'll be best to take the contact details of any witnesses.Do I Need a Pembroke Pines Premises Liability Lawyer?
Hiring an attorney should be your next move if you've been in a premises liability accident. Unfortunately, some Pembroke Pines residents are wary of attorneys. Sometimes, they don't want to pursue compensation.
Other times, they don't want to hire lawyers because of rumors they heard about them. High legal fees may even scare them away. However, hiring a lawyer can be your best decision for your premises liability claim.
An excellent premises liability attorney can help you in the following ways:Gather and Store Vital Evidence
It can be challenging to secure evidence in premise liability cases. Fortunately, having an attorney simplifies the process. An experienced lawyer will know the evidence sources relevant to your claim.
In addition, they can file legal documents preventing the property owner from destroying vital pieces of evidence. This procedure is usually necessary for public places that have CCTV cameras. Therefore, it's better to engage with a lawyer early on.Establishing Your Legal Status
The premises owner may try denying that you were on the property legally. However, your lawyer can show that you were validly on the property. Consequently, they can prove that the property owner owes you a duty of care.Calculating Your Compensation
It's one thing to know that you suffered losses from an accident. However, it's another issue to determine the full extent of your losses. If you make mistakes at this stage, your compensation may not be sufficient for your injuries sustained from the accident.
However, our lawyers understand the law on damages. Therefore, they can identify the economic and non-economic damages that you may deserve. In addition, our attorneys can also give you a fair estimate of your losses.Undertaking Litigation If Necessary
Not all premises liability cases end in litigation. Instead, the at-fault parties sometimes offer a settlement. However, suppose the victim and property owner cannot reach an agreement. Then, litigation will be necessary if you want to pursue your claim.
It's essential to have attorneys that can and will go to trial if necessary. Our Frankl Komisky Injury Lawyers are an excellent choice because we aren't scared of litigation. We'll fight for you in court if it comes down to this option.Choosing Between an Insurance Settlement and a Lawsuit
Premises liability claims always come down to a choice between going to court and accepting a settlement. Commercial and residential buildings often have insurance policies. These policies cover accidents that occur on the premises.
Therefore, you can file an insurance claim with the negligent party's insurer after your injury. If they offer a reasonable amount, you can avoid court. Unfortunately, many insurance companies offer low settlements.
Insurance companies hope a lack of legal advice will have you accept a low settlement. Therefore, in these cases, filing a lawsuit may be best. Although the result of litigation is uncertain, an excellent attorney can help you seek financial compensation.How Long Do I Have to File a Pembroke Pines Liability Claim?
You must file your lawsuit within a definite period. Florida's Statute of Limitations governs this period. Under this law, you have only two years to approach the courts in Pembroke Pines.
The clock starts ticking from the accident date. Missing this deadline could be destructive for your case, as the defendant can notify the court of your default. Then, the judge may dismiss your claim.
Our Pembroke Pines premises liability lawyers will ensure that you don't miss any deadlines. We've handled several cases and complied with the statutory time limits. We will file your claim within the relevant time frame.What Damages Can I Recover in a Premises Liability Claim?
You'll be entitled to damages if you successfully establish the property owner's negligence. There are three major classes of damages you may be awarded. They include:
- Punitive or exemplary
Economic damages refer to your actual financial losses from the accident. Non-economic losses compensate you for other non-physical consequences of the occurrence. Conversely, courts may award punitive damages to punish the defendant. This is often the case where the property owner's conduct is reprehensible.
However, under economic and non-economic damages, some examples are more critical for premises liability claims. We explain them below.Medical Bills
A premises liability accident will most likely result in a bodily injury. If this happens, it'll be best to seek medical attention immediately. Therefore, a compensation claim must cover your medical bills, which amount to the following:
- Cost of medical equipment
- Ambulance bills
- Pharmaceutical bills
- Future medical expenses for long-term injuries
An accident will most likely keep you out of work. Consequently, you'll lose the wages your employer would have paid you. Fair compensation or a judgment must also cover your lost wages for the duration of your illness. In addition, you can seek compensation for loss of economic opportunities and loss of earning capacity.Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering refer to the physical pain and emotional suffering caused by the injury. This is a class of non-economic damages. Since this is an intangible loss, the court will use unique methods to attach a dollar figure for your pain and suffering.Wrongful Death
Finally, suppose someone wrongfully dies in a premises liability accident. Then, the deceased's representatives can recover the funeral and burial costs. In addition, they can seek damages for non-economic losses, including:
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of parental guidance
- Loss of future earnings
Have you been in an accident on someone's property? Do you think the premises manager kept the environment in a hazardous condition? If so, you may be entitled to compensation.
Therefore, speaking with a Pembroke Pines premises liability lawyer is essential. Our attorneys at Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers have decades of experience helping our clients with their premises liability cases (by appointment). In addition, we're a dedicated and passionate team of lawyers. Call us at (561) 800-8000 for a complimentary consultation.