Premises Liability FAQs
Property owners have an obligation to keep visitors to their property safe. When they fail to do so, the consequences can be significant. The legal team at Flaxman Law Group has worked on many premises liability cases across Southern Florida. In one case, we secured a $500,000 verdict after a boy fell on school property and suffered a head injury. In another case, we secured a $3.8 million settlement when a boy suffered brain injury after gaining access to an unsecured pool area.
We know about premises liability claims in Florida. Through our offices in Miami, Homestead, and Hollywood, we meet many people from all walks of life who are wondering whether they may have a premises liability claim. We’ve assembled the questions they ask us most in this FAQ to help you. If you’ve been injured and would like to speak to us directly, call Flaxman Law Group at 866-352-9626 or contact us online to schedule a free, no obligation case consultation.
- What Are Premises Liability Cases?
- What Are the Most Common Causes of Premises Liability Claims in Florida?
- Why Do I Need an Experienced Attorney?
- What Can I Seek Financial Recovery for?
- What Should My First Steps Be?
Property owners have an obligation to make sure that visitors to their property are reasonably safe. When they fail to do so and someone is injured, the property owner can be held liable. Just about any property owner can have a premises liability case filed against them, including stores, workplaces, construction sites, homeowners, HOAs, and more.
Premises liability cases hinge on the fact that different visitors have different levels of protection. All visitors have some degree of protection because homeowners have a duty of care to them:
- Public invitees and business invitees. Authorized visitors, such as customers visiting a restaurant or store, members of the public visiting a park, students at their school, and other people who have been invited onto a premises or are welcome onto a premises have the highest duty of care period it is expected that the property owner will take precautions to keep these people safe. They may need to install proper lighting, clean up spills promptly, hire off duty policemen as security guards, or take other, appropriate action to keep these visitors safe.
- Licensees. Invited licensees are invited guests. They may be a friend you invite over to your house, for example. Invited licensees are owed the same duty of case as public and business invitees. Uninvited licensees do not have an invitation but are not trespassing. For example, a door-to-door sales person is an uninvited licensee. In this case, the property owner has a duty not to wilfully injure the uninvited licensee.
- Trespassers. People who enter property but are unauthorized to do so, such as trespassers, are still owed a duty of care. However, they are owed the lowest form of care. In these cases, it is expected that the homeowner will simply not use traps or other dangers to dissuade trespassers. However, an extra duty of care is owed if the trespassers are children. If a property owner knows that children are likely to be attracted to their property—because of a pool, for example, or heavy machinery—they are expected to take extra care to keep child trespassers safe because children may not understand that trespassing may be unsafe.
There are many instances where premises liability claims can be filed. By far the most common involve slip and fall or trip and fall incidents in stores, on cruise ships, in hotels, and other public spaces. However, other common causes can include:
- Products falling on customers in stores
- Assault or theft happening to visitors in public places because of lack of security
- Pool injuries and drownings caused by unsecured pools
Premises liability cases can involve anything from slip and fall to assault, so the types of injuries can vary. They can include:
- Head injuries
- Spinal cord and back injuries
- broken bones
- Strains, sprains, and whiplash or other soft tissue injuries
- Contusions and abrasions
- Facial injuries
- Internal injuries
Many people who have been injured on public property find that property owners and their insurance companies aggressively defend premises liability claims. In cases of large hotel chains, large companies and stores, franchises, and other large corporations, these companies often have entire teams of attorneys, considerable resources, and powerful insurance companies that will stop at nothing to defend their clients. It's not unusual for security tapes to go missing, or even for companies to be accused of manipulating evidence to clear their names.
Experienced attorneys familiar with these tactics know how to build a strong case. An experienced lawyer also understands how the court system works and knows what a specific claim is worth. He or she will work hard to make sure that you get fair compensation or the best chance at fair compensation possible.
Without an attorney, sometimes injured parties sign away their rights because they are pressured to do so by insurance companies or corporations. They may also be made a lowball offer that doesn't end up covering medical costs and other expenses. An attorney can work to help you avoid such mistakes and can take care of many of the details of filing your claim. An attorney's job is to seek fair compensation for you and to take care of your claim, leaving you able to focus on your health and well-being.
If you have been injured through a property owner’s negligence, you can seek financial recovery or compensation for:
Emergency medical care, ongoing treatment, rehabilitation, medicine, and other medical bills
- Any expected future medical bills.
- Lost wages, if you have been unable to work because of your injury.
- Any expected future medical costs.
- Property damage caused by your accident, such as damage to your phone or other personal effects.
- Incidental costs, such as the cost associated with making your home more accessible to accommodate your injury.
- Pain and suffering.
How much you can recover will depend in part on your injury and how much it affects your life and how much it will cost you in medical bills and lost wages. The recklessness of the company or liable party will also be considered. If the company was very reckless with your safety, a jury may award you more. How effectively your attorney is able to prove your case and your losses also play a role. To find out how much your case may be worth, you may want to consult with a premises liability attorney who can properly evaluate your case.
If you have been injured on someone’s property, report the injury or incident to the manager or owner. Try to get a copy of the incident report, if you can. If possible, take photos of the surrounding area and the area where you were injured. Get contact information of witnesses, if possible. Get as much documentation as you can. You may even want to write down anything you remember about what you saw or experienced just before your injury.
It's also important to get medical attention. If your injury is potentially serious, call emergency services. If you're not sure whether you're injured or if your injuries less serious, still see a doctor right away. This will help establish the cause of the injury and will ensure you get proper medical attention right away. Prompt treatment can help you heal more effectively from your injury.
A third thing you will want to do is to contact a premises liability attorney in Miami, Hollywood, or your Florida community. An attorney can help evaluate any insurance offers you get, can help deal with anyone who may be contacting you about the injury, and can help you pursue compensation if that is what you decide to do. Even if you decide not to pursue a claim, it can be valuable to speak to an attorney. Your injury costs maybe a lot more than you anticipate, and speaking with an attorney and making informed decision can ensure you don't pay these costs entirely out of pocket.
If you’ve been injured in any public space, commercial space, or have suffered any injury and are wondering whether you may have a claim, Flaxman Law Group is a legal team who fights on the side of those who have been injured. If you have been injured and have questions, call us at 866-352-9626 or contact us online to set up a free case evaluation.