When a property owner creates an unsafe condition and a visitor is injured as a result, a premises liability claim is the proper type of injury lawsuit for the visitor to file. Below, we help you determine whether you have a claim with which a Tampa premises liability attorney can help.
Premises Liability: Introduction
Florida law requires property owners to keep their properties reasonably safe for others.
Premises liability cases occur when a person is injured on another’s property because the property owner failed to keep the property as safe as it should have been.
These cases are about holding companies and people accountable when they let someone needlessly get hurt.
Premises liability cases often have serious injuries and can have very high settlement values. After all, big companies almost always have big pockets. However, these cases also require extensive work on the front end to prove that the company acted negligently.
And with big companies and big pockets comes big aggressive defense lawyering. Therefore, these cases usually require a lawsuit filed by an injury lawyer, thorough “discovery”, and the hiring of one or more experts to prove the case.
Premises Liability Cases in Tampa We Handle
Slip and Fall: Slips, trips, and falls make up the majority of premises liability cases we see. A slip and fall case happens when poor property maintenance results in an unsafe walking surface that leads to injuring an unsuspecting person.
Insufficient or Negligent Security: Negligent security cases are the result of the failure of a business to provide reasonable security for its guests. A third-party criminal then takes advantage of the defendant’s substandard security and hurts someone. In negligent security cases, the business is responsible for the pain and injuries suffered by the victim at the hands of the third party.
Dog Bites and Attacks: Florida has a strict dog bite statute that holds dog owners responsible for the damages caused by bites to another person.
Burns and Scalding: Apartments and hotels have to provide hot water, sometimes to hundreds of people. Hot water scalding can happen when there is not enough hot water to go around and a maintenance person cranks up the water heater above safe levels. What’s worse, these happen when the building owners have chosen not to spend the money to retrofit water systems with safeguards.
Sidewalk or Pavement Injuries: Sidewalk and pavement injuries occur when a landowner fails to keep sidewalks and pavement in good condition and an unsuspecting victim is injured as a result.
Door and Elevator Injuries: Automatic doors and elevators have the ability to cause serious injuries. They need to be installed and maintained correctly to make sure the electronics and sensors are working. These cases happen when doors or elevators are installed or maintained incorrectly, and a person is injured as a result.
Who Do You Sue in a Premises Liability Case?
You sue the person responsible for creating or allowing the dangerous condition that resulted in one or more injuries.
In premises liability cases, that is usually the landowner and/or the company who is using the land. For example, a grocery store may rent property from a company that actually owns the land. In that case, you might bring your claim against both parties so you can figure out which company is responsible for your injuries.
Parking Lots: A company that provides parking lots for customers needs to maintain them in a safe condition. Parking lot premises liability cases usually involve cracked pavement, sidewalks, or potholes. For example, we sued a convenience store in Tampa for letting the parking lot deteriorate. Our client stepped out of her car to do business in the convenience store. She immediately hit a broken curb. She slipped and suffered a broken bone. She never saw it coming.
Home Improvement Stores Like Lowes, The Home Depot, Walmart, and Target: Home improvement companies need to keep rigorous safety standards to protect customers from spills, falling objects, and misplaced items. When home improvement companies fail to follow these safety standards, injuries happen.
Other types of businesses that could be subjected to a Tampa premises liability lawsuit include:
Do I Have a Tampa Premises Liability Case?
Premises liability cases are some of the most complex and expensive injury cases to try in Florida. So, the first thing we look for is legitimate physical or psychological injury as a result of the trip, fall, or attack.
If you’re legitimately hurt, then you have a case worth investigating.
Of course, the company needs to have created an unsafe environment that caused your injury. Sometimes this is easy to see from the beginning. For example, a cracked sidewalk or broken stairs that are not up to code will clearly show the company acted negligently.
Other cases need immediate action to prevent the company from destroying evidence and to get the details required to determine that the company is liable for your injuries. This is especially true in slip and fall cases where there was a fall because of a slippery substance on a floor.
Big companies know there are some legal obstacles they can hide behind to keep from paying you for your case. For example, the burden of proof is on the injured person in Florida to prove that the company knew or should have known that a slippery substance was on the floor before you fell. Think about it: if you don’t act quickly, the company can prevent you and your lawyer from learning that the company knew or should have known about the dangerous condition.
The big picture: If you have legitimate injuries and the accident happened relatively recently, then you have a case worth pursuing.