Property owners are required to keep their premises clean and safe. This is to prevent people from getting hurt while on their premises. If they fail to do so, they will be responsible for any injuries sustained while on their property. This goes for homeowners, business owners, and even municipalities. Often times, people let their property fall into a state of disrepair. This can be due to money issues, ignorance or just plain laziness. If you suffer an injury while on someone else’s property, you need to contact a St. Petersburg personal injury attorney familiar with premises liability accidents, contact Winters and Yonker today for a free case evaluation. Our St Petersburg Premises Liability Lawyer will fight vigorously on your behalf to get the compensation you deserve.
They treat premises liability cases the same as any other negligence case. Premises liability lawyers need to prove the same four (4) elements of a negligence case. They have to prove the following:
- The property owner owes you a duty of care
- They breached this duty
- You suffered injuries because of this breach
- You suffered damages
Property owners owe you a duty to keep their premises safe. If they fail to do this, you can get hurt or even killed. These injuries will likely lead to damages. If you suffer damages as a result of your accident, your premises liability attorney will file a lawsuit against the responsible parties. This could include the property owner, management company, or even the maintenance team. Most premises liability cases do settle. They either get paid by the insurance company of your lawyer is able to negotiate a settlement with the defendant’s lawyer. However, if this isn’t possible, he will file a lawsuit in Florida.
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Your Premises Liability Lawyer Knows the Law in Florida
Premises liability can be confusing. There are so many parties involved. There are a lot of variables that can impact who’s at fault. This is why you want to rely on a premises liability lawyer to handle your case. It’s not like what you see on television. If you fall or get hurt on someone’s property, they don’t magically write you a check for a million dollars. The defendant will have insurance. The insurance company may deny your claim. You have to prove that the defendant was actually at fault in order to recover. This isn’t always easy. Under Florida law, premises liability cases can be filed against any of the following:
- People who own or manage retail businesses
- Management companies
- State offices or municipalities
Because there are so many potential defendants, it can get very confusing. Your premises liability lawyer will decide what parties you need to pursue. It may depend on which parties have more money. Or, maybe you go after a party that is more concerned with negative publicity. Let your premises liability lawyer help you decide.
If a property owner allows their premises to fall into a state of disrepair, they will be liable for any injuries that occur as a result. St. Petersburg premises liability attorneys represent several types of plaintiffs:
Basically, anyone who gets hurt on someone else’s property can file a claim. If they are hurt and suffer damages, the property owner will likely be ordered to pay. Your lawyer in St Petersburg can review your case and help determine how strong your case is. To prove a successful claim, you have to show that the defendant was negligent in maintaining his property. As with other negligence cases, you must also show that this negligence caused your injuries.
Your Injury Attorney May Have to File Suit for Unsafe Premises
A property can be deemed unsafe for many reasons. Usually, it is a result of either wear and tear or structural damages. For the most part, property owners are in total control of their premises. Aside from a management company, there are few people they can blame it on. Even tenants have a duty to report unsafe conditions to their landlords. There are also cases where the plaintiff can be held partially at fault. However, generally speaking, visitors and guests should be able to expect that a property is safe. Premises liability lawyers file suit for many types of unsafe conditions. Some of these are:
Property owners have a duty to perform routine maintenance on their property. Most people do keep their properties safe. It is only the rare few who are neglectful. If you are injured while on someone else’s property, you need to call a St Petersburg premises liability lawyer.
Buildings don’t last forever. Roofs cave in and stairs crack. Responsible property owners hire contractors to fix things like this. When it costs too much to do this, some property owners turn a blind eye. When this happens, people get hurt. You may be one of these people.
Building code violations
Documented building code violations are per se evidence of neglect. If a property owner is issued a violation, they are required to make repairs. If they fail to do so, they will be held responsible for any injuries that ensue. Your St Petersburg premises liability lawyer will show these records to prove that the owner had knowledge of the safety issues.
Sadly, this is one of the easiest problems to fix. However, a lot of companies don’t take care of lighting issues. Poor lighting can lead to falls, slips and other types of injuries.
Broken steps and floors
A lot of older buildings suffer from issues with the floors and steps. If you or your loved one fall because of faulty support, you should call a St Petersburg premises liability lawyer.
There is no excuse for not keeping floors clean and dry. As soon as a department store or retail manager sees that it’s raining or snowing, they should put down caution signs. They should also take the time to keep their floors safe and dry.
Falling items or merchandise
In restaurants and stores, a lot of people get hurt from falling merchandise – A lot of stores keep extra stock on their top shelves. Often times, these products can fall off the shelves and hurt people. An experienced St Petersburg premises liability lawyer will make sure you get compensated for this type of injury.
We ride elevators every day, we take them to the mall, in hotels, and at our offices. We don’t think twice about getting on an elevator. Sometimes, however, elevators break down. They get stuck between floors. People fall between the doors and hurt their arms and ankles.
Whether you’re staying in someone’s home or business, you should be able to know you’re safe from fire. Hotels and motels are required to keep working fire and smoke alarms in their property. If you or a family member are injured in a fire, your St Petersburg premises liability lawyer will make sure you are compensated.
Let an Experienced Lawyer Get You the Compensation You Deserve
If you’re hurt in a premises’ liability accident, you are entitled to compensation. You are going to suffer some pretty serious injuries. You’ll have medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering. You are going to need an experienced St Petersburg premises liability lawyer. Even if your injuries aren’t that severe, you will suffer some damages. It could be thousands of dollars, it could be millions of dollars. It depends on the circumstances of your case. There are several types of premises liability accidents. They all cause different types of injuries. The more common types of premises liability accidents are:
- Escalator accidents
- Slip and fall accidents
- Floor or deck collapse
- Getting trapped in an elevator
- Ineffective security issues
Depending on how serious your accident, premises liability cases can involve pretty serious injuries. They can even lead to death. Your premises liability attorney is going to work hard to prove that you were hurt. This is why you have to make sure you get medical treatment immediately following an accident. This is the only way to truly document your injuries. Your lawyer is going to need this information down the road. Without it, he will have to hire experts and spend a ton of money finding ways to prove your injuries. This gets expensive and can make it harder to settle your case.
Your damages depend on the severity of your injuries. If you’ve only suffered minor injuries, you can’t expect your premises liability attorney to get you millions. Very few cases ever settle for this kind of money. You can only be compensated for damages you actually suffered. If you sustained serious injuries, your damages may be extensive. Under Florida law, you are entitled to compensation for:
- Medical bills – past, present and future medical bills
- Lost wages – whatever time you have missed from work due to your injuries
- Loss of future earnings – if you become disabled, what would you have earned?
- Pain and suffering
Your premises liability lawyer will have to submit evidence of your damages. This will include copies of medical bills, timesheets and pay stubs. It will also include reports from medical experts explaining how much future medical treatment you will need. It may even require that he put your friends and family on the stand to testify to how much pain you were in. All of this is so that he can get you as much money as possible.
What Defenses Can the Defendant Raise?
Not all premises liability claims are successful. You may not be able to prove that the property owner was at fault. You may have trouble proving you were injured. Or, the property owner is able to raise a successful defense to negligence. Just as with other types of law, Florida offers defenses that property owners can use to challenge your claim. Your premises liability lawyer is going to have to defeat these challenges. This is why you want an experienced attorney. A successful defense can cause your case to be dismissed. There are four main defenses to a premises’ liability claim:
Assumption of the risk
The defendant often argues that the plaintiff assumed the risk. This means that the plaintiff knew the conditions were unsafe and still chose to enter the premises. This is often raised in cases involving amusement parks or gyms. Juries and judges hate this argument. However, if it has merit, it can destroy your liability claim.
Florida law states that your claim will be reduced by your percentage of fault. So, if you are 30% at fault, your $100,000 award could be reduced by $30,000. An example of this is when you are intoxicated while on the defendant’s property. He can argue that you were staggering or not paying attention because you were drunk. This is one successful way to get your claim reduced.
If you suffered injuries long before the time of the accident, the defendant will argue that any injuries you have now are from the old accident.
The easiest way to fight a premises liability claim is to argue that you didn’t suffer any injuries. If you suffered legitimate injuries, this defense will not work. Your premises liability attorney may have to rely on a doctor to testify to your injuries.
Contact a St Petersburg Lawyer from Winters and Yonker Today
If you’ve suffered injuries on someone else’s property, you need to contact a St Petersburg premises liability lawyer. The first thing you need to do is file a claim against the defendant’s insurance company. If they refuse to pay your claim, your premises liability lawyer will appeal your claim and try to negotiate a settlement. Finally, if they still won’t settle, your attorney will file a lawsuit.
You should call a premises liability attorney today to schedule your free consultation. This will give you a chance to discuss your case and find out what it may be worth. You can also discuss any potential issues you may see with your case. Make sure to bring the following to your consultation:
- A copy of our accident or injury report
- Pictures of the premises
- The property owner’s insurance information
- Any correspondence you have received from the property owner, his attorney or his insurance company
- Contact information for any eyewitnesses
- Your medical records related to the accident
- Pay stubs showing time missed from work
The initial consultation is absolutely free. You can talk to an attorney and find out if you have a strong case. You and your premises liability attorney can decide how best to proceed. If a settlement isn’t possible, your lawyer will exclaim how a lawsuit works. This gives you the chance to ask any questions you may have.