Premises Liability Lawyers in Pompano Beach, FL
A property owner or custodian is responsible for the safety of visitors and employees. When they fail in this duty of care, accidents can occur. Suppose you’ve been injured in a premises liability accident on someone else’s property. In that case, you may be entitled to damages for your medical expenses, pain, and suffering due to a property owner’s lack of a safe environment.
The Broward County law firm of Long, Jean & Wechsler, P.A. represents clients on a contingency basis. All consultations are free, and you don’t have to pay out of pocket for our professional legal services. Call today for immediate and diligent representation.
Types of Claims that Fall Under Premises Liability Law
Premises liability cases cover any type of injury that occurs on someone else’s property. There are, however, case types that warrant their own designation. For example, a worker injured on their employer’s property would qualify for a workers’ compensation claim, and those cases are handled separately. The following are considered premises liability accidents.
Slip and Fall
Also known as slip, trip, and fall, these types of cases usually involve an individual falling because they encountered a preventable condition — a spill, loose carpeting, an obstruction on the ground, etc. Safe conditions should be met like ensuring all stairways on premises are intact to prevent any fall accidents. These accidents are so common that the term “slip and falls” is often used in place of “premises liability.”
Property owners are responsible for taking reasonable measures to ensure the safety of their questions. For example, a commercial building should have a parking lot or parking garage security to protect the occupants of the building.
Not all dog bites cases fall under the premises liability umbrella, but if the owner or proprietor of an establishment or premise keeps dogs on their property, they are responsible for the dogs’ behavior.
Attractive Nuisance Cases
Property owners must ensure that there are no dangerous conditions on their premises that might be attractive to children, drunk people, etc. — even if these individuals aren’t legally allowed to be there. For example, an empty swimming pool or dilapidated machinery might draw a child onto the property, causing them to be hurt so a property owner should be cognitive of this.
Determining Liability in a Premises Liability Case
In order to have a viable premises liability case, it must meet the following four elements:
1. Duty of Care
Owners and managers have a duty of care for individuals who enter the premises. They must take reasonable precautions to ensure that invitees aren’t subject to unpredictable dangers.
2. Breach of Duty
In order to receive damages, the plaintiff’s attorney must demonstrate that the at-fault party somehow violated their duty of care. For example, if the management of an office building fails to fix loose carpeting by the entrance, it is a breach of their duty of care since loose carpeting is a hazard.
In order to hold the at-fault party accountable, the plaintiff’s attorney must be able to prove that the breach of duty caused the accident. For example, a store patron slipping on a wet surface.
Damages are any tangible or intangible cost that resulted from the accident. If you’ve been injured in a premises liability accident, you should receive damages for your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
During your initial consultation, an LJW attorney will review the details of your case and determine whether all four elements exist. If they do, they can provide immediate representation for all of the steps of your case.
Steps to Take if There’s an Accident
All accidents are different, but the following information can help you avoid further injury and strengthen your injury claim.
1. Avoid Further Injury
If you are in danger of additional injury, try to move to a safer location.
2. Call 911
If you’re unable to call for emergency services, ask someone in the area to do so. The dispatcher will need to know the address of the premises you’re injured and the internal location as well as the nature of your injuries.
3. Report the Incident to the Proprietor or Manager
They will want to make an incident report for their insurance company. You should also ask the manager:
- Not to delete security footage that may have captured the accident
- To note all on-duty employees
- For the name of their insurer
- The incident report number
4. Talk to Independent Witnesses
Get the name and contact information of any potential witnesses that are not employed on the premises.
5. Take Pictures of the Area
An accident scene will change very rapidly as employees attempt to correct whatever hazard caused the incident. Take pictures of the area where the accident happened, the hazardous situation, any visible injuries, the locations of CCTV cameras, etc.
6. Seek Medical Treatment
If you called paramedics to the scene, let them examine you and, if necessary, transport you to the emergency room. Otherwise, go to the ER or your doctor’s office as soon as possible.
7. Contact Premises Liability Law Firm as Early as Possible
Before accepting an inadequate settlement, contact LJW Law for a free consultation.
Damages in Premises Liability Cases
The state of Florida divides damages into two categories: compensatory and non-compensatory. Compensatory damages are further broken down into economic and non-economic damages.
This includes all monetary costs involved in an accident, including all healthcare bills, lost wages, property damage, etc. In a wrongful death case, they can also include funeral expenses and future lost earnings
Not all costs associated with a premises liability accident have a direct financial impact. Physical pain, emotional trauma, and general inconvenience are all very real consequences of an accident. Non-economic damages are also referred to as pain and suffering.
In some cases, the court finds that the actions of the defendant were either egregious or malicious. Punitive damages are meant to further punish the defendant. While non-compensatory damages aren’t capped in Florida, punitive damages are capped at greater than three times the amount of compensatory damages or $500,000.
Premises Liability Stats
Slip and fall accidents are by far the most common type of premises liability accident. According to the CDC:
- 3 million people are treated in emergency rooms for fall injuries.
- 800,000 people are hospitalized for fall injuries.
- Falls are the most common types of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Over 95% of hip fractures result from falling sideways.
- From 2007 to 2016, fall deaths increased by 30%.
Frequently Asked Questions About Premises Liability Cases
The following questions are commonly asked by our clients. If you want to ask an attorney specific questions about your case, contact LJW for a free consultation.
What if I’m partially at fault for my injuries?
Under Florida’s comparative negligence law, you can still recover damages, but they will be reduced by your degree of negligence. For instance, if a plaintiff is running into a building on a rainy day and slips on the wet floors, the court may determine that they were 25% responsible for their injuries. If the plaintiff’s damages are $100,000, they could collect $75,000.
Will my case go to court?
Most personal injury cases do not go to court even when the plaintiff files a lawsuit. Insurance companies are motivated to limit their costs and the extent of their liability. Trying to settle the case allows them more control over the outcome and avoids lawsuits.
How long do I have to file a premises liability claim?
The statute of limitations for a liability claim is four years from the date of the accident. If the accident resulted in a wrongful death, the statute of limitations expires four years from the date of death.
Personal Injury Attorneys for Accident Victims
Your safety on a premise is the property owner’s responsibility. If you’ve been injured in an accident, our attorneys want to talk to you. Call today to speak to a Broward County personal injury lawyer about your case.