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Fort Lauderdale Premises Liability Attorneys

When a landowner or tenant has breached their duty of care, The Injury Firm personal injury attorneys in Fort Lauderdale have extensive training and experience to seek the justice the victims deserve through compensation. Whenever an individual is physically injured as a result of this negligence in Fort Lauderdale, we work hard to make the appropriate party accountable for going against their legal responsibility. If this individual or even business fails to notice a hazard and take relevant action, they should be held accountable and this is something we believe strongly at The Injury Firm.

According to Florida Law, there is a responsibility for property owners to maintain all land and ensure visitors will be safe. Therefore, this means that problems should be fixed as soon as possible and warnings should be made to guests if there’s a risk of injury. When a hazard occurs, the landowners need to be aware before then taking the appropriate action moving forward. Not only is this for private homeowners, it is also relevant for commercial land.

Young girl slip and fall accident victim laying on floor with bleeding noseStarting the Premises Liability Investigation

In the past, we have taken many of these claims forward and we even take them from other attorneys when they reach a dead end. Immediately, we notice the same mistake occurring time and time again; lack of any investigation. Before anything else, the claim must be aware of who owns the land in question. Once this is discovered, we can assess whether negligence caused physical injury; if so, the case will be taken forward.

The longer time goes on, the evidence becomes less valuable which means time is of the essence in these types of cases. Whilst the accident is fresh in everyone’s minds, we need to contact witnesses as well as getting a detailed look at the property. If you leave the case for even a week, the landowner can make changes and you have no proof other than witnesses. By contacting us early, we can take pictures of the hazardous site and this just strengthens your case a little.

If you want the strongest Fort Lauderdale accident claim, all of this evidence should be gathered as early as possible so it remains accurate and relevant. Furthermore, a professional premises liability lawyer will also follow the respected process which involves a ‘spoliation notice’ which means the owner cannot tamper with or alter evidence.

Duty of Care for Property Owners

Earlier, we spoke about duty of care and how owners of properties owe this to all guests. However, there are many different classifications within this and we have laid out the three major types below.

Licensees  - Although the term is fairly official, it essentially covers all those who have been invited to the property by the owner with no relation to business. For example, this would be simple invited visits from family members, neighbors, friends, etc. When licensees are on the property, they should be made aware of all hazards and the owners will be liable for any injuries that occur as a result of hazards of which they had prior knowledge.

Business Invitees  - Next up, we have invitees relating to business and once again they will have been invited or at least had permission to visit the property. As the two common examples, this will be someone offering a service visiting a home as well as people visiting commercial stores. On both occasions, the owner has a duty of care and must be aware of all hazards within the building and surrounding land. In some circumstances, business owners can be sued even if they weren't aware of the hazard and this is the main difference between invitees and licensees.

Trespassers  - As you probably know, a trespasser is someone who has no explicit permission to be on the owner’s land under any circumstances. Compared to licensees and invitees, the laws protecting trespassers are slim because, for one thing, the owner has not invited them to their property. This being said, there are some laws in place including the fact that property owners cannot set ‘traps’ or hazardous areas just in case a trespasser enters their land. Unless the owner is aware of the trespasser, they have no responsibility of warning the trespasser of potential hazards.

Most Common Premises Liability Claims

Although claims in this area of law can be varied, there are some common examples that occur often and we have listed them below.

Retail Accidents  - Within the retail world, there are numerous ways an accident can occur whether it is stock on the floor or loose shelves on the wall.

Slip and Fall  - By far, this is the most common of all claims and it comes when visitors aren't fully aware of the hazards that exist. For example, they may slip on a spillage, trip on uneven ground, or  get their foot caught in a ripped rug. Depending on the severity of the fall, this could cause broken bones, serious bruising, back injuries, damage to the spine, and more.

Amusement Areas  - Including theme parks, fates, and fairs, the extent of damage can vary greatly once again and the owners of the rides or sideshows will be responsible for all damages.

Rape and Assault (Negligent Security)  - Sometimes, a property will be located within a vulnerable area of town and owners must give notice of the high crime rate. For example, this may be hotels, parking garages, bars, and other locations where patrons are at risk of verbal, physical, or even sexual assault. In these locations, security is a necessity and any lack of security could be seen as negligent.

Swimming Areas  - Not only should all pools be safe and secure, the law may also indicate that a fully-qualified life guard be present. Most commonly, injuries can occur when there is a lack of fencing and barriers so the owner has responsibility here.

Elevators/Escalators  - Finally, injuries can occur in public or private spaces where an elevator or escalator malfunctions. On these occasions, the owners can be hit with a suit as well as the escalator/elevator manufacturer.

Obtaining Injury Compensation

When one of these accidents occurs, we can help you to obtain compensation but what exactly does this include?

Medical Bills  - Depending on the extent of your injury, you will probably have to pay out for visits to the doctor, surgery, therapy, medication, and more. Since somebody else is responsible for the injury, we can get this back as well as money for all future care.

Pain and Suffering  - Although this is harder to pinpoint an exact figure, you may be entitled to pain and emotional suffering in the more severe cases.

Lost Wages  - Whilst injured, you might not be able to work and considering medical bills are coming in thick and fast you need to be compensated to avoid debt. In addition to money you have already lost, a potential court case will assess any potential future earnings you will miss too.

Wrongful Death  - Of course, this is only for the most extreme cases but victim’s families can file a lawsuit for wrongful death. With this, the compensation will cover emotional suffering, loss of income, and all other financial damages caused by losing a loved one.

Finding Proof for a Premises Liability Case

With negligent security and slip/fall cases, you will need to prove the following;

  • The owner knew of the hazard before the incident occurred; if they didn’t, they should have known (this is true for most commercial properties).
  • In the time between hazard and incident, a solution could and maybe should have been found.
  • After learning of the danger, the owner was too slow to react placing all visitors under unnecessary stress or danger.
  • Within the land of the owner, they caused the hazard or poor conditions.
  • Finally, the owner did not provide sufficient warning of the danger for all visitors.

Negligent Security

Previously, we touched on the subject of rape and assault but we wish to clear a few things up before continuing. Essentially, this is where one visitor is attacked by another on the property of a third-party. Normally a business, the owner should recognize the dangers involved in running the business and therefore take action to increase safety and security of all visitors. By law, intentional criminal acts are ‘foreseeable’ in that the environment creates conditions where crime could be expected and anticipated. When assessing your case, we will look at whether the owner had a responsibility to provide adequate security and whether there has been similar incidents in similar properties nearby.

For example, we often see cases for improper security so our investigation would start with an assessment of statistics. How often is police or any type of law enforcement called to that particular location? In the meantime, we’ll also look at previous criminal acts whether it is a bar, bank, amusement park, university, school, gas station, apartment building, restaurant, shopping mall, or anything else.

In addition to the business type, we will also look at the geographical nature of the incident; perhaps the owner should have been aware of certain socio-economic factors and relevant crime statistics. Once again, we return to the pivotal word of ‘foreseeable’. If the crime statistics and all other relevant information suggests an incident should have been foreseeable, you are highly likely to win your case if the owner didn't install the right level of security in response.

In these types of cases, the process starts with investigating what security was in place and whether this was sufficient for the level of crime foreseen by the owner. As well as actual security staff, this could also include locks, alarms, cameras, nighttime patrols, fencing, security access systems, surveillance, and more.

With all of this information in mind, it’s imperative you choose someone with experience in this niche and this is what you have with The Injury Firm. Over the years, we have seen through numerous negligent security cases in Fort Lauderdale with great success. If you want professional advice and assistance, you can trust the experts at The Injury Firm.

You Personal Injury Claim Value

In truth, we cannot give you a definitive value for a potential claim because there are dozens of factors unique to your case. As well as the extent of the injury, we need to know your medical bills, lost income, future medical bills, and pain and suffering. In cases against municipalities, there is a sovereign immunity cap to the value of $200,000 in Florida so this is important to bear in mind.

Whether it’s you or somebody else that’s been injured, you could be in a position for compensation if the injuries are a direct result of negligence. If you have any questions or just want expert advice today, feel free to get in touch and we can start helping as soon as possible! 

The information contained in this website is provided for informational purposes only.  This website may contain information about The Injury Firm's past results, testimonials about the firm or a lawyer within the firm, and statements regarding the quality of The Injury Firm's work product. This information has not been reviewed or approved by The Florida Bar. Please be advised that: 1) the facts and circumstances of your case may differ from the matters for which results and testimonials have been provided: 2) Not all results of cases handled by the firm or its lawyers are provided and not all clients have given testimonials; and 3) The results and testimonials provided are not necessarily representative of results obtained by the firm or by its lawyers or of the experience of all clients or others within the firm or its lawyers. Every case is different, and each client’s case must be evaluated and handled on its own merits.