Florida Slip & Fall Lawyers
Helping Accident Victims Navigate Their Premises Liability Claims
Property owners, as well as individuals or companies in control of a property such as a tenant or property manager, have a legal duty or obligation to keep their property free of dangerous hazards that put you and other Florida residents at risk. They also have a duty to warn people about such risks.
Unfortunately, though, they dont always live up to their end of the bargain. Property owners sometimes fail to remove hazards and keep their property safe, which can result in devastating injuries.
If you’ve been injured on public or private property, you may be eligible to file a claim and recover damages. As a leading Florida premises liability firm, Smith, Ball, Báez & Prather have recovered millions of dollars in damages for our clients, including an $8 million settlement for a spinal cord injury sustained in a swimming pool accident.
Examples of Florida Premises Liability Claims
Premises liability cases come in many different forms. Examples include:
- Slip and falls or trip and fall accidents
- Construction defect accidents
- Elevator or escalator accidents
- Dog bites and attacks
- Trampoline accidents
- Amusement park injuries
- Accidents caused by inadequate maintenance
- Swimming pool accidents, including drownings
- Inadequate or negligent security, lighting, and/or safety precautions leading to injury or assaults
This list is far from all-inclusive. If you’ve suffered an injury on someone elses property, contact a Florida premises liability attorney to see if you have a claim.
Establishing a Duty of Care
Before you can file a premises liability claim, you must prove that the property owner or manager owed you a duty of care. The duty of care owed is based on your reason for being on the property. If you have a legitimate business reason to be on the property, you are considered an invitee and are owed the highest duty of care. An example of an invitee is a customer shopping at a grocery store. If you have permission to go to a property for a social reason, you are a licensee and are owed the second highest duty of care. An example of this is visiting a friends house for a birthday party.
Proving a Premises Liability Case
Florida has special laws as it relates to slip and fall accidents at businesses. If a person slips and falls on a transitory substance the injured person must prove that the business establishment had actual or constructive knowledge of the dangerous condition and should have taken action to remedy it. In other words, if you slipped and fell on a liquid in the grocery store, you will have the burden of proving that the business had actual or constructive knowledge of the hazardous condition.
Constructive knowledge means proving that the dangerous condition existed for such a length of time that, in the exercise or ordinary care, the business establishment should have known of the condition or proving that the condition occurred with regularity and was, therefore, foreseeable.
Damages in Premises Liability Cases
You can recover economic and non-economic damages in a Florida premises liability case. Potential damages include past and future medical bills, lost wages, loss of earning potential, and pain and suffering. An experienced premises liability attorney will have medical experts evaluate your injury to determine the long-term impact. Then, the attorney will fight to help you recover the money you need for your long-term care.
What to Do After a Slip & Fall Or Trip & Fall
If you suffered an injury in a slip and fall or trip and fall at a business like a shopping mall, hotel, restaurant, apartment complex, or other location, there are certain things you should do including:
- Ask for a manager and notify them of what happened.
- Complete an incident report and ask for a copy.
- Seek medical treatment if you are injured. Calling an ambulance or getting medical care as soon as possible after the incident is critical for your well-being and to document your injuries.
- If there are witnesses, ask for their contact information.
- Take photographs or video of the dangerous condition.
- Contact an experienced personal injury attorney to find out what your legal rights are right away. Your attorney will send a written request to the property owner asking them to save any videotaped surveillance of the incident that could be destroyed if you wait too long.
Our team at Smith, Ball, Báez & Prather is here to help. Call us at (561) 500-HELP to schedule a free initial consultation with our slip and fall attorneys in Florida.