Premises Liability  Help Is Just a Call Away

Port St. Lucie Premises Liability Attorneys

Falls, dog bites, and swimming pool drownings are the most common premises liability incidents. The injuries these victims sustain are often quite serious, especially if they have a pre-existing condition. Elderly falls are a good example. Frequently, the first fall is not that serious. But if the person falls again, that incident often confines the person to a nursing home, or even much worse.

Although these claims are complex, the diligent Port St. Lucie premises liability lawyers at Smith, Ball & Báez Injury Lawyers quickly evaluate your situation and identify all possible claims and defenses. Then, we collect evidence on your behalf and prepare your case. In our experience, the Port St. Lucie premises liability attorneys who do their homework typically do well at test time.

Duty of Care

The biggest part of a claim evaluation is determining the legal duty involved. Duty is the foundation of a negligence claim.

In Florida, the level of legal responsibility usually depends on the relationship between the property owner and victim, as follows:

  • Invitee: These people have direct or indirect permission to be on the property, and their presence benefits the owner in some way. So, almost every shopper, employee, or social guest is an invitee. In these situations, the owner has a duty of reasonable care to keep people safe.
  • Licensee: A guest of a hotel guest is usually a licensee. These individuals have permission to be on the property, but there is no benefit. So, the duty of care is lower. Most owners must only warn most licensees about latent (hidden) defects.
  • Trespasser: This pejorative term simply means visitors who have no explicit permission to be on the property and who do not benefit the owner. Typically, there is no duty in these instances. Some legal doctrines protect some child trespassers.

The invitee duty of care is not just a one-time responsibility. These owners must also frequently inspect the premises and ensure that there are no wet spots, loose dogs, malfunctioning pool drains, or other safety hazards. Posting a warning sign might not be enough. More on that below.

Liability Issues

Owners are responsible for damages if they had a duty, they knew or should have known about the hazard, and they do not have a valid defense.

Direct evidence of actual knowledge includes things like “cleanup on aisle three” announcements, restroom cleaning reports, and unaddressed repair estimates.

Circumstantial evidence of constructive knowledge (should have known) usually involves the time-notice rule. Think about a piece of lettuce on a grocery store floor. If a victim slips and falls on a crisp piece of lettuce, it probably just fell, so there is no duty. But if the lettuce was dry or wilted, it had probably been on the floor for some time, and the owner should have picked it up.

The assumption of the risk defense, which usually involves a warning sign, is probably the most common insurance company defense in these matters. It applies if the victim:

  • Voluntarily assumed
  • A known risk.

The second bullet is usually the hardest element for the insurance company to prove. A sign is not enough. Insurance company lawyers must prove, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the victim saw the sign, could read the sign, and could understand what the sign meant.

Contact an Experienced Port St. Lucie Premises Liability Lawyer

Owners have a duty to prevent falls and other premises liability injuries. For a free consultation with an experienced premises liability attorney in Port St. Lucie, contact Smith, Ball & Báez Injury Lawyers. Attorneys can connect victims with doctors, even if they have no insurance or money.

What Sets Us Apart

Committed to Fighting for Justice for the Injured
  • Over $100 Million Recovered

    Our results speak for themselves, and our team is dedicated to winning for you.

  • AV-Rated With Martindale Hubbell

    We are ranked by the most prestigious peer review rating an attorney can receive for high ethical standards and professional ability.

  • Over 65 Years of Experience

    With over 65 years of combined experience, our attorneys know what it takes to win for you while adhering to the highest ethical standards.

  • Award-Winning Attorneys

    Our attorneys are committed to excellence and are recognized for their hard work with many accolades from the legal community.

  • We're Not Afraid to Litigate

    We're trial lawyers at heart and don't shy away from the courtroom; we'll put our compassionate tenacity to work for you.

  • A Florida Firm With Extensive Resources

    No case is too big; we'll utilize our large network of experts, connections in the legal community, and deep well of resources to help you win.

Real Reviews from Real Clients

We're Deeply Committed to Every Case
    Smith and Ball is unlike any other injury law firm!

    “Smith and Ball is unlike any other injury law firm! Marci and Scott set themselves apart from other attorneys not only in their work ethic, skill, and decades of experience but in their compassion and dedication to their clients!”

    - Andrea L.
    Eternally grateful.

    “I really appreciate everything that Scott Smith and his law firm have done for me. They fought for me and litigated my case extensively.”

    - Rachel D.
    I would recommend Marci Ball to anyone needing a good and caring attorney.

    “Attorney Marci Ball handled a case for me while I was going through personal trying times. She did so in a very professional and empathetic manner.”

    - Jeannine V.
    Best in the business.

    “I had an accident a few years ago that really had a profound impact on my life. Scott was so patient and understanding and he really walked me through every step of the process.”

    - Former Client
    Working with Mr. Baez and Kimberly was a wonderful experience.

    “Working with Mr. Baez and Kimberly was a wonderful experience. Anytime that you need to enlist legal services there is a certain degree of uncertainty and anxiety.”

    - Kevin M.
    Vicki handled my case flawlessly.

    “Vicki handled my case flawlessly. Took care of all negotiations and made the process very easy for me, and ensured I received the most compensation possible.”

    - Cody K.
    HIGHLY recommend Marci Ball and her staff.

    “I HIGHLY recommend Marci Ball and her staff. What a great team. I never felt like I was just a client.”

    - Courtney H.
    These kind folks are highly recommended.

    “Scott Smith was very responsive to my case and kept me well informed about the progress that was being made on my behalf.”

    - Neal H.
    Scott and his team are truly amazing and will work hard for your rights.

    “Scott and his team are truly amazing and will work hard for your rights. From the time you walk in you are welcomed at the reception with a warm smile by Isabel, then the legal team in the back is always ready to help you.”

    - Juan L.
    If I could give them ten stars I would!!

    “The Law Offices of Smith & Ball were awesome from start to finish. They walked me through what was going to happen step by step. Communicated well all the time.”

    - Ryan S.

Get a Free Consultation

From Our Award-Winning Attorneys We're Ready to Fight for the Justice You Deserve
  • Please enter your first name.
  • Please enter your last name.
  • Please enter your phone number.
    This isn't a valid phone number.
  • Please enter your email address.
    This isn't a valid email address.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter a message.