When you go shopping, eat at a restaurant, visit a museum, pick up your dry cleaning or drop by a neighbor’s house for dinner, you have a reasonable assumption that whoever owns the property you’re visiting has taken proper care to ensure that you’re not harmed while you’re there. However, that’s not always the case. If you slip and fall on a wet floor, trip over a stack of merchandise in an aisle, or get bitten by a dangerous dog, then you may have the grounds to file a premises liability claim to recoup any damages that you incur as a result of your injury.
Speaking with a Davie premises liability attorney as soon as possible following your injury is important. There is a limited amount of time in Florida for injured parties to seek damages from those who are responsible for their injuries. The Law Office of Bradley S. Hartman, PA has helped thousands of Floridians get the compensation they’re entitled to after devastating personal injuries.
Property Owners Duties
Property owners are charged with a “duty of care” to keep properties safe for invitees. Properties should be in reasonably safe condition, fire alarms and sprinklers should work, wiring should be up to code, and any walking areas should be free from obstruction when visitors are present. When a property is open to the public, it should be secure enough to guard against assaults and theft, and it should be well-lit. Sidewalks surrounding the property should not be broken or uneven, and stairs and steps should be well-maintained and structurally sound. Absent safe conditions, the property owner (or in some cases, a landlord or property manager) can be held accountable for resulting injuries.
Premises Liability Claims: Who’s to Blame?
When determining who is liable in a claim due to unsafe property conditions, it must be shown the owner of the property was aware of the hazard condition that ultimately resulted in the injury, or that they should have reasonably known about it. For example, a landlord knew that the wiring in a unit’s kitchen was on the fritz but failed to fix it; a fire resulted that caused significant injuries to the tenant. In cases where the property owner knew of the hazardous condition, he must take the time to warn others if a fix is not immediate or carried out in a reasonable time. For instance, if a step is broken, and the repairman cannot come to fix it for a few days, then the area should be properly marked to warn visitors not to use the stairs. Otherwise, the owner opens himself up to a premises liability claim.
Why the injured party was on the property to begin with matters too. The person should be authorized to be on the property. Property owners have only the duty to warn trespassers if there is a danger of intentional harm or reckless injury.
Choosing an attorney with premises law experience is important since these types of claims are often complex. Contact our Davie premises liability attorney now to review the merits of your case today.