In general, Florida property owners have an obligation to make sure that the properties they own are safe for visitors. If someone visits a property and is injured, then that person can seek compensation for any damages that result. This branch of law that applies in this type of claim is known as premises liability law. It applies to homeowners, business owners, and even commercial property managers. Premises liability claims may also affect business owners who lease or rent their physical storefronts or offices.
Claims of this nature often arise from:
- Inadequate lighting conditions
- Uneven or broken sidewalks
- Slippery conditions on walking surface
- Debris in aisles
- Improper display of merchandise
- Malfunctioning windows and doors
- Faulty wiring
- Defective stairways or steps
If you or someone you love has been injured on the property of another or on public property, you need to speak with our Pembroke Pines premises liability at the Law Office of Bradley S. Hartman, PA to find out if you can file a claim. We have been helping accident victims recoup financial losses from their injuries for years and are well-versed in premises liability law.
Establishing Fault in Premises Liability Claims
To successful win a premises liability claim, the injured party must prove that the injuries he sustained resulted from negligence on the part of the property owner due to the owner’s failure to make the property reasonably safe. Successful claims show that:
- The owner of the property knew or should have reasonably known about the hazardous condition that caused the injury; for example, the property owner knew or should have known that a stair railing was loose, but he failed to fix it, and someone falls as a result.
- The owner of the property did not give proper warning to visitors about the hazardous condition; for example, he did not cordon off the stair with the loose railing or erect signage denoting the potential for danger.
If the property owner did not know about the hazardous condition and there was no reasonable reason that he should know of it, then he cannot be held accountable. Property owners have a duty to inspect their properties regularly, however, so if the condition existed for quite some time or a tenant had reported the condition, it can be argued that the property owner should have known about it existing.
The injured party’s reason for being on the property also largely dictates the level of care that the property owner must show. Visitors may be business invitees, licensees or trespassers. The highest amount of care is legally due to business invitees who enter the property to conduct business, such as shopping at a store. Licensees enter a property for a social purpose and may include uninvited guests. Trespassers are not authorized to be on the property; property owners only owe a limited duty to trespassers. They must only be warned of potential danger if that danger could cause reckless or intentional injury.
Because premises liability claims can be complex, it is important to choose an attorney with experience in this area of the law. Our Pembroke Pines premises liability team at the Law Office of Bradley S. Hartman, PA can review your case for free and determine how to precede with your claim. Schedule your no-cost consultation today.