Injury accidents can happen anywhere and at any time. All of us, including property owners and managers, have a legal obligation (known as a duty of care) to take reasonable steps to prevent others from suffering harm. If a property owner neglects to take the necessary precautions, address hazards, or provide warnings about dangers on their property, and you sustain injuries, they may be liable for compensating you for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, as well as other damages. These specific types of injury claims fall under the category of premises liability. Because determining liability in these cases can be challenging, hiring an experienced premises liability lawyer in West Palm Beach to represent you is crucial.
Schuler, Weisser, Zoeller, Overbeck & Baxter P.A. has extensive experience handling premises liability claims. Call us at 561.689.8180 or complete our contact form today to schedule a free consultation. Contacting us for assistance carries no risk because we only charge if we successfully recover compensation for you.
Why You Should Hire Schuler, Weisser, Zoeller, Overbeck & Baxter P.A.
At Schuler, Weisser, Zoeller, Overbeck & Baxter P.A., our attorneys know Florida premises accident law and have built a reputation for successfully fighting for people like you. When you hire Schuler, Weisser, Zoeller, Overbeck & Baxter P.A., you get a dedicated team of advocates who will remain by your side throughout your case and fight relentlessly to ensure you get the compensation you deserve.
We have received numerous honors recognizing our dedication to our clients, including Martindale-Hubbell’s peer recognition for our legal abilities and ethical standards. We were named the Top 25 Medical Malpractice Trial Lawyers, the Top 100 Trial Lawyers, and among the Ten Best in Client Satisfaction by the American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys.
Comparative Negligence and Florida Law
Florida follows a comparative negligence doctrine, which means that the court must determine whether the plaintiff is responsible for their own injury—by not taking proper precautions, ignoring warnings, or taking an action that led to the accident—and assigns a percentage to represent that negligence.
This does not mean you can’t recover anything if you are partially at fault for your accident. But your final award will decrease in proportion to your percentage of fault.
For this reason, you’ll want an experienced premises liability lawyer fighting for the maximum compensation possible. Your lawyer will investigate, gather evidence, and craft a robust case in your favor with meticulous care.
Causes of Premises Liability Accidents
Some of the more common types of premises liability accidents are:
- Slip and fall accidents – An obstruction in a walkway such as cracked or broken pavement, debris, uneven ground, depressions where water or ice can collect, uneven flooring or mats, or many other possible conditions could all cause a person to lose their footing and fall to the ground, either injuring themselves on the way down or upon impact with the floor or pavement.
- Dog bites – Generally, the dog owner is liable for the damage their pet inflicts on others, as long as the injured person is in a public place or is lawfully in a private place. Florida has “strict liability” rules regarding dog bites, which hold the owner liable, even if they had no prior knowledge that the dog would bite. The owner would need to claim that the injured person was trespassing or somehow provoked the dog, shifting some of the negligence to the injured party.
- Inadequate security – If a landlord or building owner fails to provide adequate security to prevent violent crime from occurring on the property, they may be liable if a tenant or visitor gets assaulted.
- Swimming pool accidents – These areas could be at the center of a slip and trip case, and a victim may even drown if they fall into the pool. Florida law imposes liability on owners for “attractive nuisances.” A pool is considered an attractive nuisance to children, who may sneak onto the property and get hurt or drown. The law mandates owners to take specific precautions, including installing fences and posting warning signs regarding the risks.
- Fire– Owners and landlords must take precautions to prevent fires and warn people about fire risks, whether from chemicals, electricity, or other hazards.
- Lead paint poisoning – The Consumer Product Safety Commission banned lead-based paint in residences and businesses in 1978. However, many buildings in Florida are much older and still have this paint on their interior and exterior walls. Children are especially vulnerable to exposure, which can cause severe injury or death.
- Stair or porch collapse – Many old buildings exist throughout the state, and not all of them have received proper maintenance. Aged and rotting wood and screws and supports succumbing to rust can turn a deck, porch, or stairway into a serious safety hazard. An accident victim could be in danger from falling through broken and splintered wood and from a high location. Even newer buildings may have design defects or neglected maintenance, which could cause the platform or stairs to collapse.
- Elevator and Escalator Injuries – Elevators and escalators are typically safe and essential for individuals with disabilities to navigate buildings. When poorly maintained or malfunctioning, they can cause serious injuries to the people using them.
Any number of premises liability hazards could result in a sudden injury. A premises liability lawyer will review your case in detail during a free consultation to ascertain whether you may be eligible for compensation for your injuries.
Premises Liability Accident Injuries
Injuries in premises liability cases could range from minor to severe or even deadly. Some of the more common injuries we see include:
- Muscle and joint strains and sprains – People could twist their ankles on uneven walkways or slippery ground. If this causes the victim to fall, further injuries may result.
- Electrocution or shock accident – Poorly maintained electrical equipment and appliances can shock or burn a user.
- Puncture wounds – Cuts, lacerations, or punctures could come from an animal bite, stray nails, or jagged metal or glass. In some cases, a tetanus or rabies shot may be necessary.
- Bone fractures and breaks – Often caused by hitting the ground after a slip and fall, broken bones or fragments could cause severe internal bleeding or organ damage.
- Gunshots or assault wounds – Inadequate security can potentially invite violent criminals, especially if neglected over a long period. If a visitor, resident, or guest is attacked or raped, the landlord or owner may be liable if security measures could have prevented the assault.
No one should suffer injuries or trauma due to someone else’s carelessness. We’ll help you hold the negligent parties responsible for your injuries.
Frequently Asked Questions
If injured on someone’s property, you likely have questions about your rights and legal options for recourse. Our attorneys are ready to help answer your questions when you call us at 561.689.8180. We’ve also provided the answers to these frequently asked questions here:
After an accident, you should always seek medical attention, even if it seems like you aren’t hurt very badly. Your accident may have caused internal or unseen damage, like internal bleeding, concussion, or hidden fractures, which you may not become aware of until days later. These problems could become serious and even life-threatening if not treated immediately. Furthermore, if you don’t see a doctor, the defendant may attempt to argue that you never sustained any injuries.
Florida personal injury law mandates filing a personal injury claim lawsuit within four years of the accident. Nonetheless, it’s crucial to contact a premises liability lawyer promptly to investigate the premises and interview witnesses before time elapses. There may also be earlier deadlines for your case to observe.
There are three types of visitors to a property:
Invitees, or customers whom the property owner has invited to visit the location. The owner must ensure safety by fixing dangers and warning of hazards, bearing the greatest duty of care.
Licensees, or guests who have the consent of the property owner to visit. The owner has a smaller duty towards licensees than to invitees but must still inform them of any risks present.
Trespassers, or those who are not legally allowed to visit the property. Owners do not owe a duty of care to trespassers unless the visitor is a child and an attractive nuisance is present, such as a swimming pool.
In Florida premises liability law, lawsuit success often hinges on whether the accident happened within a “zone of foreseeability.” This means that the property owner should have known that an accident was possible under the circumstances in that location.
A property owner has a duty of care toward welcoming visitors and guests to maintain a safe environment and to fix any problems as quickly as possible that, when foreseeable, might cause an accident.
Every personal injury case is different, but a successful case may make compensation available for a variety of purposes, including:
- Help with medical expenses
- Lost wages due to missed work during recovery
- Long-term care costs
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of household income
- Funeral expenses
Your premises liability lawyer can guide you further on what you can expect in your case.
Call Schuler, Weisser, Zoeller, Overbeck & Baxter P.A. Today If You’ve Been Injured On Someone Else’s Property
If you or a loved one got hurt due to a property owner’s negligence, contact the experienced injury lawyer in West Palm Beach at Schuler, Weisser, Zoeller, Overbeck & Baxter P.A. immediately. We can handle all the legal details of your case so that you can focus on your health and well-being. When you become our client, your success becomes our top priority. Call Schuler, Weisser, Zoeller, Overbeck & Baxter P.A. today at 561.689.8180 or fill out our online form to set up a free consultation.
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