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 fails to take the proper precautions and either address hazards or warn you of any dangers on their property and you’re injured as a result, they could owe you compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering and other damages. These specific types of injury claims fall under the category of premises liability. Because determining liability in these cases can be challenging, it is crucial to hire an experienced injury lawyer to represent you.
Schuler, Halvorson, Weisser, Zoeller & Overbeck P.A. has extensive experience handling premises liability claims. Call us at (561) 689-8180 or fill out our contact form today to schedule a free consultation. We won’t charge you anything unless we recover compensation for you, so there’s absolutely no risk for you to reach out to us for help.
Why You Should Hire Schuler, Halvorson, Weisser, Zoeller & Overbeck P.A.
At Schuler, Halvorson, Weisser, Zoeller & Overbeck P.A., our attorneys are knowledgeable about Florida premises accident law and have built a reputation for successfully fighting for people just like you. When you hire Schuler, Halvorson, Weisser, Zoeller & Overbeck P.A., you get a dedicated team of advocates who will remain by your side throughout your case and will fight relentlessly to make sure you get the compensation you deserve.
We have received numerous honors in recognition of 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 holds any responsibility for their own injury—by not taking proper precautions, by ignoring warnings, or by taking an action that led to the accident—and assigns a percentage to represent that negligence.
This does not mean that you can’t recover anything if you are found to be partially at fault for your accident, but your final award will be reduced in proportion to your percentage of fault.
For this reason, you’ll want to have an experienced attorney fighting for the maximum amount of compensation possible. Your lawyer will perform a thorough investigation of the accident, collect all of the relevant evidence, and make sure to build the strongest case possible on your behalf.
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 can pool or ice can form, 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 provoked the dog in some way, which would shift 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 considered negligent in the event that a tenant or visitor is 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 what’s known as “attractive nuisance.” A pool is considered an attractive distraction to children, who may sneak onto the property and become injured or drown. The law requires the owner to take certain precautions such as erecting a fence and providing signage warning of the risks.
- Fire – Owners and landlords must take precautions to prevent fires and warn people about any fire risks, whether from chemicals, electricity, or other hazards.
- Lead paint poisoning – The Consumer Product Safety Commission banned lead-based paint in residences and business in 1978, but 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 even death.
- Stair or porch collapse – There are many old buildings throughout the state, and not all have been properly maintained. 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 not only from falling through broken and splintered wood, but also from falling from a high location. Even newer buildings may have design defects or neglected maintenance, which could allow the platform or stair to collapse.
There is any number of premises liability hazards that could result in a sudden injury. An attorney 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 – A person could twist their ankle on an uneven walkway or slippery ground. If this causes the victim to fall, further injuries may result.
- Electrocution – Poorly maintained electrical equipment and appliances can shock or burn a user.
- Puncture wounds – Cuts, lacerations, or punctures could be caused by an animal bite, stray nails, or jagged metal or glass. In some cases, a tetanus or rabies shot may be required.
- Bone fractures and breaks – Often caused by hitting the ground after a slip and fall, broken bones or fragments could cause serious internal bleeding or damage to organs.
- Gunshots or assault wounds – Inadequate security can potentially invite violent criminals, especially if neglected over a long period of time. If a visitor, resident, or guest is attacked or raped, the landlord or owner may be considered negligent if security measures could have prevented the assault.
No one should have to suffer injuries or trauma due to the carelessness of someone else. We’ll help you hold the negligent parties responsible for your injuries.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you were hurt in an accident on someone else’s property, you likely have many questions about your rights and legal options. Our attorneys are ready to help answer any specific questions you may have when you call us at (561) 689-8180. We’ve also provided the answers to these frequently asked questions here:
Do I need to see a doctor if my injuries aren’t that serious?
After any 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. Further, if you don’t see a doctor, the defendant may try to argue that you were never injured at all.
How long do I have to file a claim?
Florida personal injury law requires you to file a lawsuit for a personal injury claim within four years of the accident. You should contact an attorney as soon as possible, however, so that they can investigate the premises and speak with witnesses before too much time has passed. There may also be earlier deadlines related to your case, which must be observed.
What is the “Duty of Reasonable Care” of a property owner?
There are three types of visitors to a property:
Invitees, or customers whom the property owner has invited to visit the location. The owner has the greatest duty of care to the safety of these individuals, and must fix any potentially dangerous conditions and warn them of hazards.
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 there is an attractive nuisance present, such as a swimming pool.
Under Florida premises liability law, the success of a lawsuit often relies on whether the accident occurred in 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 welcome visitors and guests to maintain a safe environment and to fix any problems as quickly as possible that, when foreseeable, might cause an accident.
What kind of compensation is available to me?
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 attorney can give you further guidance on what you can expect in your own case.
Call Schuler, Halvorson, Weisser, Zoeller & Overbeck P.A. Today If You’ve Been Injured On Someone Else’s Property
If you or a loved one has been hurt due to a property owner’s negligence, contact the premises accident lawyers at Schuler, Halvorson, Weisser, Zoeller & Overbeck P.A. right away. We can handle all the legal details of your case so that you can focus on your own health and well-being. When you become our client, your success becomes our top priority. Call Schuler, Halvorson, Weisser, Zoeller & Overbeck P.A. today at (561) 689-8180 to set up a free consultation.