According to Florida law, anyone who owns a piece of property must ensure it is safe for those who visit, be it clients, guests, or customers. When a property owner breaches their duty of care, they put those visiting their property at risk of injury. If you’ve sustained injuries at a business or residence other than your own, you might be entitled to sue the property owner for negligence and recover damages.
At Englander Peebles, we understand the struggles people who’ve suffered injuries due to the negligent actions of another go through and fight to protect their right to be compensated. We also know that premises liability law is complicated, and proving liability can be difficult, especially for people without a law background. If you’ve been injured on another person’s property, let our Boca Raton premises liability lawyers help you seek justice for damages and losses suffered.
As professional and experienced personal injury attorneys, we understand that not everyone has the money to hire a lawyer upfront, which is why we take on cases on a contingency basis. What does that mean? It means that we won’t get paid unless we win your case for you. Call Englander Peebles at (954) 231-1384 and schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our trusted premises liability attorneys.
Table of Contents
Do I Have a Premises Liability Claim?
As we’ve already seen, premises liability is a law concept that often comes into play in cases involving personal injury where injuries suffered were caused by some defective or unsafe conditions on another person’s property.
A majority of personal injury cases are hinged off negligence, and premises liability claims are no exception. To win a premises liability claim, the victim must prove that the person who owns the property was negligent in their property maintenance and ownership. In this instance, negligence means that the individual was negligent in providing a duty of care in connection with their property, something that led to someone getting injured.
However, it’s worth noting that just because you sustained injuries while on another person’s property doesn’t mean that the property’s proprietor was negligent. Furthermore, despite the property being unsafe, that doesn’t mean that the proprietor was negligent. Before your case can be heard, you will have to prove that the proprietor knew or should have known that there was an unsafe condition in their premises and did nothing about it.
Common Types of Accidents That Give Rise to Premises Liability Cases
Premises liability accidents can happen anywhere – on both private and public property – and include accidents that involve:
- Faulty railings or chairs
- Slipping and falling on a wet/damp surface
- Tripping on an unmarked or uneven surface or step
- Getting hit by a falling object
- Children injured while in an unprotected, unsafe area
- Structural failings the cause injuries
- Elevator and escalator accidents
What Are Some of the Injuries Premises Liability Victims in Boca Raton Suffer?
A premises liability accident can result in debilitating injuries that may have lifelong implications and require continuous medical treatment and care. In most cases, compensation for premises liability injuries includes future and past medical expenses, disfigurement, lost wages, mental anguish, and physical pain and suffering.
Some of the most common types of injuries suffered after premises liability accidents include:
- Broken bones
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Electric shocks
- Neck and back injuries
- Severe burns
- Illnesses resulting from toxic chemical exposure
Who’s Responsible for Injuries in Premises Liability Cases?
It’s the property owners’ responsibility to make sure their properties are safe and free of hazardous conditions – that includes lighting up outdoor areas, cleaning slippery floors, removing tripping hazards, and so forth.
Suffering injuries due to premises liability accidents can be extremely frustrating and expensive, especially when the cause of the accident is another individual’s negligence. As a victim, you are eligible to recover compensation for lost time at work, medical bills, and so much more.
The Different Types of Premises Liability
It is worth noting that there are three types of premises liability. Each pertains to the person who owns the property considering that business owners are different from homeowners, who are different from landlords. So, what’s the difference between the three? Let’s have a look:
This refers to the responsibility bestowed upon homeowners to keep their property safe.
Landlord and Renter Liability
Liability starts getting complex when there are a landlord and renter involved. Under this option, each party has some responsibilities to fulfill, which means when someone gets injured at a rented space, apartment, or townhouse, several factors have to be considered.
Business Owner Liability
This form of premises liability is perhaps the most recognized considering that customers and people visiting business premises are often aware of lobby weather mats, wet floor signs, and salted sidewalks.
Critical Factors Involved in Premises Liability
For a proprietor to be held responsible for injuries suffered through a slip and fall or any other type premises liability accident, either one or all of the following things must be true:
- The person who owns the property caused the hazardous condition (like not wiping down a slippery surface, loose wires, or spill that led to a tenant, client, or visitor getting injured.)
- The proprietor was notified of a dangerous situation and did nothing about it (e.g., a landlord got informed about a broken step or loose handrail, he doesn’t fix it, and someone ends up getting hurt).
- The proprietor knew about a hazardous condition and still ignored it (for example, a snow-covered passageway that was not cleared within a reasonable time).
What If a Child Is Injured?
While premises liability standards generally apply uniformly to adults, there are a few exemptions built into Florida liability laws for children, who can’t be expected to understand all the specifics and nuances of premises liability law. One of the most cited rules is the doctrine of attractive nuisance, which dictates that some items or conditions on a person’s piece of land, which an adult would know to avoid, may look attractive and exciting to children – though it may cause them physical harm.
Good examples of what would be considered attractive nuisances include construction sites, deep-freeze lockers, refrigerators, swimming pools, and any other human-made or natural condition that carries ‘unreasonable risk’ of harm to trespassing children.
If your child has suffered physical harm caused by an attractive nuisance, you reserve the right to file a lawsuit as your child’s “next friend.” This is a Florida Law concept that allows persons to act on behalf of legally incapacitated people – it also applies to minors since they cannot file a lawsuit on their own.
And while it can be difficult to prove liability in these cases, it’s not impossible. However, as the plaintiff, you will be required to verify that the proprietor of the said attractive nuisance knew of the potential danger it posed to minors and that they didn’t do anything to make it safe or remove it, even though it was their responsibility to do so.
According to the law, things that pose a danger to minors should be secured so that no child could enter and put themselves in harm’s way. For example:
- Hazards like open pits or wells should be covered with something a small child can’t open or lift
- Unused areas such as drained pools should be covered or fenced and locked. The property owner should ensure that the fence is high enough for a child to climb over.
- Areas such as construction sites should be fenced off to keep children from entering the area.
What If I Got Injured While at My Place of Work?
Most workers think that the only option when they’ve been injured at work is to seek remuneration through workers’ comp. Most of them don’t realize that they can file a personal injury claim for injuries suffered at their workplace. It’s a common belief amongst workers that filing a personal injury claim is like ‘suing’ your employer when, in reality, a third-party is probably responsible for their compensation.
As a worker, understanding your options is critical as it could help you determine which approach would work best for your circumstance. Here’s what you need to know about each option.
Workers’ Comp Claims
One of the main things that differentiate personal injury and workers’ compensation is proving fault. If you’ve been injured while at work or off-site while performing your duties and opt to file a workers’ compensation claim, you won’t be required to prove that your co-worker, employer, or any other person caused your injuries. In such a case, you will only be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, even if your injuries were your fault to some extent.
This is what workers’ compensation is for; it is meant to protect workers who’ve been injured while performing their duties, since even though their injuries were their fault, they would not have been hurt if they weren’t handling tasks for another person.
If you opt to go for workers’ compensation, you won’t receive anything other than economic costs. While you won’t receive compensation for things like pain and suffering, you will still receive compensation for vocational rehabilitation, lost wages, medical expenses, and permanent impairment benefits.
Personal Injury Claims
Another important difference between personal injury claims and workers’ comp claims is that personal injury claims aren’t limited to workers. Personal injury claims allow anyone who’s suffered an injury due to another person’s negligent actions to file a claim, and that includes workers. However, for injured workers to recover damages using this option, they must prove that their injuries were caused by another party’s or individual’s negligence.
Have you seen the difference in how personal injury claims are different from workers’ comp claims? Under workers’ comp, you aren’t required to prove fault. Apart from that, you still get compensated even if you are partly to blame for your injuries.
On the other hand, personal injury damages are purely compensatory. They typically include damages for suffering and pain resulting from your injuries, medical expenses, loss of future earning capacity, and lost wages. Workers’ compensation doesn’t allow non-economic recovery.
Workers injured while performing their duties can file a successful personal injury claim when under the following circumstances:
- Their injuries involve a faulty product or machine, which would allow them to file a suit against the product’s manufacturer
- Their injuries have been caused by an illegal or toxic substance
- Their employer’s conduct was likely to cause death or serious harm
- Their injuries were caused by the negligence of a third-party that does not work for the company
- Their employer doesn’t carry workers’ compensation insurance either intentionally or because they aren’t technically required to have it
Is There a Deadline for Filing a Premises Liability Claim in Boca Raton?
Like all personal injury cases, premises liability claims have a time limit to file a lawsuit. This time limit, known as the statute of limitations, is a state or federal law or ordinance that regulates deadlines for filing a case in a court of law.
It’s worth noting that this deadline is non-negotiable and absolute. That means that if you miss the deadline, even by one day only, it will result in your case being dismissed. Once your claim has been dismissed, you’re no longer entitled to seek compensation for injuries suffered.
In most cases, the statute of limitations becomes active on the day you got injured and ends precisely two years later. However, in Florida, the limit is four years. To ensure your claim is filed on time, get in touch with an experienced slip and fall attorney as soon as possible, and have them handle your case for you.
Let the Best Boca Raton Premises Liability Lawyers Handle Your Case
If you’ve been injured while on another person’s property and the cause of your injuries is negligence on their part, consider approaching a professional, skilled, and experienced premises liability attorney and have them help you handle the case. Hiring an attorney’s services will mean you get more time to focus on recovering while they handle the more complex aspects of your case.
The premises liability lawyers at Englander Peebles possess the skills, knowledge, and experience needed to ensure your case reaches a fruitful conclusion. Call (954) 231-1384 today and schedule a free, no-obligation initial consultation with our professional premises liability attorneys. We are here for you!