If you or a loved one has been injured on someone else’s property, our attorneys may be able to help you file a premises liability claim seeking compensation for your injuries. In Florida, a claim may be viable if the injury was the result of a negligent property owner or manager. The damages available to plaintiffs in premises liability lawsuits include compensation for lost wages, medical bills and pain and suffering.
Have you been injured due to a hazard on someone else’s property? If so, you may be able to recover compensation through a premises liability lawsuit. Fill out our free case review form to learn more about how our attorneys may be able to help.
How Can a Jacksonville Slip-and-Fall Attorney Help?
With recent changes to Florida law, it has become more difficult for slip-and-fall victims to recover fair compensation for their losses. Therefore, it is important that you retain an experienced attorney who can effectively show that a property owner’s negligence caused your injury.
A skilled premises liability attorney can investigate a number of factors following your slip-and-fall accident to help strengthen your claim, including previous complaints about the hazard. The attorneys at our Jacksonville firm have decades of experience proving liability in slip-and-fall claims and may be able to help recover compensation on your behalf.
For a Jacksonville property owner or manager to be liable for damages in a slip-and-fall lawsuit, an attorney must show that:
- A dangerous condition existed on the premises.
- The property owner or manager had knowledge of the dangerous condition and failed to address it adequately.
- The negligence of the property owner could foreseeably lead to an accident.
To prove that a “dangerous condition” existed on the property where your slip-and-fall occurred, our attorneys will gather photographic evidence of the hazard, as well as interview witnesses to the hazard and, if possible, the accident. A dangerous condition may refer to a number of hazards, from a spill in a grocery store to an icy sidewalk, as long as it fulfills two main requirements:
- The dangerous condition must create a serious risk of harm to the people who reside in or visit the property.
- The dangerous condition must be one that a reasonable person could not have anticipated.
Further, it must also be shown that the owner had knowledge of the dangerous condition and failed to take the appropriate measures to fix the hazard or adequately warn visitors about it. An attorney can obtain access to security camera footage and other telling evidence, as well as gather accounts from witnesses of the hazard to establish the owner’s knowledge and negligence.
Once negligence has been established, the attorney must then show that the property owner’s failure to properly address a hazard could foreseeably lead to a slip-and-fall accident on the premises.
What Types of Premises Liability Claims Do Our Attorneys Investigate?
Our Jacksonville attorneys handle premises liability claims stemming from the following accidents:
Slip-and-falls typically occur on uneven sidewalks, wet floors, unsafe staircases, icy grounds, and other slippery or uneven surfaces. Especially hazardous for the elderly and children, slip-and-falls can lead to severe injuries and even death. Individuals who were injured following a slip-and-fall may be able to file a lawsuit if the property owner knew about the hazardous area and failed to fix it.
If you have been injured in a slip-and-fall accident, an attorney can strengthen your claim by gathering evidence surrounding your accident. He or she may take photographs of your injury, obtain medical records and interview witnesses to the hazard or incident.
Dog bites may warrant a premises liability lawsuit. In Florida, a dog owner is strictly liable for any bite, regardless of the dog’s history of viciousness or the owner’s knowledge of such viciousness. Some exceptions exist, such as for owners that place “Bad Dog” signs on their properties or for victims who provoked the dog; however, in most cases, dog owners in Jacksonville are liable for any injuries resulting from their dog’s bite.
A dog bite attorney can gather evidence by photographing your injuries, obtaining medical records and collecting information about the animal in question. Your attorney may also review past incidents involving the same dog and interview the owners and witnesses of the incident to strengthen your claim.
Assault due to negligent security occurs when an individual is sexually or physically assaulted on property that is not adequately secured by the owner. It is the duty of a hotel, garage, parking lot, cruise, etc. to provide adequate security for visitors, especially in areas that are known for, or might attract, crime. Insufficient lighting, lack of or ineffective security personnel, broken or missing locks, and lack of video surveillance may indicate negligence on part of the property owner.
Our attorneys can work alongside experts to conduct a review of the security systems in place at the time of the assault.
We can also collect photographic evidence, review security tape footage and interview witnesses.
Swimming pool accidents can occur when a property owner fails to provide adequate protection or security. When the owner of a pool or hot tub fails to maintain a safe area in and around the water, and an accident occurs, he or she may be liable for any resulting damages. Signs of negligence include:
- Inadequate barriers or fencing
- Failure to adequately cover the area
- Lack of supervision
- Alcohol use
- Lack of lifeguards
- Dangerous drains or other hazards
- Shallow water that is not identified
- Lack of supervision
- Insufficient signs warning of possible dangers
If the homeowner acted negligently and an accident resulted, they may be liable for any resulting damages.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a swimming pool accident, our slip and fall attorneys can investigate the circumstances surrounding the accident and collect evidence and witness testimony to strengthen your claim. We can also work alongside experts to determine the safety and security of the pool.
Invitees, Licensees, and Trespassers
Three distinctions are important when determining the possible liability of a property owner. The victim on a property is often designated as an invitee, licensee, or a trespasser.
Invitees are those visitors who are on the property conducting business transactions or other business dealings. For example, a plumber who comes to the home and conducts business on the premises may qualify as an invitee.
Licensees are those who have been given permission or an invitation to enter a property. Licensees are typically friends or family members. If either invitees or licensees are injured, the owner may be held liable if they knew of a possible danger, and did not fix it or warn the visitor of the risk.
He or she may also be liable if the visitor did not know or should not have known about the existence of the danger. The important distinction between invitees and licensees, though, is that property owners must actually perform checks for dangerous aspects of their property before an invitee enters the property, while this duty does not exist for licensees.
Jacksonville property owners are generally not liable for injuries suffered by those who are trespassing at the time of the incident; however, there are some exceptions. One important exception to this rule is if the property owner has reason to believe there are regular trespassers on his land (such as children crossing the yard on their way to school). Known trespassers are effectively guaranteed the same rights as licensees, meaning that a property owner must fix or warn of dangers that are known.
Since there is a time limit (statute of limitations) for premises liability claims in Florida, it is important for injured parties to contact a Jacksonville personal injury attorney as soon as they can. To see how an attorney may be able to help you, fill out our free case review form.