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Florida business and property owners have a duty to ensure their premises are reasonably safe. When they fail to do so, they may be liable for any accidents that occur as a result, including slip and falls.
If you were injured on another’s premises in Lakeland, whether it was a shopping mall, private residence or grocery store, our attorneys can help determine if the owner failed in his duty to keep you and other visitors safe. If so, we may be able to help you file a lawsuit. Through a premises liability lawsuit, you may be able to recover compensation from the negligent property owner for any losses stemming from the accident. These losses may include medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost wages.
Morgan & Morgan’s slip and fall attorneys have helped thousands of individuals throughout Florida obtain compensation for their injuries. To find out more information about how the attorneys in our Lakeland office may be able to help you, contact us for a free consultation.
Do I Have a Case?
Not everyone who has been injured on another person’s property will be able to file a premises liability lawsuit. The property owner must have been negligent in maintaining the premises and this negligence must have directly caused your injuries.
In evaluating whether you have a case, your attorney will investigate the circumstances surrounding the incident to determine answers to the following questions:
Did a Dangerous Condition Exist?
A dangerous property condition is any hazard that presents an unreasonable risk of harm to the public. Examples of dangerous property conditions include:
- Unmarked wet or slippery floors
- Faulty or defective amusement park rides
- Uneven sidewalk or walkways
- Defective or unsafe balconies or terraces
- Torn or raised carpeting
- Negligently displayed merchandise
- Inadequate construction warnings
- Unsafe staircases
- Sudden dip or rise in floor level
- Inadequate lighting in a parking lot or stairway
- Malfunctioning doors or windows
- Structural defects
- Defective or improperly maintained escalators or elevators
You may also have a viable slip and fall lawsuit if a business or store manager failed to warn customers of a dangerous property condition. For example, if you slipped and fell on a wet floor in a grocery store that did not place a sign near the area to warn customers of the slippery floor, you may be able to sue to obtain compensation for your injuries.
Did the owner/manager know about the dangerous condition?
If the business or property owner knew that the dangerous condition existed and failed to fix it, he or she may be liable for any injuries caused by the unsafe condition.
Even if the property owner or manager did not know about the dangerous condition but should have known about it, you may still have legal recourse. For example, assume a shopping mall has had a broken or uneven sidewalk for several months. The company that owns the mall may be liable for any injuries caused by the unsafe property condition because a reasonably prudent mall manager should have known about the uneven sidewalk.
Did the property owner fail to exercise reasonable care in maintaining the property and did this lack of reasonable care lead to your injuries?
A business or property owner must exercise reasonable care in maintaining his or her property. Reasonable care includes regular maintenance of the property, as well as checking to ensure that the property is free from hazards that could hurt visitors. If a business or property owner fails to use reasonable care in maintaining the premises and you suffered an injury as a direct result, our Lakeland attorneys may be able to help you receive compensation for your injuries by filing a premises liability lawsuit.
What Will My Attorney Do to Help Me Recover Compensation?
Your attorney will gather evidence. Your attorney will need to prove that the owner of the property was negligent in maintaining the property. To do so, your slip and fall attorney may:
- Interview witnesses
- Visit the scene of the accident
- Take photographs of the dangerous property condition
- Review video surveillance to determine how long the unsafe condition existed
- Obtain copies of accident reports
- Review a store’s operational records and cleaning logs
- Collect and review all relevant medical records to evaluate the extent of your injuries
Your attorney will work with medical experts to help prove your case and determine the amount of compensation you will need to care for your injury. Your slip and fall attorney will need to prove that the negligently maintained property caused your injuries. He or she may work with medical experts who will evaluate the extent of your injuries and explain to the judge and jury how the negligently maintained property caused the accident. The medical expert may also be used to explain any future medical care that you will need as a result of the slip and fall accident.
Your attorney will make sure any proposed settlement offers are appropriate when compared to the extent of your injuries. Your slip and fall attorney will review the terms of any proposed settlement offers to determine if the offer is proportionate to the injuries you have suffered. Your attorney may negotiate directly with the insurance company for a higher settlement amount if the offer is too low. If these negotiations do not produce an acceptable settlement offer, your lawyer will prepare your case for trial.
Your attorney can prepare your case for trial. During the trial, your lawyer may present opening and closing statements, question witnesses and cross-examine any witnesses offered by the defense.
Can I Sue If I Was the Victim of a Violent Crime?
Property owners have a duty to ensure that their premises are safe. This duty may have been broken if a business or property owner knew an area was dangerous and failed to take steps to minimize the risk of violent crime occurring.
Therefore, you may be able to file a premises liability lawsuit if you were the victim of an assault at a business or private property that had a history of violent crime, yet the owner of the business or property failed to take appropriate security measures to protect the public.
In a negligent security lawsuit, our Lakeland attorneys may work with security experts to review the security systems that were in place on the property when you were assaulted. Using the findings of the security expert, your attorney can prove that the assault or violent crime could have been prevented if appropriate security measures had been in place.
Negligent security lawsuits often involve the failure to hire security guards, insufficient lighting, and broken or missing locks. Our Lakeland attorneys handle negligent security lawsuits involving:
- Restaurants, bars, and nightclubs
- Shopping malls
- Convenience stores
- Apartment complexes
- Parking lots and parking garages
- Hospitals and nursing homes
- Banks and ATM kiosks
- College campuses and dorm room security
How Much Does a Lawyer Cost?
At Morgan & Morgan, our slip and fall attorneys work on a contingency-fee basis. Under this arrangement, you only pay a fee if your attorney is able to obtain compensation for your injuries.
If you have been hurt in a slip and fall accident or have been the victim of a violent crime, complete our case review form today to learn how the premises liability attorneys in our Lakeland office may be able to help you receive compensation for your injuries.