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If you were injured while on another’s premises, our attorneys may be able to help you take legal action against the property owner to recover compensation for any losses (e.g. medical bills, pain and suffering) stemming from the incident. When you are invited to another’s property in Florida (e.g. private homes, restaurants, retail stores, hotels, etc.), the landowner has a responsibility to provide a reasonably safe environment to prevent you from harm.
If he or she fails to ensure the safety of his or her premises, and you are injured as a result, our attorneys may be able to hold the property owner accountable for any resulting damages.
At Morgan & Morgan, the premises liability attorneys in our St. Petersburg office are committed to helping accident victims take legal action against negligent property owners. To find out how a St. Petersburg slip and fall attorney may be able to help you, get started by filling out our case review form today. Our firm is offering these online consultations at no cost and with no obligation.
Can I Sue for a Slip and Fall?
To take legal action after a slip and fall, your St. Petersburg attorney must prove a dangerous condition existed, the property owner owed you a specific duty to warn of the danger(s), and that this duty was not fulfilled.
If you entered the premises and knew a dangerous condition existed, you may not have legal recourse for your injuries; however, only an attorney will be able to determine whether the circumstances surrounding your accident warrant legal action.
Elements of a Successful Slip and Fall Case
The success of your slip and fall case will hinge on your attorney’s ability to prove:
- A dangerous condition existed on the owners’ premises
- The owner knew or should have known of the condition
- The level of care the property owner was required to provide to those on the premises
- Whether the owner met or failed to meet this duty.
The level of care a Florida property owner is required to provide will depend on how the premises are legally classified and your purpose for being on the property.
Florida’s Classifications of Properties and Guests
Public Property—Invitees: Establishments that are open to the general public for business purposes, such as a restaurant, movie theater, or grocery store. Parties on these premises are considered invitees.
Private Property—Guest: Private homes to which the owner invites an individual, such as a friend or family member, for non-business related purposes. Parties on the premises, for this reason, are considered licensees.
Private Property—Trespasser: Private property where individuals are not invited onto the premises, and in some cases, are warned not to enter. Individuals on another’s personal property without invitation are considered trespassers.
Duties of Care
Invitees: Florida property owners are required to protect these guests from any hazardous condition about which they knew or should have known. The property must be inspected regularly and visitors must be warned of any dangerous conditions that are discovered on the property. For example, a property owner should place a caution sign on a floor in a store where a liquid was spilled before the staff has had the opportunity to clean it up.
Licensees: Property owners are required to protect their guests from hazards about which they know or should know. They are also required to provide warnings about these hazards; however, they are not required to inspect the premises regularly or fix dangerous conditions immediately. For example, if the owner knows a railing on his or her stairs is unstable and fails to warn a guest of this condition, he or she could be liable if the guest is injured while using the railing for support.
Trespassers: Property owners owe trespassers a much lower duty of care. For these individuals, private property owners in Florida are not required to fix or provide warnings about hazards on their premises. These hazards could include holes or slippery conditions.
It is important to note that in addition to property owners, employees, contractors, and other individuals on or in control of the property may be liable for slip and fall accidents in St. Petersburg.
Additional Premises Liability Cases
Landlord Responsibilities in Florida
The landlord of an apartment complex is required to:
- Ensure the common areas of resident complexes are reasonably safe for use
- Warn new tenants of any known dangerous conditions or defects
- Adhere to local Florida building codes and ordinances (failure to do so may subject them to liability if a tenant is injured on the grounds)
If a landlord fails to adhere to any of these responsibilities, and you sustain an injury as a result, your attorney may be able to file a lawsuit on your behalf.
Florida property owners are required to keep their premises safe when the area is likely to attract crime. These premises can include public property, such as bars, hotels, parking lots and retail stores, as well as private property, such as a home. In most cases, public property owners will hire security officers and install cameras to monitor the premises and to help prevent harm to others. Should the owner fail to take these preventative measures, they may be liable for injuries their patrons or tenants incur as a result.
Swimming Pool Liability
Property owners in Florida are required to ensure their guests, especially children, are protected from the dangers posed by swimming pools. For instance, if an owner fails to install protective fencing around the pool, he or she may be liable for injuries sustained as a result.
How Much is My Case Worth?
The value of your case will depend on a number of factors, including the severity of the injury and where you were injured.
In most cases, your St. Petersburg attorney will seek compensation for the following, when applicable:
- Medical expenses, both current and future
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
If you or a loved one has been injured on another’s property, you may have legal recourse. To learn how our St. Petersburg slip and fall attorneys may be able to assist, all you have to do is complete our free review form today.