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Property owners have a duty to protect other people on their premises from an unreasonable risk of injury or harm. When they fail to ensure their property is reasonably safe, those on the premises may be at risk for slips and falls, as well as other types of accidents.
At Morgan & Morgan, our Tampa slip and fall attorneys have extensive experience identifying and gathering evidence to help recover compensation on behalf of clients who were injured on another’s premises.
If you sustained injuries on another’s property, you may be entitled to fight to receive compensation for your burdens. Fill out our free case review form today to have an experienced Tampa premises liability attorney review your claim. There is no cost involved and you have no-obligation to continue with the process.
How Can a Tampa Slip and Fall Attorney Help?
Our firm has a successful history of litigating and negotiating premises liability cases, which includes an $870,000 verdict for a man who severely injured his back after slipping in a convenience store. Our lawyers also helped someone receive an $800,000 settlement after a back injury on a wet floor left them unable to return to work. If you are injured on another’s property and intend to pursue legal action, there are three vital questions that must be answered and supported with specific evidence.
Prior to filing a claim, your lawyer must determine who may be liable for your injury, if anyone; the exact cause of your injury; and whether you were considered an invitee, licensee, or trespasser on the premises. This information will indicate the strength and value of your claim. In preparing your claim and answering these questions, your attorney may:
- Determine how you were on the premises and what your purpose for being there was
- Investigate the scene of the accident or any Tampa police reports and photographs
- Determine whether any former similar complaints or lawsuits had been filed against the owner or party connected with the premises
- Consult experts who have experience and unique insight into liability
- Interview witnesses, if applicable
- Determine what steps, if any, were taken by the owner to decrease the chance of an accident occurring
With this evidence, your attorney will construct a claim that best supports your case. Your claim will be the basis of your attorney’s argument during negotiations and litigation and can outline how the property owner was at fault for the accident and is therefore responsible for your losses.
The manner in which this evidence is presented can affect the amount of compensation you recover. At Morgan & Morgan, our Tampa attorneys are skilled negotiators and litigators who can effectively present evidence in support of your claim and negate evidence which may be potentially damaging to your case.
Slip and Fall Cases
Slips and falls can cause serious injuries, and victims may not manifest symptoms until days or weeks after the accident. These injuries can cause the victim to incur substantial medical and rehabilitation bills, lost wages, and, in instances of permanent disability, a loss of enjoyment and decreased quality of life. With the help of an experienced Tampa premises liability lawyer, slip and fall victims may be able to seek compensation to help cover their economic and non-economic losses.
Property owners have a responsibility to maintain and/or warn of dangers to visitors; however, the duty owed by the property owner will depend on the legal status of the visitor. If the owner fails to meet the level of responsibility owed to the visitor, who slips and falls as a result, the owner may be liable for related damages. For example:
Invitee: Individuals entering a property for business-related reasons are owed the highest level of care. Property owners are required, by law, to inspect their premises and to either fix or warn these guests of any potential hazards.
- If a restaurant patron slips and falls on a puddle of water a bus-boy neglected or refused to clean up, the owner has failed to meet their duty to the patron. All precautions must be taken to fix or warn of any dangers on the premises.
Licensee: These individuals enter the premises with the permission of the landowner. For these guests, property owners are required to either fix known dangers on their property or provide sufficient warning of any potential dangers. Licensees, when entering a property, assume the risk of injury from any potential dangers about which they were warned or should have been aware.
- A friend is invited over and asks to use the stairs, which the owner knows have a broken railing. The friend is not warned of the potentially dangerous railing, which breaks and causes him or her to fall and sustain injuries. The owner has not met his duty to warn of known dangers on the property and may be liable for any resulting damages.
Trespasser: Property owners have few legal obligations to trespassers. The law forbids property owners from intentionally setting up hazards or traps to injure trespassers; however, they must warn trespassers of any known hazards which may not be noticeable by those passing through the property.
- An individual uses or crosses another’s property without consent, and suffers an injury after falling due to an artificial condition (something which is not naturally on the land) which would not have been obvious to the reasonable person. The owner may be responsible for damages resulting from the fall if he or she failed to warn of a hazard.
Our Tampa Attorneys Handle Slip and Fall Cases Involving:
- Inadequate signage warning of a hazardous area
- Unmarked wet or slippery floors
- Icy or snowy surfaces
- Crumbling or improperly maintained sidewalks
- A sudden dip or rise in floor level
- Torn or raised carpeting
- Defective or unsafe balconies or terraces;
- Items left on the ground level
- Unsafe staircases
- Insufficiently lit walkways and staircases
Other Premises Liability Claims
If it is reasonably foreseeable that crime may occur on or near a property, a business or property owner has a duty of care to keep the premises safe and secure for tenants or customers. This typically involves employing a certain level of security to monitor and prevent criminal behavior on the premises, including the perimeter, parking lots, and building(s).
For example, a landlord owes tenants in an apartment complex a duty to ensure they are not at risk for serious criminal behavior such as theft, rape, or murder. Similarly, hotels must provide adequate security to protect their guests from similar criminal behavior.
Employing a security guard to monitor and protect the premises can fulfill this duty—as long as the security is competent and responsible. If a landowner or landlord fails to provide adequate security, they may be liable for damages that result.
Unfortunately, accidental drowning in swimming pools is not uncommon in Florida. If a landowner has a swimming pool on or in their property, they owe an extra duty of care to protect children and guests from harm.
Property owners must take reasonable steps to protect the child from the dangers a swimming pool may present. This may include providing safety netting around the pool or keeping the pool in a locked area not accessible to children. If a property owner fails to do so, they may be liable for damages that result from an injury.
Who Can I Sue?
There are a number of parties who may be liable for your injuries. These parties can include the owner of the property, employees, and third parties. It is important to note that liability will depend on whether the individual from whom you are seeking damages owed you a duty of care. To determine who may be liable for your injuries, consult an attorney to review your case.
How Much Is My Case Worth?
Injuries which were sustained on another’s property can be severe and may cause overwhelming financial distress on the victim and their family. If the property owner or other party is responsible for your injuries, they may be responsible for providing compensation for current and future medical expenses, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, mental anguish, and pain and suffering.
If you or someone you know was injured while on another’s property, and believe the property owner was negligent in ensuring your safety, you may be have legal recourse. To discover more about how our Tampa premises liability attorneys may be able to help, please complete our free case evaluation form today.