Miami Premises Liability Lawyer Helping Clients Get Fair Compensation for Their Injuries
Premises liability is an area of personal injury law that deals with accidents occurring on another person’s property. However, not every accident on a property will qualify as a valid premises liability case. Premises liability cases are based on the negligence of the property owner. Property owners have a responsibility to visitors to maintain their property in a reasonably safe manner, or minimally, to at least warn visitors of unsafe conditions. They can be held liable for the resulting accidents if they fail in their duties.
If you have been injured in an accident on another person’s property in the Miami area, including on a cruise ship in the harbor, you may be eligible to file a premises liability claim. This is true even if you are partly at fault for the accident. Florida is a comparative fault state, which means that as long as you are not 100% responsible for your accident, you may seek compensation from the other party involved. However, your award will be reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to you.
To speak with a knowledgeable premises liability lawyer about the specifics of your case and your legal options, contact Galimidi Law today. A free case evaluation is available for premises liability claims so that you can learn about your rights at no risk or cost to you.
What Duty of Care is Owed to Individuals on Someone Else’s Property?
The duty of care owed to a person on a property depends on why they are there. There are three categorizations of visitors to a property, according to Florida law, which are:
- Licensee: These individuals have been given the owner’s permission to be on their property. This category includes friends and family coming to visit, unsolicited salespeople, and neighbors. A warning is required for any potential dangers on the property known to the owner that the licensee is unaware of and is not likely to notice. Examples could be a loose step or a slippery floor. However, the property owner is not under an obligation to inspect for potential dangers for the sake of a licensee.
- Invitee: Of the three classifications, the owner owes the highest duty of care to an invitee. An invitee is a person who comes onto the property with the permission and knowledge of the owner for the mutual benefit of both parties. They may be the customers at a business, people using a public space, repair workers, delivery people, and others. The owner must maintain the property in a reasonably safe condition for the sake of an invitee. Property owners also have the added responsibility of protecting an invitee from any dangers the owner could have discovered through inspection.
- Trespasser: This person is on the owner’s property without their consent. The owner is not required to make the premises safe for a trespasser. Their only responsibility is not to injure them willfully or by gross negligence. The exception to this regards trespassers who are children and the “attractive nuisance” doctrine. Under the attractive nuisance doctrine, property owners must be aware of items on their property that could draw in curious children, such as swimming pools, and either keep them thoroughly secured or make them safe enough to not harm any children who may enter.
What Should You Do if You’ve Been Injured on Someone Else’s Property?
When leaving home, it never crosses anyone’s mind that they may get injured. But knowing what to do in case of an unexpected personal injury can help protect your health and finances. Whether the property owner is a neighbor or a corporation, you should take steps after an injury to preserve your ability to bring a premises liability lawsuit, should it become necessary. These steps are:
- Get medical help: If you have serious injuries, call 911 and wait for help to arrive. Even if the injury seems minor at the time, you should seek a medical evaluation as soon as possible. This action provides clear documentation of your injuries and links them to your accident. Slip and fall accidents are especially notorious for causing back and neck damage that isn’t apparent until days or weeks later.
- Make an accident report: Report your injuries through the proper channels. Ask for a copy of your report. If they will not make a copy, take a picture of the documents.
- Get witness information: If the injury occurs in a public space with witnesses, try to get the names, addresses, and phone numbers of those present. Include employee information if the accident location was a business establishment.
- Take pictures: Many causes of accidents can be quickly cleaned or fixed by the property owner. Therefore, it is essential to document the area as soon as possible after your injury to show the circumstances accurately. If you are too hurt to take pictures, have a friend or a witness take photos for you.
- Save documentation: Write down your memory of the event as soon as possible, so the details are fresh in your mind. Make sure to keep copies of all letters, texts, emails, bills, and other correspondence or reports related to your accident.
- Follow up on any necessary medical treatment: Do not refuse medical attention or wait to see the doctor. Follow all advice your medical professional gives you. If you neglect to do this, it could be argued in court that you were not actually hurt or did not take all the steps necessary to get better.
- Contact a trusted premises liability attorney: It is often critical to investigate liability claims immediately after the accident to preserve evidence and build a strong case. By contacting an attorney who understands premises liability law, you are protecting your interests and giving yourself the benefit of the law firm’s help and knowledge, so you can focus on regaining your health.
What Are Some Common Premises Liability Cases?
Any injuries that can occur on a property other than your own due to the property owner’s negligence have the potential to be eligible for a premises liability case. Negligence, in this case, means that the owner had actual or constructive knowledge of a dangerous situation on the property and did not correct it or warn visitors about it in a timely manner, which led to your injuries. If you were an invitee on the property, this definition extends to dangerous or harmful situations that the owner could have known about if they had performed a reasonable inspection of the property. As you might imagine, there is a broad range of situations covered by premises liability law, including:
- Slip-and-fall injuries are caused by wet floors, slippery sidewalks, uneven driveways, or damaged parking lots.
- Amusement park accidents.
- Injuries resulting from poor or improper maintenance of steps, stairways, balconies, porches, or stairwells.
- Swimming pool accidents.
- Elevator or escalator accident injuries.
- Dog bites or animal attacks.
- Hotel and resort accidents.
- Assaults, muggings, or rapes in dark, secluded areas, including parking lots with inadequate lighting or negligent security.
- Cruise ship accidents.
- Injuries to children at a school, daycare facility, or on a playground.
Many people come to the Miami area on vacation or to visit family and friends. A common question our law firm receives is whether you can file a premises liability lawsuit if you were injured in Miami but do not live here. The good news is that if you are an out-of-state resident who was hurt on a property in Miami, you have the same rights to bring a premises liability claim as a local individual. Contact Galimidi Law today to consult with a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer from Miami. Your case can often be handled without the hassle and expense of you returning to Florida.
What Damages Can Be Recovered by a Premises Liability Attorney?
Your attorney will fight to ensure that the negligent property owner is held responsible for the dangerous conditions and negligence that caused your injury. If liability is proven, you might receive compensation for the following:
- Medical bills: These are fees for any medical care resulting from your injuries, including surgeries, doctor visits, therapy, and more. If you require ongoing care, this may also include compensation for future medical expenses.
- Lost wages: You can be paid for missed wages dating from the injury to the end of the lawsuit. If you are disabled and permanently unable to work, you may be awarded the wages you could have earned if you had not been severely injured.
- Pain and suffering: Accidents and the resulting injuries can cause severe pain, embarrassment, grief, anxiety, and other emotional distress, which you may be compensated for.
- Legal costs: Sometimes, the defendant may have to pay for your legal representation as a part of your settlement.
- Punitive damages: If the injury is found to have occurred due to gross negligence or willful malice, punitive damages may be awarded during a trial.
How Do Premises Liability Lawyers Help Their Clients?
Unexpected injuries can derail your life. You may find yourself with extensive medical bills that you cannot pay because your injuries are preventing you from working or even taking care of your day-to-day tasks. It can be incredibly disheartening and frustrating. A premises liability lawyer will fight to get you the justice and maximum compensation you deserve from the liable property owners.
Galimidi Law will handle investigations and negotiate with the insurance companies while ensuring that you are receiving the medical care you need to heal. Your premises liability claim will be carefully investigated and valued properly so you can receive a fair settlement for your injuries. Contact Galimidi Law today for a free consultation to learn more about your legal options.