Seminole Premises Liability Attorney
Premises liability refers to the legal duty of property owners to keep their premises in a reasonably safe condition for the safety of others who might be on the premises. When people get hurt because of an unreasonably dangerous condition on the property, the owner can be held liable for the damages caused by their negligence. At Reep Coleman & Stubbendorff, our Pinellas County personal injury lawyers have a long history of representing injury victims and helping them get medical care and compensation from the parties responsible for their injuries. See below to learn more about the many ways property owners can be held liable for accidents and injuries that occur on their property, and contact our experienced Seminole premises liability attorney if you or a loved one has been injured on someone’s dangerously unsafe premises.
Slip and Fall
The most common type of premises liability accident is a slip and fall on a wet floor. Property owners like grocery stores, restaurants, nightclubs, retail shops, department stores, warehouse and big box stores, hotels and other commercial establishments have a duty to know the condition of their premises and keep the floor clean and dry. If a customer spills a drink or knocks over merchandise that breaks and spills, if rainwater or seawater gets blown in or tracked in, or if refrigerated equipment leaks or drips condensation, employees and management should be alert to these conditions, clean them up promptly, and put up “wet floor” signage until the area is dry.
Premises liability extends to all areas of the property, including the interior of buildings, outside grounds, parking lots and sidewalks. In addition to slips and falls, other common types of accidents due to dangerous conditions on the property can include:
- Trip and fall on a broken staircase or escalator, a misaligned elevator, or because of a tear in the carpet or floor mats or an obstruction in the aisle, or a broken sidewalk
- Collapsing porch
- Swimming pool drowning
- Defective playground equipment
Premises liability cases are complex, and a property owner’s duty can differ depending on whether the victim had the legal status of an invitee, a licensee, or a trespasser. Also, the accident victim will have to prove the owner (or management or employees) had actual or constructive knowledge of the defect, meaning they knew about it or should have known about it, but failed to correct it in a reasonable time frame before the accident occurred. Property owners and their insurers are likely to claim they didn’t have enough time to discover and correct the hazard, or they might say the condition was obvious and could have been avoided if the accident victim had been watching where they were going. Insurance companies are also likely to dispute how serious the injury is, especially if it is a “soft tissue” injury such as a sprain or strain as opposed to a broken bone, fracture, or open wound.
Our experienced premises liability attorneys know how to document and prove the property owner’s liability, defend against claims of the victim’s comparative fault, and achieve full compensation through a settlement or court judgment. Niklas Stubbendorff, the leader of the firm’s personal injury division, spent years defending property owners with premises liability claims and knows how to handle these difficult cases from the inside out.
Dog bites are always scary and painful. They can also be permanently scarring or disfiguring, cause complex fractures, infections, and nerve damage, and they can even be fatal, regardless of the age or size of the victim. Dog bites can also inflict severe psychological harm and conditions such as anxiety, phobias, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Dog bite law in Florida contains a confusing mix of strict liability, negligence, and other legal theories. For instance, owners can be held strictly liable for dog bites that occur in public or while lawfully on private property, regardless of whether the owner was negligent or had any reason to believe the dog might bite. For non-bite injuries caused by a knockdown, though, owners are only liable if they were negligent in the way they controlled or supervised the dog. Our premises liability lawyers will find out what happened and apply the correct legal theory for a successful conclusion to your case, making sure you get the care and compensation you need when you or your loved one is injured in a dog bite or animal attack.
Property owners can also be held liable for attacks, robberies, thefts, sexual assaults, or other criminal activity that occurs on their premises because the owners were negligent in providing adequate security for the safety of customers, guests, or members of the public. Simple measures can deter attacks like these, and the absence of reasonable security measures can invite them. Examples of simple security measures include maintaining adequate lighting in hallways, stairwells, parking garages, or corners, and maintaining working locks on doors and windows. If the property is located in a high-crime area or recent crime has been reported, further measures might also be reasonable, such as gated entries, security alarms, video cameras, or security patrols. Owners of bars and nightclubs, apartment complexes, office buildings, shopping malls, resorts, and other types of property have a duty to provide reasonable security, and they can and should be held liable when their failures facilitate a harmful attack on an innocent victim.
Property owners are almost certain to try and avoid liability for an assault, claiming they are not to blame for another’s intentional act. It takes a skilled and dedicated premises liability lawyer to know when a claim against the property owner is appropriate and how to go about proving a case for a successful settlement or jury verdict.
Contact Reep Coleman & Stubbendorff Today
The personal injury attorneys at Reep Coleman & Stubbendorff are former criminal prosecutors with years of litigation experience and dedication to the cause of justice for victims. If you have been hurt in an accident on someone’s dangerously unsafe property in Pinellas County, call our experienced Seminole premises liability attorney for a free consultation.