Yes, You Can Sue a Business or Property Owner For an Injury You Suffered.
You have probably heard of lawsuits related to slip and fall accidents in hotel lobbies, dog bite injuries in public parks, and injuries sustained in parking garage stairwell falls. These are all examples of possible premises liability claims. The law says that property owners must make a reasonable effort to keep their premises safe for guests and visitors. When they fail to do so and someone is injured, the property owner is responsible for any financial losses the victim suffers.
Premise liability claims are usually paid by insurance policies, such as a homeowner’s or business owner’s liability coverage. Premise liability is often a pathway to justice for victims of crimes, including rape, robbery, battery and murder. These case are often times very difficult do to the required proof of foreseeability for the business or property owner. The fact a crime took place is not enough.
Below is some basic information on different types of premise liability cases here in Jacksonville, Florida.
How Do You Prove Premises Liability?
Like other personal injury claims, premises liability claims are based on negligence. In order to prove a claim, you must show that the property owner was negligent in some way. For example, if a parking garage owner knew that a stairwell had a burned-out light bulb and you fell down the stairs, he would be considered negligent. You must also show that his negligence was the direct cause of your injuries. In our example, you would have to produce evidence from a doctor stating that your injury—broken bone, traumatic brain injury, back injury, etc.—was caused by the fall down the stairs. Finally, you would have to show that you were in the parking garage for a legitimate reason, such as parking your car, and not to make mischief. Trespassers are generally not covered under premises liability claims.
Types of Premises Liability Claims In Jacksonville, Florida
Premises liability claims can be made against homeowners, business owners, municipalities, and others. Some common claims include the following:
Slip and fall. When property conditions cause you to slip or trip and fall, the owner may be liable. However, you must show that he knew or should have known about the dangerous conditions and that he failed to correct them. These accidents occur on wet floors, icy sidewalks, floors with unsecured rugs, stairs with broken handrails or missing steps, and broken or uneven surfaces.
Dog bite. If you are bitten by a dog—even it is the first time the dog has been reported for biting—you can hold the dog’s owner responsible for your injuries. Exceptions to the law include people who purposely tease or provoke dogs and people who are unlawfully on the property when they are bitten.
Swimming pool accidents. There is no shortage of swimming pools in Florida, and owners are required by law to keep them safe and secured. If a pool is left accessible and a child is injured or killed, the owner may be liable. Swimming pool owners must also keep the pool deck safe and could be liable for guests’ slip and fall accidents.
Negligent building security. If you are assaulted or a loved one is killed by an intruder and it can be proven that building security was lax, you may be able to hold the building owner responsible for your losses.
I have included additional information on negligent security cases because of my firm's desire to represent crime victims and survivors of sexual assault and sexual abuse. If you have been victimized, there may be way for you to be financially compensated and for the responsible parties to be held accountable.
Types of Negligent Security Claims
- Inadequate security
- Inadequate lighting
- Inadequate security mechanisms, procedures, facility design
- Inadequate key control (hotels/motels/apartments)
- Inadequate supervision of victim (ie..children)
- Negligent Hiring/Retention/Supervision
Issues in Negligent Security Cases
- Apportionment of fault (if applicable)
- Preventability (causation)
If You Have Questions Regarding Your Rights After a Crime or Injury
Please contact Clifton Law Office, you can reach me at my contact page online or call me directly at 904-209-4883.