What Happens If I Was Hurt on Someone Else's Property?
In Florida, the law protects you if you are hurt on someone else's property. Property owners have a duty to maintain their location in a safe condition for all visitors and guests; it is a negligence-based system. If you obtain an injury on someone's property, you might be able to recover damages. There must be an effort by the property owner to free the premises of foreign substances or dangerous objects that can lead to injury, including:
- Wet floors
- Uneven ground
- Unstable objects that can fall
- Icy walkways
- Construction areas that may have nails
- Unstable benches
These are just a few of the environmental conditions that are considered unsafe for property owners to have on their premises. If you are injured on someone else's property because the owner failed to maintain the grounds in a safe condition, you may be eligible to receive compensation for your injuries.
What You Should Do If You Are Injured
The first thing that you should do is collect the names and contact information of the witnesses who saw the accident occur. Then, make sure that you report the injuries. Also, try to determine what object or substance it was that caused the injury and record that information. Then, try to deduce where the object or substance came from and how it may have caused the injury. Take pictures, if possible, of the area that the injury took place, as well as surrounding areas. If medical help is needed, seek emergency services to ensure your safety. Any of the following injuries may constitute grounds for a premises liability claim:
- Slip and fall accidents
- Falling object injuries
- Animal attacks
- Negligent security
- Elevator accidents
- Escalator or stairway accidents
Any of these situations can cause severe injuries, lost work, and large medical expenses; seeking compensation from the negligent party is a way to resolve these issues. The Florida premises liability law has a statute entitled Comparative Fault, which is the way in which the court decides who is responsible; the jury has to determine fault and place a monetary value on the damages sustained in the case. The judge takes into consideration the jury's verdict and also considers the damages when rendering the final judgment.
There is also an Open and Obvious Doctrine which can inhibit the injured person from recovering compensation. This doctrine in the Florida premises liability law determines that there are some injury-causing conditions that are so "open and obvious" that they are not considered to be liable dangerous conditions on someone's property. For this doctrine to stand in court, the condition really needs to be obvious, and courts generally do not use this matter of law. The premises liability process can be complex in Florida, so it is important to seek experienced legal counsel from a West Palm Beach personal injury attorney. Compensation for these cases can come from many different elements of the case:
- Wages lost due to injury
- Pain and suffering
- Lowered capacity to earn a living because of the injury
- Ongoing medical bills and assisted care due to the injury
Do not suffer without seeking financial compensation from the property owner. If you or a loved one has been hurt on someone else's property due to the negligence of the owner, contact a West Palm Beach premises liability attorney who can help you fight your case. The Law Offices of Casey D. Shomo, P.A. offers a free case evaluation; see how we can help you protect your rights!