Any time an individual sustains serious harm while present at the property of another, the issue of whether a premises liability attorney is required will likely emerge. Simply put, premises liability law is a subset of the personal injury legal realm whereby those harmed by the negligent maintenance or control of property are afforded the opportunity to seek compensation for their losses.
In Florida, the ability to prevail in a premises liability case will depend on a number of factors, the most important of which is the legal classification into which the injured individual is said to fall. Whether an injury was suffered in a supermarket aisle, a theme park, a school facility or a restaurant, the victim may be able to successfully pursue monetary recovery from an owner found negligent in his or her duty to safeguard visitors.
The assistance of an experienced St. Petersburg premises liability lawyer can often make all the difference for victims and families wishing to obtain a degree of justice and accountability.
Florida Premises Liability Laws
At the heart of premises liability law is the proposition that the owners or controllers of property can, under certain circumstances, be held accountable for harm sustained by visitors to that property. Thus, premises liability cases are similar to other types of negligence cases in that a plaintiff will need to show that the defendant in fact had a duty to the injured party, that duty was breached and the breach directly caused the harm at issue.
Though for many, slip and fall cases are what immediately spring to mind when the term premises liability is heard, but the fact is that this area of law encompasses a wide array of injury events, including those stemming from:
- Sidewalk cracks
- Electrical mishaps
- Dog bites
- Construction site accidents
- Improperly maintained stairwells
- Snow and ice buildup on walkways
Role of Visitor Classification
In assessing whether an injury victim is likely to prevail in a premises liability action, a premises liability attorney in St. Petersburg will first determine what sort of visitor their client actually was when the event took place.
This classification will often be critical in terms of the degree of duty owed by the property owner. As succinctly articulated in the pages of the Florida Bar Journal, the relevant categories considered by courts in the state include:
- Public invitee
- Business invitee
- Licensee by invitation (social guest)
- Uninvited licensee
Florida law provides that property owners owe the highest duty to public invitees as well as business invitees. However, trespassers, with the occasional exception of children, are owed almost no duty of care by property owners. Identifying the prevailing level of duty owed in a given case is the first step in evaluating the strength of any claim.
Types of Injuries
Considering the seemingly limitless ways in which types of premises liability cases can arise, it is no surprise that the sorts of injures that routinely result are equally varied. Among the most common types of harm that may warrant contact with a St. Petersburg premises liability lawyer:
- Broken bones
- Spinal cord damage
- Traumatic brain injury
Hiring An Attorney
The days, weeks and months following a serious personal injury can be fraught with confusion, anger and despair. Accumulating medical bills, lost wages and other unexpected financial demands resulting from such an event can place entire families on the precipice of ruin.
To learn how a St. Petersburg premises liability lawyer can help explain your legal options, contact our firm today.