Injured on Someone Else's Dangerous Property?
At Lusk, Drasites, & Tolisano, we have considerable experience in helping individuals who have been hurt while on another person's or business' property. This area of the law is known as premises liability and it can involve intricate issues that should be analyzed by a skilled professional.
If you have had an accident on someone else's property, our premises liability lawyers in Cape Coral can assist you in filing a claim for compensation.
We can help with claims related to:
- Slip and fall accidents
- Negligent security
- Retail store liability
- Restaurant liability
- Uneven pavement accidents
- Ramp accidents
- Electric shock
Proving Negligence in Premises Liability Cases
There are several considerations that may arise in a premises liability case. Like any other lawsuit involving a claim of negligence, it requires that a plaintiff prove that the defendant owed him or her a duty of care. It also is necessary to show that there has been a breach of the duty that caused injury and damages.
Types of Plaintiffs
A key factor in a premises liability case is how a plaintiff is classified with respect to the property upon which he or she was hurt. Any person who enters a particular area may be categorized as trespasser, licensee, or invitee.
- Trespasser - A trespasser is someone who has entered the premises without an invitation or any other right to be there. In this situation, the duty owed to the individual is simply to avoid inflicting any willful or reckless injury.
- Licensee - Another type of guest is called a licensee, which is defined as an individual who enters the premises for a social purpose. In these cases, a property owner must avoid reckless or willful acts that could injure the licensee. The property owner also cannot intentionally expose the licensee to danger and must warn of any known dangerous conditions that would not be visible through ordinary observation.
- Invitee - An invitee is someone who has been invited to enter or remain on a particular property for a public or business use, such as a store customer or a restaurant patron. In these cases, the owner of the premises owes the highest duty of care. In addition to taking the same precautions as for a licensee, it must eliminate or warn of any dangers that the owner knew or should have known.
Responsibilities of Property Owners
Property owners have a legal obligation to keep up on maintenance and repairs in order to protect visitors. Unfortunately, many property owners don't schedule repairs until someone gets hurt.
Examples of hazardous property conditions include:
- Uneven walking surfaces
- Spills left on the floor
- Raised tree roots
- Broken elevators
- Broken escalators
- Broken stairs
- Little to no security measures
In order to prove negligence, you must show that the property owner had a duty of care to maintain safe conditions on his or her property for visitors. Next, you will need to establish that the unsafe property conditions caused your injury, and that the property owner knew (or should have known) about the danger.
Florida is a comparative negligence state, which means you can still seek compensation even if you were partially at fault for being injured. For example, you may be found 20% at fault for running down a set of broken stairs and receive 20% less compensation than what you would have gotten if you had walked.
It's important to understand that each premises liability case is different, which is why you need the help of an experienced premises liability attorney – like those at Lusk, Drasites, & Tolisano.
One distinctive premises liability issue is the occurrence of third-party criminal acts on commercial property, for which owners are sometimes liable.
The Florida legislature has enacted laws that limit accountability for certain types of businesses with regard to crimes committed by others on their property, provided that they have taken specific security measures. Most Florida courts, however, determine whether a crime committed by a third party was foreseeable in order to determine a property owner's liability for it.
No Fees Until We WinWe offer Free Consultations, and work on Contingency Fees for Personal Injury cases. This means we ask for nothing from you until your injury case is concluded.
Prioritizing Your Experience
As a member of our community, we want to put your needs first, far ahead of the bottom line. We treat our clients like people, and never just like cases.
In Practice Since 1982We at Lusk, Drasites & Tolisano have been in practice for 40 years, which means you can count on our skill, experience, and community value to help you through your case.
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