When you visit someone else's property, they become somewhat responsible for your wellbeing. If they fail in their duties and you are injured, you may be able to hold them liable. A compassionate personal injury attorney can help you understand liability in these cases so that you can seek the justice you deserve. Schedule a consultation with a Pembroke Pines premises liability lawyer today to find out if you are eligible for compensation and for assistance in filing an injury claim.
Trespasser vs. Invitee
Premises liability law depends in large part on the status of the individual in on the property. If the person is not invited to enter the premises or is trespassing on property, their rights may be significantly curtailed if they are injured as a result of the trespass. 768.075, Fla. Stat. (2017). But even trespassers, particularly children, may have a claim against the owner if the owner created an attractive nuisance, such as leaving an uncovered pool on their premises. 823.08, Fla. Stat. (2012).
However, most people are invitees when they visit a store or restaurant, use a parking lot, or enter someone's land. The owner wants them to visit. In such cases, owners or property managers are obligated to use reasonable care to prevent injuries to invitees. Everett v. Restaurant and Catering Corp., 738 So. 2d 1015 (Fla. 2d DCA 1999).
A common scenario, is where an invitee slips and falls due to a spill on the floor. The question of whether the owner is legally responsible in such circumstances depends upon whether the owner knew or should have known of the hazard at the time the customer slipped. 768.0755, Fla. Stat. (2017). This might be established by showing that the hazard existed for an extended period or if the hazard occurs on a regular basis. A Pembroke Pines premises liability lawyer may be able to provide guidance on whether and to what extent an owner is likely to be held liable under such circumstances.
Determining Fault in Pembroke Pines
Subject to certain limitations, owners and property managers owe a common law duty of care to invitees. As such, premises liability cases are highly fact-intensive. The reason this is important is that Florida employs a pure comparative negligence formula to allocate liability in premises negligence cases.
This means that a court will look at the respective fault of the owner and invitee, and reduce the liability of the owner by the invitee's percentage of fault. 768.81, Fla. Stat. (2011). Thus, if an invitee suffers $80,000 in damages but is found 40 percent responsible for the accident, their recovery will be limited to $48,000. A Pembroke Pines premises liability lawyer may provide useful guidance in determining a possible allocation of fault based upon the facts of the case. Like other negligence causes of action, Florida requires that suit be brought within four years. 95.11, Fla. Stat. (2017). A Pembroke Pines premises attorney can help ensure a claim is not lost due to failure to meet this deadline.
Contacting a Pembroke Pines Premises Liability Attorney
Trying to wade through the legal and factual issues after a premises accident can be challenging even for those skilled in dealing with such matters. Therefore, you may benefit from a timely consultation with a Pembroke Pines premises liability lawyer familiar with such matters.