Minor accidents happen all the time: you nick yourself shaving, or stub your toe on the coffee table, or get a paper cut opening an envelope. It stings for minute, then you forget all about it; no harm done. Unfortunately, not all accidents are minor. Injuries can happen on someone else’s property and you may have to pay significant medical expenses to recover from your injuries, even though the cause of your accident was the negligence of another. “Accidents” like these may entitle you to compensations for what is known as premises liability.
Slip and Fall: If you are injured because someone overlooks basic safety measures, such as posting a warning about wet floors, cleaning up a spill that exists on the floor, repairing a hole in the floor, or adequately covering a drain, the owner of the property is liable for damages. These damages could include recovery of medical expenses, lost wages, and money for emotional distress.
Toxic Chemicals: A property or business owner who exposes tenants and/or customers to dangerous materials like lead paint, mold or asbestos, can be held liable for any medical expenses or other related damages. This is true, even if the owner claims to have been unaware that there was a problem. A claim of ignorance is no excuse. It just means the owner did not conduct enough inspections to ensure the property’s safety. Another example of toxic chemical liability is when everyday chemicals are used incorrectly, such as chlorine in swimming pools. Improper regulation of the amount of chlorine used to treat the water can severely damage eyes and skin, and a spill can prove disastrous.
Construction: Property owners have a responsibility to ensure the safety of customers or passersby when the property is undergoing maintenance or construction. For example, window washers, painters, electricians, plumbers and other laborers must make sure that their tools and other equipment are secure. Even a small bolt can severely injure a person if it falls from a great height. In addition, property owners have a responsibility to properly mark and seal off construction sites.
Lack of Security: If you have been assaulted, robbed, raped or otherwise injured while residing in an apartment or staying at a hotel, you should ask yourself how the crime was committed and the level of security provided by the property’s owner. The owner and manager of the property have the legal responsibility to ensure tenants and guests are adequately protected from criminals and intruders. Lack of control over who can gain access to the property, bad lighting, weak locks, an insufficient number of security personnel, or poorly trained security personnel, can all be considered negligent and grounds for a lawsuit for lack of security.
Negligent Security: Property owners have a duty to keep others safe from harm, including criminal assault and battery. If they fail to take adequate safety measures or to warn visitors of dangerous conditions, they can be held liable for negligent security. Negligent security claims involve issues such as forced entry, inadequate parking lot surveillance, poor lighting, improperly trained or inadequate security personnel, and more. Places where negligent security is commonly cited as the cause of an injury include hotels, apartments, theme parks, shopping malls, sports stadiums, hospitals, nursing homes, banks and ATM machines, stairwells, and elevators.
Children falling into swimming pools: Young children can drown in as little as 2 inches of water. In Florida, drowning is the leading cause of death among children between the ages of 1 and 4, and the drowning death rate among children who are 5 years old is the highest in the nation. Of course, many more children are severely injured from falling into a swimming pool or accidents in the immediate area. Many of these deaths and injuries are the result of lack of adequate fencing, insufficient or negligent supervision, inadequate warning signs, and improper maintenance. All of these situations are examples of premises liability. The owner or manager of the property can be held liable for medical expenses and distress resulting from the injury, or wrongful death if the child drowns.
Alcohol Liability: In Florida, bar owners can be held liable if an obviously intoxicated customer injures another person. The laws that govern this situation are known as Dram Shop Laws. Essentially, if a bartender continues to serve a customer who is already drunk and does not make an attempt to keep him or her from driving, the bartender and the bar’s owner have directly contributed to consequences of the drunken patron’s actions.
The average citizen of Florida is usually unaware of his or her rights as a guest, tenant or customer. Because of this, they rarely consider issues of liability after an injury or assault. David Benenfeld has been advising and working for the injured of Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach county for over a decade, and has helped many victims of premises liability secure the compensation they deserve.
By working closely with his clients and presenting cases firmly grounded in legal precedent, David Benenfeld has earned a reputation as a skilled and formidable attorney. This allows him to bring cases to a favorable close at a faster rate than most other personal injury lawyers.
If you or a loved one has been injured due to the negligence of others, contact our offices for a free legal consultation today.