Premises accident cases can be tricky to win, so it certainly pays to understand the ins and outs of this specific type of personal injury case.
What is a Premises Accident?
A premises accident is a legal case in which the owner of a property is held liable for injuries sustained by another party on said property. In order to build a case, the injuries must be the product of dangerous or negligent conditions present on the premises.
Premises accident cases can include any number of injuries and potential claims. They include injuries sustained from unsafe construction sites, at public areas such as swimming pools, due to inadequate security, on wet floors, etc.
Property owner liability laws for each state differ, but Florida requires every property owner to protect those on the property from unreasonable dangers. This means that if another party is injured, the owner can be held liable for at least some of the injury costs.
What do I Need to Prove to Build my Case?
If you’ve fallen victim to a premises accident and decide to take your case to court for compensation, you must be able to prove the following in order to be successful:
Prove that you were injured.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but an injured party must be able to prove that he or she was actually injured because of a hazardous property condition and not from a pre-existing condition or an off-property hazard. Proving this can be accomplished through testimony, pictures or other documentation of an injury.
Prove that the defendant owned the property and was negligent.
The defendant must be shown to have legally owned the property at the time the injury occurred. Not only that, but the defendant must also be proven to have been responsible for warning patrons of the hazardous conditions and/or fixing the problems and failing to do so.
Prove that the defendant’s negligence caused the injury.
There must be a proven correlation between your injuries and the defendant’s negligence. The injuries must be caused by some property factor that could have been repaired or prevented if the property owner had followed proper procedures.
Prove that you were not trespassing.
In the state of Florida, the degree in which a property owner is liable for your injuries depends on your business on the property. Florida divides injured parties premises accident cases into three categories:
- Florida law protects invitees the most in premises accident injuries because they were by definition invited by the owner to visit the property; this covers people visiting a property for business with the owner as well as patrons visiting a public location.
- Licensees are those implicitly permitted to have access to the property by the owner. This includes social guests such as friends and family who have access to the property. Less protection is given to this type of visitor than to invitees.
- Trespassers are given little to no protection under Florida law, so it’s important that you prove you were not trespassing on the property at the time your injury occurred. If so, the owner is hardly liable for your case.
Tips for Winning Your Case
- Be diligent at gathering evidence. Quality photographs of injuries or promptly gathered doctors’ testimonies can provide clear proof that injury occurred and can account for the severity of the injuries for compensation purposes.
- Understand the laws. Research the laws concerning premises liability within your state, and become knowledgeable going into your settlement case.
- Stay honest. It’s a tried and true cliché, but honesty is the best policy. Stay truthful when relaying the events that led to the injury and concerning your relationship with the property owner. If you were trespassing, be honest about it.
- Hire an experienced personal injury attorney. Heading into a legal ordeal alone can decrease your chances of a successful claim. Hire a local attorney with experience in premises liability cases to guide you through the processes.
If you or someone you love have been the victim of a premises liability accident, including anything from a slip and fall to an animal attack, contact Tampa’s premises accident attorneys at Lorenzo & Lorenzo today. We have the experience you need and the know-how to help you build a successful case.