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What is Your Premises Liability Question?

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What is the most common type of premises liability claim?

The most common type of premise liability claim is a slip and fall. If you have been involved in a slip and fall, contact our slip and fall attorneys. We will help you assess the value of your case and get the settlement you deserve.

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What kinds of accidents or injuries fall under premises liability?

Other types of premise liability claims include, but are not limited to: snow and ice accidents, inadequate maintenance, defective conditions on the property, inadequate building security, elevator and escalator accidents, dog bites, swimming pool accidents, accidents that occur at amusement parks, and fires.

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Who can make a premises liability claim?

An invitee or a licensee can make a premise liability claim and in some cases a trespasser.

  • An invitee is someone who obtained the landowner's permission (expressed or implied) to enter the property. Examples include contractors, technicians, or a customer in a store. Typically, the property owner owes a duty to ensure the property is free from hidden and latent defects and a duty to exercise reasonable care on his or her property.
  • A licensee is someone who comes onto the property for his or her own purposes, like a salesman or a social guest. The landowner owes the licensee a duty to warn of any known dangerous conditions that create an unreasonable risk of harm.
  • A trespasser is someone who does not have a landowner's express or implied permission to be on his or her property. Generally, a landowner does not owe a duty to trespassers; however, there are some exceptions to this rule. Children, for example, are an exception to this rule. A landowner owes a duty to warn of dangers on the land if they know or reasonably should have known that children are likely to trespass. For example, a landowner who owns a trampoline reasonably should know that children are likely to trespass on his or her property. With regard to adults, a landowner has a duty to provide warning of injury. For example: signs that say "electric fence" or "beware of dog" are reasonable warnings for trespassers to prevent injuries.

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What are the elements of a premises liability lawsuit brought by an invitee?

An invitee would need to prove that the defendant owned, occupied, or leased the property, failed to warn of a dangerous condition on the property, the plaintiff was harmed, and that the defendant's negligence was a substantial factor in causing the harm.

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What are the elements of a premises liability lawsuit brought by a licensee?

A licensee would need to prove that the defendant owned, occupied, or leased the property, failed to exercise reasonable care, the plaintiff was harmed, and that the defendant's negligence was a substantial factor in causing the harm.

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Does premises liability only cover slip and fall accidents?

No. Premise liability can include any type of injury caused related to or caused by a dangerous condition on the property. Contact a slip and fall attorney to determine if your case is a premise liability case.

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What should I do if someone is injured on my property?

When someone is injured on your property, address the injury and possible insurance claim right away. Additionally, assess the extent of the injuries and determine if emergency care should be dispatched. If not, and depending on your relationship with the injured person, you should consider contacting the police so both parties can make statements. Finally, if possible, photos should be taken of the injuries and the location of the injury.

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What should I do if I'm injured on someone else's property?

First, seek medical attention. Have someone transport you to a hospital if necessary. If there is a delay in treatment, an insurance company will argue that your injuries are exaggerated or that you are being dishonest.

Second, collect evidence. As the plaintiff, you bear the evidentiary burden of proof. If you have no evidence of the defendant's negligence, your case will be unsuccessful. Your ability to prove your case rests heavily on your ability to provide physical evidence. Physical evidence can include photos, videos, witness statements, police reports, medical records, and other proof of injuries. However, if you do not act quickly, it might be harder to obtain this physical evidence. An experienced personal injury lawyer will review your case and work diligently to collect and preserve any and all physical evidence, including collecting medical records and bills, photographing the scene, and interviewing witnesses.

Finally, contact a personal injury attorney or a slip and fall attorney. Handling a personal injury lawsuit while simultaneously recovering from your injuries is a stressful process. The aftermath of surviving an accident can be emotionally and financially burdensome on you. You should consider hiring an experienced slip and fall lawyer in your area.

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What should I do if my dog bites someone?

Stay calm and ensure the victim gets medical attention. Take steps to protect others from your dog, collect any witness information, avoid making statements to anyone and report the incident to your insurance company.

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What should I do if I'm bitten by a dog?

First, it is extremely important that you seek medical attention immediately. As a result of the dog bite, you are susceptible to deadly diseases and serious infection.

Second, you should consider seeing a counselor. Being bitten by a dog is a traumatic experience. Often, as a direct result of the trauma of being bitten, a victim might have an irrational fear of animals, suffer from nightmares, or experience other symptoms associated with the psychological trauma of being bitten by a dog.

Third, you should contact a firm of personal injury lawyers. The legal issues surrounding dog bites are often complex. Florida is a "strict liability" state, meaning a dog owner is liable if his or her dog bites someone, even if the owner had no prior knowledge or warning that the dog might bite.

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Who is responsible for my medical bills after a dog bite?

Find out if the dog owner has homeowner's insurance because that insurance might be responsible for the medical bills caused by that dog. There are possible exceptions if the owner didn't tell the insurer of a certain type of dangerous breed or if the dog had prior bites and was dropped from coverage; however, you should contact a personal injury lawyer to pursue a claim.

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The owner claimed I provoked the dog - can I still make a claim?

Yes. Owners are very protective of their animals and will try to defend the animal and their interests. Do not let this discourage you.

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Can I sue if I fell and was injured on public property?

Yes, under the Federal Torts Claim act, a private citizen may sue a governmental entity for a personal injury claim. There are special caveats to the rule so it is best to contact a personal injury attorney to ensure you can maintain a cause of action against a federal, state, or local government entity.

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If someone falls on a broken piece of a city sidewalk and is injured, can the person sue the city?

Florida Statute Section 768.28 waived governmental immunity for most government activities where there had been an underlying common law duty of care. However, there are exceptions to the rule. Contact a personal injury lawyer for more information.

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What damages are available in premises liability lawsuits?

A claimant in a personal injury case can get damages (financial compensation) for past and future medical expenses, lost wages, loss of future earning capacity, pain and suffering and possibly punitive damages. Contact a slip and fall lawyer to determine what damages you are entitled to.

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What are the duties of a property owner?

Typically, the property owner owes a duty to ensure the property is free from hidden and latent defects and a duty to exercise reasonable care on his or her property.

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What are the different classifications of property entrants?

Invitee, licensee, and trespasser.

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What is the difference between a licensee and an invitee, and what duty of care is owed to each?

An invitee is someone who obtained the landowner's permission (expressed or implied) to enter the property and a licensee is someone who comes onto the property for his or her own purposes, like a salesman or a social guest. The landowner owes the licensee a duty to warn of dangerous conditions that create an unreasonable risk of harm and an invitee a duty to exercise reasonable care.

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Is there a time limit for filing a premises liability claim in Florida?

Yes. The time limit is called the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations is a federal or state statute or law which regulates the deadline for you to file your personal injury lawsuit in court. This deadline is absolute and non-negotiable. This means that missing the statute of limitations, even if it is by only one day, will result in the dismissal of your case. If the court dismisses your case, you are no longer entitled to any monetary compensation for your injuries. In most personal injury cases, the statute of limitations begins to run starting with the date that the injury occurred and ends two years after the date of the alleged incident.

In the state of Florida, the statute of limitations is four years. Contact a slip and fall lawyers as soon as possible to avoid missing the deadline to file your claim.

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What are employers' obligations for maintaining a safe workplace?

To provide a workplace free from serious recognized hazards and to comply with standards, rules and regulations issued under the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act.

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How can safety experts help me in a premises liability case?

Safety experts can provide helpful testimony to prove that an employer failed to provide a workplace free from hazards or that an employer failed to comply with safety regulations.

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Can a hotel be held accountable for injuries sustained during a slip and fall accident?

Yes. Like any other business, you are an invitee in a hotel and they can be held liable for a premise liability claim.

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Can a hotel be held responsible if someone is the victim of a crime at or near the hotel?

Mostly no. A hotel cannot be held liable for crimes committed in the hotel unless it should have anticipated the crime and could have prevented it. Contact a personal injury attorney to determine if your case is the exception to the rule.

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Can a college or school be held liable for an attack on a student that occurred on campus?

A student attacked on a college campus might have a negligence action against the college if the victim can prove that they failed to exercise reasonable care in protecting their victims, such as failing to provide adequate security.

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Do I need to take photos after an injury?

Yes. Photos are a type of physical evidence that you can use to prove that there was a dangerous condition on the property or to show any physical or property damages.

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Do I need a premises liability lawyer?

Hiring a premises liability lawyer is often the best way to ensure that you get that the maximum compensation that you deserve.

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What are policy limits?

Policy limits are the maximum amounts of money that your insurance will pay out if you make a claim. There are only very limited circumstances in which an insurance company can be required to pay more than the policy limit, such as cases in which the insurance company acts in bad faith.

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Is there a "duty to defend"?

To determine if an insurance company has a duty to defend, an experienced attorney would have to review the "four corners" of your policy to determine if there is coverage. If you feel your insurance company improperly refused to defend your claim, contact a personal injury attorney.

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What if the owner didn't know about the dangerous condition on the property?

It might not matter. The legal standard is an owner knew or reasonably should have known, meaning a property owner cannot use ignorance as a defense. However, premises liability litigation is fact-specific. Contact a personal injury lawyer to determine if you have claim worth pursuing.

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What if the owner claims I was trespassing?

You could still pursue a personal injury claim against the owner. There are exceptions to the general rule that there is no duty owed to trespassers. Contact a personal injury attorney.

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What is an "open and obvious" defect?

Open and obvious conditions or defects are those that should be seen by persons exercising reasonable care for their own safety.

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The insurance company offered me a waiver or check - should I take it?

No. Insurance companies will "low-ball" claimants who don't know how much a case is worth. Contact a personal injury attorney who will ensure that you will receive the just compensation you deserve.

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How is a "dangerous or hazardous condition" defined?

Dangerous & hazardous conditions are conditions that might have caused the claimant to be injured on the property, such as accumulation of water, ice or snow, and liquids, as well as abrupt changes in flooring, raised or cracked sidewalks, and poor lighting, or a hidden hazard, such as a hidden ground hole.

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How can you prove the fall resulted from negligence?

Your ability to prove your case rests heavily on your ability to provide physical evidence. Physical evidence can include photos, videos, witness statements, police reports, medical records and other proof of injuries.

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What is the difference between trip and fall and slip and fall?

Slip and falls are caused by hazardous conditions due to the accumulation of water, ice, snow, or any type of liquid. A trip and fall causes the victim to trip because of abrupt changes in flooring, raised or cracked sidewalks, or poor lighting.

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