Property owners are required to maintain safe and clean premises for their guests and visitors. Boynton Beach premises liability attorneys step in when these guests and visitors get hurt. If a property owner allows people on his property knowing it’s unsafe, he’s got to pay the price.
Most premises liability cases are filed against landlords and commercial property owners. It’s not often that homeowners have to deal with premises liability lawsuits. But this doesn’t mean it can’t happen.
Premises liability cases are just another type of negligence case. In order to find a defendant liable for premises liability, your lawyer will have to prove the following:
- The property owner owed you a duty of care
- He breached this duty
- You were injured
- Your injuries were caused by his breach
Clearly, the defendant owed you a duty of care. All property owners owe a duty of care to their guests and visitors. They have to keep their premises safe and clean. They need to make sure their property is kept in good shape. All repairs need to be made. There can’t be debris on the floors.
If the defendant doesn’t make sure this happens, he will be in breach of his duty.
You also need to show that your injuries were caused by this breach. For example, if you already have a bad back, it’ll be hard to prove that your injuries were caused by a fall in the defendant’s building.
Your attorney is going to try to prove the defendant was liable for your injuries. But, the defendant also has an attorney. Their lawyer is going to try to prove that they are not liable. If the case can’t be settled, a jury will have to make this decision.
Who Will Your Boynton Beach Premises Liability Attorneys Sue?
Usually, the property is the one held ultimately responsible for your premises liability injuries. However, there are other people who may be held liable. In Florida, you can file a premises liability suit against the following parties:
- Homeowners: Although not many premises liability cases involve residences, some do. From time to time, homeowners are named as defendants in these suits.
- Landlords: Landlords are responsible for common areas and repairs. If these aren’t done, you may have a claim against the landlord.
- Tenants: Even if someone rents, they can be held responsible for maintaining a safe property.
- People who own or manage retail businesses: A lot of premises liability cases are filed against business owners. This is because a lot of injuries take place in stores and restaurants.
- Management companies: If a company is paid to maintain a building and they fail to do so, they will be named in your lawsuit.
- State offices or municipalities: If you fall in a government office, the municipality may be responsible for your injuries.
- Dog owners: If you’re bitten by a dog on someone else’s property, you may have a premises liability claim.
It’s important that you name these parties at the outset. The court rules won’t allow you to add defendants halfway through your lawsuit. They need to be given fair notice that they’ll have to defend against a lawsuit.
Your premises liability claim will be filed against any party who your attorney reasonably believes is at fault for your injuries.
For example, let’s say that you go to a car dealership to test drive cars. The floors have recently been waxed. There are no signs up to let customers know the floors are slippery. The company who did the job for the dealership forgot to tell the manager that he didn’t get a chance to buff out the last layer of wax. As a result, you fall and break your leg. You’re out of work for two months and have to get surgery. You have medical bills piling up. You didn’t have health insurance at the time because you had only been at your new job for a few weeks.
Who would you name in your premises liability lawsuit?
Well, you would have to sue the car dealership, obviously. But, you would also want to sue the company who maintains their floor. Both parties are legally responsible for your the dangerous condition that caused your injuries.
What if I’m Partially at Fault for My Injuries?
Very rarely can you point to one person and say they’re completely at fault. You may have played a part in your accident. If this is the case, your jury award may be reduced. Florida is a comparative negligence state. This means that your award will be reduced by your percentage of fault.
Let’s say in the above example you were intoxicated at the time of the accident. The jury may find that you’re 30% at fault. If this is the case, your award will be reduced by 30%. An experienced premises liability lawyer will try to prove that you aren’t at fault in any way. This will be difficult.
If you’re more than 50% at fault, you may have a hard time in court. If you’re more responsible for your injuries than the defendant, it’s hard to say he’s responsible for your damages.
What Kind of Damages Can Your Claim?
If you get hurt on someone else’s property, you may have a claim for damages. Premises liability cases work the same way as other personal injury cases. The premises liability laws in Florida allow you to demand the following compensation:
- Medical bills (current and future)
- Lost wages and earnings
- Property damage (if any)
- Pain and suffering
More than likely, once your lawsuit is filed, the defendant’s attorney will want to discuss a settlement. Nobody wants to go to trial. They’re expensive and time consuming. Plus, you take the risk that you could lose in court.
The defendant’s lawyer or insurance adjuster is probably interested in settling. It comes down to finding a number that works for both parties.
Your Boynton Beach premises liability attorneys have years of experience negotiating these types of cases. They’ll fight to get you the compensation you deserve.
Call and Schedule Your Free Consultation Today
If you’ve been injured in a premises liability case, you need to contact a Boynton Beach premises liability attorney. You can sit down with an experienced attorney and ask him any questions you may have. He’ll review your case and let you know what it may be worth.
Call today and schedule your free consultation. This gives you a chance to have someone who knows the law explain how your case will progress. The consultation is free and you pay nothing until you win your case.