People who own property need to keep their premises safe for guests and visitors. When we visit someone’s business or hotel, we have a right to feel safe and secure. If we get hurt on their property, we may have a claim for premises liability. Miami premises liability attorneys handle dozens of these cases every year. They work hard to get their clients compensation for their injuries.
Some of the more common premises liability cases involve the following scenarios:
- You fall down the stairs due to loose floorboards
- You get into a swimming pool accident at a hotel
- You slip and fall on the floor in a grocery store
- You suffer a dog bite while visiting your neighbor’s home
Basically, if you get hurt on someone else’s property, it may be their fault. Your attorney will have to prove this.
Since more premises liability cases involve negligence, your Miami personal injury lawyers need to show 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
Showing that you were injured isn’t that hard. It’s also easy to prove that the defendant had a duty of care. All property owners are required to maintain safe premises. The difficulty comes in proving that the property owner breached his duty of care.
How Will Your Premises Liability Lawyer Prove Breach?
If you do get hurt on someone else’s property, there are a few things you need to do. First, make sure you seek medical attention immediately. Your lawyer can use your medical records to show that you were indeed hurt.
Your lawyer needs to show that the defendant’s property had unsafe conditions. One way to do this is to take pictures of the accident scene. You also want to get the contact information for eye witnesses. They can help show that the conditions were unsafe.
Premises liability lawsuits may involve the following types of evidence:
- Expert testimony
- Records of the defendant’s maintenance records
- Proof of prior injuries at their property
- Your statement and that of eye witnesses
If you’re able to prove causation, you should be able to recover from the defendant and his insurance company.
What if the Insurance Company Denies Your Claim?
A lot of people feel bad suing their friends and neighbors. In fact, one of the biggest reasons people don’t file premises liability claims is because they don’t want to sue someone they know.
It’s important to remember – you’re not suing the person. You’re suing their insurance company. If you fall in someone’s house, they have homeowner’s insurance. If you get hurt on a commercial property, they have general liability insurance. Their policy should cover your claim. It is very rare that someone gets hurt on someone else’s property and the claim exceeds the insurance policy.
So, the first thing your Miami premises liability lawyer is going to do is file a claim against their insurance. He won’t have to file a lawsuit if the insurance company pays your claim. But, what do you do if the claim is denied?
There are many reasons why the insurance company may deny your claim, including:
- They believe the accident was your fault
- They don’t think you were injured
- They believe your injuries were caused some other way
- You have a history of filing these types of claims
If your claim is denied, your attorney will have no choice but to file a lawsuit on your behalf.
Who Will You File Suit Against?
We said earlier that you probably won’t have to sue your friend or neighbor. The exception is when their insurance company denies your claim. Your suit will primarily target the defendant’s insurance company. They will have to defend the case on behalf of their client.
The other parties your attorney may name include:
- People who own or manage retail businesses
- Management companies
- State offices or municipalities
- Dog owners
The goal is to settle your case. Very few premises liability cases actually go to court. Your Miami premises liability attorney will negotiate with the insurance company to reach a settlement. This can happen even up until the day of trial.
Nobody wants to go to trial. They can be expensive and time consuming. You also face the risk that you may lose in court. It’s in everyone’s best interest to settle the matter voluntarily.
What Kind of Damages Will You Demand?
If you get hurt on someone else’s property, you deserve to be compensated for it. There’s no reason you should bear the costs of these injuries. If someone else is responsible for your accident, they need to be held accountable.
Your experienced premises liability lawyer will demand that you receive the following damages under Florida law:
- Medical bills (current and future)
- Lost wages and earnings
- Property damage (if any)
- Pain and suffering
The reason we always say to seek medical treatment is because you’ll have to prove your damages. Your lawyer will have to submit medical records in order to prove your personal injuries.
You may have to submit payroll records and tax forms to show the income you’ve lost. When it comes to pain and suffering, your lawyer will have to prove this separately. He may rely on testimony of friends and family. You’ll have to show the mental pain and anguish you experienced as a result of the accident.
Call and Schedule Your Free Consultation Today
If you’ve been injured in a premises liability case, you need to contact a Florida 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.