Premises liability refers to accidents that occur because of an unsafe condition on another party’s property. Premises liability injuries include trip and fall, slip and fall, swimming pool drownings, dog bites and animal attacks, physical or sexual assaults, and more. Property owners owe a duty to their customers and guests to maintain their premises in a reasonably safe condition for the safety of the public. When they don’t, property owners can and should be held liable for injuries that result.
Premises liability cases can be challenging to prove. Property owners argue that they weren’t aware of the condition, or they blame the victim for not avoiding the hazard. They also dispute how seriously the accident victim was hurt and how much they owe. Attorney Sarah Steinbaum is a successful civil litigator with over 20 years of experience helping injury and accident victims hold negligent parties responsible and recover the compensation they need to deal with their medical expenses, pain and suffering, loss of income, and other legal damages. If you’ve been hurt in a slip and fall or other accident on somebody’s dangerous property in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Palm Beach, or anywhere throughout South Florida or statewide, call Sarah Steinbaum PA for a no-cost consultation to discuss your claims.
Common Types of Premises Liability Claims
Property owners can be liable for hidden dangers that aren’t obvious to visitors to the property. Owners can be liable for dangerous conditions that they created or that they knew about but failed to fix or post a warning. Owners Might also have a duty to make periodic inspections of their property and discover any hazards they didn’t know about. This is especially true for store owners who open their businesses to the public.
Common causes of premises liability accidents and injuries include:
- Slip and fall from a spilled liquid or leaking refrigerator case
- Freshly mopped floor without a “wet floor” sign
- Trip and fall over extension cords or merchandise on the floor
- Torn carpets and rugs
- Loose or missing railings
- Broken steps
- Unmarked steps or ramps
- Broken curbs, cracks in sidewalks
- Parking lot potholes
- Missing or mislaid floor mats
- Exposed outlets or electrical wires
Swimming Pool Accidents
Accidents at public or private pools can include slips or trips and falls, drowning, or injuries on water slides and other equipment. Causes of swimming pool accidents attributable to negligence include lack of supervision, faulty equipment, lack of safety equipment, lack of adequate fencing or locking gates, or failure to provide water depth measurements.
Dog Bites and Animal Attacks
Dog bites can be painful and traumatic and cause serious lasting injury, including scarring, disfigurement, nerve damage, bone-crushing fractures, antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections, loss of limb, and wrongful death. Florida has adopted a “strict liability” policy when it comes to dog bites, and dog owners can be held liable for the very first time their animal bites a person, even if the dog had no history of biting and the owner did not know of the dog’s propensity to bite. Dog owners can also be held liable for non-bite injuries caused by their animals, such as knockdowns, if the owner was negligent in the way they kept the animal, such as allowing it to roam free off-leash in public or an unfenced yard.
Property owners can be held liable for rapes and other sexual or physical assaults that occur on the property when they didn’t take reasonable measures to secure the premises. What constitutes reasonable and adequate security can differ depending on what kind of property it is, where it is located, and any history of criminal activity in the area or on the premises. Common mistakes that can render property owners liable for thefts or attacks on their premises include:
- Failure to maintain adequate lighting in parking garages, stairwells and hallways
- Leaving unlocked or broken locks on doors and windows in apartment buildings, office buildings, or apartment patio entrances
- Unkeyed entry to hotel buildings
- Lack of security alarms, surveillance cameras, or security guards or patrols
- Lack of security personnel at bars and nightclubs
- Broken gates and torn fences
Contact Sarah Steinbaum PA Today
Property owners often claim they didn’t have time to discover a hidden danger or liquid spill before an accident occurred, or they will blame the victim for not being more careful about watching where they were going or looking after their safety. Building owners and their insurance companies might also downplay the serious nature of a victim’s injuries, sometimes even hiring their own doctors to examine the victim and dispute the testimony of the victim’s treating physician. At Sarah Steinbaum PA, we know all the insurance company strategies and ploys because we spent time working on the side of insurance defense in addition to our decades fighting for injured victims. If you’ve been hurt on somebody’s unsafe property in Miami, Palm Beach or Broward County, or anywhere in South Florida or statewide, call Sarah Steinbaum PA at 305-358-7676 for a free consultation. There’s no fee unless and until we recover compensation on your behalf.