Property owners have a legal obligation to ensure their premises are reasonably safe for visitors and to address any potential hazards that may arise. However, property owners are not liable for all injuries that occur on their property.
For example, if you are trespassing on the property, the property owner may not be liable if you are injured. To pursue a premise liability case, the injuries must have been sustained in an accident, and the cause of the accident must have been an unaddressed hazardous condition on the property. In most states, the property owner must have known of the hazard or reasonably should have known of its existence. This means the hazard which caused the accident should have been discovered by a property owner taking reasonable precautions to ensure the safety of their property.
In other words, if someone were to drop a container of liquid in front of the victim, causing them to slip minutes later, the property owner may not be liable: it is not reasonable that they would be aware of the spill immediately. However, if the spill occurred some time earlier and no steps have been taken to clean it or warn of its presence, the property owner may be liable for injuries it causes.
If you have recently suffered an injury on someone else’s property, you should contact a premises liability lawyer to help you seek compensation for your injuries and other expenses. Call the slip and fall attorneys from Zinda Law Group at (888) 485-5228 for a free consultation. If we cannot reach a favorable result in your case, you will not owe us anything.
First Steps After Being Injured on Private Property
Seek Medical Attention
The first thing you should do after a slip and fall accident is to immediately seek medical attention, even if no injuries are immediately apparent. Some injuries may not be noticeable at first, but may still be serious, such as internal injuries. This ensures you receive the care that you need, and it provides documentation of the injuries you received as a result of your accident.
Report the Accident
It is important that you report the accident as soon as possible after it occurs. If you are in a store or place of business, report the accident to the owner or manager. Workplace accidents should be immediately reported to your manager or supervisor. You should also make sure an accident report is filed regarding your incident.
You should collect and document as much evidence surrounding your accident as possible. Take photos or videos of your injuries as well as of the site of the accident, including its surroundings. Be sure to collect the contact information of anyone who may have witnessed the accident.
Consult a Premises Liability Lawyer
If you have been injured due to a slip and fall, you should contact an attorney. An attorney may help you investigate the accident and pursue a slip and fall claim to seek compensation for your injuries.
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Steps Required to Prove Your Case
Duty of Care to Keep the Property Safe
The first step in any personal injury case is to establish that the person who you are claiming is responsible for your injuries had a legal duty to act in a certain way. When dealing with injuries on private property, the duty for the property owner is typically to ensure that their property is safe and that dangers are marked well. The exact duty will depend on what kind of property the owner has and what kind of visitor the victim was, but the general duty is to keep things safe for those who might enter.
Damages Related to the Injuries
Next, it is critical to be able to show that the damages that you are seeking are related to the injuries that you sustained after being injured on private property. If your injuries are actually unrelated to what happened on the property, then you won’t be able to seek compensation for those particular injuries.
Breach of Duty of Care
After establishing what the duty of care was for the property owner, you must then be able to show that they breached that duty. For example, if you can show that a property owner must have the proper signage for a given dangerous condition, then in order to file a successful lawsuit, you must be able to factually prove that that signage did not exist.
Injuries Related to the Breach
Finally, your injuries must be related to the breach of duty that you have shown on the part of the property owner. Not every injury that occurs on someone else’s property is an injury that can be addressed through a personal injury lawsuit. The injuries that you are seeking compensation for must be directly related to the breach that you have shown on the part of the property owner.
Can I Sue Someone If I Was Hurt on Their Private Property?
The short answer to this question is yes—you may be able to sue somebody if you were hurt on their private property. However, not every injury that occurs on someone else’s property is going to be appropriate for a lawsuit. As discussed in the last section, you must be able to show that the property owner shirked some responsibility that they had in relation to the condition of their property, and subsequently that this breach is the thing that ultimately ended up causing your injuries.
There are a lot of factors that go into deciding whether to file a private property lawsuit, and then that go into making that lawsuit successful. Speaking with an experienced personal injury lawyer in your area may be the best way to determine what decisions you should make going forward.
Business Liability for Personal Injuries
When you enter a shop to buy an item or service, you generally expect that the store owner is keeping things in a safe condition for those who might enter. This expectation is reflected in the law as well. Invitees, or those who are on property for a business purpose, are owed the highest duty of care under the law, which means business owners need to be very careful to maintain things safely for their customers. If they violate this duty of care, then you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.
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Premises Liability Laws for Injuries on Private Property
There are three main classifications of people when it comes to determining premises liability. Each classification will require the landowner to exercise a different duty of care. The three main types are invitees, licensees, and trespassers.
Invitees are those that are invited onto the premises for a business purpose at a benefit to the property owner. These include shoppers at a grocery store, clients in an office building, tenants entering the lobby of their apartment building, or diners in a restaurant. Invitees are owed the highest degree of care.
Licensees are those that enter onto the premises for other reasons that are not business or commercial related. Licensees are social guests. These include friends and family members attending a social gathering such as a birthday party or door-to-door salespeople. Licenses are owed the second highest degree of care.
A trespasser is a person who is not authorized to be on the property. In Florida, there is generally no duty owed to a trespasser. This means that a property owner will not need to warn or make the property safe for those not authorized to be on the property. Sometimes a trespasser becomes known and, in these cases, the property owner may owe a minimal degree of care.
Private vs Public Property
Private property is property that is owned by a private entity, whether that be one person or a business operation. Public property, on the other hand, is property that is owned by the government. Because there are many different government agencies operating in a given area, the first step will be to determine who, exactly, is in charge of a given piece of property.
Many states provide immunity to their government agencies and employees, which means it can be more difficult to file a successful lawsuit against a government entity than a private person. However, there are some exceptions to this rule. For example, if a government entity was given notice of a hazardous situation on their property and failed to do anything about it within a reasonable amount of time, then it is possible that they may be liable for injuries caused by that situation.
Understanding How an Attorney With our Firm Can Help Your Case
At Zinda Law Group, we have an experienced team of personal injury lawyers ready to help you seek the maximum compensation you may be entitled to after being injured on someone else’s property. Whether you were injured in a slip and fall accident or another type of premises liability accident, Zinda Law Group may be able to help you pursue compensation by handling your claim and any potential personal injury lawsuit.
Our attorneys can handle your case, allowing you to focus on recovering from any injuries suffered in your fall or other accident. We have years of experience helping other victims of various premises liability accidents and will put this experience to work pursuing your claim.