We have no control over where and when accidents happen. Sometimes, injuries occur because of a dangerous condition or unsafe situation that is no fault of our own. If you or a loved one suffered harm because of an accident on another party’s property, you could be entitled to compensation.
A premises liability lawyer from the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine can help you hold the negligent property owner responsible for your medical bills and other damages. Call a member of our team today at 1-800-747-3733 for a free consultation.
How Can a Lawyer Help Me with My Premises Liability Case?
Healing from a serious accident can take time, and the process of seeking compensation on top of dealing with your injuries may seem daunting. Working with a lawyer from our firm can ease your burden by providing you with an ally familiar with premises liability laws.
A Lawyer from Our Firm Can Handle the Insurance Companies for You
In most premises liability cases, the place to start seeking compensation is with an insurance claim. In general, the goal is to settle your case without having to pursue a lawsuit. A premises liability lawyer from the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine can help you through every stage of your insurance claim.
It is important to remember that an insurer’s job is to improve the company’s bottom line. One way to do this is by keeping claim payouts as low as possible. Big insurers will have teams of lawyers reviewing your case, looking for reasons to reduce or reject your claim.
Insurance companies also know what a confusing and stressful time the period following an accident can be. They know you face mounting medical bills, your rent or mortgage payments are piling up, and you need money to help with your expenses as soon as possible. They may use this information to pressure you into accepting a lower offer.
Working with a lawyer from our firm means you have someone on your side, acting as your voice. A lawyer can:
- File your insurance claim
- Collect evidence to prove you are entitled to compensation
- Submit documents according to established deadlines
- Negotiate with insurance companies
- Review settlement offers
- Assist with claims denials
If Necessary, an Attorney Can Represent You in Court
If your lawyer cannot secure an insurance settlement in your favor, they can help you pursue your case through a civil lawsuit. You may be able to win compensation from the insurance company or the party they represent.
Just like with an insurance claim, a premises liability lawyer can assist you through every stage of the legal process. At any point in time, your lawyer may still be able to settle your case without a trial. However, they can represent you in court if needed.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for a Premises Liability Claim?
The statute of limitations is the legal window set by each state that governs how long you have to take civil action. In premises liability cases, the applicable statutes of limitations are those pertaining to filing a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit.
According to Florida Statute § 95.11(3)(a), you generally have four years following your premises liability accident to file a lawsuit against the negligent party. If a loved one died due to a hazard on someone else’s property, you can benefit from a lawsuit filed up to two years following their death.
The clock on the statute of limitations starts running at the time your injuries occurred or at the time of your family member’s death. The Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine can advise you on the other laws specific to your case. It is important to understand that if the statute of limitations expires, your case may no longer be eligible in court.
How Much Is the Average Premises Liability Settlement?
Every premises liability claim is different. How much your case may settle for depends on a variety of factors, including:
- The nature and severity of your injuries
- The extent of your medical treatment and future medical needs
- Who is liable for your injuries, i.e., a business, government entity, or private individual
- How much work you have missed because of your injuries
- How your injuries affect your future earning capacity
- The value of any personal property damaged during your accident
The type of premises liability case you have can also impact your settlement.
Florida’s laws regarding comparative negligence may also affect your settlement. Comparative negligence is a mechanism the courts use to award damages in proportion to each party’s degree of fault.
According to Florida Statute § 768.81, Florida uses a pure comparative negligence model. In states with this model, an injured party can pursue compensation regardless of how much fault their actions contributed to their accident. A plaintiff can seek damages even if they are 99 percent responsible for their injuries.
The court determines how much fault belongs to each party and awards any settlement accordingly. This means that if you win $100,000 in a personal injury lawsuit but are 40 percent at fault, your settlement amount would be $60,000.
A premises liability lawyer from the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine can help you learn more about Florida’s negligence model and how it may affect your case. We can also determine what percentage of negligence you have in your case and help you dispute claims that you are more at fault than you were.
What Damages Can I Receive for a Premises Liability Claim?
Premises liability accidents can result in severe, life-altering injuries, including:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Neck injuries, including whiplash
- Back injuries, including damage to the muscles, ligaments, or disks
- Spinal injuries
- Broken arms, legs, hands, feet, or digits
- Bruises and lacerations
- Internal bleeding and organ damage
- Illnesses and side effects related to exposure to toxic fumes or chemicals
If a property owner’s negligence created an unsafe condition that caused your accident and injuries, they may owe you payment for your medical care in a premises liability claim. This includes any treatment you have already received, such as:
- Emergency department care
An attorney from our firm can also help you fight for compensation for your future needs. For some injuries, it can be a long road to recovery. You may require:
- Physical therapy rehabilitation
- Mental health services
- Long-term nursing care
- Follow-up procedures
- Mobility aids, such as a walker or wheelchair
- Other medical equipment
While you heal, you may need help paying your household bills and covering your living expenses.
You can seek a settlement for your lost wages. If you can no longer work or are unable to return to your previous employment because of your injuries, you could win compensation for the loss of your earning capacity.
If your premises liability accident resulted in property damage, you can seek the value of repairing or replacing your items. This may include things like electronics or jewelry damaged during a slip and fall or more substantial claims related to fires, flooding, and defective buildings.
Your settlement may also include financial awards for the ways your accident and injuries have negatively affected both your physical and mental well-being. These damages are categorized as non-economic damages or awards for pain and suffering.
They include compensation for mental and emotional conditions like depression, sleep disorders, anxiety, and trauma, as well as for the negative impact of your injuries on your quality of life and capacity to experience joy.
Wrongful Death Awards
If you are pursuing compensation for wrongful death, you can win these awards on behalf of your deceased loved one. You may also seek the costs of their funeral and burial expenses.
Additionally, you could be entitled to survivor benefits for your loss of companionship, consortium, contributions to your household, and financial support.
What Evidence Do I Need to File a Premises Liability Claim?
As per the American Bar Association (ABA), the basis for all personal injury cases is liability and damages. To win any personal injury claim, including those for premises liability, you must prove the person who caused your injuries acted negligently. You must then show that their negligence resulted in your damages.
Evidence you may use to show liability and damages include:
- Accident or police reports
- Medical records
- Medical bills
- Eyewitness accounts
- Expert testimony
- Cell phone camera footage
- Surveillance videos
- Maintenance or building repair records
- Lease and rental agreements
- Evidence of toxic substances, such as the results of a radon or lead test
- Receipts for any repairs or replacements concerning your damaged property
Gathering evidence takes time and effort. You need to focus on your recovery, not chasing down billing records, receipts, and paperwork. An attorney from our firm can take this burden off of you and your family.
Can I Sue Someone if I Hurt Myself on Their Private Property?
Private properties are either commercial or residential. Legally, the term private refers to a premises owned by an individual or company, as opposed to public property owned by a government entity.
Privately-owned places open to the public include:
- Retail stores
You can sue the owner of a private property for your injuries if you were lawfully on the premises at the time of your accident.
In places of business, those on the property during operating hours are generally considered invitees and are there with the expressed or implied consent of the owner. Businesses owe invitees a legal duty of care and may be liable for injuries their patrons suffer on their premises.
Private residential properties include:
- Apartment buildings
- Housing complexes
Owners of residential properties also owe invitees a duty of care. However, owners, whether their premises are commercial or residential, may not bear responsibility for injuries sustained by trespassers illegally on their property.
You May Be Able to Sue a Government Entity for Injuries on Public Property
If your accident happened on public, government-owned property, such as in a municipal building or city park, you might be able to sue the government entity that owns the premises.
When you may sue a city, state, or government agency depends on the circumstances of your case. If you believe your claim is against a government entity, a premises liability lawyer from the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine can help you find out more about the laws that apply to your case.
How Long Does a Premises Liability Claim Take to Settle?
There is no set amount of time for settling a premises liability claim, and every case is different. Some claims can take weeks, months, or even years to resolve, especially if the liable party’s insurance company disputes or denies your claim.
There is no time limit for settling a case through an insurance claim, but, as mentioned, if you need to take legal action, you are bound by Florida’s statute of limitations. Even after filing a lawsuit, you may still reach an agreement outside of court with the other party. If you cannot reach an agreement, your case could go to trial.
Cases involving serious injuries, multiple parties, or complex accidents may take longer to settle. A premises liability lawyer from the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine can take on this time commitment so you do not have to.
Who Can I Sue in a Premises Liability Claim?
In premises liability claims, lawsuits are usually filed against the person who owns the property where your injuries occurred. This could be a residential or commercial property owner.
However, in some cases, determining liability can get complicated.
Say you suffered injuries because of a slip and fall accident at a retail store inside of a mall. The owner of the store may lease the retail space from the mall owner, who may lease the property where the mall sits from yet another person or entity.
In this case, who is legally responsible for your damages? That may depend on the lease or rental agreements of the parties involved. More than one person may bear liability.
If your injuries happened at a residential property, liability would once again depend on ownership and the agreements of the involved parties. For example, if your injuries happened at another person’s apartment, the renter could be liable depending on the nature of the accident and the terms of their lease agreement. Responsibility could lie with the apartment manager, building owner, or owner of the apartment complex.
Types of Premises Liability Claims
You might have the basis for a premises liability claim if you were injured because of:
- A slip and fall accident
- A dog bite accident
- A fire or flood
- A swimming pool accident
- An accident involving snow, ice, or slippery surfaces
- A physical or sexual assault due to negligent security
- Toxic or harmful substances
- A faulty elevator or escalator
- A balcony, ceiling, or flooring collapse
- A dangerous stairway
- A building defect
A premises liability lawyer from our firm can help you determine liability for your accident. Your lawyer can identify the person legally responsible for your injuries and resulting expenses. Then, they can advise you on your best course of action for pursuing compensation.
How Can I Prove Negligence in a Premises Liability Case?
Negligence is the failure to behave in a manner that a person of sound mind would find reasonable and appropriate. Both actions and inactions can constitute negligence.
To prove a party’s negligence, you must show:
- They owed you a legal duty of care
- They breached this duty
- This breach led to your injuries and damages
The specifics of proving negligence will differ depending on your type of premises liability claim. For example:
Slip and Fall
Proof of negligence in a slip and fall accident may include examples of a property owner’s failure to maintain a safe premise. This may include:
- Cracked sidewalks
- Ripped or torn carpeting
- Loose floorboards
- Faulty hand railings
- Untended leaks or spills
It may also include neglecting to warn patrons about or cordon off dangerous areas.
You may prove negligence in a negligent security case by showing how the property owner failed to take reasonable measures to protect their patrons or tenants. This may include failing to:
- Install security cameras or alarm systems
- Replace locks
- Provide adequate lighting
- Hire bouncers or doormen
You may also prove negligence by showing the property owner should have foreseen the possibility of a crime.
In Florida, dog owners are liable for injuries their animal causes whether or not their behavior was negligent. This is known as strict liability. In other states, dog bite victims must prove the animal that hurt them previously bit another person or animal or that the dog owner should have been aware of the animal’s potential to act aggressively.
Failure by a property owner to implement a fire protection, mitigation, or escape plan may be proof of negligence. You may also show negligence by proving the property owner created the conditions that led to the fire.
Swimming Pool Accident
You may prove negligence by showing the owner of the pool failed to properly enclose the pool area, post adequate warnings, or provide promised supervision.
Do I Need a Lawyer for My Premises Liability Case?
You do not have to hire a lawyer to pursue an insurance claim or lawsuit, but working with an attorney from the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine can help. A premises liability lawyer can relieve the burden of fighting for awards from you and your loved ones.
Once an insurance company denies your claim, it can be difficult to get them to reverse the decision. Working with us from the get-go can send the message to the insurance companies and others involved that you mean business. It says that you are prepared to stand up for yourself and will not be pressured into accepting a denial or a low-ball offer.
Our lawyers familiar with premises liability law know what evidence we need to prove negligence and build your case. They know how insurance companies operate and have the skills needed to represent you during negotiations.
Perhaps most importantly, they will do all of this so that you do not have to. You can spend your energy on healing and focus your attention on getting your life back on track.
The Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine
At the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine, we do not believe you should pay for accidents that are not your fault. We are committed to helping our clients receive awards. We know you do not have time to waste as bills continue to roll in. People depend on you, and you can depend on us.
When you work with a premises liability lawyer from our team, you will always receive responsive legal care. You worry about getting better. We take care of everything else. Our team will provide:
- Communication with the insurance companies
- Frequent case updates
- Availability through phone and email
- Answers to your legal questions and concerns
- Help scheduling appointments
- Services on contingency, meaning you do not pay unless we win
Contact us today to learn more about how we go the extra mile for our clients. To get started on your case, call 1-800-747-3733 for a free, no-obligation consultation.