Florida Premises Liability Attorneys
Whether you’re shopping for groceries, visiting a friend’s apartment, or eating at a restaurant, it is reasonable to assume the premises will be free of any hazards. At the end of the day, business owners and landlords have an obligation to maintain their property to a reasonable standard. If they fail to do so and a licensee or invitee gets hurt, they could be responsible for the damages.
In premises liability claims, injured parties may be able to recover compensation for their losses by proving that negligence played a role in the incident. But with so much on your plate, you have enough to worry about without having to navigate the complicated legal proceedings alone.
The premises liability attorneys at Donaldson & Weston can handle every aspect of the case for you. Our Florida personal injury lawyers will gather evidence of fault, track damages, and negotiate with the opposing party on your behalf. Call 772-266-5555 to schedule a free consultation.Types of Premises Liability Cases We Handle
Premises liability is a fairly broad practice area that encompasses many different kinds of accident scenarios. At Donaldson & Weston, we have considerable experience resolving cases that involve:
- Slip and fall accidents: Slip and fall accidents can happen virtually anywhere and are one of the most common kinds of premises liability cases.
- Trespassing children (attractive nuisance): Property owners do not typically owe a duty of care to trespassers, but exceptions apply in certain scenarios. If there is a pool on the premises, for example, they must secure it from minors who might try to access it without permission.
- Defective property conditions: Defective property conditions include broken railings, uneven stairs, pooling liquids, and unmarked thresholds.
- Falling merchandise: It’s not hard to imagine the kinds of injuries that falling products can cause. Retail store owners have an obligation to train their employees on the proper handling and storing of merchandise.
- Negligent security: If you get assaulted in a dark parking lot or empty stairwell, you may have grounds for a premises liability claim against the property owner in addition to a personal injury claim against the perpetrator.
If your case involves any of the above, you can rely on our legal team for strategic guidance during every stage of the proceedings. We know what kinds of evidence are needed to prove liability in these situations so clients can ultimately secure the compensation they deserve.What Should I Bring to My Initial Consultation with a Florida Premises Liability Attorney?
Once you hire a premises liability lawyer, you can focus on recovering while your case proceeds under the watchful eye of a seasoned attorney; however, you can ensure your claim gets off to a good start by preparing for the initial consultation. Documents that will be helpful to have at this meeting include:
- Photographs of the accident scene;
- Medical records detailing the care you received;
- Photographs of any visible wounds;
- Journal entries detailing the impact the injuries have had on your everyday life;
- Income statements;
- Any official police reports or accident reports;
- Any statements you obtained from eyewitnesses at the scene; and
- Any insurance information you obtained from the business owner or landlord.
The vast majority of premises liability cases never make it to trial. If you have strong evidence to prove liability and damages, it’s probably in all parties’ best interests to reach an out-of-court settlement since litigation can prolong the proceedings considerably and increase legal costs unnecessarily.
Whether or not your case will go to trial depends on several factors such as:
- Is the opposing party willing to cooperate? At the end of the day, even the strongest claim won’t result in a settlement if the defendant isn’t willing to cooperate. Our premises liability attorneys in Florida will do everything in their power to reach a fair settlement, but we’re not afraid to go to trial if it’s in your best interests to do so.
- Did your own negligence contribute to the accident? It’s not uncommon for property owners to shift blame to the victim. If you were in fact behaving negligently and this contributed to the accident, a liability dispute might arise. The opposing party may argue that, under Florida’s pure comparative negligence standard, you shouldn’t be compensated for 100 percent of your damages. Our premises liability lawyers can take the necessary steps to minimize the percentage of fault assigned to you.
- How much compensation are you seeking? If your injuries were minor and you’re not seeking a substantial amount of compensation, the insurance company might not invest significant resources into challenging your claim. This is especially true if your evidence is fairly strong. However, if you’re seeking a large settlement, the insurer might go to great lengths to find reasons to dispute your claim. If a dispute arises that cannot be resolved out of court, your case might proceed to trial.
- Have you provided a recorded statement? If you answered “yes” to this question, the insurance company might use your statements to dispute liability or the severity of your injuries. For example, if the claims adjuster called you and asked what you were doing just before the accident or how your medical treatment is progressing, it’s possible that your statements will be taken out of context to dispute your claim. Moving forward, it’s wise to direct any phone calls or emails from the insurance company to your Florida premises liability lawyer. At Donaldson & Weston, we have many years of experience handling dialogue with insurance companies, and we can serve as your knowledgeable and aggressive legal advocate through all such correspondence.
- Have you made another critical mistake? Giving a recorded statement to the insurance company isn’t the only mistake that could harm your claim. Another common error is putting off the medical evaluation. Even if your injuries don’t seem serious, delaying the official diagnosis could motivate the insurance company to dispute causation or argue that you’ve failed to mitigate your damages by allowing your injuries to progress. You should also stay off social media and deactivate your accounts until the conclusion of your claim. If you post something related to the accident or your injuries and the claims adjuster sees it, that post might be used to challenge liability or damages.
The Florida personal injury attorneys at Donaldson & Weston are well versed in the laws that govern premises liability claims. We have handled numerous complicated, high-stakes cases, and we can handle yours, too. Call 772-266-5555 or fill out our Contact Form to schedule a free consultation.