When Are My Injuries the Property Owner’s Fault?
When you have been injured on someone else’s property, the accident may have been the property owner’s fault or your own fault! You need to consider rightfully as to who was responsible for your personal injuries. There are certain responsibilities that business owners, landlords, city governments, and other organizations need to take to make sure that their property is reasonably safe for people to use.
Property owners or non-owner residents have a responsibility to maintain a relatively safe environment. They need to make sure that people who come onto the property don’t suffer an injury. This responsibility is known as “premises liability.”This law holds property owners and residents liable for accidents and injuries that occur on their property.
Being the injured person in such a case, if you can prove that the property owner didn’t keep the place reasonably safe and that their failure to keep the place reasonably safe was a minor or major cause of your injury, you may have a case of negligence.
Here are some of the basic examples of injuries that usually result from a property owner’s negligence:
Slip and Fall Injuries
Most slip and fall injuries happen because of wet floors in a store or an office building. In order to prove a case of negligence, you will have to prove that the owner or employees knew about the wet spot and did nothing, or that they should have known about the wet spot but didn’t.
In general, negligence occurs when an employee of the store knew about the wet spot but take any precautionary step to do anything about it in a reasonable period of time. The employee was expected to take steps such as drying the space out or marking it with a distinct “Wet Floor” sign.
One needs to keep in mind that burns can be a case of premises liability if the property owner didn’t take proper precautions to avoid them. Burns are the result of either fire or hot water. Hot water is usually responsible for burns, rather than fire. In usual, a building owner has a responsibility to ensure that there are safeguards against water over 120 degrees Fahrenheit reaching people. The common safeguards against fire include basic things like smoke detectors. In addition, maintaining electrical wiring is a requirement, etc. These steps are mandatory if a property owner wants to ensure that a building is reasonably safe from fire hazards.
In the case of dog bites, property owners are not usually liable for bites from dogs that belong to tenants. But, in Florida, a “one bite rule” makes a property owner liable, even if he/she is not the owner of the concerned dog.
Property owners can also be found liable if it can be established that the dog had a tendency to cause severe injuries. You must talk to an attorney if you think your dog bite might be a case of premises liability.
In case you were attacked on another individual’s property, you may have a case of premises liability. Property owners usually have a responsibility to guarantee that their properties are reasonably safe and secure.
When it comes to a large apartment building, it needs to keep doormen or security guards on the first floor. In general, large office buildings are required to keep their doors locked. In case you can prove that the requirements for security were not followed, you may have a case of negligence.
Elevator and Escalator Accidents
In usual, property owners have a responsibility to maintain elevators and escalators. A poorly maintained elevator is likely to trap someone, close the doors on them as they walk through. Some of the common injuries in these cases include broken bones.
It is pretty evident that a poorly maintained escalator can catch on an individual’s clothing. It might even lead to injury or even death. Most of the property owners who do not maintain their elevators and escalators in proper condition may face a case of negligence. In case you have been injured in an elevator or escalator, you must get in touch with a trusted South Florida slip and fall attorney today.
How is liability determined?
The liability in such cases is determined by certain factors like:
- The legal status of the visitor
- The condition of the property and the actions of both the owner and the visitor
- If the person injured is a trespasser or a child
- When both the owner and the visitor is at fault for an injury
- Special rules for landlords
You need to keep in mind that liability is determined by the laws and procedures of the state in which the injury occurred. In certain states, the court focuses on the status of the injured visitor in determining liability. In some of the other states, the focus will be on the condition of the property and the activities of both the owner and visitor. You must also remember that the person occupying property is treated in the same manner as a landowner in many situations.
What is the legal status of a visitor?
In certain states that focus only on the status of the visitor to the property, there are four different labels that are applicable. These include invitee, social guest, licensee, or trespasser.
- An invitee is a person who is invited onto the property of another. This invitation implies that the property owner/possessor has taken reasonable steps to assure the safety of the premises.
- A licensee is one who enters the property for his own purpose, or as a guest, and is present at the consent of the owner.
- A social guest is a visitor who is pretty much welcomed to the property.
- A trespasser is a person who enters without any right whatsoever to do so.
When it comes to licensees and trespassers, there is no implied promise that reasonable care has been made to assure the safety of the property.
In Florida, a uniform standard of care is applied to both invitees and licensees. This uniform standard requires the exercise of reasonable care for the safety of any visitor, apart from trespassers.