Have you been injured on someone else’s property in Clearwater, FL? If the property owner or manager was negligent, you may be entitled to compensation for the injuries you have suffered. Florida has strict premises liability laws that hold property owners accountable for negligence in the maintenance and repair of their property.
Roman & Gaynor has been representing Clearwater accident victims since 1996 with more than 65 years of combined legal experience. Contact our personal injury law firm today to schedule a free consultation with a Clearwater premises liability lawyer who can help.
How Roman & Gaynor Can Help with a Clearwater Premises Liability Claim
When you are injured on someone else’s property due to their negligence, you may expect them to step up and accept responsibility for the harm they have caused.
Unfortunately, that rarely happens. Instead, you may be facing an uphill legal battle against a well-funded insurance company that denies responsibility, downplays your injuries, or even blames you.
A Clearwater personal injury lawyer can be an invaluable asset in seeking the fair compensation you deserve. Your lawyer will investigate your accident, consult with experts, and gather crucial evidence to show not only why your accident happened but the extent of the harm you suffered.
Roman & Gaynor is an AV-rated law firm with two Board Certified Civil Trial attorneys, a prestigious designation only 2% of attorneys in Florida can claim. We have represented injury victims since 1996 and received national recognition for our success with more than $100 million recovered for our clients.
We have the expertise, resources, and experience needed to fight for you both at the negotiation table and in court.
When you hire Roman & Gaynor to represent you, you can depend on us to:
- Answer your questions and explain what you can expect moving forward
- Conduct an investigation into the accident to gather evidence
- Leave no stone unturned in gathering evidence to strengthen your claim
- Work with top experts to build your case
- Fight against claims that the property owner was not negligent or you were responsible for your injuries
- Negotiate on your behalf to reach a fair settlement
If the insurance company will not fairly compensate you for your injuries, we are not afraid to take your case to court and present our evidence to a jury. Contact our law office today to schedule your free consultation with Tampa Bay’s Top Trial Lawyers to begin building your case.
Premises Liability Law in Florida
Premises liability is a type of personal injury law that holds property owners legally responsible for injuries on their property caused by dangerous or defective conditions. It’s a common misconception that property owners can be held liable for any injuries on their property.
However, owners are only responsible for injuries and accidents caused by negligence in the security, maintenance, or repair of the property.
Under Florida law, property owners and managers have a duty to inspect the property, correct hazards, or warn about dangerous conditions. If dangerous conditions are allowed to exist and someone is injured, the property owner can be held liable.
The level of care a property owner owes depends on the classification of the guest. Under Florida law, there are three types of guests. Each is owed a different duty of care that affects a premises liability claim.
A business invitee is someone who is on the property for some type of business and the property owner enjoys a potential financial incentive. These individuals have entered the property with the owner’s permission or invitation. This may be someone on private property to perform repairs or someone shopping at a store.
Property owners owe invitees the highest level of care. They must inspect the property regularly for hazards and provide warning of hazards.
Someone who enters the property with invitation or permission is a licensee if they do not have a business purpose. This may include social visitors such as family members and friends.
Property owners do not owe licensees a duty to regularly inspect the property for hazards. However, they do owe a duty to maintain and fix hazards they discover. The property owner is typically only liable for hazards they knew existed.
A trespasser is someone who enters the property without the owner’s permission. Under Florida law, property owners owe very little duty to protect trespassers from hazards, but they may not set up intentional hazards or booby traps to harm trespassers. The owner has no duty to warn trespassers of known dangers unless they become constructively aware of the trespasser on the property.
Types of Premises Liability Cases We Handle
Failing to repair or warn of dangerous conditions can lead to many types of injuries or accidents. A parking lot that is poorly lit can contribute to crime such as assault. Spills that are not cleaned up promptly can cause a serious slip and fall accident. Loose handrails can cause someone to fall down the stairs.
Premises liability cases come in many types. At Roman & Gaynor, we represent victims in all types of premises liability cases in Clearwater including the following.
Property owners and managers have a duty to provide reasonable protection against crime. A property owner may be liable if the steps they take are not considered adequate, especially in an area with known crime or previous complaints. You may have a negligent security claim against a property owner if you are the victim of a crime due to issues like broken locks, inadequate lighting, or a lack of security staff.
Slip and Falls
Slip and fall accidents are one of the most common types of premises liability claims. These accidents usually happen when a victim is not alerted to hazards on the property such as uneven pavement, slippery surfaces, spills, or holes in the parking lot that couldn’t be seen easily.
Note that Florida Statutes 768.0755 requires additional proof for a successful premises liability claim in a slip and fall case. Under this statute, if you are hurt by slipping and falling on a liquid spill in a restaurant or store, you are subjected to different rules. You must prove the business had actual or constructive knowledge of the spill and should have taken steps to fix it.
This can be done by proving the condition existed for a long enough time that the business should have known it existed or the condition happened regularly and was foreseeable.
If you are bitten or hurt by someone else’s dog, the dog’s owner can be held liable for your injuries. Florida is a strict liability state that holds dog owners liable for dog bites, even if they were not aware the animal could be aggressive. In Florida, dog bite victims do not need to show the dog owner was negligent.
To hold the dog owner liable, the dog must have bitten you while you were in a public space or lawfully on private property.
Swimming Pool Accidents
If you are hurt in a swimming pool accident, or a loved one drowned, the property owner may be responsible if they were negligent. Commercial properties may be held liable for negligence if, for example, a hotel guest is hurt because there were no lifeguards on duty and guests were not warned.
Residential pool owners may also be held liable under the Residential Swimming Pool Safety Act. This statute requires Clearwater pool owners to protect children and frail adults by ensuring pools and hot tubs have at least one safety feature like a cover or barrier. A pool can also be considered an attractive nuisance which means the owner can be liable if a child trespasses and drowns.
Statute of Limitations for Filing a Premises Liability Case in Clearwater
Under Florida law, you have four years from the date of your accident to file a lawsuit for premises liability. However, if you are the legal beneficiary of someone who died due to someone else’s negligence, you have just two years to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
While this statute of limitations seemingly gives you a long time to pursue your claim, it’s crucial to take action as soon as possible. A Clearwater premises liability injury lawyer will work to investigate your accident and gather evidence before it is lost. If you delay, valuable evidence such as video surveillance, maintenance logs, and witnesses may disappear.
Contact a Clearwater Premises Liability Lawyer
When you have suffered serious injury due to someone else’s negligence, you deserve fair financial compensation to help you pay your medical expenses and lost wages and move on with your life. Unfortunately, recovering the compensation you need is not always easy. At Roman & Gaynor, we have 65 years of combined experience fighting for our clients against large insurance companies and corporations.
Contact our law firm today to speak with a Clearwater premises liability lawyer about your case. Your initial consultation is always free, and you pay no attorneys’ fees unless we recover compensation for you.