Accidents are a part of life, whether it is a slip and fall on a slick grocery store aisle or a trip on a loose staircase. When they happen on someone else’s property, a person who is injured in an accident has the right to seek compensation from the property owner and others who may be legally responsible. A West Palm Beach premises liability lawyer at Searcy Denney can help you legally obtain compensation.
This compensation is often crucial to helping people manage mounting medical bills, missed wages, and other financial implications related to an accident. It can help people and families move on with their lives after an accident with some peace of mind and financial security.
At Searcy Denney, our attorneys have been helping people get compensation for their injuries for decades. We understand the pain and stress that often comes with being injured in an accident, especially when it is caused through no fault of your own.
A West Palm Beach premises liability lawyer at our firm will take the time to fully understand your situation and craft a legal strategy tailored to your goals. Our track record of success – including a number of six- and seven-figure awards for our clients – speaks for itself.
Common Premises Liability Accidents in Florida
Premises liability accidents come in many shapes and sizes. What they all have in common is that these accidents can cause a wide range of injuries, including those that are serious and even life-threatening.
Any experienced West Palm Beach premises liability attorney will tell you that some accidents are more common than others. At Searcy Denney, we regularly see the following types of premises liability accidents:
- Slips and falls: These common accidents – including trips, stumbles and similar falls – can be caused by everything from a wet sidewalk to a cluttered walkway.
- Swimming pool accidents: Pools are a popular way to stay cool and have fun in the Sunshine State. They also pose a serious safety hazard if not properly maintained and supervised.
- Dog bites: Vicious animal attacks can cause serious injuries and significant emotional trauma.
- Elevator, escalator accidents: When elevators and escalators malfunction, it can come with serious consequences.
- Construction site accidents: Building sites are often home to a wide range of potential hazards. Accidents involving construction workers are regularly covered by workers’ compensation benefits programs.
- Negligent security: Hotel, retail and entertainment venues, like other property owners, are required to take steps to address potential safety hazards.
- Nursing home accidents: Eldery people and others with medical conditions are particularly prone to injury in the event of a slip and fall or other accident.
- Lead poisoning: Lead exposure can cause a wide variety of illnesses, posing a threat specifically for small children.
Whatever the type of accident, a person injured on another’s property has the right to seek compensation for those injuries. It is vital to have an experienced personal injury lawyer in your corner. A West Palm Beach premises liability attorney will help you understand your rights, explore your options and build the strongest possible claim for money damages.
Property Owner Liability for Accidents
Property owners in Florida owe a “duty of care” to others on the property, which generally requires them to maintain the premises in a reasonably safe condition and in some cases requires them to warn others of certain hazards.
The specific duty of care at play in any situation varies based on the type of visitor. Under Florida law, visitors are generally divided into three categories.
#1: Business Invitee to a Property in West Palm Beach
An invitee is someone who was invited to the property. That includes retail shoppers, restaurant customers, and other business patrons, as well as repair workers who enter a home. The property owner is required to keep the premises in a reasonably safe condition, to inspect hazards, and to warn invitees of any dangerous conditions that the owner knows about or should have known about.
When a liquid falls from a grocery store aisle shelf and spills onto the floor, for example, the store’s owner is required to clean up the spill in a reasonable amount of time and to block off the aisle or otherwise alert shoppers that the floor is wet.
#2 Licensees Authorized to Visit Properties in WPB
Social guests and certain people who are authorized to be on the property, but not for business purposes, are considered licensees. At minimum, the property owner is required to keep the property in a safe condition and to warn of any dangers of which the owner is aware.
At a backyard pool party, for instance, the home’s owner has to either fix a rickety pool ladder that the owner has been meaning to repair for months or block it off to prevent people from using the ladder.
#3 West Palm Beach Premises Liability Attorney Defines Trespassers on Property
A trespasser is someone who has no legal right to be on the property. The property owner generally has no duty to warn trespassers of any hazards, unless the owner knows that the person is there.
After the same backyard pool party, the homeowner is generally not required to warn a person who sneaks onto the property to take a dip in the middle of the night that the ladder is not in good working condition.
Cases involving alleged trespassers can raise a number of complicated issues.
Property owners may be considered to have “constructive knowledge” that a trespasser is on the premises. If local kids regularly sneak onto the property to hit the pool, for example, the homeowner may be found to have constructive knowledge. In addition, pools, trampolines, swing sets, and certain other property features may be considered an “attractive nuisance,” which comes with heightened responsibilities when it comes to warning children of dangers.
A property owner that does not meet the particular duty of care in a certain situation is likely to be legally liable for any injuries that happen as a result. A West Palm Beach premises liability lawyer at Searcy Denney can help you maximize your compensation.
How a West Palm Beach Premises Liability Lawyer at Searcy Denney Can Help You
If you have been injured in an accident, there is no reason to go it alone. An experienced personal injury lawyer can provide vital assistance by helping you understand your rights and options, investigating the accident, and establishing a claim for money damages.
To prove your case, you have to be able to show that you were injured by a dangerous condition on another’s property. You also have to be able to show that the owner knew or should have known about the hazard and that the owner failed to properly address the issue or warn visitors of the danger.
At Searcy Denney, we combine decades of legal experience in premises liability cases. Our firm is proud of its track record of successful results for our clients. Our previous victories include a $1.2 million settlement for a couple injured by a malfunctioning escalator, a $1.1 million settlement in a pool drowning case, and a $250,000 settlement for a Florida senior injured by a grocery store cart.
Our lawyers will thoroughly investigate your case to identify the cause of the accident and establish that the owner knew or should have known about the hazard. That often means compiling a wide range of evidence, including witness statements, video and photo footage, and property records. We will also detail the full extent of your injuries through medical records and other evidence to ensure that you are fairly compensated.
Searcy Denney is pleased to offer free initial consultations with our attorneys. We also take cases on a contingent fee basis, meaning that we do not charge any upfront fees and do not get paid unless we successfully resolve your case.
Dealing with Homeowners Insurance Companies
Some people who are injured in accidents at social gatherings may be hesitant to seek compensation from a friend, neighbor or acquaintance who owns the property where the mishap occurred. The truth, however, is that it is the person’s homeowners insurance company that is likely to foot the bill.
It is important that anyone injured in an accident seeks the advice of a seasoned attorney before negotiating with an insurance company or accepting a payout. Insurers often look to force low-ball settlements shortly after an accident happens. A West Palm Beach premises liability lawyer can help you ensure that you are properly compensated for your injuries.
Speak with a West Palm Beach Premises Liability Attorney
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident at a commercial property, at another person’s home, or on other property, a West Palm Beach premises liability lawyer at Searcy Denney can help.
Our personal injury attorneys help injured people and their families get back on their feet after an accident with the full compensation available under the law. We are tireless advocates with an established record of success in the courtroom and at the negotiating table.
Our offices are conveniently located in West Palm Beach, Tallahassee and Tampa. Call us at 800-780-8607 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with a West Palm Beach premises liability attorney today.