What Is A Premises Liability Case In Florida?

A premises liability case is where your injury is caused by some type of unsafe or defective condition on someone's property. The most common premises case typically involves a slip-and-fall or trip-and-fall injury. Typically, the property owner fails to maintain the premises in a reasonably safe condition, fails to warn of a dangerous condition or fails to maintain the property within the standards of the industry, such as a building code violation.

Types Of Premises Liability Cases

Many different types of personal injury cases are considered premises liability cases, including:

1. Slip-and-fall injuries
2. Inadequate maintenance and/or defective conditions on property
3. Falling merchandise in store
4. Inadequate building security leading to injury or assault
5. Water leaks or flooding
6. Fires
7. Swimming pool accidents
8. Dog bites
9. Elevator and/or escalator accidents
10. Automatic sliding door accidents

What Damages Are Available In A Premises Liability Lawsuit?

You have the same damages available to you in a premises liability lawsuit as you would have in an auto accident case. There are two primary categories of damages:

Economic Damages

These damages include expenses that you incurred out of pocket. For example, medical expenses incurred for injury such as, medical treatment, doctors, medications, transportation and physical therapy are all economic damages. In addition, if you are going to need future medical care, your future medical expenses are considered economic damages. Lost wages are also economic damages. If you lose time from work you are entitled to be compensated for income that you lose due to your injury. In addition, if you are going to incur future loss of income either because you cannot work or cannot return to your preinjury wage due to your injuries, you are entitled to be compensated for loss of future income or earning capacity.

Noneconomic Damages
The second type of damages that you are entitled to in a premises liability case are the noneconomic damages. These damages include pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, inconvenience, mental anguish, disability, disfigurement and permanent scarring. In addition your spouse may also be entitled to present a separate claim for loss of companionship and care, which is called a loss of consortium claim. Since noneconomic damages do not come with a numerical value often the dollar amount of your pain and suffering and other noneconomic damages is subjective and the amount of such damages is highly contested. In this regard, it is important to have experienced personal injury attorney on your side to assist you in gathering the necessary evidence to maximize your recovery of noneconomic damages.

Why Is It Critical To Retain An Attorney To Handle My Premises Liability Claim?

While it is important to hire an attorney in almost any personal injury case, it is especially important to hire an attorney for a premises liability case as soon as possible. Premises liability cases are complicated cases. A lawyer can help you with the following:

Investigation Of Your Claim: An experienced attorney will thoroughly investigate your accident. This may include obtaining photographs, surveillance tapes that may have recorded your accident, obtaining a site inspection and measurements of the accident site, obtaining medical reports, investigating your claim. Collecting the necessary evidence is important to prove the business or property owner's negligence and the amount of your damages.

Interviewing Witnesses: As soon as you retain an attorney your attorney will be able to interview witnesses and obtain statements. A witness statement is more powerful if it is made shortly after an accident as opposed to several months or years later.

Hiring Expert Witnesses: In most premises liability cases it is necessary for your attorney to retain or consult with an expert witness such as an accident reconstruction expert, flooring expert or building code expert to discuss important issues in your case. The expert's advice and opinion will help your attorney prove your case and aid in maximizing your recovery.