You can never anticipate what sort of accidents will happen outside your home. Whether you are at the grocery store, a restaurant, or a retail shop at the mall, any hazardous situation could result in severe injuries. When an accident leaves you unable to work and earn income, it could also place a large financial burden on you and your family. If you were injured on public or private property, you may have grounds to file a claim against the property owner and seek compensation for your injuries. Contact a Tampa premises liability lawyer from Hancock Injury Attorneys to learn your legal options.
Why Choose Hancock Injury Attorneys for Your Premises Liability Case?
For more than 25 years, the Tampa personal injury lawyers at Hancock Injury Attorneys have handled injury claims on behalf of our clients injured by another person’s negligence. Focusing on our core values of strength, intelligence, and compassion, we are committed to securing the compensation our clients need and deserve. Through the years, we have built a solid track record of recovering high-dollar verdicts and settlements on behalf of our clients. Contact us today to see what exceptional client-care looks like.
What Is Premises Liability?
Premises liability is a legal concept that holds property owners and occupiers responsible for certain injuries and accidents that occur on their premises. It is a part of tort law, which deals with civil wrongs and the liability of individuals or entities for harm caused to others.
In premises liability cases, the key idea is that the owner or occupier of a property owes a duty of care to those who enter the premises. This duty of care means that they are responsible for maintaining the property in a reasonably safe condition and taking reasonable steps to prevent injuries to visitors or guests. The specific responsibilities may vary based on the visitor's status, which is typically categorized as:
- Invitees: These are individuals who are explicitly invited onto the property for the benefit of the property owner, such as customers in a store or guests at a business. Property owners owe a higher duty of care to invitees and must take reasonable steps to ensure their safety.
- Licensees: Licensees have permission to be on the property but are not necessarily there for the property owner's benefit. This category may include social guests. Property owners are still required to address known dangers or hazards and provide warnings to licensees.
- Trespassers: Trespassers enter a property without permission. While property owners are not generally responsible for the safety of trespassers, there may be some exceptions if the property owner is aware of the trespassers or if the trespassers are children.
Everyday Situations That May Lead to Leading to A Premises Liability Claim in Tampa
There are several types of hazards that could turn an everyday activity into a dangerous accident. Our cases include slip-and-fall injuries, assaults, drownings, and other injuries might be caused by:
- Spilled liquids and slippery floors
- Uneven walkways and unexpected step-ups/drop-offs
- Construction defects and code violations
- Falling merchandise or sharp protrusions
- Insufficient lighting in stairwells and parking lots
- Dangerous or unsupervised swimming pools
- Insufficient or negligent security
- Animal attacks
- Other foreseeable hazards
- Negligent security
- Swimming pool accidents
Consult the legal team at Hancock Injury Attorneys about the circumstances of your accident to determine if you are eligible to seek compensation for your medical bills and other losses through a premises liability lawsuit.
How Is Fault Determined in Premises Liability Claims?
Like most personal injury claims, premises liability cases are often based on a legal theory of negligence. To prove that a property owner is responsible for the injuries you sustained on their premises, you must prove that they failed to exercise reasonable care in keeping you safe. This could be due to a failure to maintain the property or address hazards.
Property owners have a responsibility to remedy unsafe conditions and adequately warn visitors about potential dangers on the premises. This rule applies to hazards that the owner knew or should have known about. If you are pursuing a premises liability claim, it is best to hire a lawyer who could help you establish negligence.
Who May Be Held Liable in a Tampa Premises Liability Claim?
In a premises liability claim, several parties may be held liable, depending on the circumstances and the specific legal requirements in your jurisdiction. The primary parties who can be held responsible for injuries and accidents on a property include:
Property owners are often the first and most obvious potential defendants in premises liability cases. These may include individuals, corporations, businesses, or government entities that own the property. Property owners are typically responsible for maintaining the premises in a reasonably safe condition and addressing any known hazards or dangers.
Property Occupiers or Tenants
In cases where the property is occupied or leased by someone other than the owner, the occupier or tenant may also be held liable for injuries that occur on the property. The extent of their liability depends on their level of control over the premises and their responsibility for maintenance and safety.
In cases where a property management company is responsible for maintaining and overseeing the property, they may be held liable if their negligence or failure to address hazards leads to an injury.
Businesses or Commercial Establishments
Businesses, such as restaurants, retail stores, and hotels, are responsible for maintaining a safe environment for their customers (invitees). If a customer is injured on their premises due to negligence, the business may be held liable.
Contractors and Maintenance Companies
If a property owner or occupier hires contractors or maintenance companies to perform work on the property, and an injury occurs due to the negligence of these service providers, they may also be held liable for the resulting harm.
In cases involving common areas within a homeowners' association, the association may bear responsibility for injuries that occur in shared spaces if they are negligent in maintaining those areas.
When injuries occur on government-owned properties or public spaces, government entities may be held liable under premises liability laws. However, the rules for suing government entities often have unique procedures and limitations, so it's essential to consult with an attorney experienced in government liability cases.
What Compensation is Available to Premises Liability Accident Victims?
In a premises liability claim, various types of damages may be available to compensate the injured party for their losses and injuries. Here are some common types of damages that may be available to accident victims:
- Medical Expenses: This includes reimbursement for all reasonable and necessary medical costs related to the injury, such as hospital bills, doctor's fees, prescription medications, physical therapy, and rehabilitation.
- Lost Income: If your injury resulted in time away from work, you may be entitled to compensation for lost wages, including past and future income that you would have earned had you not been injured.
- Pain and Suffering: Non-economic damages, such as physical pain, emotional distress, and the overall suffering caused by the injury, may be recoverable. The assessment of pain and suffering damages can be subjective and may vary depending on the specifics of the case.
- Disability and Disfigurement: If your injury resulted in a permanent disability or disfigurement, you may be eligible for compensation to account for the long-term impact on your life and well-being.
- Property Damage: If your personal property (such as clothing, electronics, or other possessions) was damaged or destroyed due to the incident, you may be able to recover the cost of repairing or replacing those items.
- Out-of-Pocket Expenses: This category includes costs related to transportation to and from medical appointments, home healthcare services, medical equipment, and any other expenses incurred due to the injury.
- Loss of Consortium: In some cases, the spouse or family members of the injured party may be entitled to compensation for the loss of the injured person's companionship, support, and services.
How Can a Lawyer Help with My Premises Liability Claim?
Hiring a skilled premises liability attorney can significantly increase your chances of a successful outcome in your claim, whether through a settlement or a court judgment. Here are some of the key ways in which a lawyer with Hancock Injury Attorneys can help:
Our experienced premises liability attorneys are well-versed in the laws, regulations, and legal principles that govern these cases. They can help you understand the legal framework that applies to your situation and how it impacts your claim.
Evaluation of Your Claim
Your lawyer can assess the strength of your premises liability claim by examining the circumstances surrounding your injury, the duty of care owed by the property owner, and whether that duty was breached. They can help determine whether you have a valid claim and what damages you may be entitled to.
Our attorneys have the resources and skills to conduct thorough investigations into your accident. They can collect evidence, interview witnesses, review relevant documents, and work with experts, such as accident reconstruction specialists, to build a strong case on your behalf.
Identifying Liable Parties
Your lawyer will help identify all potentially liable parties, whether they are property owners, occupiers, tenants, contractors, or other entities responsible for maintaining the property. This ensures that you pursue compensation from all relevant parties.
Premises liability cases often involve negotiations with insurance companies and other parties involved. Your attorney can handle these negotiations on your behalf, seeking a fair settlement that covers your medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages.
Filing Legal Documents
Your lawyer will handle the necessary paperwork and filings for your premises liability claim, ensuring that all documents are properly submitted within the relevant timeframes and in compliance with the legal requirements.
Your lawyer can retain expert witnesses, such as medical experts or accident reconstruction specialists, to provide testimony that supports your claim and helps establish liability.
If a fair settlement cannot be reached through negotiations, your attorney can represent you in court. They will present your case, question witnesses, and argue on your behalf to secure the compensation you deserve.
Your lawyer can help you calculate the full extent of your damages, which may include medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and more. They will work to ensure that you receive the maximum compensation available.
Throughout the process, your attorney will provide you with legal guidance and advice, helping you make informed decisions about your case and the potential outcomes.
Our personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, which means they only get paid if you win your case. This fee arrangement can make legal representation more accessible to those who may not have the financial resources to pay hourly fees.
Contact the Tampa Premises Liability Lawyers at Hancock Injury Attorneys Today
If you or a loved one were harmed in an accident, taking legal action is probably not the first thing on your mind. However, if you wait too long to file, you may be barred from pursuing damages.
The aftermath of being injured in a premises liability accident can be a challenging time for you and your family. You may be at a loss with how to proceed. Working with a Tampa pedestrian accident lawyer may be the most effective way to protect your right to pursue damages for your injuries. Holding negligent parties accountable may also prevent them from inflicting similar injuries to others in the future.
At Hancock Injury Attorneys, we wish to help you navigate your claim as you focus your efforts on recovery. Contact our Tampa premises liability attorneys now at 813-915-1110 or through our online form for your free case consultation.