St. Petersburg Premises Liability
Every property owner bears a responsibility to reasonably maintain his or her premises. Both private property owners and commercial property owners should address known hazards when they arise and/or warn guests of the risks. When owners fail to take adequate steps and visitors suffer, the resulting legal claims fall under premises liability laws.
At Williams Law, P.A., our team represents those injured in preventable property hazard accidents in St. Petersburg and surrounding areas. We understand local premises liability laws and the property liability insurance system here in Florida. If you have suffered as the result of a property owner’s carelessness, we will protect your right to a fair recovery.
Common Premises Liability Claims
The team at Williams Law, P.A. handles a variety of different premises liability insurance claims in south Florida. Some of the most common claims that occur in our warm climate include:
- Slip and fall incidents that occur at medical facilities, individual stores, malls, commercially managed properties, privately owned professional offices, grocery stores, restaurants, public areas, and other locations.
- Unsafe premises claims that involve a maintenance oversight such as unrestrained products that fall from heights, uneven sidewalks, parking lot hazards, insecure railings, and/or exposed electrical hazards.
- Elevator and escalator accidents that occur as the result of mismanagement.
- Poor premises security measures that result in criminal assault or injury.
- Animal attack claims involving inadequate warnings in known wild animal habitats or pet/dog attacks.
- Swimming pool accidents involving inadequate fencing and poor owner oversite.
Understanding Premises Liability in Florida
Under Florida laws, all property owners must take steps to keep their properties safe. For commercial property owners, this often means following all applicable regulations, addressing building hazards, training employees on proper hazard response actions, and warning visitors of known risks. Something as seemingly innocuous as a can of paint in an aisle can trip a customer and cause a serious injury.
For private property owners, taking reasonable steps often means posting warning signs, fencing off sinkholes, warning visitors of known hazards on the property, and repairing commonly traveled paths to and from the home.
Property owners are not responsible for all injuries that occur on their properties. They are only responsible for those they reasonably could have prevented. Identifying who suffered an injury and why will often determine if premises liability laws apply in a claim. For example, property owners are not responsible for accidents involving illegal trespassers in the vast majority of cases. They are only responsible for legal invitees (business-related visitors), licensees (social visitors), and children.
To prove premises liability in a legal claim, the plaintiff must demonstrate:
- The defendant owned the property.
- The defendant failed to reasonably address property hazards.
- The plaintiff suffered serious harm.
- The defendant’s failure to maintain his or her property proximately caused the plaintiff’s injury.
The plaintiff must prove each element to demonstrate liability and recover damages. If, for example, a defendant owned a property and maintained the property in the same way another owner would have, he or she may not face responsibility for the injury. Similarly, a plaintiff cannot hold a non-owner responsible for an onsite injury under premises liability laws. In this instance, the plaintiff would need to file a claim against the owner of the property or pursue a different type of liability claim against the wrongdoer.
Your St. Petersburg Premises Liability Lawyer
If you trip on your shoelaces in a store, you can’t hold the store owner liable for resulting injuries. If, however, you stumble into an insecure shelf unit after tripping on your shoelaces and the unanchored unit falls on top of you, you may have a valid premises liability claim. Our office can help you determine if you have a viable claim and take the next steps to protect your legal rights. We will use the full power of the law and our knowledge of property liability insurance to pursue a fair and full recovery on your behalf. Reach out to our office in St. Petersburg for a free case evaluation with attorney K.C. Williams.