4 Elements of a Strong Premises Liability Claim
Are you thinking about taking action against a property owner or occupier for failing to maintain their premises? Do you find yourself wondering whether filing a claim could actually be worthwhile?
Although there’s no way to guarantee any given action will be successful, all the cases that yield a payout have a few elements in common. For those involving premises liability, these are the kinds of circumstances that mean you likely have a strong claim:
1. You Were Allowed to Be on the Premises
Generally speaking, those who are trespassing are not entitled to compensation if they get hurt while doing so. In order to have grounds for a premises liability claim, you must have been legally allowed to be on the property at the time of the accident. An exception can apply, however, if the victim was a child and they were drawn to an “attractive nuisance” on the premises.
2. You Were Behaving as Any Reasonable Person Might
If you were being especially reckless before the accident—or you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol—the property owner may be able to make the case that you’re to blame for your injuries. If, on the other hand, you were acting in a normal manner, you can probably proceed with a claim.
It’s worth noting that if you did contribute to the accident in some way but the property owner was mostly to blame, you can still file a claim. Under Florida’s pure comparative fault rule, plaintiffs are not barred from taking action just because they shoulder a portion of the liability. Instead, the amount they’re entitled to recover is simply diminished by their own percentage of fault.
3. You Were Hurt in an Accident That Could Have Been Avoided
If the accident was an utter fluke that no one could have ever predicted, you probably won’t be able to put together a strong claim. To have a chance of securing a payout, you must be able to convince the insurance adjuster that the property owner could have taken reasonable measures to prevent the incident but failed to do so.
4. You Incurred Recoverable Damages as a Result of Your Injuries
You must have suffered actual losses as a direct result of the accident. In Florida, recoverable damages include both monetary losses like out-of-pocket medical expenses and non-monetary losses like pain and suffering. You can prove economic damages using tangible documentation.
As for proving non-economic damages, daily journal entries will come in handy. Psychological evaluations and statements from friends, loved ones, and colleagues can also bolster your claim, so you can seek the maximum payout possible.
Speak with a West Palm Beach Premises Liability Attorney
For help with your premises liability claim, turn to the tenacious team at Donaldson & Weston. We have extensive experience going up against property owners and their insurers, and we know what it takes to achieve success in even the most complex scenarios. Call 561-299-3999 or fill out our Contact Form to schedule a free initial consultation with a premises liability lawyer in West Palm Beach.