When a victim slips or trips and falls as a result of a property owner’s failure to keep an area safe and fix dangerous hazards, legal action is often necessary to aid in a victim’s recovery. The Port St. Lucie lawyers at Donaldson & Weston offer seasoned and knowledgeable legal representation for victims injured on someone else’s property.
Premises Liability Attorneys Serving People in Port St. Lucie and Surrounding Areas
Property owners and occupiers have a duty to ensure that visitors are safe from unreasonable risks of harm when entering their premises. This extends to anticipating that structures and other conditions may fall into disrepair over time, as well as taking actions to make sure that these issues are addressed in a reasonable way. When defective property conditions arise due to an owner’s inadequate maintenance, serious injuries can result. The Port St. Lucie premises liability lawyers at Donaldson & Weston represent people injured on another party’s property in legal claims against responsible parties. Recovery from injuries in a slip or trip and fall accident can involve numerous doctors’ visits, rehabilitation, time missed from work, and sometimes permanent impairments. Our firm is committed to making sure that people who contributed to causing a victim’s injuries share in the financial burden also created. If you or a loved one has suffered injuries due to a property owner’s failure to provide safe conditions, contact our office today to find out more about your legal rights and options.
Dangers Resulting from Inadequate Maintenance
Under Florida statute, building owners, including residential landlords, are required to follow building, housing, and health codes pertaining to their properties. These individuals and entities are bound by common law as well, and they must provide reasonably safe environments to people who enter their property. Appropriate maintenance of property is mandated both by statute and by common law. Some indications that a property is poorly maintained, and thus dangerous to people who enter it, include:
- Slippery floors
- Broken windows, locks, or handrails
- Uneven or broken steps, sidewalks, or floor tiles
- Fixtures that have not been repaired
- Obstructed walkways or aisles
- Inadequate security in areas with known dangers
Injuries due to dangerous conditions can include broken bones, spinal injuries, and brain trauma, some of which can be long-lasting or life-threatening. Making sure that the responsible parties are held legally liable is important not only in aiding victims but also in preventing future harm.
Proving Liability for an Accident
Property owners and occupiers have a duty to engage in regular maintenance, and they are required to fix any hazards found in a reasonably timely way, or warn visitors of any dangerous conditions yet to be repaired. When a party breaches this duty, an injured victim may pursue damages by filing a premises liability lawsuit based on negligence. Negligence exists when one party has breached the duty to act reasonably, causing someone else’s injuries and resulting in damages.
In some instances, a property owner may try to avoid liability by arguing that a repair company, or someone else, was responsible for maintenance issues. Or a defendant may argue that a victim carelessly caused their own injury. Regardless, since Florida is a pure comparative fault state, damages are awarded proportionally to each party’s degree of liability. This means that, even if it is shown that a victim was 50 percent responsible for causing their own injuries, other parties may still be responsible for the remaining 50 percent. If legal liability is shown, victims may recover compensation for past and future medical costs, loss of earnings, diminished earning capacity, and pain and suffering.